Veolia selected to deliver Springvale WTP

Veolia Australia and New Zealand has been chosen by Springvale Joint Venture and EnergyAustralia to deliver the new Springvale Mount Piper Power Station Water Treatment Plant (Springvale WTP).

Veolia will partner with Australian based Infrastructure Capital Group to fund the project, located in New South Wales’ Central West region.

The Mount Piper Power Station provides approximately 15 per cent of NSW’s power, and the Springvale WTP will be built under a build, own, operate and transfer contract.

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It has been commissioned by EnergyAustralia and the Springvale Joint Venture.

This facility will treat the mine water and deliver water to the power station for beneficial reuse. The project aims to enhance the quality of mine water discharged, ensure operational compliance in relation to water outflows and enable continued operations of both the mine and the power station.

The project requirements include:

● Transfer of water from the Springvale Mine to EnergyAustralia’s Mount Piper Power Station
● Treatment and reuse of the mine water, which is to be used as the industrial cooling water for the power station as well as ensuring excess water discharge complies with relevant environmental obligations
● Implementing a brine extraction and crystallisation process that can blend with the waste streams from the Mount Piper Power Station, ensuring both the mine and the power station remain in operations.

Following the construction, Veolia will then be responsible for the operations and ongoing maintenance of the pipeline and treatment facility, over a 15-year period.

“Veolia’s expertise in water treatment as well as our strong presence in mining and infrastructure has given both the Springvale Joint Venture and EnergyAustralia the confidence to award this 15-year water infrastructure contract to Veolia, which is so important to NSW’s power supply and provides an environmental outcome that will guarantee the mine’s future,” said Doug Dean, Managing Director of Veolia Australia and New Zealand.

“This contract confirms the added-value solutions and expertise that our group provides to its energy and mining clients, so that their processes can comply with industry and regulatory standards and can improve the efficiency of their operations.”

While preliminary site activities have already commenced, this contract now allows construction of the Springvale Water Treatment Plant to proceed immediately and will be completed by mid 2019.

The contract is projected to generate a number of jobs in the regional area and approximately 400 million AUD in revenue for Veolia over the coming 17 years.

Return and Earn collection points mapped out

Collection points for NSW’s container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, have been mapped out on its website. 

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.

There will be more than 200 collection points across NSW when Return and Earn launches on 1 December 2017.

Collection points include reverse vending machines, over-the-counter sites such as cafes, small grocers and news agencies and automated depots for high volumes of returns.

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Refunds can be received as cash, digital payment, in-store credit or a charity donation.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said more collection points will be finalised as the scheme rolls out.

“This is the first step in rolling out more than 500 collection points across NSW,” Ms Upton said.

The new myTOMRA app for smartphones is also slated to allow container refunds to be deposited securely into registered PayPal accounts.

To receive the electronic refund, a person claiming the refund simply needs to scan a barcode from the app under the barcode reader on the front of the reverse vending machines before depositing the containers.

Other refund options include donating the refund to a charity or community group and printing out a refund docket that can be exchanged for cash or redeemed on in-store purchases at the local retail partner.

SA celebrates 40 years since CDS commencement

The South Australian Government has reflected on its achievements as it celebrates 40 years since the start of its container deposit scheme (CDS).

The government noted the overall return rate has reached 80 per cent, as it reported on its successes in mid-November.

Since 2005 when statistics were first collected, more than six billion containers have been returned under the scheme. This equates to about 583 million containers per year that are recovered, recycled and directed away from landfill.

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The container deposit scheme started in South Australia in 1977 to reduce the litter problem created by single use drink containers.

In 2003, the South Australian Government extended the scheme to cover non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit juice and flavoured milk containers.

In 2008, the State Government increased the refund from 5 cents to 10 cents, which led to more participation.

Beverage containers now make up only 2.9 per cent of litter items in South Australia.

Each year South Australians, including sporting clubs, charities and the South Australian Scouts Association benefit from the scheme. Almost $60 million was returned to the community in 2016-17.

The container deposit scheme was declared a Heritage Icon in 2006 by the National Trust of South Australia in recognition of its role in contributing to the state’s cultural identity.

“For more than 35 years, South Australia was the only state or territory in the nation with a container deposit scheme,” said Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter.


SUEZ to provide resource recovery for the Northern Beaches Council

SUEZ has been awarded Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council recycling and resource recovery contract run by Kimbriki.

The new contract will commence on 1 July 2019 and is valued at approximately $199 million over 10 years.

The Northern Beaches Council’s Mixed Solid Waste (red-bin) will firstly be delivered to Belrose Transfer Station and then sent to be processed at the Eastern Creek Advanced Resource Recovery Facility, owned and operated by Global Renewables under an exclusivity waste processing contract with SUEZ. The facility diverts household waste from landfill recovering recyclable materials and turning the organic fraction of the waste into compost.

