Logan City Council signs on for MEGATRANS2018

Logan City Council has signed on to exhibit at inaugural logistics and supply chain trade event, MEGATRANS2018, which takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May.

Located in the south of the Brisbane metropolitan area and with close proximity to Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast, Logan City is an important central logistics hub for South East Queensland.

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Logan City Council will use the show as a means of engaging with the wider transport and logistics sector about the opportunities Logan City has to offer for businesses looking to expand and service the Brisbane and Gold Coast markets.

The Council joins the growing list of exhibitors signed on for MEGATRANS2018. To join them and other leading businesses at the show, contact Anastasia Razdiakonova: P 03 9690 8766 E anastasia.razdiakonova@primecreative.com.au

APCO Morning Tea for Global Recycling Day

To show support for recycling in Australia, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation has organised a morning tea on Global Recycling Day.

APCO will be hosting a morning tea and will include presentations on design for recycling, sustainable packaging, recycling labels and designing end-of-life packaging.

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Global Recycling Day is an initiative from the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and events will be held on the day to promote recycling in 70 countries. The BIR hopes that the day will help people make at least one change in their behaviour to encourage recycling.

APCO members that have made valuable contributions to recycling systems that minimise the impact of packaging on the environment will be recognised on the day.

The APCO Morning Tea will be held at 10am on 16 March at the APCO Office, Level 4, 332 Kent Street, Sydney.

More information can be found here.

NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy updated

The NSW Government has committed $65 million and updated the NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy to clamp down on illegal littering.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced the changes, saying they would help make NSW a cleaner state by 2021.

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“The NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy tackles a serious environmental and health issue,” Ms Upton said.

“It is backed by ambitious targets and a significant financial commitment to cut the rate of illegal dumping across the State by nearly a third.”

The NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy outline key actions to stop illegal dumping. It discusses the value of education, collaborative partnerships, enforcement and infrastructure.

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will deliver the updated strategy by partnering with public land managers, local government, charities and community groups.

Funding has gone towards certain initiatives, with $9 million for regional illegal dumping squads to help prevent and clean up dumped rubbish, $3 million for the Clean-up and prevention program that helps land managers and community groups, and $1 million to the Aboriginal Land Clean-up and Prevention Program.

RIDonline, the NSW EPA’s illegal dumping database, has been expended to let the community report incidents.

“This Government is committed to a cleaner NSW and this Strategy will help us continue to work to reduce dumping in our community areas and environment,” Ms Upton said.

The strategy can be found here.

Cleanaway releases FY18 half year results

Cleanaway has released its FY18 half-year results, reporting “strong organic growth”, with revenue up 8.4 per cent.

In a statement, the company said all operating divisions have increased revenue and earnings, with a strong cash conversion, while ramp-up and mobilisation of new major contracts is in progress. The sale of another closed landfill site in Victoria has reduced the landfill remediation provision by $5.4 million, the company said.

Cleanaway also provided an update on the acquisition of Toxfree Solutions, which it said is anticipated to be completed during the second quarter of 2018.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was reported to be $154.2 million, a 2.8 per cent increase on the 2017 half-year results. Net revenue sat at $722.2 million, a 7.4 per cent increase on 2017 half-year results, while gross revenue sat at $785.5 million, an 8.4 per cent increase. Net profit after tax rose by 60.7 per cent compared to the same period to $45 million.

“Each of our three operating divisions – solid collections, solids post collections and liquids and industrial services – increased revenue and earnings in the period,” Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Vik Bansal said.

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“During 1H18 we started the roll-out of a number of major new contracts.

“Development of our resource recovery footprint continues. During the half we commenced construction of our Sydney post collection which we expect to have completed by the first half of FY19.”

In its underlying divisional performance, Cleanaway’s solids collections and solids collections division reported increased revenue and earnings.

Compared to the previous corresponding period, net revenue for solids collections increased 9.3 per cent to $441.7 million. Solid post collections saw net revenue increase by 15.3 per cent to $107.9 million.

