SUEZ Recycling gains contract with Mackay Regional Council

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Pty Ltd has been awarded a $600,000 contract with Mackay Regional Council in North Queensland.

The organisation will look after the councils’s waste haulage and landfill services contract at its Paget Transfer Station and Hogan’s Pocket Landfill.

 

The council said the seven-year-and-eight-month contract is an $87,000 saving in the first year from the previous contract.

Infrastructure and Services Committee chair Cr Karen May said there were significant benefits in a sole operator looking after council’s waste management process.

“The appointment of a single contractor means there is no passing of the buck and they are responsible for managing all operations and delivering the service on time and on budget,” she said.

“The Paget Waste Transfer Station is a critical service that handles 92 per cent of the total waste sent to Hogan’s Pocket Landfill annually and processes 71 per cent of the total annual customer transactions.”

“If our waste services aren’t delivered seamlessly it can cause serious disruption to the community.”

As part of the contract, SUEZ must also meet key performance indicators set by the council.

Incredable Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation, will continue to operate the Resource Recovery Facility and the Tip Shop located adjacent to the transfer station.

Suez will begin operations at the Paget Waste Transfer Station from November 1, 2017.

Plastic bottles dumped

Queensland Department of Environment releases annual report

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s (EHP) 2016-17 Annual Report highlights a year of achievement in climate change, banning plastic bags and tackling rogue environmental operators, Acting Environment Minister Mick de Brenni says.

Mr de Brenni said the department achieved a number of significant milestones as Queensland’s environmental regulator.

“The department now has greater powers to pursue poor environmental performs, and crack down on companies walking away from site rehabilitation,” Mr de Brenni said.

He said that in the area of environmental management, a new operational policy was developed and released to manage the use of firefighting foam products in Queensland containing PFAS. This includes a three year transition to a ban on foam.

“When it comes to compliance and enforcement activities, Operation TORA – led by EHP—continues to stamp out rogue waste management operators to ensure that Queensland does not become the dumping ground for other states,” he said.

“Big achievements in EHP’s policy area include the container refund scheme and the plastic shopping bag ban – both come into effect from 1 July 2018.”

Mr de Brenni said some of the other achievements highlighted in the annual report include a whole-of-government climate adaptation strategy and the launch of the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils program.

“Tackling climate change is critical for strengthening the resilience of our iconic places, particularly the Great Barrier Reef. In the last year, one of the biggest achievements was keeping the Reef off the endangered list,” he said.

The Minister said the health and management of the Great Barrier Reef was a key, ongoing priority for the department.

“In 2016–17, EHP’s Office of the Great Barrier Reef continued to coordinate and deliver the state’s commitments under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and the implementation of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce,” Mr de Brenni said.

“This work allowed new major projects to start in partnership with agricultural producers, with the end goal of helping to improve the quality of water flowing into reef catchments.”

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s 2016-17 Annual Report was tabled in the Queensland Parliament.

The report can be viewed online here.

Victorian Government implements Interim Waste Management Policy

The Victorian Government has put into place an Interim Waste Management Policy to remain in tact for 12 months.

The policy was declared in response to a significant fire at the SKM Recycling plant at Coolaroo in mid-July. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria says it is needed to ensure that stockpiles of combustable recyclable and waste material are appropriately managed, and the associated risk to human and environmental health. These include the generation of hazardous air pollutants (including smoke), oil, run-off and leachate that affect the air, soil and waterways.

The policy, which applies to waste and resource recovery facilities, will remain in place for 12 months, however during this time further solutions for improving resource recovery facilities will be developed by the state government.

The IWMP applies to operators of sites that store combustible, recyclable, and waste material and requires storage of materials in a manner that reduces the risk to human health and the environment. These materials include includes paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, rubber, textile, organic material, refuse derived fuel, specified electronic waste, metals, and other combustible material which is considered waste. The policy also gives the EPA additional powers to support local government and Victoria’s fire services and issue remedial notices to facilities not properly managing potential fire risks.

EPA has developed Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials – guideline (publication 1667) to provide practical guidance for industry on how to comply with the policy and operate in a manner that reduces potential fire risks and risks to human health and environment. This guideline will sit under the Interim Waste Management Policy.

Some of the guidelines outlined in publication 1667 include a necessity for operators to record inventory information on the types of waste stored and managed at the premises, its location and volumes. The inventory must also be maintained daily and easily accessible. Other areas of compliance range from safe working practices and infrastructure, to site selection and risk assessments. The guideline was developed in partnership with other government agencies such as Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Country Fire Authority (CFA), local councils and Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group. The waste industry and resource recovery representatives were also consulted.

 

Egans Asset management: Waste Expo Australia

Future business systems will need to address the causes of our warming planet, according to Peter Mulherin, Research Associate at RMIT University.

Presenting a talk at next week’s Waste Expo Australia, Peter will discuss alternative product stewardship models and opportunities in the office furniture industry. The research associate and entrepreneur will demonstrate opportunities for lifecycle extensions, materials recovery and waste reduction, while exploring mechanisms to provide rich insights to the supply chain. The ideas embody the concept of a circular economy.

