Acting CEOs for Sustainability Victoria

Sustainability Victoria’s Director of Corporate Services, Carl Muller and Communities and Climate Change Group Director, Stephanie Ziersch will be sharing the role of CEO over the next few months.

Carl will lead the organisation until 1 September followed by Stephanie until the end of October.
He will lead Sustainability Victoria’s business support and strategic direction and has headed a series of transformational programs in the environment sector, including leading a technology-enabled reform of the state’s Environment Protection Authority core regulatory processes.

As a qualified oceanographic engineer, Carl worked on the establishment of the Australian Tsunami warning system at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Stephanie leads SV’s Communities and Climate Change Group which inspires and educates communities, schools, councils and households on taking action on climate change.

She has public sector experience at an international, national and state level.

Her background includes developing Australia’s first climate change legislation.

They’re standing-in for Sustainability Victoria’s CEO, Stan Krpan, who is heading the State Government taskforce investigating the extent of non-compliant cladding on Victorian buildings.Carl and Steph

Sims Metal Management announces CEO departure

Sims Metal Management Limited has announced the departure of its managing director and group chief executive officer Galdino Claro, appointing Alistair Field as his successor.

The international metals recycling company also revealed the departure of its chief financial officer Fred Knechtel, with the appointment of Amit Patel as acting group CFO.In making the announcement, Sims Metal Management chairman Geoff Brunsdon said, “I would like to acknowledge the contribution Galdino has made through his leadership over the past four years to the development and implementation of the transformation strategy. Under his leadership, the company has made substantial progress.”

“With our five-year strategic plan nearing completion, I am excited to have Alistair leading the Company through the next phase of its development with the business being well placed to leverage its strengthened market position. The board and I are very confident in the outlook under Alistair’s leadership.” Mr Brunsdon did not comment on Mr Knechtel’s departure.

Mr Field has been with Sims Metal Management since October 2015, and previously held the position of managing director of the company’s ANZ metals division. According to Sims, Mr Field has more than 25 years of experience in the mining, manufacturing, and logistics industries.

Mr Patel has been with Sims Metal Management since 1997 and has held his current position of group chief accounting officer since 2008. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in finance and accounting.

John Glyde succeeds Mr Field as the new managing director of Sims’ ANZ metals operations. Mr Glyde has been with Sims Metal Management for over 20 years, working in senior leadership roles across the business in both Australia and the US.

Sims announced that Mr Field and Mr Patel will commence their roles with immediate effect. Mr Field will be based in the company’s New York headquarters.

On 25 August, Sims Metal Management plans to report its results for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2017. Based on preliminary unaudited financial information, the company expects underlying earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) to be between AUD180m to AUD185m. In the previous fiscal year, the company’s underlying Ebit stood at AUD58m. Net cash as of 30 June 2017 is expected to be about AUD370m.

Corio Waste Management sets sights on organic waste sorting

Victorian councils Surf Coast Shire Council and Borough of Queenscliffe have awarded their green waste acceptance and processing contract to local firm Corio Waste Management.

Mat Dickens, CEO Corio Waste Management, said the new contracts will allow the firm to build a new organic waste sorting and pre-processing facility in the Geelong suburb of Moolap to accept kerbside and commercial food wastes.

News Corp reported the $500,000 waste facility is expected to be completed in 2018, with the capacity to process up to 35,000 tonnes of green organic material a year.

“We own an alternative waste treatment facility in Shepparton where this material will be transported with our fleet of fuel-efficient Scania G480 trucks. Using tunnel technology, the composting process takes only six to eight weeks. More traditional processes can take up to 20 weeks,” Mr Dickens said.

“Corio Waste Management has long-term contracts from Greater Shepparton City Council, Moira Shire Council, Benalla Rural City Council, Strathbogie Shire Council and Wangaratta Rural City Council to process food and garden organics.

