NSW bottle companies join forces for state litter reduction scheme


Sydney bottle manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has welcomed the New South Wales Government’s decision to appoint Exchange for Change to coordinate the state’s refund Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Exchange for Change is an industry joint venture involving Coca-Cola Amatil, Asahi, Carlton and United Breweries, Coopers and Lion.

The companies will produce and distribute three quarters of the scheme, which will be rolled out across the state in December.

According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, container litter makes up 44 per cent of all litter in the state and costs more than $162 million to manage.

Hailed as the largest litter reduction scheme introduced to NSW, it is predicted to reduce the volume of litter in the state by 40 per cent by 2020.

“Through Exchange for Change, Amatil will continue to work with the industry and NSW Government to ensure the scheme operates efficiently to minimize the impact to customers and consumers, has robust and transparent governance and achieves the targeted environment outcomes,” a Coca-Cola Amatil spokesperson said.

The NSW Government has also announced its decision to appoint TOMRA-Cleanaway as the network’s operator, which will be responsible for establishing and managing a network of collection points across the state, include reverse vending machines.

The cost of the scheme is subject to a number of factors, including the container redemption rate, the mix of redemption between collection points and material recycling facilities, and the mix of packaging type.

Proposals for container deposit schemes in other territories and states are expected to follow during early 2018 in ACT, July 2018 in Queensland, and 2019 in Western Australia.

This article originally appeared in Food & Beverage Industry News.

Acting CEOs for Sustainability Victoria


Sustainability Victoria’s Director of Corporate Services, Carl Muller and Communities and Climate Change Group Director, Stephanie Ziersch will be sharing the role of CEO over the next few months.

Carl will lead the organisation until 1 September followed by Stephanie until the end of October.
He will lead Sustainability Victoria’s business support and strategic direction and has headed a series of transformational programs in the environment sector, including leading a technology-enabled reform of the state’s Environment Protection Authority core regulatory processes.

As a qualified oceanographic engineer, Carl worked on the establishment of the Australian Tsunami warning system at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Stephanie leads SV’s Communities and Climate Change Group which inspires and educates communities, schools, councils and households on taking action on climate change.

She has public sector experience at an international, national and state level.

Her background includes developing Australia’s first climate change legislation.

They’re standing-in for Sustainability Victoria’s CEO, Stan Krpan, who is heading the State Government taskforce investigating the extent of non-compliant cladding on Victorian buildings.Carl and Steph

Sims Metal Management announces CEO departure

Sims Metal Management Limited has announced the departure of its managing director and group chief executive officer Galdino Claro, appointing Alistair Field as his successor.

The international metals recycling company also revealed the departure of its chief financial officer Fred Knechtel, with the appointment of Amit Patel as acting group CFO.In making the announcement, Sims Metal Management chairman Geoff Brunsdon said, “I would like to acknowledge the contribution Galdino has made through his leadership over the past four years to the development and implementation of the transformation strategy. Under his leadership, the company has made substantial progress.”

“With our five-year strategic plan nearing completion, I am excited to have Alistair leading the Company through the next phase of its development with the business being well placed to leverage its strengthened market position. The board and I are very confident in the outlook under Alistair’s leadership.” Mr Brunsdon did not comment on Mr Knechtel’s departure.

Mr Field has been with Sims Metal Management since October 2015, and previously held the position of managing director of the company’s ANZ metals division. According to Sims, Mr Field has more than 25 years of experience in the mining, manufacturing, and logistics industries.

Mr Patel has been with Sims Metal Management since 1997 and has held his current position of group chief accounting officer since 2008. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in finance and accounting.

John Glyde succeeds Mr Field as the new managing director of Sims’ ANZ metals operations. Mr Glyde has been with Sims Metal Management for over 20 years, working in senior leadership roles across the business in both Australia and the US.

Sims announced that Mr Field and Mr Patel will commence their roles with immediate effect. Mr Field will be based in the company’s New York headquarters.

On 25 August, Sims Metal Management plans to report its results for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2017. Based on preliminary unaudited financial information, the company expects underlying earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) to be between AUD180m to AUD185m. In the previous fiscal year, the company’s underlying Ebit stood at AUD58m. Net cash as of 30 June 2017 is expected to be about AUD370m.

Corio Waste Management sets sights on organic waste sorting


Victorian councils Surf Coast Shire Council and Borough of Queenscliffe have awarded their green waste acceptance and processing contract to local firm Corio Waste Management.

Mat Dickens, CEO Corio Waste Management, said the new contracts will allow the firm to build a new organic waste sorting and pre-processing facility in the Geelong suburb of Moolap to accept kerbside and commercial food wastes.

News Corp reported the $500,000 waste facility is expected to be completed in 2018, with the capacity to process up to 35,000 tonnes of green organic material a year.

“We own an alternative waste treatment facility in Shepparton where this material will be transported with our fleet of fuel-efficient Scania G480 trucks. Using tunnel technology, the composting process takes only six to eight weeks. More traditional processes can take up to 20 weeks,” Mr Dickens said.

