Waste Less, Recycle More grants timetable revealed

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The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released its timetable for the next four years of Waste Less, Recycle More grants.

EPA Executive Director of Waste and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said the NSW Government is investing $337 million more over four years to continue to deliver economic and environmental benefits to NSW through the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

“Grants for organic infrastructure to help reduce food and garden organics waste going to landfill are currently open for applications.

“The grants assist with the installation of infrastructure and equipment to increase recycling capacity for food and garden waste or improve opportunities to redistribute good food to people in need.

“Since the initiative commenced $40 million has already been allocated to 71 projects, increasing the state’s organics processing capacity by an estimated 527,000 tonnes a year under this grant program.

“$3 million has also been provided to food relief agencies to collect an additional 6,000 tonnes of surplus food per year to feed people in need.”

Mr Beaman said Waste Less, Recycle More encourages innovative business approaches to increase recycling and reduce waste, along with reducing illegal dumping and littering.

“More than 1,000 projects across the state that are expected to process more than 2.2 million tonnes of waste and create 845 jobs have already been supported through the initiative.”

A full timetable of grants over the next four years is now available on the EPA website to assist organisations to get involved at: www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wastegrants/index.htm.

Grants to open in July:

• Grants for weighbridges to support recycling facilities and landfills to install weighbridges, to assist the better quantification of waste.
• Grants for litter prevention – regional implementation program to support regional waste groups to deliver on their regional litter plans, achieving litter reduction for NSW.

Funding for 2017-2021 includes:

• $30 million for litter reduction programs, including $1.5 million for community litter grants and $4 million for council litter grants
• $106 million for the waste and recycling infrastructure and business recycling
• $57 million for household problem waste programs, including $37 million for community recycling centre collections and processing
• $70 million for councils’ waste and resource recovery projects
• $65 million to combat illegal dumping

Veolia expands industrial services business

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Water, waste and energy management company Veolia has acquired Clean It – an industrial services business based in northern Queensland.

Founded in 2001, the Townsville-based business provides services to the resource, energy and infrastructure sectors.

“We are thrilled to have Clean It joining Veolia’s community. Not only are they committed to delivering a range of services within the industrial, mining and mineral sectors, Clean It are always looking for ways to tailor individual client needs in line with their business values,” said Anthony Roderick, Veolia’s Group General Manager for Queensland.

“These qualities and Clean It’s prominent presence across the state make for an effective partnership and present additional growth opportunities across liquid, hazardous waste and industrial services for both our teams and network.”

“We look forward to joining Veolia’s global network and combining our strengths in this new journey. We believe Veolia’s leadership team, culture, and operating philosophies are the best fit for us,” said Clean It’s Darren McKenna.

This announcement comes as the second waste acquisition within a month for Veolia after it acquired Ellwaste Waste and Recycling Services, a regional waste management business servicing rural New South Wales and Victoria.

Taskforce to audit Victorian recycling facilities

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The Victorian Government has announced a joint taskforce to target key recycling sites it believes require extra management to ensure community safety.

It comes after a large fire at the Coolaroo recycling plant in Melbourne’s north, which took days to get under control.

The taskforce will comprise Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV).

It will audit recycling facilities across Victoria, to identify and prioritise sites that require action such as a fire management plan to better protect community. It will also consult with waste resource and recovery groups.

As part of this, Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio intends to declare, under section 18B of the Environment Protection Act 1970, an interim waste management policy to require facilities to store materials in a manner that minimises risk to human health and the environment.

It will outline requirements for appropriate storage of recyclable materials, require risk assessment by operators, and compliance with fire services guidelines. Non-compliance with this interim policy could lead to sanctions under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

The interim policy will remain in place for 12 months while a more permanent solution is finalised. The Environment Protection Bill 2017, which is before Parliament, will further clarify EPA’s role as a protector of human health and the environment.

The Victorian Government is overhauling the Environment Protection Act. The cornerstone of the new legislation will be a general preventative duty to minimise risk of harm to human health and the environment. The duty will require everyone to take reasonably practical steps to minimise risks of harm from pollution and waste.

