The green aims of container deposit legislation (CDS)

NSW container deposit scheme extended

The implementation date for the New South Wales 10 cent container deposit scheme has been extended by five months following requests from environment groups and industry bodies, the NSW Government says.

The government said the container deposit scheme will now be rolled out from 1 December, 2017, in order to “ensure maximum possible state-wide coverage from day one”.

“Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, along with industry stakeholders, have asked for an extension of time to make sure the container deposit scheme is a world leading program, from day one,” NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said.

“This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right.”

The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW container deposit scheme.

Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the Alliance fought hard for the container deposit scheme and wanted to ensure it would work efficiently for the community and business to maximise the environmental benefits.

“The Alliance understood that getting the container deposit scheme up and running was a very complicated process. It’s better to delay the implementation by a few months, so the scheme is ready from day one,” Mr Angel said.

Under the scheme, people in NSW will be able to return most empty beverage containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points for a 10-cent refund.

The container deposit scheme will give people a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle drink containers to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council Director of Economics and Sustainability Tanya Barden said the beverage industry supported an efficient and effective container deposit scheme in NSW.

“We’re pleased that the NSW Government has listened to industry’s and environmental groups’ views about the complexity of introducing such a scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Ms Barden said.

Veolia completes work in Sydney’s North West

Waste and water company Veolia is continuing infrastructure upgrades in Sydney’s North West, as part of a project by Sydney Water which aims to cater to projected population growth and new housing developments.

Veolia recently completed work on Sydney Water’s North West Growth Centre (NWGC) Riverstone Wastewater Package 2, Trenchless Australasia reported in January.

They have previously completed work on a new drinking reservoir, recycled water and wastewater pipelines in Sydney’s North West.

Sydney Water’s North West Growth Centre (NWGC) project aims to service the growing population of Australia’s largest city, and includes the Riverstone and Alex Avenue Precincts.

Package 1, which has now been completed, included the construction of a new drinking reservoir and about 23 km of drinking water, recycled water and wastewater pipelines.

The completed package provided new services in the Riverstone and Alex Avenue Precincts, including a 40 million litre drinking water reservoir, drinking water pipelines for the new precincts and a wastewater pipeline for the Alex Avenue precinct.

Packages 2 and 3A of the NWGC project commenced in early 2013, and included the installation of three wastewater lead-ins in Riverstone.

The next stage of the NWGC project is expected to be completed by mid-2018, and includes new water and wastewater services in Vineyard, Riverstone East, Riverstone West, North Kellyville, Box Hill and various other areas.


Envirolab awarded grant to detect organic pollutants

Simon Mills and David Springer from Envirolab Group, Professor Michael Breadmore from University of Tasmania and Adam Gaudry on far right from KD Analytical Australia
Simon Mills and David Springer from Envirolab Group, Professor Michael Breadmore from University of Tasmania and Adam Gaudry on far right from KD Analytical Australia

Australian owned privately operating environment laboratory Envirolab has received a $2.8 million research grant to detect persistent organic pollutants.

The grant will be used to fund the development of new technological solutions in the detection of emerging contaminants, namely the field deployable detection of Perfluoroalkylated Substances (PFAS).

Envirolab said research has identified PFAS as persistent organic pollutants. International conventions have furthermore defined certain PFAS compounds, such as Perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorohexane sulphonate (PFHxS), as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic to mammals.

Simon Mills, Group R&D Manager at Envirolab said PFAS will continue to be a source of environmental and community concern within Australia and globally.

“Our collaboration aims to produce a field deployable PFAS analyser to enable the “triage” of affected sites and potentially work in conjunction with remedial solutions to monitor efficacy in near real time,” Mr Mills said.

In announcing the news this week, David Springer, General Manager at Envirolab, added: “We are proud to be working alongside our Australian partners, KDAA and UTAS in such a significant project that will apply high quality research and lead us into complimentary areas of PFAS testing. The benefits to the scientific industry are certainly significant.”

The program is part of a business research collaboration under the Australian Government, who will be investing $34.5 million into 17 projects in this round of funding, which facilitates cooperation between industry and research institutions in the development of new technological solutions.

Envirolab, along with their partners, KD Analytical Australia (KDAA) and the University of Tasmania (UTAS) have been awarded over $2.8 million through the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative.




Several of Australia's largest waste firms have joined for NWRIC

National waste and recycling body to advocate for industry

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.

Morbark 40/36 Whole Tree MicroChipper

The Morbark 40/36 Whole Tree MicroChipper is a compact, affordable and productive drum chipper designed with the biomass industry in mind. Equipped with the same internal drive perfected on Morbark’s horizontal grinders, along with an extra- wide feed opening, the 40/36 model is meant to “aggressively” feed brushy tops and limbs, quickly and effortlessly lling a chip van to maximum legal load capacity.