“Corio Waste Management has long-term contracts from Greater Shepparton City Council, Moira Shire Council, Benalla Rural City Council, Strathbogie Shire Council and Wangaratta Rural City Council to process food and garden organics.

“Looking ahead we plan to tender for the operation of the open windrow facility in Anakie currently being constructed by the Greater Geelong City Council but in the long term we want to build, own and operate alternative waste treatment facilities in this region to process food and garden organics and other higher risk feedstocks, particularly food wastes.”



Nominations open for Waste & Recycling Award


Chemical waste management company Toxfree is encouraging operators in the waste and recycling sector to apply for the Victorian Transport Association’s prestigious Waste & Recycling Award.

The Waste & Recycling Award recognises implementation of a policy or program and/or a technology innovation that improves sustainability.

Toxfree, which was the inaugural winner of last year’s award, initially contested the award, noting it had implemented policies and innovations to safely transport waste.

Peter Anderson, VTA CEO, said it was more important than ever for waste and recycling industry operators to contest this award to showcase the work the sector is doing to ensure recycling is safe and sustainable for the long-term.

“The waste and recycling industry is under the spotlight, especially in Victoria where a government taskforce is looking at systems and procedures in place at key recycling sites after a recent fire,” he said.

“There is no doubt the industry is doing it tough because of less demand for recycled goods, but we know operators are making prudent investments to improve safety and sustainability within their workplaces.

“We know you do great things, and the communities you service need to know about it too.”

Scott Russell, Toxfree General Manager, Industrial Services said the company was proud to receive the award as it reflects their core values of safety, reliability and sustainability.

“For us, the award recognised the policies and innovations we have in place nationally to transport all types of waste, including industrial, hazardous, construction and medical in the safest way possible,” Mr Russell said.

Applicants have until Monday, 14 August to submit entries.

Criteria and entry forms are online at www.vta.com.au or by contacting the VTA on 03 9646 8590 or email reception@vta.com.au

Winners and finalists will be announced at a presentation celebration in Melbourne on Saturday, September 2.

China says it will ban foreign waste this year


On 18 July, China announced to the World Trade Organization an intention to ban the import of waste products from US, Japan, Australia and other source countries, to take full effect by the end of 2017.

According to data from Reuters, China accounts for 56 per cent of the world’s waste product imports.

The Australian Peak Shippers Association (ASPA) has made the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade aware of this development soon after the filing was made.

In a statement, ASPA said that although the ban does not currently extend to all waste products, it is the most severe move to date under China’s anti-foreign garbage campaign, and it will have an impact on several APSA members, as well as significant consequences for the way Australia treats waste domestically.

APSA has been working closely with DFAT in response to this development, as well as industry bodies including Waste Recycling Industry Queensland. They understand that DFAT will be coordinating a formal submission in response to the filing before 1 September 2017.

See the list of affected products below, which includes solid, liquid and plastic waste.



Australian landfill potential


REMONDIS’ Roslyn Florie-George reflects on how legislation in Germany has reduced the nation’s reliance on landfill, and whether a similar landscape could work in Australia. 

In 1993, the German Government issued a directive banning all waste with an organic content of more than three per cent from being sent to landfill.

The objective was to promote resource recovery and pave the way for energy from waste projects across the nation. But despite the bold initiative it was not implemented properly, according to the European Environment Agency’s 2009 report: Diverting waste from landfill.

The report concludes that this was due to several loopholes regarding the processing of waste, including whether mechanical biological treatment (MBT) methods could be used to treat waste before landfilling. It was decided that incineration should be the main pre-treatment method, with MBT as an alternative. Eight years later in 2001, the government ruled to close the loopholes. As a result, the transition period was extended from eight to 12 years, with the final deadline scheduled for 1 June 2005.

The goal was to give the waste management industry enough time to establish the infrastructure needed to treat waste. This was particularly important in the federal states located in the former East Germany, which were adjusting to reunification.

REMONDIS’ National Tender/Bid Manager Roslyn Florie-George believes the industry was slow to move on the changes, taking advantage of the legislative loopholes in place.

But despite the industry’s delayed response, the legislation proved largely successful after the ban was finally introduced and the loopholes closed.

REMONDIS operates 21 landfills internationally, with 13 based in Germany. The landfill operations complement its recycling facility portfolio that comprises more than 800 waste management facilities internationally.

Roslyn says REMONDIS’ vast experience has allowed it to adapt to changes in legislation, including the benefits and limitations that landfill bans have placed on industry.

“After the directive was issued in Germany in 1993, industry did not respond as quickly as the German Government had anticipated,” Roslyn says.

“In 2004, Germany saw significant volumes of waste sent to landfill at cheap rates as the grace period drew to a close.

“After the ban was implemented in 2005, untreated baled waste was stockpiled, waiting for industry to build the necessary infrastructure to process it first. Many landfills were decommissioned after the ban because they could no longer accept untreated waste legally.”

