Updated load restraint guide now available

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released an updated load restraint guide, with a complementary guide for light vehicle operators.

NTC Chief Executive, Paul Retter, said the updated Load Restraint Guide 2018 provides practical advice on how to safely transport a load.

“If you’re involved in packing, loading, moving or unloading any type of vehicle, you are responsible for complying with load restraint laws.

“Restraining your load is not complex, but it does require training and knowledge. This guide will help you to know how to restrain your load safely through practical guidance material, including diagrams, in a user-friendly style allowing you to find the information you need quickly,” he said.

The guide includes information on understanding the characteristics of the load in order to choose a suitable vehicle, as well as equipment and restraint systems which meet the performance standards legally required by law.

“The guide is an invaluable resource to ensure you are restraining loads correctly to prevent incidents that can cause death or injury, as well as damage to your business’ reputation and finances.

“We encourage everyone who is involved in restraining loads to read the guide and keep it handy as a reference,” said Retter.

This is the first time a version focusing on light vehicles has also been available, specifically for vehicles under 4.5 tonnes.

NWRIC warns recycling contracts could face default

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) have warned that without urgent action to address market changes, Australian recycling contracts could face default.

It follows the controversial move by the Chinese government to reduce the imports of 24 categories of solid waste.

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The Chinese National Sword initiative, a continuation of its Green Fence program, has also tightened standards on import contamination by limiting which businesses can obtain scrap import licenses. The NWRC explained this means lower contamination levels and fewer import licenses issued.

Following their latest meeting, the NWRIC believe that without significant changes to the current market, kerbside and commercial recycling contracts could be cancelled.

Re-negotiating contracts between local governments and recycling providers, increasing stockpiling allowances where environmentally safe, and assistance from the Federal Government were identified as strategies to help the current market.

The best long-term solution to the problem is reinvigorating local re-manufacturing capacity, according to NWRIC.

Recycling market shortfalls can lead to large stockpiles of papers and plastics, which could lead to a fire hazard.

“The NWRIC is urging all customers, including local government and commercial waste generators, to meet with their recycling supplier to plan for these sudden and unforeseen changes,” said Chairman of the NWRIC, Phil Richards.

Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW Executive Director, Tony Khoury said that thoroughly checking firefighting and emergency equipment is vitally important.

“In relation to unprocessed stockpiles or bales of stored sorted material, please ensure that you comply with your Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and development approval requirements,” Mr Khoury said.

“If you are approaching your authorised, lawful stock pile limits, please consider your options (negotiate with EPA, find alternate drop-off facilities, talk to your council or commercial clients).”

According to Mr Khoury, there is at least one fire per week at NSW waste facilities which account for up to 10 per cent of firefighter’s work time.

 

Old tyres used to make footpaths that help water trees

New research from the University of Melbourne and Tasmanian company Merlin Site Services has found a way of recycling old tyres and using them to create urban paving that can provide water to nearby trees.

It follows a recent trial of the system at the University of Melbourne Campus which involved four different pavement recipes for different uses (footpaths, bike paths, carparks and low-volume traffic roads).

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The materials allow rainwater to soak down between the pavements, which will then be able to provide water for nearby trees.

The Tyre Stewardship Association funded research project is now investigating how viable using waste tyre products for footpaths is, and if it can even help irrigation and storm water management in urban areas.

Research will involve both laboratory and field testing through a pilot installation program to encourage the construction industry and local governments to use tyre-derived products.

Currently, 51 million used tyres are discarded each year, but only only five per cent are recycled locally.

According to TSA Market Development, Manager Liam O’Keefe, the aim of TSA investment in this research is to support the use of a very high percentage of TDP (up to 60 per cent) in permeable pavement products, providing another opportunity for sustainable management of end-of-life tyres to deliver new products and new jobs.

Speakers revealed for Vinyl Council of Australia conference

New insights and information about the future of the vinyl industry are set to be shared by over 30 expert speakers from across the globe at PVC AUS 2018.

Organised about the Vinyl Council of Australia, the event will discuss the latest technical, market and sustainability trends.

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Sustainability and recycling are key themes of the conference, with talks on the developments in the European PVC industry, discussions of the issue of legacy substances, and the research of an effective recycling system.

The technological advances in both processing and machinery will be explored, and how this will allow for growth in the market for PVC windows and handle future challenges.

Senior Director at IHS Chemical Eddie Kok will be providing analysis on the pricing, supply/demand dynamics and whether supply will tighten within the next five years.

