The NWRIC’s visionary policy

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council CEO Rose Read highlights the association’s priorities in 2019 and its long-term plan for resource recovery in Australia. 

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Cleanaway releases FY19 half-year results

Cleanaway has announced its financial results for the six months ending 31 December, reporting the integration of Toxfree is on track and all operating segments increased revenue and earnings.

An ASX statement shows gross revenue increased by 46.4 per cent to just over $1.7 million, with net revenue increasing by 47.4 per cent to just over $1.6 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 43 per cent to $221 million.

The company’s solid waste services reported net revenue increases by 30 per cent to $682 million, with EBITDA growing by 26 per cent to $176 million. Growth was reportedly enhanced by the ramp up of major contract wins such as the NSW Central Coast, Coles, NSW Container Deposit Scheme and commencement of a Brisbane City Council resource recovery contract.

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Cleanaway’s industrial and waste services reported increased net revenue, earnings and margins, with net revenue increasing by 129 per cent to $177 million. EBITDA increased 194 per cent to $23.2 million. The company said modest organic growth occurred taking into account the completion of the Toxfree Wheatstone project.

The acquisition of Toxfree has increased scale in this segment, allowing for segementation and management across two strategic business: resources and infrastructure.

The statement said that the pipeline of work across both infrastructure and resources markets is encouraging, although at this stage it is too early to be confident on the timing of project commencements.

The liquid and health services segment saw net revenue increase by 77 per cent to $251 million and EBITDA by 93.2 per cent to $42.7 million.

“Hydrocarbons had a good first half and remains on track for further growth with increased production efficiencies and improved oil price movement,” the ASX statement read.

“Hazardous and non-hazardous liquids performance was disappointing. We are working to improve its performance and remain confident that this will be achieved.”

An interim dividend of 1.65 cents per cent has been declared representing an increase of 50 per cent over the corresponding period.

Positive earnings momentum is expected for the remainder of the year via organic growth and full realisation of synergies.

Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer Vik Bansal said he was pleased to present results that deliver on the company’s promise and commitments.

“The safety of everyone at Cleanaway has and always will be our number one priority. The alignment of culture and behaviours needed to ensure our target of Goal Zero remains a priority as we continue the integration of Toxfree,” he said.

“We are pleased with the Toxfree integration process and remain confident of delivering the $35 million of synergies from the acquisition.”

Mr Bansal said that while margins have improved compared to the second half of FY18, the company believes that further improvements can be achieved as it continues to implement synergies and operational improvements across all segments and businesses.

“Development of our prized infrastructure as part of Footptint 2025 continued at pace. During the half we completed construction of post collection facilities in Sydney and Perth, an organics facility in Melbourne and upgraded our soil treatment facility in Sydney,” he said.

“The acquisition of Toxfree and the numerous strategic initiatives which we continue to implement across the company have further strengthened our position as the leading waste management company in Australia.”

Veolia acquires two companies from Cleanaway joint venture buyout

Veolia Australia and New Zealand has completed a buyout of its joint venture with Cleanaway Waste Management, purchasing Western Resource Recovery (WRR) and Total Waste Management (TWM) in December.

The two waste management companies established Western Resource Recovery and its treatment arm Total Waste Management in 2000 as a joint venture, Veolia assumed operation on 11 December, 2018.

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Veolia Acting Group General Manager for Western Australia Clay South said the company is pleased to become the sole operator of the two businesses and will continue reliable operation for existing customers.

“The liquid and hazardous waste treatment market is a key strategic growth area and by wholly owning both operations Veolia now offers a competitive liquid waste collection and treatment service in Western Australia,” Mr. South said.

The operational footprint of WRR and TWM is large, spanning Western Australia from Perth to Karratha, this provides waste management services to 3500 retail and industrial customers across the state.

The deal will see Veolia solely owning and managing six depots in the region, with infrastructure in Perth (Welshpool), Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Port Hedland and Bunbury.

Across WRR and TWM, Veolia will now manage 61 full-time employees and a fleet of 25 trucks.

Veolia have also acquired a liquid treatment plant and tank farm.