The Victorian Government has already invested $162.5 million to further strengthen the state’s environment protection framework and bolster the EPA’s ability to prevent and reduce harm from pollution and waste. The Labor Government has also set a 30 year Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan to set the priorities for effectively managing waste, including providing a record $30.4 million over four years to improve waste and recovery resource management.

“We are taking immediate measures to ensure better protections for Victorians and our environment,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

“The Environment Protection Bill 2017, which is currently before Parliament, will further clarify EPA’s role as a protector of human health and the environment.”

 

Coles and Woolworths to phase out plastic bags

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Coles and Woolworths have announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months.

Woolworths’ plan will cover all stores across the Woolworths Group nationwide – including Woolworths Supermarkets and Metro stores, BIG W, BWS and Online. Dan Murphy’s and Cellarmasters are already single-use plastic bag free.

The phased approach will begin shortly with the expectation it will be fully in place across the entire Woolworths Group Australian network by at least 30 June 2018.

“We currently give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage. Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” said Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci.

“Whilst we know this is a major decision, we will work very closely with all of our store teams to ensure the transition for our customers is as simple as possible.”

Last week, Coles followed with the same announcement shortly after, saying it would remove plastic bags across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA to join other states that have already legislated their removal.

“We’ve been working towards this announcement for some time now as part of our ongoing program to improve environmental outcomes throughout our business,” said Coles chief customer officer Simon McDowell.

New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia are among the states that have yet to place a statewide ban on recycling – and will align with stores in states and territories where this is already legislated. South Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania are already single-use lightweight plastic shopping bag free, with Queensland also legislated to join mid next year.

 

Atlas Copco extends its reach

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FROM OUR PARTNERS: 

Atlas Copco Construction Equipment Australia and diesel supplier Redstar Equipment have entered into a distribution agreement.

As part of the agreement, Redstar Equipment has started distributing Atlas Copco’s portable compressors, portable generators, lighting towers and pumps through-out their network of four metropolitan branches and more than 60 dealers Australia-wide.

This agreement has allowed Atlas Copco to expand their brand presence, product availability and servicing capabilities throughout Australia.

John Fitzpatrick, Business Line Manager – Portable Energy for Atlas Copco Power Technique, said the distribution agreement has already made it easier for customers to access Atlas Copco products as well as receive exceptional after-sales service and support.

“The agreement with Redstar Equipment has given us the opportunity to increase our customer base throughout Australia. We’ve already receive lots of positive feedback,” he said.

“The agreement has created better product offerings for our dealers with the opportunity to access high quality world-renowned Atlas Copco products,” said Richard Crowe, General Manager for Redstar Equipment.

“Redstar Equipment’s vision is about providing the growing Australian market with industry-leading, high quality products and excellent after sales support.”

The distribution agreement came into effect on 1st January 2017.

Hobart Airport project to use recycled water

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Hobart Airport has been given the green light to use recycled water for flood compaction as part of its REX project.

This is the first time recycled water has been used on any Tasmanian construction project.

Works on the REX project, Hobart Airport southern runway extension, runs alongside the coastline. The underlying soils consist mainly of beach like sand, that creates difficulties when compacting to the required standards, and a significant volume of water is required to drench this soil before it’s compressed by the rollers.
Fulton Hogan has teamed up with the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant, operated by TasWater, who treats waste water to produce ‘Class A’ recycled water.
Having access to recycled water on the site saves using valuable clean drinking water, as well as saving the recycled water being pumped into the bay via Sinclair Creek. In the first three days of use, 1.23ML (1,230 KL or 1,230,000L) of recycled water was used for flood compaction.

Cleanaway commences new contract

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Cleanaway has commenced its eight-year contract to deliver kerbside collection in the northern Queensland area of Burdekin, located between Townsville and Bowen in the delta of the Burdekin River.

The four brand new trucks are co-branded with Cleanaway and Burdekin Shire Council livery and include distinctive designs describing the type of waste being collected by the truck. They were presented to Burdekin Mayor Lyn McLaughlin prior to commencement.