“Our partnership with Northern Beaches Council will increase the recovery, reuse and recycling of resources and ultimately reduce the volume of waste disposed at landfill,” said Mark Venhoek, CEO of SUEZ Australia and New Zealand.

“We know that Northern Beaches’ residents care about their impact on the environment. We look forward to helping council meet its 70 per cent waste diversion target” Mr Venhoek said.

Kimbriki is a local waste management and resource recovery company owned by the Northern Beaches Council and Mosman Council.

SUEZ provides resource solutions to collect, recover and recycle waste into valuable new products and resources. In Australia, SUEZ collects 2.2 million tonnes of waste every year and diverts more than 1.2 million tonnes of waste from landfill.

7-Eleven and Simply Cups launch cup recycling initiative

A new initiative plans to collect and recycle 70 million takeaway cups annually.

It comes as Australians become increasingly aware of the number of disposable cups that end up in landfills every year.

The partnership between 7-Eleven and Simply Cups will see collection bins for takeaway cups installed in more than 200 7-Eleven stores nationally and 50 other busy locations such as universities and construction sites from March 2018.

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“As Australia’s second largest takeaway coffee destination we felt we had a responsibility to take the lead and find a solution to save cups from going to landfill,” said 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay.

Currently, more than one billion takeaway cups end up in landfill each year in Australia because there is no effective way for cups to be recycled, due to the polyethylene or liquid lining being a contaminant for regular paper recycling facilities. However, there is now a way to treat plastic lined cups.

“Simply Cups now has access to technology that removes the plastic lining from paper-based cups so that both materials can then be processed in regular paper and plastic recycling facilities,” explains Rob Pascoe, Founder of Closed Loop’s Simply Cups.

“By collecting takeaway cups via a separate waste stream, Simply Cups can guarantee that cups collected through the dedicated 7-Eleven bins will be recycled,” he said.

Coffee waste powers London’s red buses

The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee each day, producing more than 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, much of which ends in landfill. Those concerned about the environmental impact can now offset their carbon footprint in two ways by using the capital’s iconic red bus fleet.

A new initiative from British startup Bio-bean, with financial and technical help from energy giant Royal Dutch Shell and fuel blender Argent Energy, is extracting oil from old coffee beans to make biofuel that, from 20 November, is helping fuel London’s double-decker buses.

The project will supply 6,000 litres a year of the fuel, according to a report by the Independent.

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Bio-bean founder Arthur Kay, whose company also makes solid fuel pellets from coffee waste, was quoted as saying partnerships with thousands of coffee shops across the United Kingdom provided the used coffee grounds.

“It’s got a high oil content – 20 per cent oil by weight in the waste coffee grounds – so it’s a really great thing to make biodiesel out of,” he told the Independent.

The waste is converted in the company’s Cambridgeshire factory and the oil blended with diesel fuel to make up 20 per cent of the finished biofuel.

Bio-bean, which was founded in 2013, plans to expand throughout the UK and eventually to continental Europe and the United States.

The company’s website states the UK produces 500,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, which contain valuable compounds.

The use of the coffee-derived biodiesel in London’s bus fleet can make a significant and sustainable contribution to powering future transport systems, Bio-bean says.

First Return and Earn charity partners for CDS NSW

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton has announced the first four Return and Earn donation partners to feature on the state’s reverse vending machines.

It comes as NSW plans to introduce its Container Deposit Scheme on 1 December.

People returning eligible containers will be able to donate their refunds to the Cancer Council, St Vincent de Paul, Surf Life Saving NSW and Planet Ark at reverse vending machines from 1 December.

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“Our first four donation partners make incredible contributions to communities across the state – giving people an option to donate their refunds to these four organisations is a great way to open the scheme,” Ms Upton said.

“Charities, community and sporting groups, schools, and other not-for-profit organisations can also register their interest to become a donation partner under the rotation system.”

Interested groups can visit the Return and Earn website to register their interest to become a donation partner.

To donate a refund to a donation partner people will need to insert an eligible drink container into a reverse vending machine and select the ‘donate’ option and choose a group. Where relevant donations of $2 or more are made, customers will be issued with a receipt to claim a tax deduction.

“Local groups can also fundraise from 1 December by collecting eligible drink containers and returning them for a 10 cent refund at Return and Earn collection points,” Ms Upton said.

People can also choose to receive their refund into a registered PayPal account via the myTOMRA app, or receive a printed retail refund voucher to exchange for cash or an in-store credit at a local retail partner.

