MRA’s Mike Ritchie speaks to Waste Management Review about the waste sector’s contribution to national emissions and its role in meeting Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
The National Waste Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) has released a statement in support of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s proposed waste and recycling policy.
Labor’s proposal sets out a number of priorities to enhance waste and recycling services, six of which have been highlighted by NWRIC.
NWRIC praised Labor’s commitment to a national container deposit scheme, which includes inviting, but not mandating Victoria and Tasmania become part of an integrated national scheme.
Victoria and Tasmania are currently the only states without a state run container despot scheme in place.
The announcement of a National Waste Commissioner, funded with $15 million over six years, and the expansion of product stewardship schemes to include more e-waste, batteries and white goods were similarly praised.
The council also highlighted the proposed $60 million investment in a National Recycling Fund, and the setting of targets for government purchasing of recycled goods.
NWRIC also cited Labor’s commitment to provide an additional $10 billion in capital for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation over five years.
NWRIC’s statement said the proposal follows Labor’s national policy platform commitment to capture the economic opportunities of a harmonised and strategic national waste reduction and recycling policy, including appropriate energy recovery technologies.
Labor’s policy also commits to establishing a federal EPA and a new Australian Environment Act to replace the current Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Mr Shorten said the new act will aim to tackle inefficiencies, delays and hurdles in the current law, giving business more certainty while protecting the environment.
Presently there are eight different sets of laws and regulations governing waste management and recycling across Australia’s states and territories.
NWRIC CEO Rose Read said every household and business in Australia purchases waste services, and most purchase recycling services.
“The Commonwealth can cut costs for all Australians by creating national, high quality regulations covering waste and recycling,” Ms Read said
“NWRIC is calling for a bi-partisan approach to harmonising the regulations protecting our industry.”
Despite welcoming the policy, Ms Read said NWRIC is concerned about Labor’s proposed roll back of the Emissions Reduction Fund.
“Through the Emissions Reduction Fund, a number of leading recycling initiatives have been funded, including returning composting to soils and harvesting renewable energy from biogas,” Ms Read said.
“Waste and recycling services are essential to all Australians. Therefore, it is critical that whichever party wins the upcoming Federal election – they work proactively with industry to create jobs, serve communities, protect workers and reduce pollution.”
Waste 2019 is a leading conference for the waste management industry in Australia. It will be held this year at Coffs Harbour’s Opal Cove Resort 14-16 May.
Attracting over 630 delegates from Australia and abroad, the conference is targeted at anyone who works in or has an interest in waste management issues.
Attendees will hear from leading waste management professionals on the latest developments in the industry, visiting a vast array of exhibitions by national and international companies, and networking with other waste experts during the three social evenings.
The opening address will be presented by ABC’s Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis.
Speakers include NSW EPA Senior Policy Officer Natalie Alves, Cleanaway General Manager Technical and Environment Services Karl Baltpurvins and Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation CEO Brooke Donnelly.
The Victorian Government has announced it will invest $500,000 in the Love Food Hate Waste business pilot program.
The program, originally designed for households, aims to help hospitality businesses reduce the environmental and financial impact of food waste – Victoria’s largest waste stream.
New research from Sustainability Victoria shows Victorian hospitality businesses produce an average of 5.6 tonnes of food waste every year, and 85 per cent of hospitality businesses consider this a significant issue. According to the research, over half this food waste is preventable.
The free three-step program will be available to all hospitality businesses in Victoria, providing practical resources to identify where food waste is occurring and how to make preventative changes.
The launch of the program builds on the Love Food Hate Waste’s ‘Love a List’ challenge, with 1,200 households participating in a program to reduce their household food waste.
The campaign is linked to a successful campaign of the same name developed in the United Kingdom by WRAP UK and delivered in New South Wales by the Environment Protection Authority.
Clay waste from Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Parkville Station project will be converted into new bricks for residential construction.
More than 80 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of material will be excavated as part of the project to make way for the new underground station.
There are three stages to the project, with the first stage expected to provide around 300,000 tonnes of clay, enough to produce around 10 million bricks.
PGH Bricks and Pavers Regional General Manager Andrew Peachey said with the other two potential stages, there is a potential to produce around 30 million bricks.
“We are very committed to recycling this type of material as much as possible. Not only is it better for the environment – re-using waste rather than sending it to landfill – there’s also the social benefit of its use to build homes for new residents in the suburbs of Melbourne,” Mr Peachey said.
“Normally we would extract this clay from our own quarry, so recycling waste from construction sites also serves to provide longevity at our facility and continuity of work for everyone employed there.
Works began on the site on 14 January below Grattan Street, between Leicester Street and Royal Parade.
Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino said significant work is ramping up at the site of the station.
“The Metro Tunnel will make travelling to the renowned Parkville health, education and research precinct easier than ever before, slashing travel times by up to 20 minutes in each direction,” he said.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the government is working on providing Victorians with project to improve transport infrastructure.
“We are undertaking a monumental engineering feat as part of the Metro Tunnel, including constructing new train stations deep beneath some of Melbourne’s busiest areas,” she said.
The first train is expected to run through the tunnel in 2025.
The global waste management market will add over $180 billion to its value in the next six years according to Allied Market Research (AMR) report.
WA’s East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility has awarded waste management giant SUEZ a 20-year minimum contract as waste management partner.
SUEZ has partnered with a consortium of four companies running the facility – Hitachi Sozen INOVA (HZI), Tribe Infrastructure Group and New Energy Corporation, which won a series of competitive tenders for long-term contracts in the Perth metropolitan area before securing the East Rockingham partnership.
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The facility encompasses the design, construction, financing and operation of a greenfield waste-to-energy facility, 40 kilometres south of the Perth CBD.
The project aims to treat approximately 300,000 tonnes of waste per year from municipal, commercial and industrial sources including up to 30,000 tonnes per year of biosolids.
Energy generation targets are expected to reach 29 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to supply 36,000 homes following the start of construction slated for 2019.
SUEZ will provide 65,000 tonnes per year of commercial and industrial waste, maintenance services, removal of non-processable waste at its Bibra Lake and North Bannister facilities and the purchase of renewable electricity generated for its Perth operations.
This is the second waste-to-energy plant planned for the Rockingham-Kwinana industrial region.
Waste management company Bingo Industries has offered to sell its Banksmeadow processing plant to ease ACCC competition concerns regarding its $578 million purchase of Dial-a-Dump.
Australian waste-to-resource company Repurpose It have opted for Volvo Construction Equipment’s excavators and loaders for their Victorian plant.
The five new machines will assist the company’s loading and handling duties to assist in their recycling operation that sees large quantities of waste material re-used in the construction industry.
One Volvo EC250DL and two EC220DL units were chosen for excavation duties on the site, Repurpose It aims to input the tools on general earthmoving, screen feeding, sorting and stockpiling projects.
The company chose the L110F and L220H two-wheeled loaders for their loading work which will see hopper fed into their new recycling plant.
Repurpose It CEO George Hatzimanolis said that the company was happy to choose Volvo as the manufacturer alings with their energy efficiency commitments and engineering values.
“Our business is focused on reducing our carbon footprint and working towards a more sustainable future, as is Volvo,” Mr Hatzimanolis said.
“We were also attracted to the quality that comes with Volvo machines.”
The two EC220DL excavation units chosen for the site uses Volvo’s modern D6 diesel engine reporting 10% extra fuel efficiency over its competitors.
The Volvo machines were purchased from Dandenong’s CJD Equipment, Volvo’s exclusive Australian distribution partner.
Bega Valley’s Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) service had a stellar 2018 earning a nod in the Australian Organic Recycling Association (AORA) awards.