At the heart of the MicroChipper is Morbark’s 16-knife Advantage 3 Drum, which is meant to decrease downtime while providing higher-quality, more uniform Micro-Chips. The 16-knife Advantage 3 Drum can also be quickly and easily converted to an eight-knife unit to produce a standard chip.

The feed system, meanwhile, is more ef cient due to a staggered knife con guration and contains fewer moving parts, thus reducing maintenance. In unison with the Morbark Integrated Control Systems (MICS), it automatically adjusts feed rates and monitors pressures and feed wheel position to maximize production and engine ef ciency.

The directional flow discharge chute is hydraulically adjustable by remote control for maximum chip loads. “The Morbark 40/36 Whole Tree MicroChipper is available as either a Wheeled or Tracked unit,” Morbark distributor, Lincom Group, explains, adding that “due to the versatility of the 16 Knife Advantage 3 Drum, and economy, due to low fuel consumption per tonne produced, the Morbark 40/36 MicroChipper is an ideal unit for any forward-thinking business within the Biomass Industry”.

Read more at Lincom Group

Bold and effective

Perth’s City of Nedlands has set itself an ambitious target:

By 2020, the Council plans to divert 65 per cent of its waste from landfill, up from 49 per cent in 2016, without redirecting the cost back to ratepayers. To help it get there, it has developed a new Waste Minimisation Strategy that will see it become the first local government to adopt new technologies to recycle compacted verge-hard waste, in addition to increased community education.

Mayor Max Hipkins says recycling group, West Tip Waste Control, has been appointed to the task after a competitive tender process.

“The [tender] for the bulk collection and disposal services has managed to achieve projected savings of approximately $65,000* annually,” he explains.

At the core of the winning tender is West Tip Waste Control’s new Resource Recovery Plant, which will enable the City to recover household furniture, white goods and metal products with minimal contamination. At the plant, he says, all waste brought in from collection vehicles will undergo an initial inspection for non-conforming items, which will be followed by an extraction of oversized items. Recyclables will then undergo a multi-stage segregation process.

The Mayor expects that with the help of West Tip Waste Control, about 765 tonnes of hard waste will be diverted from landfill and recycled each year, putting the City closer to achieving its target. To make full use of the new Plant, he adds the Council will focus on reducing illegal dumping by offering two bulk verge collection services per year, delivered directly to West Tip Waste Control’s site.

It also allows commercial and business precincts to receive kerbside waste and recycling collection on request. Knowing a successful resource recovery strategy must be holistic in nature, Mayor Hipkins says the ongoing risk of contaminated household recycling continues to pose challenges to the community, too – especially with green waste and putrescible (general) bin services, which are part of the City’s three-bin set-up.

Under the three-bin system, the City provides weekly putrescible waste collections, as well as green waste and recycling services operating on alternating fortnights.

“The first bin works very well, but there’s a contamination issue with the second, recycling bin,” he explains. “Over 80 per cent of residents are using the small putrescible rubbish bin, while 21 per cent use the complimentary second recycling bin.”

To raise that ratio, all bins are colour coded and stickers are given out to say what can go in them. Additional education in the eld is meant to help the Council reinforce the message.

“I think it’s really tackling the whole of the waste stream. In the past, councils have concentrated on the obvious things,” he says. “We’re trying to raise(the public’s awareness whenever they put things in the bin. If it’s a bigger item, we’re making them think about what happens to it.”

Mayor Hipkins says the City’s new Strategy will build on the highly successful previous one, which led to 49 percent of waste being diverted from landfill with minimal contamination, for example by introducing a separate collection service for e-waste and mattresses, and completing an independent waste audit in 2014.

To read more, see page 30 of Issue 10.

A new way to recycle lithium ion batteries

New research published in the International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy has discovered a new way to extract the metal from scrap lithium ion batteries.

According to Ataur Rahman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at the International Islamic University Malaysia and colleague in the Department of Economics, Rafia Afroz, the price of both lithium and cobalt is rising as demand increases for lithium ion batteries which need both metals to be assembled.

The researchers recovered both cobalt and lithium in their tests in the laboratory using standard 48.8 Wh lithium batteries.

The process involved baking the battery in an oven at 700 Celsius to “calcinate” the cobalt, lithium and copper components destroying organic compounds, including plastics and foams.

The material, which carries metal and metal compounds, is then treated with strong acid, hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid, leaching out the metal ions.

Using hydrogen peroxide as a reducing agent allowed the team to extract the lithium with almost 50 per cent efficiency and the cobalt with almost 25 per cent.

The researchers argued the extraction rates represented a commercially viable approach to recycling the electrodes from the batteries, which could then be used in the manufacture of new batteries or elsewhere in the industry.

Contaminated liquid waste could then be treated, making it safe for disposal under recycling regulations.


A person recycling correctly from home

Council reconsiders recycling program

Western Australia’s regional City of Kalgoorie-Boulder is considering ending its kerbside recycling program citing high costs and declining participation.

