Councils recognised for e-waste recycling

Product stewardship program MobileMuster has recognised the efforts of local councils in the area of e-waste collection and recycling.

Josh Frydenberg, Federal Government Minister for Environment and Energy commended eight councils from across Australia.

“Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste issues in Australia and it’s great to see MobileMuster bringing industry and local government together to make it easy to recycle and deliver important environmental benefits to our communities”.

The following councils took out top honours in the awards:

  • National Top Collector per Capita – District Council of Orroroo-Carrieton (SA)
  • New South Wales Top Collector – Hornsby Shire Council
  • Northern Territory Top Collector – Alice Springs Town Council
  • Queensland Top Collector – Queensland – Brisbane City Council
  • Western Australia Top Collector – City of Stirling
  • South Australia Top Collector – City of Onkaparinga
  • Tasmania Top Collector – Burnie City Council
  • Victoria Top Collector – Moonee Valley City Council

Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager, MobileMuster, said: “Whilst council collections have been steadily growing in the last couple of years it’s great to see an even higher lift this year with councils helping inform and educate their residents about recycling.”

“In the last year councils have increased their collections by a huge 25 per cent and recycled over 4.5 tonnes of mobiles phone and components through the program.”

Over the last decade local government partners have collected 35 tonnes of mobiles phone components for recycling including approximately 420,000 handsets and batteries.

Mr Kalos said that with an estimated 23 million old mobile phones sitting in drawers waiting to be recycled, including five million which are broken and no longer working, MobileMuster will continue to work with councils to encourage residents to recycle responsibly.

MobileMuster’s Top Councils

New South Wales

  1. Hornsby Shire Council
  2. City of Sydney
  3. Randwick City Council
  4. Lake Macquarie City Council
  5. Burwood Council

Northern Territory

  1. Alice Springs Town Council
  2. East Arnhem Shire Council
  3. West Arnhem Regional Council


  1. Brisbane City Council
  2. Redland City Council
  3. Townsville City Council
  4. Scenic Rim Regional Council
  5. Cairns Regional Council

South Australia

  1. City of Onkaparinga
  2. City of Charles Sturt
  3. City of Tea Tree Gully
  4. City of Mitcham
  5. City of Port Adelaide Enfield


  1. Burnie City Council
  2. Launceston City Council
  3. Glenorchy City Council
  4. Break O’Day Council
  5. Kingborough Council


  1. Moonee Valley City Council
  2. Nillumbik Shire Council
  3. City of Monash
  4. Latrobe City Council
  5. City of Greater Geelong

Western Australia

  1. City of Stirling
  2. City of South Perth
  3. City of Fremantle
  4. City of Cockburn
  5. City of Vincent

Top Collector – Per Capita

  1. District Council of Orroroo-Carrieton, SA
  2. District Council of Kimba, SA
  3. Shire of York, WA
  4. Burwood Council, NSW
  5. Hay Shire Council, NSW

Pictured (left to right): 

Rolf Fenner (Australian Local Government Association on behalf of District Council of Orroroo-Carrieton, Hornsby Shire Council and Burnie City Council), Councillor Richard Lawrence (Moonee Valley City Council), Councillor John Sipek (Moonee Valley City Council), Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg (City of Onkaparinga), The Hon Tony Abbott MP (Member for Warringah), The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP (Minister for the Environment and Energy), Mr Spyro Kalos (Recycling Manager, MobileMuster AMTA), Rex Mooney (CEO, Alice Springs Town Council), Councillor Kim Marx (Brisbane City Council) and Mayor Giovanni Italiano (City of Stirling)

WMAA welcomes new National President

The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) has elected Mr Garth Lamb as the Association’s new National President for a term of two years.

Mr Lamb, Business Development Manager of management company Re. Group, will replace Ms Miranda Ransome whose four year term has come to an end.

“The Association is very excited to welcome Mr Lamb as the new National President. His experience and industry knowledge will be of great benefit in driving the Association forward and delivering great benefits to our members”, said Gayle Sloan, WMAA Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Lamb began in the industry more than a decade ago as a journalist and editor of Inside Waste magazine, followed by four years working with Hyder consulting as the National Business Leader for the waste and resource management team.