 

Cleanaway unveils new optical container sorting facility

Cleanaway has officially opened its new automated optical Container Sorting Facility at Eastern Creek, NSW.

The facility initially opened on 1 December 2017 and included a manual sorting line, which used magnetic sorting and manual picking to separate steel, aluminium, cartons and plastics with a capacity of 1.5 tonnes per hour.

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With construction of the new automated sorting line completed, the facility now has a capacity of eight tonnes per hour.

Optical sorters used in the plant identify containers based on their material type at thousands of reads per minute with air jets being used to separate them for compaction and baling.

These baled materials are then distributed domestically and internationally to be recycled back into food grade containers.

Since beginning operation last year, the facility has processed most of the 900 million containers collected by the NSW Return and Earn scheme.

The NSW Government’s scheme aims to reduce the volume of litter across the state by providing a 10-cent refund for each eligible container returned.

Cleanaway CEO and Managing Director Vik Bansal said schemes such as Return and Earn require the community to pre-sort containers for recycling, reducing the level of contamination at the source.

“With the new sorting technology installed at this facility, we are now able to improve the quality of the commodity streams even further,” Mr Bansal said.

“The Eastern Creek Container Sorting Facility is a critical part of our Footprint 2025. We’re committed to putting the infrastructure and facilities in place to deal sustainably with Australia’s waste, well into the future.”

Mr Bansal says the challenges facing the waste industry over the past 12 months have changed the way Australians view waste.

“It is more important than ever before that we work together to address these challenges. Return and Earn is a great example of that,” he said.

“It has been encouraging to see so many people getting involved and increasing the amount of recyclables being sorted at the source.

Coupled with a better network of facilities to sort the containers collected, we can produce commodity streams which are in demand, meaning more items are being recycled into new products,” Mr Bansal said.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the Return and Earn had been a great success, reducing litter across NSW by a third.

“I commend the people of NSW and congratulate Cleanaway on their state of the art facility that supports Return and Earn to provide a smart solution to reduce litter in NSW and contribute to a more sustainable future,” Ms Upton said.

Cleanaway secures seven-year contract with City of Sydney

The City of Sydney has selected Cleanaway as its new waste and recycling provider with a seven-year contract beginning 1 July 2019.

Services for the council will include general waste, recycling, garden organics and bulk or hard waste and electronic waste kerbside collections.

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The contract also includes 25 new vehicles which have Cleanaway’s integrated data platform installed. The system uses on board cameras to track collections and service events like missed pick-ups, broken bins and can be used for single-call customer service response. Cameras can also provide insights that aim to reduce contamination, improve recycling and increase truck safety.

Cleanaway’s education team will also provide the City of Sydney with sustainability training which aims to reduce waste sent to landfill and improve recycling rates.

Cleanaway Regional Manager – Sydney Metro Michael Sankey said the company looks forward to bringing its expertise to Sydney.

“As part of the contract, Cleanaway will be setting up a new facility and implementing new operational teams and some educational resources,” he said.

“Over the next seven years we’ll be working closely with the council’s waste management team to add value for the community and help the City of Sydney achieve their sustainability goals.”

Cleanaway releases 2018 annual report

Cleanaway has released its 2018 annual report to shareholders, providing a comprehensive discussion of its strategies across the business.

It follows the release of its FY18 full-year results last month.

The report, titled Making a Sustainable Future Possible, provides a snapshot of Cleanaway’s business, having acquired Daniels Health and Toxfree and commenced operation in May of this year. With the two businesses in operation, Cleanaway has more than 260 sites across Australia, including more than 4000 vehicles and 115 licensed infrastructure assets.

The 2018 year at a glance shows underlying revenue of $1.7 million, up 17.9 per cent on last year. Earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) sat at $339.7 million – up 12.7 per cent.

Commenting on the full-year results last month in a statement, Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer Vik Bansal said that each of the company’s three operating divisions – solids collections, solids post collections and liquids and industrial services – again increased revenues and earnings in the period.