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached to receive the 10 cent refund.

For more information about Return and Earn and how to register to be on a reverse vending machine visit:

WA Government holds waste roundtable

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has chaired a roundtable on how waste management could be improved in the state, with key stakeholders sharing their ideas and experiences.

Representatives from industries including packaging, mining, construction, hospitality and beverages took part in the roundtable as well as environmental organisations and local and state government representatives.

The roundtable was established to hear the views of a wide variety of stakeholders on key waste generation and management issues. Their views will inform the state government’s new waste strategy. A consultation paper, which proposes new directions for the waste strategy, was released last month and is open for public comment until March 1, 2018.

“Issues that were addressed included better separation of waste at its source, including food waste in the household, the move towards a circular economy so resources are reused or recirculated in our economy before disposal to landfill and improving the effectiveness of the waste levy,” Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said.

“A collection of ideas and experiences were shared and I look forward to working with industry and government to continue to improve waste management across the state.”

For more information visit the WA Waste Authority.

National radioactive waste management facility tenders open

Tenders have opened for site characterisation works on a national radioactive waste management facility.

The tender forms part of phase two of the proposed facility, with three sites voluntarily nominated in South Australia, including two in the rural service town of Kimba and one at Wallerberdina, near the Flinders Ranges.

The national radioactive waste management facility will consolidate Australia’s radioactive waste holdings, which are currently spread across more than 100 locations around the country.

Bruce McCleary, General Manager of the national radioactive waste management facility taskforce said that site characterisation is an important activity in the next part of the project.

Mr McCleary said that site characterisation involves looking in detail at all aspects of each site, and understanding whether they fit the technical criteria to be a suitable location.

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“Phase two involves building a detailed understanding of the nominated sites, through in depth community consultation and technical assessments,” he said.

“Community consultation is now well underway, including appointment of locally engaged officers and establishment of site offices at both sites, creation of committees and working groups, and regular visits from members of the project team and experts to provide information on the project.”

Phase two of the project involves assessing flora and fauna, geology and seismic risks; inputting into the detailed business case, with reference to site specific design and cost estimates, and an additional option for the preparation and development of submissions for licensing and approvals.

McCleary said this second phase of the process at all three sites will be underway until the end of next year. For more information head to

The tender closes 28 November 2017, at 3:00 pm (ACT Local Time).

Federal Government launches National Food Waste Strategy

The Federal Government has launched its National Food Waste Strategy at the inaugural National Food Waste Summit in Melbourne.

The strategy provides a framework to support the government’s goal of halving Australia’s food waste by 2030.

The National Food Waste Strategy identifies four priority areas to help reach this target: including policy support, business improvements, market development and behaviour change.

The federal government has made an initial funding commitment of $1.37 million over 24 months towards this goal. The funding will be used to support an independent organisation (Food Innovation Australia Limited) that will develop an implementation plan. It will also be used to monitor and evaluate the strategy and coordinate priority areas of work.

The funding will go towards a voluntary commitment program that will initially engage businesses and industries to commit to actions that reduce food waste and a National Food Waste Baseline so that the government can monitor and track its progress.

Data collated for the report shows the cost of food waste to the Australian economy is $20 billion per year.

Of the food waste disposed in landfill in 2014-15, 7.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is estimated to be released over the life of its decay.

The Federal Government, with the states and territories, will enable Food Innovation Australia Limited, through $1 million over the next 24 months, to start implementing the strategy. A steering committee will provide advice and guidance to Food Innovation Australia Limited. Membership of the committee will be announced in the coming months and will align with the priority areas of the strategy.

By late 2018, Food Innovation Australia Limited will deliver the plan for the strategy that sets out short, medium and long-term actions. The industry voluntary commitment program will be in place by early 2019.

The Federal Government has also committed a further $370,000 through its National Environment Science Program for two research projects to support the strategy. Of this, $200,000 will support research to establish the National Food Waste Baseline and develop an approach for the measurement of progress against the 50 per cent reduction target. The remaining $170,000 will identify the highest value return on investment opportunities in food waste for business, community organisations and governments.

Ways to support a consistent national approach to community education on food waste will also be on the agenda of the upcoming Meeting of Environment Ministers in December.

Commenting on the announcement, the Victorian Government noted it is working with businesses to manage food waste across the supply chain and find new ways to use food and organic waste products.

A roundtable hosted by Minister D’Ambrosio earlier this year attracted major food producers and processing companies including Swisse, SPC Ardmona and Devondale Murray Goulburn.

The Victorian Government is also helping businesses develop new markets for high quality organic products and boost the uptake of recycled organic products in agriculture.

Read the federal government’s full strategy here.