TruckSafe operators ready for Chain of Responsibility changes

TruckSafe-accredited operators should be well positioned to meet changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws, according to TruckSafe Chair, Ferdie Kroon, of the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) safety management program.

The reforms are scheduled to come into force in mid-2018, and will align chain of responsibility laws more closely with workplace health and safety laws. They include a new general safety duty and the extension of chain of responsibility to vehicle maintenance.

The TruckSafe board has met to look at how the reforms would affect the TruckSafe standards.

“The board has reviewed the new Chain of Responsibility provisions and the consultation draft of the master registered code of practice being developed by the ATA and Australian Logistics Council,” Mr Kroon said.

“We worked through the provisions in detail, and the good news is that TruckSafe accredited operators are well positioned to meet the new requirements of the law and the draft master code.

“Our operators worked very hard in 2016 to upgrade their safety management systems to meet the new standards, which came into force on 1 January 2017,” he said.

Kroon also said accredited operators now have controls in place, such as business practices, training, procedures and review processes that will help them:

• Identify, assess, evaluate, and control risk.
• Manage compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and vehicle standards requirements.
• Meet regular reporting requirements.
• Document or record actions taken to manage safety.

“All the hard work last year will pay off for operators in 2018,” said Kroon.

TruckSafe will advise operators of any changes to the TruckSafe standards well before the chain of responsibility reforms come into effect.

Global E-waste Monitor 2017 shows 20 per cent e-waste recycled

A new report has found Australia, New Zealand and other nations of Oceania are the highest per capita e-waste generators, with only six per cent formally collected and recycled.

The Global E-waste Monitor 2017 was developed collaboratively by United Nations University (UNU) and hosted by UNU’s Vice-Rectorate in Europe, the International Telecommunication Union and the International Solid Waste Association.

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It uses data from 2016 and shows that the world generated 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste that year – equal to 4500 Eiffel Towers, with only 20 per cent of this recycled. The report foresees this to increase by 17 per cent to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021.

The estimated value of recoverable materials that year was US $55 billion. Meanwhile, about 4 per cent of 2016’s e-waste is being thrown into landfills, with about 76 per cent presumed to be incinerated.

Europe, including Russia, was found to be the second largest e-waste generator per inhabitant with an average of 16.6 kg per inhabitant. Europe still had the highest collection rate at 35 per cent.

The Americas generate 11.6kg per inhabitant and collect 17 per cent, while Asia collects 15 per cent and generates 4.2kg per inhabitant.

Read the full report here.


WMAA responds to China waste ban

The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) has responded to China’s intention to ban imports of 24 categories of solid waste to the country (including plastics, paper and textiles waste).

The last World Trade Organization (WTO) report indicates that the ban will take place at the end of 2017. WTO reports China representatives said the measure is aimed at addressing risks of pollution from solid waste, and seeks to protect the environment and human health. A six month transition period has been provided, and China said it had further clarified the scope of the measure based on comments from WTO members.

The European Union, Japan, the United States, Australia and Canada have questioned the broad scope of the measure, and whether it applied to domestic operators in the same way as foreign operators. They asked China for a longer transition period of up to five years.

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In a statement, WMAA said industry had signalled to government for a long time that relying on the export markets for recyclables was dangerous and now it find itself, with the change in China’s legislation, walking towards this inevitability.

“Whilst stockpiling is a legitimate business practice, we know that the community is not happy with simply stockpiling recyclable materials, they rightly want this material to be used in making other products in Australia – reducing reliance on natural material,” said WMAA CEO Gayle Sloan.

WMAA’s statement said Australia needs to act now to ensure that the circular economy is real.

“It is not enough that products we purchase in Australia are capable of being recycled, we need to ensure that they are also made from recycled material,” Ms Sloan, said.

“In this way we can create real demand for commodities like those that households put in their yellow bins.”

“This is simply too important an issue for the Federal Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to continue to repeat his mantra ‘it is up to the states’ this is one that the Federal Government actually needs to step up to the plate on,” Ms Sloan said.

WMAA said all levels of government, including national, need to put policies in place that support the development of sustainable secondary markets for recycled materials.

“The best first step would be sustainable procurement being introduced nationally by all, allowing government to actually walk the talk and model these behaviours,” Ms Sloan said.

WMAA noted investment in new recycling infrastructure creates construction jobs and economic activity that provides a real boost to local economies. While the change in China’s legislation can be seen as a short-term crisis, WMAA argued in reality the change to a circular economy will not only bring long term employment, through green-collar manufacturing, but also sustainable economic growth.