“Our quality of earnings experienced some downward pressure during the year driven by industry wide changes to the recycling and commodities markets as a result of China’s National Sword policy. This policy negatively impacted commodity prices and increased our costs of sorting material to required levels. However, over the past few months there has been some recovery in commodity prices, especially for higher quality recycled materials.

“Earnings quality was also impacted as we rolled out a number of major new contracts which have strengthened our market leading positions. We remain confident that margins will transition to normal levels as we complete the mobilisation phase of these contracts.”

According to the annual report, in 2018, Cleanaway recycled more than 320,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard, 16,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and 14,500 tonnes of steel, while less than 50,000 tonnes of organic liquid waste re-used as nutrient.

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In terms of community investments, more than $795,000 was invested in Australian communities and in excess of 1250 education programs held.

“A major highlight of FY2018 was the completion of our acquisition of Tox Free Solutions Limited (Toxfree). This consolidated Cleanaway’s position as Australia’s leading waste management company, strengthening our integrated total waste management offer,” the CEO’s report said.

“In FY2018 we commenced a number of significant new contracts – including Brisbane City Council, Chevron Wheatstone, Coles, New South Wales’ Central Coast and the Container Deposit Scheme in New South Wales. As sizeable contracts, each has incurred significant ramp up costs, impacting margins in the short term. We expect this margin pressure to ease in FY2019 as we complete the mobilisation phase of these contracts and move into ongoing operations.”

One section on the impact of China’s National Sword policy argues the strategic long-term answer to the policy is not to keep finding the next offshore market for commingled refuse, but to encourage investment in the domestic processing capacity.

“We also need to educate, sort, recycle and reuse locally based on a set of consistent standards. This will take a much stronger level of alignment between all levels of government as well as commitment from industry to use an increased percentage of recyclable materials in the production of new foods, and, of course, the continuing education and partnership with communities all over Australia,” the report says.

“Australians remain strongly supportive of more responsible waste management and recycling policies. An Australian Council of Recycling survey, conducted earlier this year, found that 91 per cent of respondents support a national action plan on recycling, and 88 per cent support new requirements for packaging to be recyclable and for national education to help reduce contamination in kerbside recycling,” it continues.

“We are working closely with both councils and the broader community to reduce the level of contamination in commingled recycling.”

You can read the full report by clicking here.

AFIA waste winner announced

Close to 700 members of the Australian freight and logistics industry gathered in Melbourne Saturday evening to celebrate the achievements of winners and finalists of the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIA).

The annual awards recognise excellence from transport operator and supplier companies and individuals across a range of categories and celebrate the enormous contribution the industry makes to the national economy.

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Seven award winners were recognised at the AFIAs this year, which were proudly sponsored by TWUSUPER and Viva Energy Australia and held in the Palladium Ballroom at Crown Melbourne.

This year’s AFIAs acknowledged the importance of the waste and recycling sector through the Waste and Recycling Award.

Four finalists were announced on the night, with waste company Alex Fraser winning the coveted award.

Alex Fraser has developed a recycling process to convert waste glass into sand to be used in construction of new roads and infrastructure, harnessing the valuable resource needed to fulfil Victoria’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure pipeline.

More than 850,000 tonnes of waste glass have been diverted from landfill to be recycled into high-quality construction sand and sold on to Victoria’s councils and developers.

Other finalists include the Melbourne International RoRo Automotive Terminal (MIRRAT), which will allow for the number of vehicles handled by the Port of Melbourne to rise from 370,000 in 2013 to one million by 2035.

Cleanaway’s South East Melbourne Transfer Station saw the company announced as a finalist, with the facility to be a critical part of the state’s waste and recycling network.

Resource recovery company Close the Loop was also announced as a finalist for the award, in part due to the company’s collaboration with construction company Downer.