“Throughout his career, Mr Lamb has been a great supporter of WMAA. He has been an active member and in 2016, was elected as the WMAA NSW Branch President,” WMAA said.

“WMAA is unique, in that it represents the full breadth and depth of our vibrant and complex industry. We all play different individual roles, but the critical issue is making sure that the overall system works. WMAA provides an important forum for internal discussion and debate, where we can come together to learn from each other and work together to improve our sector”, Mr Lamb said.

WMAA and the Board thanked the outgoing National President, Miranda Ransome, for the many years of her work with the Association.

“Ms Ransome has been a WMAA member for more than 21 years, serving the last four years as WMAA President, and Vice-President before that. Her career and experience, which spans more than three decades in the waste and resource recovery sector, brought a high-level of industry knowledge and understanding of many of the technical, commercial and regulatory challenges facing the sector. Her commitment to the highest standards of responsibility, corporate governance and representing the interests of all members from all sectors had contributed greatly to building a stronger Association,” WMAA said.

“WMAA and the Board would also like to thank Mr Geoff Webster for nominating to run for the position of WMAA National President. Mr Webster has been a WMAA Board member for the past three years. During this time, he has helped develop and implement a strategy that is shifting WMAA’s focus to one which better engages and facilitates the needs of our members.”

“WMAA is a member based organisation, and the willingness of our members to put their hand up to volunteer their time and effort is key to the success of all we do.

“Thank you to Ms Ransome for her dedication to the Association and the industry as a whole. Thank you also to all members who took part in the election”, said Ms Sloan.

Mr Lamb will commence the role of National President at the WMAA AGM to be held on Wednesday 21 June 2017.


Global e-waste management report predicts growth

End of life mobile phones for recycling

The global e-waste management market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.98 per cent until 2021, a new report finds.

Technavio analysts found the advancement of technologies has resulted in the reduction of the lifecycle of electronic products, which in turn increases the obsolescence rate of technologies.

The report considers the amount of e-waste generated from each region and type of devices discarded to calculate the market size, taking into account population growth and e-waste generated by per inhabitant.

It divides the market into the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

Key Vendors include:

  •  ERI
  • TES
  • Umicore

‘Super Tip’ for WA Councils

Three Western Australian councils will build a ‘Super Tip’ near the town of Mount Barker to store recyclable materials.

Denmark, Albany and Plantagenet Shires have planned to develop a shared waste facility on Crown land in order to centralise a collection area for plastics, oil, metal, electronic waste, car bodies and other recyclable materials.

ABC News reported it comes after Plantagenet Shire had to shut down its recycling transfer stations due to increased transport costs and a slump in prices received for recyclable commodities.

All recyclables collected in regional WA are transported to Perth for processing, which affects council profit.

“Even smaller regional areas are saying the cost of disposal of waste is going up exponentially, it’s also one of those cost centres that is increasing faster than others,” Plantagenet Shire chief executive Robert Stewart told ABC News.

He said discussions between councils and government to consolidate the waste generated from the three shires onto a 24-hectare site adjacent to the Plantagenet waste facility were “making good progress”.

Regional tip facilities are reliant upon good commodity prices to bring buyers to collect the stockpiles, without this ratepayers and councils may bear the brunt of costs.

“There’s a huge expectation in our community that our recycling is handled well, that we are looking after the environment, but there’s also a belief that because we are dealing commodities like metal or aluminium that we will be able to provide that service at minimal or no cost.

“But these days everything we have here whether it’s aluminium or steel, whether it’s plastic whether it’s e-waste, whether it’s oil whether it’s cars — it all costs us money to treat properly.”

Mr Stewart said the ABC’s War On Waste program had triggered discussions about how regional communities dealt with waste.

“We are experiencing many more questions about what is happening to our waste and what is happening to our recycling I’m taking that very seriously because it is a question that we need to ask,” he said.