“We have seen the change that programs like War on Waste have had on supermarkets. Let’s get the changes we need to ensure that packagers are using recycled products as an input in all they do – but we cannot do this without the support of government,” Ms Sloan said.

Container Deposit Schemes are being introduced nationally, and WMAA said the key is that the recycled product made in Australia is re-used by the beverage companies that participate in this scheme.

WMAA said it has discussed the circular economy with the industry, generators, and the community, with their support offered.

Survey open to improve National Waste Reporting

Blue Environment and its project partners Ascend Waste and Environment and Randell Environmental Consulting are calling on industry to provide their feedback on how national waste data can be improved.

It comes as they are preparing the next iterations of the National Waste Report and Hazardous Waste in Australia report.

The last reports, released in August 2017, collate Australian waste data from the states, territories and industry to present a national picture on waste quantities, types, sources and management. They are available here (NWR) and here (HWiA).

Six questions have been laid out to help inform how the new reports can be better than the previous ones.

Industry can participate here.

Veolia acquires ACTQ Septic Services

Veolia Australia and New Zealand has acquired ACTQ Septic Services, building on its liquid waste services offering in the Australian Capital Territory.

With an annual turnover of $1.5 million and five full-time employees, ACTQ Septic Services offers grease trap and portable toilet (septic) services across ACT from its Queanbeyan-based facility.

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Danny Conlon, Veolia’s Executive General Manager – Eastern Region, said the decision to purchase ACTQ falls in line with Veolia’s strategic plans to expand its liquid waste solution offering. He said it ensures the company has the capability to meet future market demand, while complementing its existing portfolio of waste management services.

The acquisition was also aligned to meet service requirements for Veolia’s existing customers, such as the Department of Defence. It now enables Veolia to bring previously outsourced services, such as portable toilet hire, in-house.

“We can now offer a broader range of waste and wastewater management services to our ACT and regional NSW customers. The biggest benefit lies in being able to scale our local operations, which will enable better utilisation and reduce disposal costs,” Mr Conlon added.

ACTQ was established in 1994 by Greg McAllister, and the ownership had remained unchanged since this time.

The ACTQ purchase is the fourth waste services business acquisition completed by Veolia in 2017. Earlier this year, Veolia successfully completed acquisitions of Catalyst, Ellwaste and Clean It, bolstering its services and capability across WA, VIC, NSW and QLD, respectively.

WCRA announces inaugural Industry Awards

The Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA) has held its inaugural Industry Awards, with more than 190 members in attendance.

Darell Wilson, of SUEZ, was one leader recognised in the Safety Award for averting what WCRA said was potentially a catastrophic accident which could have resulted in many deaths.

WCRA said Mr Wilson was travelling on the M5 when a school bus carrying 20 children suddenly pulled out in front of him. His quick thinking response to stop the vehicle and turn the truck towards the concrete wall averted the collision.

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“Darell’s driver professionalism and attention to detail, ensured that his response in this emergency situation was quick, appropriate and highly skilled,” WCRA said.

The second award was granted to Sydney waste management company Doyle Bros, awarded for the production of Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) at their Fairfield Materials Recovery Facility.

Doyle Bros received $1.05 million in funding under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative to process up to 29,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste per annum into processed engineered fuel.

The project has resulted in a diversion from landfill of over 90 per cent, as the residual material was previously being sent to landfill as non-recyclable waste.

Pictured: Karen Castledine, of Work Options and WCRA Vice President Scott Bayliss present Darell Wilson from SUEZ with the inaugural WCRA WHS Award.

WCRA raises concern over long-distance transport over Xmas

The Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA) has raised concern over a flurry of truck accidents over the past few months.

WCRA said it comes as a result of landfill levy avoidance, where waste has continued to be transported across state borders from NSW to Queensland, where there is no levy in place.

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WCRA said reports provided to the association indicate factors such as poor maintenance of vehicles, fatigue management, inappropriate equipment choices and low pay rates are responsible for many of these accidents.

“Unless there is action from the NSW Government, it is possible that over a million tonnes of waste per annum will find its way north to Queensland in 2018,” said WCRA Executive Director Tony Khoury.

“This further undermines NSW jobs and the investment in recycling programs and it undermines the NSW Government’s substantial commitment via the Waste Less Recycle More initiative.”

Mr Khoury said the NSW Government needs to recognise the urgency of the situation, discuss with industry how waste management regulations can be changed to fix these loop-holes and address these safety and environmental concerns.