The winners of the night were:

  • Paul Retter AM, National Transport Commission, Personality of the Year Award – sponsored Transport for Victoria
  • Jacquelene Brotherton, Oxford Cold Storage & Transport Women Australia, Female Leadership in Transport – sponsored by Viva Energy Australia
  • Katrina Burns, SCT Logistics, Young Achiever of the Year Award – sponsored by Daimler Truck & Bus
  • Alex Fraser Group, Waste & Recycling Award – sponsored by National Transport Insurance
  • L. Fraumano Transport, Application of Technology Award – sponsored by Transport Certification Australia
  • Transking Innovations, Best Practice Safety Award – sponsored by CMV Truck & Bus
  • Barker Trailers, Investment in People Award – sponsored by Logical Staffing Solutions

VTA CEO Peter Anderson announced the winners, who were presented with their award by VTA President Cameron Dunn and Victorian Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan, representing the Victorian Government and Transport for Victoria.

“The Australian Freight Industry Awards showcase the very best our industry has to offer and with dozens of high-quality applications received across the various categories it’s clear the transport industry is committed to innovation, improvement and best practice,” said Mr Anderson.

(Image L-R: VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, Victorian Roads Minister, Luke Donellan, Victorian Women’s Minister, Natalie Hutchins, Female Leadership in Transport Award Winner, Jacquelene Brotherton, VTA President, Cameron Dunn.)

ResourceCo and Cleanaway open Wetherill Park PEF plant

The largest resource recovery and Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) plant in Australia has been unveiled at Wetherill Park in Sydney.

Owned in a joint venture between resource recovery company ResourceCo and Cleanaway, the plant is licensed to receive up to 250,000 tonnes a year of dry commercial and industrial, and mixed construction and demolition waste, to recover commodities including metal, clean timber and inert materials, with the balance converted into PEF.

Over its lifetime, the plant is expected to abate more than four million tonnes of carbon emissions.

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Cleanaway’s customer base and waste supply in NSW will help drive volume to the facility to divert waste from landfill.

PEF is used as a substitute for fossil fuels in both domestic and offshore markets in the production of cement.

The plant will supply Boral, Australia’s largest construction material company, with PEF for its Berrima cement kiln as a substitute for coal.

Chief Executive Officer Sustainable Energy at ResourceCo Ben Sawley said the new plant will divert up to 50,000 truckloads of waste from landfill, while also reducing reliance on fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

“It will replace over 100,000 tonnes of coal usage per year alone and will take the equivalent of 20,000 cars annually off the road in terms of greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Sawley said.

“We’re committed to playing a key role in Australia’s future sustainable energy mix, by reducing waste and lowering carbon emissions through production of a commercially viable sustainable energy product,”

“The opportunity to tap further into this market is huge and it makes good sense, both environmentally and economically,” Mr Sawley said.

Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer Vik Bansal said this is an important new resource recovery solution in New South Wales that creates a landfill diversion option for commercial and industrial, residual recycling, and some construction and demolition waste.

“Investment in resource recovery and innovative waste to energy solutions is essential to making a sustainable future possible, and one of the ways we’re delivering on our Footprint 2025 strategy,” Mr Bansal said.

Cleanaway and ResourceCo’s Wetherill Park facility

The project was supported by a funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which had committed $30 million in debt finance to support development of the plant, as well as an additional plant at a second Australian location still to be identified.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said the priority in managing waste must be to reduce the amount waste produced in the first place.

“With what remains, we need to invest in proven technologies to repurpose it, including as alternative fuels. By turning waste into PEF, this facility is showing how industrial processes can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.

“We can also reduce the amount of waste materials going into landfill, an important factor in cutting our national greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Learnmouth said

CEFC Bioenergy and Energy from Waste Sector lead Henry Anning said the CEFC was working with the waste management sector to increase energy efficiency and energy generation, as well as reduce carbon emissions.

“With Australia’s waste sector facing considerable disruption, now is the time to adopt new ways of doing business,” Mr Anning said.

“With the right investment in proven technologies, companies can turn our urban and industrial waste into new energy sources, creating an important revenue stream while also reducing landfill gas emissions.

“In Australia there is a growing commercial opportunity for resource recovery, reinforced by tightening state government landfill regulations. We are working alongside waste companies to invest in long-term infrastructure that can make a lasting difference to the way we handle our waste,” he said.