Veolia acquires waste management business

Water, waste and energy management company Veolia has acquired Ellwaste Waste and Recycling Services, a regional waste management business servicing rural New South Wales and Victoria.

Simon Tori, Veolia’s Group General Manager for Victoria and Tasmania, said the acquisition was aligned to Veolia’s strategy to grow its waste services business, to further promote landfill diversion and to enhance its offering for regional commercial, industrial and municipal waste customers.

“With this acquisition, we will be able to leverage growth in North West Victoria through expansion of our regional footprint, allowing us to increase our service offering to both new and existing customers,” said Mr Tori.

Veolia’s presence in Victoria already includes a number of depots in Keysborough, Brooklyn, Corio, Morwell, Shepparton, Wodonga and Wagga Wagga.

“We are also aiming to further expand our leading landfill diversion strategies and implement new technologies to increase waste processing efficiencies across the state,” Mr Tori added.

Mr Tori said Ellwaste was highly regarded in rural Victoria and New South Wales for its customer- centric consulting and dedication to the introduction of leading waste and recycling solutions.

“The partnership will allow our teams to accelerate a new phase for waste management and hopefully inspire a ripple effect for other regions,” said Mr. Tori.

Since its inception in 1984, Ellwaste has grown to be one of the largest privately owned waste management companies in rural Victoria, servicing the northern half of the state and southern New South Wales.

Ellwaste’s Stephen Elliott, North West Regional Manager, said: “The combination of Veolia’s world- class network and global reach, with our technical expertise and on-the-ground knowledge, will create exciting opportunities.”

The management teams from both Veolia and Ellwaste are working closely together to ensure minimal disruption to existing operations for all customers, employees and suppliers. The Ellwaste team have joined Veolia’s existing Victorian commercial services business and together, they will transition all involved stakeholders.

The difficulty of recycling coffee cups

Earlier this year the War on Waste, an ABC series hosted by The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel, saw Craig fill a tram full of take-away coffee cups, and announce that of the 1 billion coffee cups used in Australia every year, every one of them ends up in landfill.

In June, Biopak Founder and Director Richard Fine told BeanScene he was interviewed by Craig, and informed him that several councils were recycling paper cups. He provided the list to BeanScene, which shows dozens of councils that confirm they did recycle paper coffee cup.

“The facts presented in the War on Waste Episode last night were unfortunately not 100 per cent accurate as paper cups including BioCups are accepted in the paper recycling stream in many councils,” he said.

BeanScene Magazine has spoken with a publicist from the ABC to confirm why this information wasn’t included in the program. The publicist sent its enquiry through to production company Keo Films who hasn’t yet responded to our enquiry.

The real challenge with recycling paper cups, Richard told BeanScene, is not that paper cups can’t be recycled, but more that several leading recycling companies are simply refusing to do it. Richard nevertheless welcomed the media attention to put pressure on recycling companies to make the effort to recycle paper cups.

Last week, Grant Musgrove, CEO of the Australian Council of Recycling, noted there’s more to it than just the manufacturer.

He told Fairfax Media packaging companies need to stop dreaming up new “sustainable” packaging that can only be recycled by expensive specialised facilities. It should be made of out material already recyclable – such as cardboard.

“It’s relatively easy to come up with a new packaging format. Packaging companies that don’t talk to recycling companies first, and then complain about their product not being recycled – there is an abject lesson.”

Gayle Sloan, chief executive officer of Waste Management Association of Australia, told Fairfax Media: “The issue is not the industry. Rather, the issue lies with the packager choosing to make a product that they know does not have an end use.”

However, Fairfax Media reported the interviewees can all agree the government needs to take a lead and set a direction for both the packaging and recycling industries. The government could indicate whether the industry is to recycle and/or compost materials, including what materials recyclers could accept.