Cleanaway Regional Manager of Solid Waste Services Chris Ashton said their Burdekin fleet comprised of two new general waste trucks, a recycling vehicle and a green waste vehicle.

“All are brand new and fitted with the latest technology to ensure maximum efficiency of service to the Burdekin community,” Mr Ashton said.

Mr Ashton said Cleanaway was excited to be expanding its operations to service the Burdekin Shire local government area.

“The awarding of the Burdekin contract allows Cleanaway to display its proud history and presents an opportunity to support Burdekin Shire Council towards growing and maintaining a sustainable future.

“We take very seriously the responsibility that’s been afforded to us to maintain what is a very important service to the community,” he said.

“The commencement of this contract will in no way affect the services residents currently receive. There is also no change to the majority of drivers in the team.”

In addition to providing a competitive contract, Cleanaway has committed to supporting the local community by utilising local content for ongoing labour, maintenance and fuel requirements. It said 75 per cent of the incumbent direct labour operators have joined Cleanaway in full-time employment.

“We are committed to maintaining a positive, strategic partnership with Burdekin Shire Council for the life of the contract,” Mr Ashton said.

Burdekin Shire Council is an exciting addition in regional Queensland with the total number of municipal contracts from Noosa to Port Douglas now standing at eight.

City of Sydney hosts free household chemical cleanout day

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Sydneysiders are being asked to safely dispose of their old car batteries, solvents, pesticides and paints as part of the City of Sydney’s free household chemical cleanout day.

The joint initiative between the City and the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has been organised to help residents safely remove unwanted, hazardous items from their home without fear of harming the environment or local waterways.

“The City has a long-term objective of zero waste to landfill. The annual chemical cleanout brings us closer to that target while ensuring chemicals such as mercury, cadmium and lead don’t end up in our waterways,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“The City is proud to work with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority to run chemical drop-off days to help keep our city and its waterways clean.”

Chemicals will be sorted into more than 40 categories for re-use or recycling. Items such as unwanted paints can be used as an alternative fuel in cement kilns, and residual gas can be recovered from gas bottles for industrial use.

Residents are advised to stay in their vehicles at the drop-off site to allow waste experts to safely collect all items and chemicals.

More than 22 tonnes of waste from 580 households was collected at the 2016 cleanout.

The City of Sydney said computers, mobile phones, cameras and other electronic goods should not be brought to the chemical clean-out but reserved for its next e-waste drop-off day in September.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore also invited residents to have their say on the City’s draft waste strategy, which is currently on exhibition.

“One of the exciting actions proposed in the draft ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ is a community drop off centre open year round for problem waste items such as those that are dropped off annually at the chemical cleanout day,” Mr Moore said.

“To voice your support for this measure, visit sydneyyoursay.com.au and leave your feedback.”

Pictured: Marco Baiteri at last year’s event held at the Sydney Park depo.

EPA Tasmania approves waste capture system

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The Environment Protection Authority Tasmania has approved salmon producer Tassal’s proposed waste capture system for operation in Macquarie Harbour.

Wes Ford, EPA Director, said that based on Tassal’s reporting of the trial to date and its Environmental Management Plan, he is allowing the company to operate with the supplementary biomass of up to 28 tonnes/hectare provided it complies with its Environment Protection Notice (EPN).

“The EPN contains the requirements and conditions to regulate the capture and disposal of the fish farm waste including reporting and monitoring requirements,” said Mr Ford.

“Under the EPN, Tassal is required to undertake a range of monitoring, including benthic observations and dissolved oxygen in the harbour, as well as parameters to measure the effectiveness of the system,” he said.

“The EPA will undertake regular reviews of the waste collection operation in the harbour and waste disposal.

“This approval will enable the company to carry supplementary biomass and delay the harvest of about 4000 tonnes of 2016 year-class fish until they reach market size,” he said.

Mr Ford said that the WCS is designed to capture the solid waste from 1.5 tonnes of fish for every 1 tonne of fish to be grown through to harvest that is in excess of Tassal’s 13 tonnes/hectare allocation (3,640 tonnes).