The liquid and industrial services division had a net revenue increase of 3.2 per cent to $214.7 million.

Mr Bansal said the acquisition of Toxfree was a transaction unanimously recommended by the Toxfree board, in the absence of a superior proposal. He said it is a strategically compelling transaction that will enhance the company’s capabilities in solids, liquids and industrial services, accelerate the implementation of its Footprint 2025 strategy, and provide a leading position in the attractive medical waste sector.

“To support the acquisition, we also undertook an equity raising that raised approximately $590 and was completed in January,” Mr Bansal said.

“We remain optimistic of receiving all the necessary approvals for the acquisition to be completed sometime during the second quarter of CY2018.”

Integration of the Toxfree business is expected to deliver about $35 million in annual synergies, released over a two-year integration period. Cleanaway completed a 3.65 non-renouncable pro rata entitlement offer at $1.35 per new share in conjunction with the Toxfree announcement. About $590 million was raised and 437.3 million new shares issued.

Discussing the outlook for FY18, Mr Bansal said recent major contract wins have established a firm base for revenue growth in its solids business, adding that the company remains optimistic of continuous improvement in the liquids and industrial services business.

“The cost disciplines we have in place, along with the further initiatives being implemented across the company, should result in both the solids and liquids and industrial services segments further increasing operational earnings in FY18.”

Commenting on the recent changes to the Chinese importation of recycling material, Mr Bansal added:

“The major issue within the industry is the level of contamination from the recyclable material collected from the municipal councils. This is commingled waste and has a much higher level of contamination than the waste received from the commercial and industrial sector.

“Cleanway’s exposure to the sale of these municipal sourced materials is minimal. However, we are in discussions with relevant municipal customers to mitigate any issues.”


Vict Govt responds to China waste ban

In response to China’s National Sword decision, Victorian councils and industry will be provided a $13 million package to support the ongoing collection of household waste.

The assistance will go towards helping councils and industries that have been affected by the China policy, giving them and their contractors time to develop longer-term solutions, including renegotiating contracts.

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The Victorian Government has also moved to establish a recycling industry taskforce to develop a plan for industry transition.

The decision comes not long after the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) called for a suite of measures to improve the situation.

The VWMA in a statement welcomed the opportunity to represent its member base on any proposed taskforce and said it has been assured by relevant government agencies that it will have a seat at the table. It advocated for the taskforce to have fair representation of the waste and resource recovery sector, including small and medium operators and the waste transport sector. It said the taskforce should be steered by principles such as a competitive resource recovery sector and circular economy principles that prioritise local jobs over exports or landfilling.

China has not banned the importation of waste entirely but new restrictions on the contamination rate means that they require a cleaner and more processed version of these materials.

“While recycling is ultimately a matter for local councils, we’re stepping in to help councils and industry affected by China’s new import rules,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

“This is about protecting jobs and ensuring Victorians have confidence to continue recycling.”

Council assistance will be provided until 30 June, though they will be required to meet an increase in recycling costs from 1 July.


VWMA calls for increased resource recovery investment

The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) has called for a suite of measures to solve the nation’s recycling crisis, including increased state government investment and reviews of contractual models for waste and resource recovery.

It comes after China’s recent clamp down on the export of recyclable materials of a contamination level of more than 0.5 per cent. The decision covers 24 categories of solid waste, and covers countries such as Japan, USA, Australia and others. China was Australia’s largest market for the export of recyclable materials, but has tightened its restrictions.

National Sword, an extension of China’s Green Fence Policy, will see inspections on recyclable materials such as paper and various grades of post-consumer plastics being imported into China.

In the same week, the Victorian Government announced a $13 million package to go towards helping councils and industries that have been affected by the China policy. The Victorian Government has also moved to establish a recycling industry taskforce to develop a plan for industry transition, a decision welcomed by the VWMA.

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VWMA believes the problem that exists with materials that recycling exporters send to China (and materials that maybe caught up in the inspection program) is that streams can be highly contaminated due to poor recycling practices and sorting, which can originate back to the household (or point of generation).

