Queensland Budget 2017-18: what’s in it for waste?

The Queensland Government’s 2017-18 budget has allocated almost $275 million for the environment over the next five years, including strengthening the state’s environmental regulator and funding for a container deposit scheme.

It includes $2.5 million to implement the Government’s container refund scheme and plastic bag ban from 1 July 2018.

“We will continue to work with the retail sector to prepare Queenslanders for life without plastic shopping bags, and continue to encourage recycling of plastic drink containers,” Environment Minister Steven Miles said.

“Almost one billion single use plastic shopping bags are used in Queensland each year.

“Come 1 July 2018, these bags will be banned in Queensland and a container refund scheme for beverage containers will be in place.”

“In addition, the Budget will deliver a further $3 million over two years for other projects in support of Advancing Queensland’s Waste Reform Agenda, in a bid to encourage greater reuse of materials and reduce waste going to landfill.”

Mr Miles said priorities for the funding included climate change, protecting the Great Barrier Reef, and enforcing stronger environmental standards.

Mr Miles said the Queensland Government committed $175 million ($35 million per year) over five years from 2017-18 to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Budget has also delivered increased funding for environmental enforcement activities — $23.3 million over four years and $5 million ongoing.

“This funding will enhance the delivery of environmental regulatory services to protect our environment,” Mr Miles said.

“The environmental regulator will target areas of environmental risk and improve engagement with industry and the community.”


Green Distillation Technologies build tyre recycling plant

Green Distillation Technologies will construct a large off-the-road (OTR) tyre recycling plant in Perth, in Western Australia, in 2018.

The venture is a collaboration between the Tytec Group and Green Distillation Technologies (GDT), as they plan to jointly undertake economic green recycling of large tyres, referred to as OTR or off the road tyres which are classified as those with rim sizes ranging from 25 to 63 inches.


GDT has developed Australian technology that will recycle end-of-life tyres into oil, carbon and steel using their ‘destructive distillation’ process. Transport of tyres from mine sites to the recycling plant will be undertaken by Tytec Logistics as well as providing storage for the extra-large tyres.


The Hyder Report in 2013-14 estimated that there are 155,000 tonnes of OTR end-of-life tyres of various sizes generated in Australia each year of which 79.4 per cent are left on site as currently there is no economic and green method of recycling them.

The recycling of OTR tyres in Australia is the ‘tip of iceberg’ according to GDT’s Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley, who attended MinExpo, the world’s biggest mining expo in Las Vegas last year.

“The Australian recycling potential for OTR tyres is a fraction of the world market as during MinExpo we received enquiries from mining companies in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Canada, the United States and Chile and the market in these countries which all have large mining industries is immense as they also have no current economic green means of recycling their used OTR tyres.”

“As an example of the scale of mining companies in these countries and to demonstrate the potential market for the technology, one individual South American mine operator we met has more dump trucks than all those operating in Western Australia today.”

Tytec Recycling Chairman Brett Fennell said that the OTR tyre recycling solution adds the final piece to the puzzle and will enable the mining and industrial sectors to be able to complete a cradle to grave solution for OTR tyres by utilising a green economic disposal method.

“For fifteen years we have been offering a complete OTR tyre service to the mining industry including logistics, storage, re-treading and repairs and now we have the technology and method to offer an economically viable recycling solution as part of our total range of services.

“The environmental benefit of recycling very large and hard to handle tyres that have finished their useful life into high grade reusable commodities such as oil, carbon and steel, rather than just burying the problem for future generations to try and solve is enormous.”

“As well as the Australian market for recycling OTR tyres, we believe that we can play a key role in helping to introduce this unique locally developed technology to the world,” Mr Fennell said.

Expansion of Cleanaway’s Ravenhall tip approved

Victorian Government Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved an expansion of Cleanaway’s 113-hectare Melbourne Regional Landfill at Ravenhall by 96 hectares.

It comes after 13 months of community engagement and consultation.

The permit includes a range of strict conditions that require activities to be undertaken before the commencement of works, including reviews of odour, litter and dust controls and monitoring systems, a noise management and monitoring plan, a traffic impact assessment.

The decision falls in line with the EPA Works Approval granted in March 2017 and reflects advice from an independent planning panel.

The permit approval is less than half the size of what was originally proposed, will be more than 3km from established residential areas, and no closer to existing homes than the current landfill. With an expiry date of 2046, the permit will provide about 13-14 years of additional landfill capacity beyond the life of the existing landfill.


Warrnambool City Council to conduct FOGO trial

A householder disposing of food and garden organics FOGO waste

Warrnambool City Council will undertake a food organics and green organics trial in 2018, Fairfax Media reports.

The trial was outlined in the council’s draft plan for 2017-2021.

As a result of the trial, rates in the municipality will increase by 7.8 per cent.

A council spokesman told Fairfax Media the increase covered weekly household waste collection and disposal, and fortnightly collection of recyclables.

“Street and footpath cleaning is also provided as part of the waste management charge along with litter collection in parks and gardens,” he said.

“A food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collection service will be trialled.”

The spokesman said the increased charge would fund the green waste collection trial and also covered increases in the cost of waste collection and treatment/disposal.

The trial, currently under development, is said to be likely to include 10 per cent of Warrnambool households, a fortnightly collection alternating with recyclables, dedicated bins and kitchen caddies and surveys and audits to determine the effectiveness of, and support for food and garden organics collection.

The spokesman said the draft plan identified a shift in emphasis towards the city operating in a more sustainable manner.

“While the council remains committed to operating in a financially sustainable way, it is also responding to the community’s call to do more for the environment,” the spokesman said.