“Looking ahead we plan to tender for the operation of the open windrow facility in Anakie currently being constructed by the Greater Geelong City Council but in the long term we want to build, own and operate alternative waste treatment facilities in this region to process food and garden organics and other higher risk feedstocks, particularly food wastes.”



Nominations open for Waste & Recycling Award

Chemical waste management company Toxfree is encouraging operators in the waste and recycling sector to apply for the Victorian Transport Association’s prestigious Waste & Recycling Award.

The Waste & Recycling Award recognises implementation of a policy or program and/or a technology innovation that improves sustainability.

Toxfree, which was the inaugural winner of last year’s award, initially contested the award, noting it had implemented policies and innovations to safely transport waste.

Peter Anderson, VTA CEO, said it was more important than ever for waste and recycling industry operators to contest this award to showcase the work the sector is doing to ensure recycling is safe and sustainable for the long-term.

“The waste and recycling industry is under the spotlight, especially in Victoria where a government taskforce is looking at systems and procedures in place at key recycling sites after a recent fire,” he said.

“There is no doubt the industry is doing it tough because of less demand for recycled goods, but we know operators are making prudent investments to improve safety and sustainability within their workplaces.

“We know you do great things, and the communities you service need to know about it too.”

Scott Russell, Toxfree General Manager, Industrial Services said the company was proud to receive the award as it reflects their core values of safety, reliability and sustainability.

“For us, the award recognised the policies and innovations we have in place nationally to transport all types of waste, including industrial, hazardous, construction and medical in the safest way possible,” Mr Russell said.

Applicants have until Monday, 14 August to submit entries.

Criteria and entry forms are online at or by contacting the VTA on 03 9646 8590 or email

Winners and finalists will be announced at a presentation celebration in Melbourne on Saturday, September 2.

China says it will ban foreign waste this year

On 18 July, China announced to the World Trade Organization an intention to ban the import of waste products from US, Japan, Australia and other source countries, to take full effect by the end of 2017.

According to data from Reuters, China accounts for 56 per cent of the world’s waste product imports.

The Australian Peak Shippers Association (ASPA) has made the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade aware of this development soon after the filing was made.

In a statement, ASPA said that although the ban does not currently extend to all waste products, it is the most severe move to date under China’s anti-foreign garbage campaign, and it will have an impact on several APSA members, as well as significant consequences for the way Australia treats waste domestically.

APSA has been working closely with DFAT in response to this development, as well as industry bodies including Waste Recycling Industry Queensland. They understand that DFAT will be coordinating a formal submission in response to the filing before 1 September 2017.

See the list of affected products below, which includes solid, liquid and plastic waste.

Australian landfill potential

REMONDIS’ Roslyn Florie-George reflects on how legislation in Germany has reduced the nation’s reliance on landfill, and whether a similar landscape could work in Australia. 

In 1993, the German Government issued a directive banning all waste with an organic content of more than three per cent from being sent to landfill.

The objective was to promote resource recovery and pave the way for energy from waste projects across the nation. But despite the bold initiative it was not implemented properly, according to the European Environment Agency’s 2009 report: Diverting waste from landfill.

The report concludes that this was due to several loopholes regarding the processing of waste, including whether mechanical biological treatment (MBT) methods could be used to treat waste before landfilling. It was decided that incineration should be the main pre-treatment method, with MBT as an alternative. Eight years later in 2001, the government ruled to close the loopholes. As a result, the transition period was extended from eight to 12 years, with the final deadline scheduled for 1 June 2005.

The goal was to give the waste management industry enough time to establish the infrastructure needed to treat waste. This was particularly important in the federal states located in the former East Germany, which were adjusting to reunification.

REMONDIS’ National Tender/Bid Manager Roslyn Florie-George believes the industry was slow to move on the changes, taking advantage of the legislative loopholes in place.

But despite the industry’s delayed response, the legislation proved largely successful after the ban was finally introduced and the loopholes closed.

REMONDIS operates 21 landfills internationally, with 13 based in Germany. The landfill operations complement its recycling facility portfolio that comprises more than 800 waste management facilities internationally.