AWRE puts cost of landfilling on the agenda

The Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) has noted the exorbitant cost of landfill as it seeks to put recycling front of mind in the lead up to its annual expo.

The expo noted that the latest National Waste Data Report reveals that while Australia’s population rose by 22 per cent from 1997 to 2012, waste generation soared by 145 per cent.

At the same time, the cost of disposing waste at Australian landfills can be more than A$105 per tonne. Meanwhile, up to 52 per cent of Australia’s waste is currently recycled while a substantial portion is ending up in landfill. To prove that recycling is a viable alternative, AWRE will attract more than 1500 industry professionals to discuss the latest and greatest in recycling technology from more than 120 leading brands, from e-scrap recycling to material handling.

Key to its offering is the Towards Zero Landfill Project, which will see its partners showcase their achievements in ensuring the project moves closer to zero this year.

The Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo takes place from August 23-24 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
For more information visit:

What’s changing for the trucking industry on 1 July?

Australian heavy vehicle laws will see a range of changes from 1 July 2017, according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

The changes come on the back of an update to the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVINM), explained NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, which has become the standard for heavy vehicle inspections carried out in all jurisdictions except Western Australia.

According to Petroccitto, the changes – referred to as version 2.2 – are mainly aimed at “improving roadside compliance activities and reducing the compliance burden for industry”.

Key changes include introducing ‘self-clearing’ defect notices – effectively an additional type of defect notice for “defective vehicles that do not pose a safety risk” or if the vehicle’s number plate is obscured.

“Self-clearing defects do not require an inspection of the vehicle by an approved person for the purpose of having the self-clearing defect notice cleared,” the NHVR explained in a recent briefing.

An offence has also been created for failing to display and maintain National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme labels on heavy vehicles under the Maintenance Management Accreditation scheme and the Mass Management Accreditation scheme, the Regulator explained.

Other changes include an alignment of the performance measures used when conducting machine-based brake testing, clearer requirements for lights, reflectors and reflective tape, as well as updates to requirements for vehicle dimensions.

“These latest amendments are part of our commitment to continuous improvement of the manual and we welcome your contributions and feedback,” said Petroccitto.

Key changes

Brake performance testing
One of the key changes included in version 2.2 is an alignment of the performance measures used when conducting machine-based brake testing, primarily roller brake testing. More information about these changes is available in the Vehicle Standards Guide (VSG-15) NHVIM Fact Sheet – Brake Testing.

Lights and reflectors
Additional reasons have now been included in the Lights and Reflectors section of the Manual for reflectors, daytime running lights and conspicuity markings. These changes were made in response to industry requests for clear requirements when inspecting these components and include new reasons for rejection, for example when conspicuity markings do not continue for at least 80 per cent of the length or width of the vehicle.

Vehicle dimensions
“Minor changes” have reportedly been made to the requirements for vehicle length to make the requirements easier to understand – especially for semi-trailers and dog-trailers – and also include dimension requirements for trailers used in road trains. For example, the distance from the point of articulation to the rear of a trailer is set at 13.6m for a refrigerated semi-trailer not used in a road train or B-double combination, 13.2m for a semitrailer not used in a road train or B-double combination, and 12.3m for another semitrailer or dog trailer. For a road train, the drawbar has to at least 3.0m long from the centre of the coupling to the front articulation point.

Fifth wheels and turntables may now also be rejected due wear or adjustment of the kingpin locking mechanism beyond the manufacturer’s specifications.

More detailed information on the exact changes that have been made can be found here.

This article originally appeared on Prime Mover Magazine. 

NSW budget 2017-18: what’s in it for waste?

The NSW Government has committed increased funds towards the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) and the state’s Environmental Protection Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a $1.8 billion environmental package.

Key programs relevant to the waste sector include $184 million to continue to support the EPA as an independent regulator and $3.4 million to introduce a CDS, scheduled for December 1 of this year.

The CDS funding is part of a $72 million package dedicated to transforming waste management in NSW, with the investment set to help the State Government reach its goal to reduce litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.