A 2009 report by the UK think tank the Green Alliance developed for the UK Federal Government found Germany sent only one per cent of its waste to landfill after a ban was introduced, compared to 27 per cent beforehand. The result was accompanied by a nine per cent increase in incineration, which included energy to waste projects, and a 25 per cent increase in materials recovery.remondis-pic-2

Roslyn believes the strategic decision to ban organic waste from landfill means Germany’s landfills are as far as 20 years in front of Australia.

“Federal Government divisions have looked at landfill bans for specific waste streams in Australia, but none have been implemented at scale.

“We have predominantly relied on state-based landfill levies to influence the waste management practices of the generator and to divert significant tonnes from landfill,” Roslyn says.

Landfill levies are levies paid on all waste disposed of at licenced landfills, and are currently in place in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

As a result of the ban, Kapiteltal Landfill in Kaiserslautern was decommissioned in 2006. REMEX (a REMONDIS subsidiary) was engaged post decommissioning to extend the landfill’s life by 35 years by building a new landfill on top of the old one.

By 2013, planning approval was granted for the “new on old” cell design and by 2016 it was re-opened to receive treated waste (mineral waste).

“It is an interesting example of new technology being employed in Germany that could be applied to landfilling in Australia,” Roslyn says.

“As land becomes scarcer and planning approvals difficult to obtain, extending the life of old landfills and old cells is an option worth exploring.”

Roslyn notes that Germany’s ban was also influenced by a lack of landfill space, whereas Australia has taken advantage of old quarries and mines created by Australia’s rich mineral wealth and mining activities over many decades.

Read more on page 62 of Issue 13.

New laws for recycled batteries proposed


Australia’s Environment Ministers have resolved to consider new laws to require battery manufacturers to collect and recycle used batteries.

It comes after recommendations from the industry-led Australian Battery Recycling Initiative Industry Working Group, who proposed the establishment of a national recycling program for rechargeable batteries under 5 kgs.

State ministers agreed to consider stewardship approaches at their next meeting, with potential regulatory options to underpin a voluntary scheme and other options as states see fit.

Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles welcomed the support of other states for Queensland’s work towards increasing recycling rates.

“This is the first time ministers have agreed they may need to consider a legal response to low rates of battery recycling,” Mr Miles said.

“Queensland has led separate recycling trials for power tools and rechargeable batteries and partnered with Lighting Council Australia to pilot a program for emergency and exit lighting batteries.

Mr Miles said an estimated 400 million batteries (or 17,500 tonnes) are sold each year in Australia and about 14, 750 tonnes reach their end-of-life every year.

“Many batteries are recyclable and for some such as lead acid car batteries the recycling rate is about 90 per cent. But the current recycling rate for the rest of the batteries is very low, with fewer than three per cent returned for recycling,” he said.

“Queensland has led the national effort to increase recycling, but its increasingly clear a voluntary scheme may not be enough. The collection trials showed that people want to recycle their batteries they just need a way to do this.

“We want to start with rechargeable batteries such as those found in power tools and other products like laptops and mobile phones as these are the ones that contain some of the harmful chemicals and are able to be more easily recycled.”

The annual Meeting of Environment Ministers also discussed plastic bag bans, container refund schemes and climate change.

Ministers endorsed the National Market Development Strategy for Used Tyres, which outlines actions for the next five years to increase the uptake of tyre-derived products in road, rail and civil engineering applications.

State and territory ministers also agreed to work with retailers to look at options to reduce thicker plastic shopping bags, possibly under a voluntary code of practice.

Cleanaway and TOMRA partner for CDS

Reverse Vending Machine_370597046

Cleanaway will partner with reverse vending machine company TOMRA to help implement the New South Wales Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

The joint venture between Cleanaway and TOMRA will provide handling, transport, processing, recycling and data services from reverse vending machines as part of the CDS in NSW. The CDS is scheduled to commence on 1 December 2017.

The reverse vending machines to be provided by the joint venture allow consumers to return their containers and to collect an electronic refund, to donate the refund to a charity, or to obtain a voucher from one of the ‘redemption partners’ which can be used as credit in store or redeem for cash.

Collected containers will be processed through a counting and sorting centre in western Sydney. The containers collected will be recycled and sold into both domestic and export markets.

“The NSW government should be applauded in developing and bringing to fruition a world class container deposit scheme,” said Vik Bansal, CEO and Managing Director of Cleanaway.

“As leaders in logistics and resource recovery, Cleanaway are proud to be involved in the CDS for NSW, and help them achieve their environmental and sustainability goals.

“By partnering with an innovative leader like TOMRA, we’re leveraging the experience of the global leader in reverse vending technology to deliver these services in New South Wales.

Environment Minister Upton said the CDS was the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history.

“It will also provide a fundraising opportunity for charities, schools, community and sporting groups, which share in millions of dollars every year, through similar schemes elsewhere that have been running for decades.”

“With TOMRA we remain keen to work with other states of Australia that are currently considering implementation of similar schemes,” Mr Bansal added.

“At Cleanaway our mission is to make a sustainable future possible and there is no better example of sustainability than a CDS scheme. NSW CDS is an excellent illustration of how governments can work with industry to implement policies that drive behaviour change and environmental benefits for generations to come.”