Roslyn says REMONDIS’ vast experience has allowed it to adapt to changes in legislation, including the benefits and limitations that landfill bans have placed on industry.

“After the directive was issued in Germany in 1993, industry did not respond as quickly as the German Government had anticipated,” Roslyn says.

“In 2004, Germany saw significant volumes of waste sent to landfill at cheap rates as the grace period drew to a close.

“After the ban was implemented in 2005, untreated baled waste was stockpiled, waiting for industry to build the necessary infrastructure to process it first. Many landfills were decommissioned after the ban because they could no longer accept untreated waste legally.”

A 2009 report by the UK think tank the Green Alliance developed for the UK Federal Government found Germany sent only one per cent of its waste to landfill after a ban was introduced, compared to 27 per cent beforehand. The result was accompanied by a nine per cent increase in incineration, which included energy to waste projects, and a 25 per cent increase in materials recovery.remondis-pic-2

Roslyn believes the strategic decision to ban organic waste from landfill means Germany’s landfills are as far as 20 years in front of Australia.

“Federal Government divisions have looked at landfill bans for specific waste streams in Australia, but none have been implemented at scale.

“We have predominantly relied on state-based landfill levies to influence the waste management practices of the generator and to divert significant tonnes from landfill,” Roslyn says.

Landfill levies are levies paid on all waste disposed of at licenced landfills, and are currently in place in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

As a result of the ban, Kapiteltal Landfill in Kaiserslautern was decommissioned in 2006. REMEX (a REMONDIS subsidiary) was engaged post decommissioning to extend the landfill’s life by 35 years by building a new landfill on top of the old one.

By 2013, planning approval was granted for the “new on old” cell design and by 2016 it was re-opened to receive treated waste (mineral waste).

“It is an interesting example of new technology being employed in Germany that could be applied to landfilling in Australia,” Roslyn says.

“As land becomes scarcer and planning approvals difficult to obtain, extending the life of old landfills and old cells is an option worth exploring.”

Roslyn notes that Germany’s ban was also influenced by a lack of landfill space, whereas Australia has taken advantage of old quarries and mines created by Australia’s rich mineral wealth and mining activities over many decades.

Read more on page 62 of Issue 13.

Selecting the right portable generator

Selecting the right portable generator can have a big impact on performance, reliability, serviceability and the residual value of the asset.

That’s according to Redstar Equipment’s General Manager of sales, Kevin Ennis, who explains that not doing your homework could end up costing you down the line in technical and maintenance issues.

A portable generator is a made up of a fixed speed diesel engine spinning an alternator (generator) at 1500 rpm. The alternator is configured to produce the type and voltage of electricity required. There are three different applications for portable generators – standby, prime fixed and prime mobile.

“A standby generator application is used when a mains power already exists and a generator is required to act only as back-up if there is a blackout. Subsequently, the generator will usually only run a handful of hours per year, if at all,” Kevin says.

“You should select a standby generator based on the quality of the brand, price, availability of parts and access to a local service agent.”

A prime fixed generator is used when the generator is the primary source of power and the generator will remain in one location for most of its life.

“In any prime (running) application, most of the cost of owning or renting a generator is fuel. The quality of the brand, size, fuel efficiency of the engine and access to parts and service is critical for prime fixed generators,” says Kevin.

“It is essential to consult a generator specialist to assist you in selecting this type of generator.”

“A good tip to save some costs is selecting a machine with a cheaper frame or canopy because the machine will not be moved around.”

A prime mobile generator is used when the generator is the sole source of power but it will also be moved from site to site regularly.

“Prime mobile generators are commonly used by construction and rental companies,” Kevin add.

“Quality of the brand, size and fuel efficiency of the engine is key to saving costs.”

“A robust build and canopy design is essential for the longevity of prime fixed mobile generators.”

Access to quality technical support and careful selection can significantly increase the life span of all portable generators.