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.

Return and Earn sees half a billion containers returned

More than half a billion containers have been returned to Return and Earn reverse vending machines in NSW, eight months after the scheme launched.

The container deposit scheme aims to improve recycling rates and reduce the volume of litter in the state by 40 per cent by 2020.

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Each eligible container is worth 10 cents when returned to a reverse vending machine or depot.

Drink containers litter currently makes up 44 per cent of the volume of all litter throughout NSW and costs more than $162 million to manage, according to the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) was the first educational institution to install a reverse vending machine as part of the scheme.

UNSW Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability Will Syddall said that while this initiative helps to reduce littering and improve recycling rates, it is just one step in improving the way we create and manage waste.

“In the waste hierarchy, reducing and reusing resources is better than recycling them. We encourage the community to use reusable water bottles and coffee cups so that they can avoid disposable cups and bottles altogether,” Mr Syddall said.

“We also recognise that we have more work to do to reduce the amount of single-use plastic and other consumables used on our campuses.”

According to the World Bank, half of the plastic ever manufactured was made in the last 15 years.

Cleanaway to enter into JV with ResourceCo

Cleanaway has entered into a binding joint venture agreement with ResourceCo to acquire a 50 per cent interest in ResourceCo’s Wetherill Park facility.

ResourceCo’s new Wetherill Park facility has the capability to divert 250,000 tonnes of waste per annum, reducing emissions and saving costs for businesses in the long-term – more information on that here. 

Located in western Sydney, the facility receives dry commercial and industrial waste. After extracting any commodities suitable for recycling, the balance of non-recyclable waste is converted into Process Engineered Fuel (PEF) that will be used as a substitute for fossil fuels in domestic and offshore cement kilns.

According to an ASX statement, the investment provides Cleanaway with a further waste disposal solution in NSW and forms an integral part of its Footprint 2025 strategy.

Waste processed by the facility includes residuals sourced from the Cleanaway Sydney transfer station, currently under construction, and other recycling facilities, in addition to commercial and industrial customers with source-separated collection systems.

The purchase price for the 50 per cent interest comprises a $25 million payment at completion plus an earn out of up to a further $25 million payable in two instalments over two years once the facility generates agreed earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation targets.

The joint venture, to be branded “Cleanaway ResourceCo RRF” is part financed by a $10 million loan facility from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, with additional funding from the New South Wales Environmental Trust.

The transaction is expected to be complete during the first quarter of financial year 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary conditions precedent and commissioning and performance standards.

Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Vik Bansal said the investment plays a key role in the development of the company’s post collections footprint in NSW and its overall Footprint 2025 strategy, which encompasses the development of prized waste infrastructure assets across Australia.

“This facility is the only one of its kind on the East Cost of Australia and enables us to increase waste internalisation rates, and importantly, to offer an advanced resource recovery solution to our customers,” Mr Bansal said.

NSW consumers return and earn with TOMRA app

More than 100,000 people have downloaded TOMRA’s recycling app linked with the NSW Return and Earn scheme.

The free app, called myTOMRA, shows the status with Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) in NSW and has partnered with digital payment provider PayPal.

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Users can scan their personal barcode at the RVM and claim money from returned containers electronically.

The app shows whether a RVM is open, almost full, temporarily unavailable, or in sleep mode during out of hours periods. It also includes a map which can direct users to the nearest RVM.

The Return and Earn scheme was implemented in NSW on 1 December and has seen more than 310 million containers returned since it launched. It aims to reduce the amount of litter across NSW by 40 per cent by 2020.

Consumers are able to claim a 10-cent refund when they return an eligible drink container to a collection point in NSW. Most 150 millilitre to three-litre drink containers made from plastic, glass, steel, liquid paperboard and aluminium are returnable.

TOMRA Cleanaway is the network operator for the scheme, with TOMRA providing the RVM technology and Cleanaway delivering the logistics and sorting for collected containers.

Cleanaway releases FY18 half year results

Cleanaway has released its FY18 half-year results, reporting “strong organic growth”, with revenue up 8.4 per cent.

In a statement, the company said all operating divisions have increased revenue and earnings, with a strong cash conversion, while ramp-up and mobilisation of new major contracts is in progress. The sale of another closed landfill site in Victoria has reduced the landfill remediation provision by $5.4 million, the company said.