“The VWMA does not comment specifically on commercial contracts in place between organisations, however the current situation can be attributed to a range of factors that contracting parties have knowingly entered into – this includes fixed priced collection in a commodity sensitive environment and dependencies on export markets,” the organisation said in a statement.

“The VWMA does not support compensation or bailouts as an appropriate response to the current situation. We are focused on medium and long term sustainable solutions for our members and Victorians, and are engaged with the Victorian Government and other related organisations and associations as required to advocate for these medium and longer terms solutions.”

The VWMA Executive met on February 20 to discuss National Sword and its impacts to Victoria, noting that a range of factors created the current recycling issue in the state, including:

  • The export of recyclable material and global (fluctuating) commodity markets.
  • Contractual models that favour one party over another and do not distribute risk.
  • Public awareness and appropriate waste and recycling disposal practice by households.
  • Public confidence in the waste and recycling system.
  • The essentialness of maintaining waste and recycling services for Victorians.

The VWMA acknowledges that China’s decision means a global market reset is being experienced and no one knows what this reset will mean or how long ambiguity around recycling markets may exist.

The VWMA advocates a collaborative approach between industry and government on this matter with the following areas to be prioritised by state and local government:

  • Contractual models for waste and resource recovery contracts: Review the contractual models for waste and resource recovery contracts which may include splitting contracts, linking contracts to an indexed commodity price and a greater distribution of risk between all parties.
  • Unlocking the state government’s Sustainability Fund: Increased state government investment (via low-interest loans and grants) to the private sector and local government (which could include public-private partnerships for larger investments) targeted at all aspects of Victoria’s waste and resource recovery system. These would include waste collection/transports, processing facilities and other infrastructure. The intent of this investment would be to create self-sustainable outcomes (in-line with the Sustainability Fund’s objectives) through value-added product created in Victoria from the materials we all throw out. This investment would also stimulate jobs in construction and manufacturing. The Sustainability Fund receives money from Victorian landfill levies.
  • Stimulate local markets: Where appropriate all levels of government, including federal, should seek to stimulate markets for recovery through minimum requirements in procurement contracts. This would drive local demand for value added product and support broader government initiative around the concepts of circular economy. Options should also consider waste to energy as a viable option for Victoria.
  • Community are engaged and brought along to understand the essential nature of the service that is provided to them: The state’s waste and resource recovery system exists to support Victorians and all Victorians have a civil responsibility to engage in appropriate waste disposal practices (this includes things such as recycling correctly, not throwing dangerous goods into the bin and littering). The Victorian Government should begin to have this conversation with the community and involve industry.

“Victoria’s success in kerbside collection can in large part be attributed to the collaboration between government and industry. The VWMA supports continued engagement with all levels of Industry on this matter,” said VWMA Executive Officer, Mark Smith.

“The Victorian waste and resource recovery system exists to support a prosperous and healthy Victoria. We all generate waste and this waste needs to be managed. Community need to be brought in on the conversation so they understand their role in generating waste and disposing of that waste correctly.”



Glass and plastics could be used to help build footpaths

End-of-life plastics and glass fines could soon be used in the construction of footpaths instead of going to landfill, according to a new study from the Swinburne University of Technology.

The research found plastics and glass fines could be incorporated into concrete footpaths while still meeting the standard requirements, and without compromising the mechanical properties.

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It is estimated that approximately 100,000 tonnes of flexible plastics end up in landfill each year, and only 48 per cent of glass waste is recovered for recycling, according to Sustainability Victoria.

The next step for this project is to include local governments and industries to increase the amount of recycled content in footpath construction.

“The use of recovered plastics and glass fines in concrete footpaths will divert significant quantities of these materials from landfill, while reducing the demand for virgin construction materials,” said Swinburne University of Technology’s Dr Yat Choy Wong.

This research project is one of seven projects that investigate new ways to increase the use of recovered class and flexible plastics.