The Goldfields-Esperance region provides residents with their own recycling bins but has seen just 8 per cent of the city’s waste diverted from landfill, well below the target of 50 per cent.

John Walker, City of Kalgoorie-Boulder CEO, told ABC News it would need to be reconsidered if recycling rates did not improve, as the cost amounts to $1 million a year for ratepayers.

“Presently, we’ve got a very expensive scheme getting very little result,” he said.

“If it’s not successful, we’d be better withdrawing the service and saving the money, or using it elsewhere.”

ABC News reported contractor Cleanaway collected 305 tonnes of recycling in the 2016 December quarter, down from 405 tonnes the year before.

Mr Walker said the 8 per cent figure did not look good, considering the benchmark rate for waste diversion site at 40-70 per cent.

“It’s quite baffling [and] compared to everywhere else, we’re very much at the lower end of the scale,” he said.

Comparable regional centres record high rates of participation, with Esperance recording a 90 per cent rate and Albany at 100 per cent.

With low initial diversion rates, high rates of contamination also remain the other persistent issue in Kalgoorlie.

An education program has been laid out by the council to boost recycling rates, alongside a $20,000 state government grant to roll out bin tags informing residents about contamination issues.

“We’ve set ourselves a very modest target of 20 per cent, just to see whether or not we can achieve that,” Mr Walker said.

“All concepts are on the table, but we think education is the best way forward.”

A final decision on the municipalities recycling program is due before the end of the year.

EPA and VicRoads to target waste transporters

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and VicRoads are reminding waste transporters to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy and comply with waste transport laws, as the regulators begin joint roadside operations across the state.

Commencing this week, the joint operations follow the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will see VicRoads officers gather intelligence on behalf of EPA during inspections of vehicles transporting hazardous waste known as prescribed industrial waste (PIW).

Under this agreement, EPA authorised officers will also conduct roadside inspections in conjunction with VicRoads to assess vehicle compliance.

EPA Executive Director of Regulatory Practice and Strategy, Chris Webb, said the transport of PIW is a priority area of EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce – a program developed to reduce the dumping of industrial waste.

“PIW waste must be transported appropriately to ensure the safety of drivers as well as the broader community and the environment,” Mr Webb said.

“If you hold an EPA permit to transport PIW, it’s your responsibility to know what type of waste you’re transporting and that the location you’re taking it to can lawfully accept it. Relying on the advice of waste facility managers or contractors is no defence.

“Complying with waste management and transport laws is pretty simple and transporters need to understand their obligations and operate within the law. Failure to do so can lead to fines of up to $373,104 and loss of your vehicle permit.”

Mr Webb said EPA authorised officers will check waste vehicles have the proper signage and authorizations to transport different types of waste. Vehicles will also be checked for compliance against the vehicles permit conditions.

“EPA’s new partnership with VicRoads not only enables us to pool resources out in the field, but also facilitates the exchange of information and intelligence. While subject to privacy and confidentiality laws, this information sharing strengthens our ability to identify high-risk vehicles quickly and act,” he said.

VicRoads Director Heavy Vehicle Services, Eric Henderson said that compliance with the requirements of EPA and the transport of PIW in Victoria is paramount to achieving road safety.

“VicRoads warns heavy vehicle operators to ensure their fleet is well maintained and roadworthy,” Mr Henderson said.

In 2016, EPA released Super PIW Bros – an animation that explains the process for transporting PIW waste. To watch the video, or for more information on transporting waste, visit EPA’s website.

tyre stewardship

Tyre Stewardship Australia appoints new CEO

Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) recently appointed Dale Gilson, former CEO of the Society of Automotive Engineers – Australasia, as CEO of the Federal and State Government supported, industry cooperative organisation.
Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 10.05.04 amMr Gilson joins TSA on the third birthday of the organisation’s launch and will be responsible for guiding the next phase of TSA’s growth as it focuses on driving more sustainable and valuable end-of-life tyre outcomes.

TSA reported that over 1200 tyre retailers have become accredited within the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme and most of the nation’s major collectors and recyclers are also accredited. They said there is also significant interest in the scheme from local governments and fleets.

TSA said Mr Gilson joins at an exciting time with both end–of-life tyre management reporting and market development funding building momentum.

Mr Gilson has also served as CEO of Motorcycling Australia, Speedway Australia and Four Wheel Drive Victoria.

Welcoming Mr Gilson’s appointment TSA Independent Chair, David Spear, said: “Having Dale’s experience on board will be of great value to TSA as we continue to achieve our objectives, particularly in developing job creating economically valuable local uses for tyre-derived raw material.

“I’m really looking forward to the role and the opportunity to support Tyre Stewardship Australia fulfil its obligations under the National Tyre Stewardship Scheme. It’s an exciting time to join TSA and I am grateful to the TSA Board for the opportunity to be part of this important initiative,” Mr Gilson said.

To find out more about the organisation, head to Tyre Stewardship Australia