“So among the initiatives planned is another investigation into the interest in, and viability of, collection of organic food and garden waste. Council is interested in diverting waste from landfill where possible. This is done through waste minimisation and recycling while a food organics/green organics waste collection also offers the potential for more waste diversion and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Over time the cost of collecting and treating or disposing of household waste increases. Council also plans to trial an organics waste collection and these costs are reflected in the increased waste management charge.”

Cleanaway achieves Category 1 status for Wetherill Park

Cleanaway’s Wetherill Park waste oil refining facility has achieved Category 1 status under Australia’s Product Stewardship for Oil (PSO) program.

The company reported in May that category 1 processing, as defined under the PSO, generates the highest quality re-refined oil products, resulting in a non-carcinogenic re-refined base-oil which can be used as engine lubricant, transformer or hydraulic oil. In achieving Category 1 status, the facility must also comply with health, safety and environmental standards consistent with those which apply to facilities processing similar virgin products.

Vik Bansal, CEO and Managing Director of Cleanaway said “achieving PSO Category 1 status is a very positive step, strengthening our leadership position in the processing of used oil to the highest standards.”

“At Cleanaway, we’re able to use our national footprint to simplify the collection and processing of used oil.  This allows us to optimise the volume of high quality re-refined oils returned to the market, reducing the requirements for virgin products – which in turn lowers the environmental impact.”

Cleanaway collected 130 million litres of waste oil from which almost 100 million litres of re-refined base and fuel oils were manufactured for sale in FY16. Re-refining of waste oil has a significant positive impact on the environment – creating valuable and high quality products from waste, as well as reducing the carbon footprint associated with the collection, transport and refining of crude oil to create virgin oil products.

The addition of PSO Category 1 status for Wetherill Park creates further capacity for re-refining, joining the company’s Rutherford Refinery as the second Cleanaway operation to meet this standard. Cleanaway said its Rutherford Refinery is currently the only facility in Australia which consistently produces base oils which meet API Group II requirements.  These products are sold to a variety of domestic and international clients.

Cleanaway said this continued investment into sustainable resource recovery for waste oil aligns with Cleanaway’s Footprint 2025, a strategy formulated to increase the level of recycled products recovered from the numerous and different waste streams collected.

“Achieving PSO Category 1 status is the result of the exceptional efforts of our our site management and engineering teams at Wetherill Park.  The requirements are exacting, and demand substantial investment now and into the future.”

“This is a significant achievement and will allow us to supply more high quality products back into the oil market. We will now focus on our Narangba site in Queensland where we also aim to achieve PSO Category 1 status, maximising our flexibility and capacity,” said Blake Senior, National Hydrocarbons Manager.


Bathurst welcomes new resource recovery facility

Three-bin kerbside collection program

The regional New South Wales city of Bathurst has welcomed a new resource recycling facility.

Fairfax Media reports the new business, which opened in May, is currently re-purposing deposited concrete and bricks, with plans to expand into other materials, according to Bathurst Recycling’s Craig Clark.

“We’re currently focusing on recycling building and demolition items. We’re concentrating on bricks, concrete and tiles,” he said.

Mr Clark said Bathurst Recycling will be a more environmentally-friendly option for Bathurst residents and builders when it comes to disposing of their waste materials.

“We take bulk concrete, crush it and turn it into different products for the building industry. It can be used for roads, plumbers, building, landscapers,” he said.

“We also turn crushed products back into concrete, as well as retaining blocks and panels.”


Bathurst Recycling has worked side by side with both the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Bathurst Regional Council.

Mr Clark said it was hard to get an EPA licence and that Bathurst Recycling’s was the first issued in the city.

He said people could be doing a lot better when it came to recycling.

“Everyone has to think of the end consequences of putting rubbish into landfill,” he said. “Think of how much money it costs, as a community, to fill the tip up and then start again.”


SUEZ gains contract with City of Parramatta

Waste management company Suez has been awarded a contract with the City of Parramatta in Sydney, NSW.

A fleet of 33 waste and recycling trucks will be working with the City when the contract begins in November.

SUEZ will provide general waste collections as well as the processing and composting of garden organics to the City of Parramatta’s 230,000 residents.

The seven-year contract will include the collection of general waste, recycling, garden organics and hard waste services across the council area.

John Hassett, SUEZ State General Manager NSW & SA said SUEZ is looking forward to partnering with the City of Parramatta and providing a local waste management solution to a community that cares about its impact on the environment.

“We are excited to introduce SUEZ’s services to the City of Parramatta and we look forward to working towards providing resource recovery solutions from waste collection through to the processing and composting of garden organics.”

“We’ll be investing in 33 brand new Mercedes trucks with Euro 6 emission standards”

“Our real time reporting system and on-board computing system will also provide Council with access to detailed information such as GPS tracking, including maps of streets awaiting to be serviced.

“We are excited about the partnership with the City of Parramatta and look forward to working with them to meet their long-term sustainability and waste diversion targets,” Mr Hassett added.

Administrator for City of Parramatta Amanda Chadwick said Council will be working with SUEZ to achieve combined resource recovery goals.

“The City of Parramatta is committed to delivering great customer service and sustainable resource recovery outcomes to meet our target of 70 per cent diversion of waste from landfill by 2018. We look forward to SUEZ’s contribution in providing essential waste management services to our residents and their contribution in meeting our resource recovery goals,” Ms Chadwick said.

The City of Parramatta includes approximately 76,000 households and is situated 25 kilometeres west of Sydneys CBD. This multi-million dollar contract will commence on 6 November 2017.

In Australia, SUEZ collects 2.2 million tonnes of waste every year and diverts more than 1.2 million tonnes of waste from landfill.