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.
REMONDIS Australia has announced its intention to develop a $400 million waste to energy (WtE) facility at its Swanbank landfill in Queensland.
The company has advised the state government that it will make an application to develop the recovered energy through the State’s Coordinated Project process, with the project expected to begin construction in 2020.
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The proposed plant aims to generate 50 megawatts of baseload electricity for Queensland households and business by redirected 300,000 and 500,000 tonnes of waste from landfill per year. This energy would be able to power 50,000 average homes and be available every day of the year.
REMONDIS Group has operated and built WtE plants for 24 years and operates 52 facilities which recover more than 4.2 million tonnes of waste per year in Europe.
REMONDIS Australia General Manager QLD Operations and Business Development Bret Collins said the WtE proposal does not rely on additional waste streams coming to the Swanbank site – instead it will divert existing waste streams to a beneficial use.
“REMONDIS has been encouraged by recent comments from governments across Australia that WtE technology could provide some relief to the challenges facing the waste management and recycling industry,” Mr Collins said.
“There is an opportunity for Australia to benefit from REMONDIS’ global experience, and other successful European and UK facilities, and incorporate waste to energy as part of the solution to sustainable, best practice waste management.
“Adopting WtE technology will ensure that wastes with recoverable value are not sent to landfill and, instead, are put to beneficial use,” he said.
Mr Collins said that while Australians may not be familiar with WtE technology, it is used throughout Europe and considered a tried and trusted contributor to best practice waste management and energy generation.
“WtE plants are constructed to the strictest European Union environment, emission and health standards and this is the technology we would bring to Australia,” Mr Collins said.
“There are hundreds of WtE plants throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, and many are part of the fabric of suburbs and communities – there are WtE plants in Paris, London, Copenhagen, Cologne, Zurich, Vienna, Palm Beach and Singapore, just to name a few.”
Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick welcomed the news and said it establishes Queensland as a major player in the waste‑to‑energy market.
“The introduction of our government’s waste levy provides a real incentive for projects like this, building a new industry as an alternative to landfill,” Mr Dick said.
“This project could create up to 200 jobs during construction and some 70 jobs during operations.”
Mr Dick said REMONDIS Australia is expected to submit an application to Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to declare the project a ‘coordinated project’.
“If the Coordinator-General decides to declare this project a coordinated project it will help streamline approvals and fast-track delivery of this significant project,” he said.
“A coordinated project approach also means that all the potential impacts and benefits of the project are considered in an integrated and comprehensive manner.”
REMONDIS Australia and Lake Macquarie City Council have opened a new organics processing facility at the Awaba Waste Management Facility in late July.
It is part of the council’s new three-bin waste management system, which aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by as much as one third by recycling food refuse.
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Food and green waste will be recycled at the new facility and turned into compost products for reuse on parks, grounds and sporting fields.
The facility has a unique hybrid model of ‘in-vessel’ and ‘mobile aerated floor’ systems and includes a fully automated tunnel composting system to pasteurise food waste in two weeks
With a mobile aerated floor finishing. It also includes an automatic, cashless weighbridge system that gives users access to the facility with the swipe of a card.
REMONDIS CEO Luke Agati said the company is proud to be investing in Lake Macquarie and the Australian resource recovery sector.
“REMONDIS has been composting garden waste at Awaba for Lake Macquarie City Council since 2013, and this new facility will enable us to also convert food waste into a valuable resource,” Mr Agati said.
“The facility will convert up to 44,000 tonnes per year of organic waste into compost and soil amendment products.
“REMONDIS applauds forward-thinking local government organisations such as Lake Macquarie City Council for their dedication to building the vital recycling infrastructure that will create job opportunities, strengthen the Australian economy and reduce our environmental footprint.”
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the Organics Resource Recovery Facility would see the City take a leading role in recycling and waste management.
“This is a significant step in our Waste Strategy and in our efforts to encourage people to think and act more responsibly about household waste disposal,” Cr Fraser said.
“By making it easy for residents to dispose of organic waste appropriately, we will encourage them to recycle and close the food consumption loop.
“About one third of household garbage bin contents is food waste, so this will divert significant amounts of organic material from landfill, extending the life of our Awaba Waste Management Facility and saving an estimated $4 million over 10 years in waste management costs.”
The project was supported by a grant of $2 million as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycled More initiative, funded from the waste levy.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the NSW Government was pleased to assist by contributing a $1.4 million grant to the facility and $0.6m for community engagement initiatives, from the EPA’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative.