“Our second conference, PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future provides an unmatched opportunity for council members and their stakeholders to learn about industry trends and developments specific to the manufacturing, use and re-use of vinyl,” Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan said.

“It’s the only event designed to shape the future of the vinyl industry in the region.”

The event is sponsored and supported by Gernier Extrusions GmbH, Krauss-Maffei Berstorff, and machinery manufacturer Plasmec.

PVC AUS 2018 runs from the 13-15 March 2018 at the Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney.

SA Government’s response to China waste ban

The SA Government has allocated $300,000 in grant funding to recycling businesses, in a bid to strengthen the local market.

It follows the recent Chinese international waste bans, which saw a crackdown on imports of 24 different types of solid waste from Japan, USA, Australia and other source countries.

China’s National Sword Program and import restrictions have impacted the South Australian recycling industry that relied on exporting material such as scrap plastics, metals, paper, cardboard and textiles overseas.

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The Recycling Market Development Grants Programme, funded through statutory body Green Industries SA, aims to assist businesses to invest in activities that will overcome market barriers to accepting products with recycled-content.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the grants are a timely aid to bolstering SA recycling businesses.

“Strengthening the local market and secondary re-manufacturing industry will also develop our economy and act as a buffer against the risks associated with selling into overseas commodity markets,” he said.

“Equally important is the need to improve market confidence in using recycled-material products as a viable option so eligible activities for funding include those which validate the quality and performance of local recycled materials or recycled-content products and develop new or expand existing markets for such products.”

Examples of activities that are eligible for the grant include testing product quality to improve the local market’s confidence in recycled products, and developing or expanding existing markets for them.

 

WA community waste management grants help grassroots action

Western Australian community groups can now apply for grants to help reduce the impact of waste on the environment.

The Community Grants Scheme offers $250,000 to share between not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

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Funding will go towards helping these groups encourage communities to reuse, recycle, recover, dispose, and avoid the creation of waste.

The scheme support projects that will help WA achieve its waste strategy targets of diverting 65 per cent of municipal solid waste away from landfill in Perth and 50 per cent in major regional centres by 2020.

Previous projects include Edith Cowan University’s ReFood app that connects leftover food from cafes and shops with organisations that redistribute the food, and Blackwood Youth Action, that makes reusable plastic shopping bags for people to borrow to reduce waste.

Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the grants help to recognise the work of community groups that are committed to reducing waste, boosting environment and protecting the environment.

“Initiatives funded by CGS can increase awareness and education on waste avoidance, reusing resources and recycling,” he said.

“Effective waste management is everyone’s responsibility.

“I encourage community groups to apply for a grant to help reduce the waste we generate and recycle more.”

Applications for funding close at 12pm on Friday, March 16, 2018.

WCRA forum discusses interstate waste transport issue

NSW police, government authorities and the waste industry have met to discuss their concerns on the issue of interstate waste transportation.

NSW Police, EPA NSW, SafeWork NSW, Stay Safe Committee and waste industry representatives attended a dedicated forum last week, facilitated by the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA).

The forum focused on the environmental and safety risks of waste transport from NSW to south-east Queensland, which has long been linked by industry representatives to the lack of a landfill levy in Queensland.

Convenor Dr Tony Wilkins stated that the industry is seeking to work with government to promptly find solutions to the issue.

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The forum heard that the volume of waste being transported north by a combination of road and rail has now exceeded in excess of a one million tonnes per annum. The economic loss to NSW from unpaid waste levies exceeds $120 million per annum, WCRA highlighted.

Chief Inspector Phil Brooks from NSW Police stated in his presentation that the large volume of heavy vehicle truck movements, combined with police observations of fatigued drivers and poorly maintained truck and trailers, confirmed there is potential for even more serious accidents.

The forum resolved that all attendees write to the NSW Premier expressing their concerns and that WCRA would write to the NSW EPA requesting that it hold a second forum by 1 March, 2018. WCRA also committed to increase its promotion of Chain of Responsibility training across the industry.

The forum argued the NSW Government should be exploring further measures to curb the complex issue.

Some suggestions included: licensing waste transporters and waste by transfer facilities, regulating minimum environmental and safety standards on equipment used to transport waste over long distances, and banning waste levy rebates for exhuming landfilled waste and rebates for landfills that operate as de-facto transfer stations without development approval.

 

Cleanaway’s new fleet arrives on the Central Coast

Cleanaway has rolled out a new fleet of 72 new waste and recycling trucks in NSW’s Central Coast Council as part of its 10-year contract with the municipality.