Environment and Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton said the NSW Government’s priority was to protect and preserve the state’s environment for future generations.

“This year’s budget investment will go towards, protecting threatened species, preserving the state’s national park estate, helping households reduce energy use while driving down energy bills and protecting the state’s Aboriginal history,” she said.

Other environmental investments include:
  • $1.9 million towards the Broken Hill Lead Smart program
  • $34 million across national parks, primarily for upgrading facilities, amenities and safety and visitor experiences
  • $44 million for private land conservation ($240 million over five years and $70 million annually in ongoing funding)
  • $41 million to assist local councils to prepare and implement coastal and floodplain management plans and for works to restore and protect coastal and estuarine environments
  • $29 million to conserve and enjoy the state’s unique Aboriginal and historic heritage
  • $41 million to upgrade public parklands and gardens, this includes $15 million for Centennial Parklands to upgrade and improve park facilities and $11 million for a park improvement program at Western Sydney Parklands

NWRIC calls for CDS alignment

Aligning the commencement dates of the NSW and Queensland container deposit schemes will ensure the success of both, the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council believes.

This week, Queensland’s Parliament tabled the legislation to establish the State’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) via an update to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. The proposed scheme for Queensland received bipartisan support and is scheduled to start on July 1, 2018.

The NSW CDS has been scheduled to start on December 1, 2017 – just six months after the mechanisms governing the scheme were released. Under the scheme, ‘network operators’ are required to establish hundreds of collection points across seven zones, covering all of NSW.

In addition to having all of these collection points in place by November, the NWRIC is also concerned that administrative hurdles, such as development applications and safety procedures, may delay the orderly rollout of the program.

“By delaying the start date of the NSW CDS by only seven months, to July 1, 2018, both NSW and Queensland can prevent cross border transport of beverage containers and stockpiling issues,” said NWRIC Chairman Phil Richards.

“Industry are asking for more time to establish high quality collection points and resolve the outstanding administrative issues associated with the scheme.”

“CDS programs are complex, so it is also important that adequate time is given to network operators to establish collection and administration systems. These systems are needed to reduce disruption and deliver a high quality service to the public.”

“Regulators are already working to harmonise the rules of both the NSW and Queensland container deposit schemes, so it seems natural to harmonise their commencement dates.”

Along with the NSW and Queensland CDS, the NWRIC is also calling for renewed efforts by all the States and Territories to harmonise all the regulations covering waste management and recycling.


NWRIC raises concern at landfill levy avoidance

Industry leaders are calling for coordinated action between the states and the Commonwealth to prevent landfill levy avoidance and the unnecessary transport of waste across state borders.

Members unanimously ratified a position to oppose all unnecessary transport of waste across state borders at the June 13 meeting of the industry lobby group – the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC).

“Inter-jurisdictional variations in landfill levies are causing the unnecessary transport of large volumes of waste, particularly between NSW and South East Queensland,” said Phil Richards, Chair of the Council.

“This regulatory issue is harming communities and undermining the development of new recycling infrastructure.”

“As a result we call on all state governments and the Commonwealth to immediately put in place a solution to end this unnecessary and potentially unsafe practice.”

Attending the June 13 NWRIC meeting were senior representatives from recycling companies and representatives.

The NSW EPA estimates more than 50,000 tonnes per month are being transported from Sydney to South East Queensland to avoid the payment of the NSW landfill levy. While waste transport into Queensland has received the most publicity – the NWRIC notes unnecessary waste haulage occurs everywhere there are landfill levy induced market distortions – such out of Victoria into regional NSW.

Across Australia, the NWRIC estimates that more than one million tonnes per year is being transported long distances simply to avoid landfill levies.

The NWRIC is calling for urgent government action to remove the current incentives for the interstate transport. These calls have been previously been supported by fellow industry associations including; the Waste Management Association of Australia, the Australian Council of Recycling and the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW.

“Now is the time for governments to take action and to put in place a solution that ensures waste is treated as close to its point of generation as possible,” Mr Richards said.