“This facility will improve the availability of organic compost for local primary producers and reduce unnecessary wastage of high quality organic material. I congratulate Lake Macquarie City Council in securing investment from a business with the calibre of REMONDIS.”
More than 100 contracting firms were engaged to build the facility, which also features an education centre where schools and community groups can see the recycling process.
Lake Macquarie Organics Resource Recovery Facility Branch Manager Gunther Neumann said REMONDIS is proud of its environmental achievements in Lake Macquarie.
“Since 2013, REMONDIS has diverted more than 100,000 tonnes of garden organics from landfill in the region, saving more than $13 million in landfill levies for residents,” Mr Neumann said.
“With the opening of the Lake Macquarie Organics Resource Recovery Facility, REMONDIS looks forward to a new chapter in organics processing that will deliver additional landfill levy savings and create new market opportunities locally, reinforcing our role as a valued member of the local community.”
Image: Lake Macquarie City Council
REMONDIS Australia has acquired liquid waste collection business Waste Trans.
Operated by AusWaste Environmental Pty Ltd, the acquisition took effect on September 8.
The acquisition significantly increases REMONDIS capability in the region, adding a fleet of 17 liquid waste collection vehicles to its Queensland operations. The move provides Waste Trans’ existing customers with access to REMONDIS’ well-established solid waste and recycling services in the region.
The transaction involves REMONDIS taking future responsibility of all client contracts and purchasing the majority of the organisation’s equipment and vehicles.
All employees have taken up positions with REMONDIS Australia including the management team, and REMONDIS will continue to operate the existing Waste Trans’ sites located at Staplyton and Tanawha.
A new organics processing facility contracted by Remondis will be built in the town of Awaba, in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.
The new facility, to be completed in 2018, will be located at Awaba Waste Management Facility and established in partnership with Lake Macquarie City Council.
The multi-million dollar project is supported by an organics infrastructure grant, awarded by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority under the Waste Less Recycle More Initiative. The initiative is funded through the waste levy and is the largest waste and recycling funding program in Australia.
Mayor Kay Fraser, Lake Macquarie City Council said the project marked a groundbreaking moment for the community in managing waste and reducing food waste to landfill.
“We are proud to be partnering in this project with Remondis, which has a reputation for innovation in the waste management sector,” he said.
When complete, the facility will receive and recycle more than 40,000 tonnes of food and garden organics every year. The waste, which was once destined for landfill, will be transformed into quality compost products for market. The facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from household waste and create job opportunities for the local community.
“Remondis is delighted to partner with such a progressive and proactive council and to be developing the region’s recycling infrastructure for the future,” said Luke Agati, Remondis CEO.
Lake Macquarie’s residents will be the first in the Hunter to have access to a designated food and garden waste kerbside collection and processing service capable of producing high-quality compost.
A new body working to create a cohesive national vision for Australia’s waste management industry, the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) has officially formed, following the first meeting of its executive in Sydney on February 13.
NWRIC has received support from Australia’s largest waste management companies – and has begun operations.
The Council will be empowered to begin its work thanks to the support of its national members – Alex Fraser Group, Cleanaway, J. J. Richards and Sons, Solo Resource Recovery, Suez, Toxfree, Remondis, ResourceCo and Veolia.
“The waste and recycling industry needs a national voice to advocate for a fair, sustainable and prosperous industry for all stakeholders,” said Phil Richards, Chairman of the NWRIC’s host association Board.
“Australia’s waste management industry is an essential service, and through the NWRIC, we will be asking the Commonwealth along with State Governments to support our initiatives to take the industry forward.”
The NWRIC will serve waste management enterprises by creating industry led policy. The Council will be led by newly appointed CEO Max Spedding, and supported by Secretariat manager Alex Serpo.
The NWRIC will work in close partnership with jurisdictional affiliates. This partnership will allow the Council to represent and canvas concerns from many of Australia’s 450 small and medium sized waste management enterprises. Together, state affiliates and the national office will coordinate to create, and advocate for, cohesive national policy.
From today, the Council will commence working to create, share and build support for policy positions which will move the industry forward. Initial areas of focus include better planning, a fair market, the national harmonisation of the regulations governing the industry and effective policing of standards.
The Council welcomes media enquiries, dialogue with waste management companies seeking involvement in the NWRIC and feedback from stakeholders.