The service, which began on February 1, comprises general waste, recycling and green waste collection services as well as six free kerbside bulk waste collection services per year for each residence. Cleanaway will also be handing out 65,000 new 140 litre bins across the council.

Many of the team members from the previous supplier have joined Cleanaway, which according to the company will ensure minimal disruption for Central Coast Council residents.

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The 1Coast website and phone number will also stay the same, serviced by a call centre working out of a purpose-built facility based on the Central Coast.

Cleanaway have also equipped their fleet with their Cleanaview system, which provides near real-time service information and allows for single call customer service response and insights that aims to reduce contamination and improve recycling.

“We’re excited about getting started on the Central Coast after a period of extensive pre-contract preparation. It’s fostered a great working relationship and we’re looking forward to partnering with Central Coast Council to deliver a premium service for the next 10 years,” said Regional Manager – Sydney Municipal Michael Sankey.

 

Hanson Australia acquires Alex Fraser Group

Hanson Australia has acquired Alex Fraser Group, a leading provider of recycled construction materials and asphalt in Australia.

A subsidiary of the German multinational HeidelbergCement, Hanson Australia acquired the company after John Swire & Sons decided to sell Alex Fraser Group last year following a strategic review. The purchase price for the assets amounts to about €135 million (approximately $208 million AUD).

“The acquisition represents an important step for Hanson Australia and it further strengthens the market position in the urban centers of Melbourne and Brisbane,” said Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement, Dr. Bernd Scheifele.

“In particular it will provide Hanson Australia with expertise in asphalt and construction materials recycling that complements the existing business and can be leveraged for entry into other markets. It is fully in-line with our strategy of value creating acquisitions, and we are expecting significant synergies.”

Established in 1879, Alex Fraser has become Australia’s leading provider of recycled construction materials and operates three facilities in Melbourne and two in Brisbane. It also produces asphalt out of two plants in Melbourne. Alex Fraser is expected to generate €20 million ($30 million AUD) of EBITDA in 2018 (including synergies of approximately €3 million ($4 million AUD). Alex Fraser will retain its brand and continue to operate as a stand-alone business.

HeidelbergCement is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials with leading market positions in aggregates, cement, and ready-mixed concrete. The company employs some 60,000 people at more than 3,000 locations in around 60 countries.

EPA Victoria warns of tyre stockpile fire hazard

Environment Protection Authority Victoria has issued a warning to landowners about the flammable risk of tyre stockpiles over summer and its consequences on human health.

Chris Webb of the EPA’s Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce said summer grass fires and bushfires are dangerous enough without stockpiles of unused waste tyres waiting in their path.

“Tyre fires are very hard to control and generate hazardous smoke that can cause an even greater health risk to the community, through the inhalation of particles and chemicals,” Mr Webb said.

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“It’s a threat to the landholder’s livelihood and the homes and safety of people who live nearby, whether they are on neighbouring farms or in a nearby town or suburban area,” he said.

“Farmers do have some practical uses for old tyres like holding down tarps, but many tyre stockpiles are just a fire hazard and a threat to the environment.”

EPA Victoria noted old tyres shouldn’t be used for erosion control or around new trees, it is illegal to burn or dump them. If left for long enough, they begin to decay and can pollute the soil and groundwater.

In 2015, EPA introduced tighter controls for waste tyre storage, prompting a significant reduction in the number of known stockpiles across Victoria, but there are more stockpiles out there.

The regulations require any stockpile of more than 40 tonnes or 5000 waste tyres to be licensed, with requirements for on-site firefighting resources, limits on the size of the piles and minimum distances between and around them.

EPA’s Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce is tackling the problem of stockpiles of unused waste tyres, encouraging owners to help to protect the community by making sure their stockpile complies with the regulations, or by legally disposing of the tyres.

Some waste tyres go to landfill, but many can be recycled, and there are several recycling companies in Victoria. When EPA recently took over a long-standing stockpile of approximately one million waste tyres at Stawell, most of those tyres were recycled.  EPA is now pursuing the stockpile owners through the courts.

“When necessary, EPA can exercise legal power to order that an illegal tyre stockpile be removed for appropriate disposal, fine the owner or take the case to court, but we would much rather that landholders looked at the regulations, and either made sure their stockpile was legal or disposed of it responsibly,” Mr Webb said.

To view the EPA tyre regulations and CFA/MFB guidelines for the safe storage of tyres, visit their website. 

If any member of the community suspects someone is illegally stockpiling tyres or taking them to a place that cannot lawfully accept waste tyres, they are encouraged to contact EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).