Cleanaway also provided an update on the acquisition of Toxfree Solutions, which it said is anticipated to be completed during the second quarter of 2018.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was reported to be $154.2 million, a 2.8 per cent increase on the 2017 half-year results. Net revenue sat at $722.2 million, a 7.4 per cent increase on 2017 half-year results, while gross revenue sat at $785.5 million, an 8.4 per cent increase. Net profit after tax rose by 60.7 per cent compared to the same period to $45 million.

“Each of our three operating divisions – solid collections, solids post collections and liquids and industrial services – increased revenue and earnings in the period,” Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Vik Bansal said.

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“During 1H18 we started the roll-out of a number of major new contracts.

“Development of our resource recovery footprint continues. During the half we commenced construction of our Sydney post collection which we expect to have completed by the first half of FY19.”

In its underlying divisional performance, Cleanaway’s solids collections and solids collections division reported increased revenue and earnings.

Compared to the previous corresponding period, net revenue for solids collections increased 9.3 per cent to $441.7 million. Solid post collections saw net revenue increase by 15.3 per cent to $107.9 million.

The liquid and industrial services division had a net revenue increase of 3.2 per cent to $214.7 million.

Mr Bansal said the acquisition of Toxfree was a transaction unanimously recommended by the Toxfree board, in the absence of a superior proposal. He said it is a strategically compelling transaction that will enhance the company’s capabilities in solids, liquids and industrial services, accelerate the implementation of its Footprint 2025 strategy, and provide a leading position in the attractive medical waste sector.

“To support the acquisition, we also undertook an equity raising that raised approximately $590 and was completed in January,” Mr Bansal said.

“We remain optimistic of receiving all the necessary approvals for the acquisition to be completed sometime during the second quarter of CY2018.”

Integration of the Toxfree business is expected to deliver about $35 million in annual synergies, released over a two-year integration period. Cleanaway completed a 3.65 non-renouncable pro rata entitlement offer at $1.35 per new share in conjunction with the Toxfree announcement. About $590 million was raised and 437.3 million new shares issued.

Discussing the outlook for FY18, Mr Bansal said recent major contract wins have established a firm base for revenue growth in its solids business, adding that the company remains optimistic of continuous improvement in the liquids and industrial services business.

“The cost disciplines we have in place, along with the further initiatives being implemented across the company, should result in both the solids and liquids and industrial services segments further increasing operational earnings in FY18.”

Commenting on the recent changes to the Chinese importation of recycling material, Mr Bansal added:

“The major issue within the industry is the level of contamination from the recyclable material collected from the municipal councils. This is commingled waste and has a much higher level of contamination than the waste received from the commercial and industrial sector.

“Cleanway’s exposure to the sale of these municipal sourced materials is minimal. However, we are in discussions with relevant municipal customers to mitigate any issues.”

 

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.

 

Cleanaway agrees to acquire Tox Free Solutions

Cleanaway has agreed to acquire Tox Free Solutions (Toxfree) for about $671 million.

Cleanaway is offering $3.425 for each Toxfree share and the integration of the business is expected to deliver about $35 million in annual synergies over a two-year period. Toxfree shareholders will be able to receive a 5c a share interim dividend.

To fund the acquisition, Cleanaway will launch a fully underwritten $590 million 1 for 3.65 pro rate accelerated entitlement offer and draw down debt from a new multi-tranche facility.

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In a statement, Toxfree board of directors reportedly unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, and will vote the shares they own or control in favour of it, in the absence of a superior proposal.

Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer Vic Bansal said acquiring Toxfree will consolidate Cleanaway’s position as Australia’s leading waste management company, balancing and re-weighing its integrated waste model.

“The acquisition will accelerate the implementation of our Footprint 2025 strategy by adding prized infrastructure assets across the country, as well as contributing an exciting new business in the form of a leading, vertically-integrated provider of healthcare waste management products and services, including collection, transport and treatment of sharps, clinical and related waste,” he said.

The scheme consideration values Toxfree’s fully diluted equity at approximately $671 million. The transaction will be subject to standard regulatory conditions, including Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approval. A scheme booklet, independent expert’s report, reasons for the directors’ recommendation and details of the scheme will be prepared and provided for review to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for review, expected in February 2018.

Toxfree expects to update the market on an indicative timetable in January 2018.