With a background in design, manufacturing and construction, Peter will present a talk on his experiences while working for recycling company Egans Asset Management. As Founder of the technology start-up ProductWise, Peter is now expanding his efforts into establishing a database for waste management companies and generators. The database will allow companies to vet products within a common set of standards, rules and regulations and prospects for re-use.

Peter tells Waste Management Review Egans was one of the first applications under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 voluntary provisions.

Prior to the establishment of Egans’ Wise Office Furniture Program, the company was auctioning furniture, fixtures and equipment for the second hand market. But Egans was left with a hefty amount of unsold products, as some were unsellable.

To address the issue, it developed a database to identify whether a furniture product will become a reusable asset or liability at the point of procurement. Through the program, the environmental disposal company tracks all of its assets through the disposal process, enabling it to provide detailed landfill avoidance reports and certificates. It allows businesses to demonstrate environmental outcomes at three phases of the product life, from design and manufacture, use and consumption and end-of-life.

Peter explains that businesses should be able to ascertain whether their purchase has been designed to be maintained and serviced through its lifecycle.

The database aims to place the onus of responsibility back onto waste generators to share the responsibility of recycling and re-use.

“The database allows us to start seeing the impact and the consequence of the decisions we make along the supply chain, we can get instant feedback loops and we can get rapid acceleration of the implication of those decisions,” Peter says.

Ultimately Peter’s vision is for a circular economy where products are designed to be recovered, re-used or re-purposed back into the product lifecycle.

Peter’s talk will take place on Wednesday, October 11 from 11.30am to 12.15pm at Waste Expo Australia at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. To register as a visitor, head to the event website. 

 

Cleanaway contract with The Hills Shire Council begins

Cleanaway has unveiled its new fleet of trucks as it prepares to begin a new 10-year contract with The Hills Shire Council, located in the north west of Sydney.

Outfitted with the latest technology and mechanical advancements, the trucks are expected to release fewer emissions into the environment and are marginally quieter as they navigate the Hills Shire network. They are also fitted with automatic reverse smart sensor brakes and up to seven cameras, with a bird’s eye camera for enhanced safety.

General Manager of the Hills Shire Council, Michael Edgar, said the new fleet were part of Cleanaway’s renewed 10-year contract with the Hills Shire.

“The council is bound to ensure that ratepayers receive the best quality, efficient and effective service and Cleanaway has proved time and again, they are reliable, economical and sustainable,” Mr Edgar said.

Apart from the new trucks, the contract also includes the rollout of new yellow-lidded bins, which have been distributed to most residents excepting those in new release areas.

The new waste contract starts on 1 October, 2017.

Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists detailed

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists have been detailed with a range of diversion from landfill projects, from waste to energy to medical and water recycling.

The winners from 10 categories will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 26, along with two overall winners selected by the Premier of Victoria in two categories. These include the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award for a finalist who has demonstrated notable benefits for regional Victoria and the Premier’s Recognition Award for a winner who showcases exemplary innovation and determination in overcoming obstacles in sustainability.

The 29 finalists come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and include:

  • Enable Social Enterprises – Greener Futures Employability Program

A social enterprise program which provides employability skills programs that enables disadvantaged jobseekers to connect with community, improving their employment prospects and community cohesion. One of enable’s businesses is in eWaste.

  • Soap Aid – Hotel to Hands Soap Recycling Program

A partnership with Rotary that collects, sorts, cleans and reprocesses discarded hotel soap and produces fresh, hygienic bars of soap for re-distribution to poor, disadvantaged communities around the world and remote Indigenous communities.

  • Yarra Valley Water – Waste to energy facility

A waste to energy facility that saves food waste and processes it into biogas via anaerobic digestion, with plans to divert 33,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill and power two treatment plants.

  • Epworth Hospital Richmond – Perioperative services going green 

A range of initiatives aims to address the excessive production of waste materials by ensuring reduced use of materials, reusing materials and recycling.

  • Western Health – Single use metal instruments recycling program

Replicable program that recycles the hospital’s single-use metal instruments (SUMIs) – equating to approximately 500kgs of recycled steel, and representing 80 per cent of all SUMIs purchased.

  • eWater Systems – Water recycling 

eWater Systems has developed a ‘water-splitting’ technology used to clean and sanitise environments and facilities such as hospitals, schools, manufacturing businesses and restaurants.

  • Sustainable Salons Australia – Beauty waste 

A comprehensive resource recovery program that collects up to 95 per cent of waste from hundreds of hairdressing and beauty salons, then redirects all material for reuse, recycling and repurposing.

  • TIC Mattress Recycling – Mattress recycling 

Automated mattress recycling technology which addresses the growing problem of more than one million mattresses that go to landfill each year in Australia.

Featured image: Rebecca Pascoe, Nurse at Epworth Richmond Operating Theatres, shows off the hospital’s PVC and aluminium canister recycling program.