waste reduction

SA Govt invests $3.2M into recycling infrastructure

More than $3.2 million in funding has been approved by the South Australian government for 17 recycling infrastructure projects.

It is part of the state government’s $12.4 million support package announced in May in response to China’s National Sword Policy.

Related stories:

The funding was delivered through Green Industries SA and covers a range of recycling, waste management and resource recovery projects.

More than $600,000 has been invested into infrastructure that deals directly with recovering and recycling plastic waste.

Around $424,000 has been invested into improving Material Recovery Facilities in Mt Gambier and $357,000 for end of life vehicle recycling.

Projects that improve the infrastructure to recycle post-consumer paper in the Australian market have also received $250,000.

SA Environment Minister David Speirs said China’s National Sword policy was a catalyst to increase the range of our recycled materials and develop local markets as a priority.

“This funding supports a range of projects in both the private sector and local government, across metropolitan and regional South Australia,” he said.

“This investment in the remanufacturing, re-use, and recovery sector helps maintain our world leading diversion results, where 83.4 per cent of all our waste is diverted from landfill.

“The State Government funding of more than $3.2 million has been matched by the applicants, unlocking more than $7.9 million of investment for 17 projects that support an estimated 36 full time jobs,” Mr Speirs said.

The next round of grant funding to support and develop recycling infrastructure is now available.

Fed Govt establishes Office of Future Transport Technologies

The Federal Government is establishing an Office of Future Transport Technologies to prepare for automated vehicles and other transport innovations.

A $9.7 million investment has been made into the initiative to enhance the Federal Government’s strategic leadership role and to coordinate cohesively with other governments and agencies to implement new transport technology into Australia.

One of the focuses of the new Office will be to improve transport and road safety outcomes while developing automated vehicle technologies.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Australian governments and industry is taking proactive steps to manage the associated challenges and opportunities within the evolving future transport landscape.

“The Australian future transport and mobility industry is expected generate more than $16 billion in revenue by 2025,” Mr McCormack said.

“While representing an emerging business opportunity for the national economy, these technologies also have great potential to reduce the $27 billion cost of road crashes in Australia each year.

“These advances can also help to reduce the significant social impacts that road deaths and injuries have on families and the wider community,” he said.

Mr McCormack said he wanted to ensure these new technologies are deployed in a manner which improves safety, productivity, accessibility and liveability for Australians in both urban and regional areas.

“The establishment of an Office of Future Transport Technologies within my Department will enable the Australian Government to work with industry and State and Territory Governments to ensure Australia is ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” he said.

“I expect the Office to collaborate across governments to ensure automated vehicles are safe, to consider future infrastructure needs, to make sure cyber security safeguards are in place, and to support Australian businesses in taking advantage of new commercial opportunities.

“While some of this work has already started, we will see the Office of Future Transport Technologies ramping up over the next few months to coordinate Australia’s responses to the challenges ahead.”

Collaboration resonates at Waste Expo Australia

This year’s Waste Expo Australia conference and exhibition has delivered record attendance with early reports indicating more than 4500 trade visitors attending the event, a growth of over 28 per cent on the 2017 edition.

Last week’s event saw robust discussions from local government representatives, industry leading experts, key industry bodies as well as industry associations.

Victorian Government Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio opened the event and reiterated the state’s commitment to reducing waste with the continued development of strategies and policies that will drive the state forward in the future.

The morning’s first panel discussion “government and policy initiatives driving the waste management industry” heard investment and collaboration were key in the delivery of a resource efficient economy not only in Victoria but across Australia.

Related story:

Integral to the success of Waste Expo Australia was the development of the Waste Summit conference covering four streams: landfill and transfer stations, collections, resource recovery and waste to energy. This structured program saw many sessions at standing room capacity with visitors having the ability to hear from leading speakers such as: Ian Campbell-Fraser, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Clete Elms, Cleanaway; Brooke Donnelly, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation; Mike Ritchie, MRA Consulting; Daniel Tartak, Bingo Industries; Clint Aiken, City of Perth; Warren Overton, Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform.

Cory McCarrick, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions Australia said the success of this year’s event shows the growing importance of the waste management, recycling and resource recovery industry. With the sector eager to learn and share, he added that this places Waste Expo Australia in a strong position.

“We are thrilled with the number and quality of people that attended Waste Expo Australia. With over 30 hours of free content the event was successful in attracting key industry buyers. Early reports show an increase in attendance across all key visitor groups with over 100 councils and government departments from across Australia as well an increase in international attendance as well,” Mr McCarrick said.

This year’s edition saw the inclusion of the inaugural Wastewater Summit which featured leading water utility corporations, government officials and industry innovators who gave insights in to the technology, regulations and operational improvements that are driving the sector.

The exhibition aisles at Waste Expo Australia were busy throughout the two days with industry professionals eager to speak with the more than 80 companies showcasing the latest product innovations.

Debbie Smith, Marketing Coordinator from Bost Group, said the event had been a huge success for the company.

“A lot of decision-makers came through the door, which provided us with great quality leads. As a result, we have already committed to Waste Expo Australia for next year,” she said.

Mr McCarrick said he credits much of the success of the event to the support it received from key industry associations and leading companies including Victorian Waste Management Association, (VWMA), Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA), City of Melbourne, Bingo Industries and Cleanaway

“Industry collaboration enabled us to develop an event offering and conference program that addressed the specific needs of the industry. This has built the foundation for continued growth of Waste Expo Australia in 2019, when we will deliver additional customer value through the synergies with our exciting new co-location with the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo,” he said.

The next edition of Waste Expo Australia will take place 23-24 October 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information, click here.

Australians believe recyclables going to landfill: research

Most Australians across all states and demographics believe the recyclables they put into their council bins are ending up in landfill, according to new research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The series of surveys has also found that 49 per cent of people believe that green and eco-friendly efforts will not have an effect in their lifetime, with 63.8 per cent of those older than 65 seeing no benefits being realised.

Related stories:

Key findings also report that 72.4 per cent of people would recycle more of the material if it was reliably recycled.

Confusion also surround which level of government is responsible for residential waste and recycling services, with some people thinking industry instead of government is responsible for waste management.

UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Director Veena Sahajwalla said rising stockpiles and increasing use of landfill, in the absence of a coordinated government solution to a waste problem, had not been lost on consumers.

“Each council is fending for themselves right across Australia and while the meeting of federal and state environment ministers earlier this year made an important announcement about a new National Waste Policy stating that by 2025 all packaging will be re-usable, compostable or recyclable, we don’t have to wait another seven years for this decision to come into effect,” Dr Sahajwalla said.

“It is clear on this issue that people want action, and they want governments to invest and do something now.

“A number of councils and private business are interested in our technology but unless there are incentives in place, Australia will be slow to capitalise on the potential to lead the world in reforming our waste into something valuable and reusable.”

UNSW’s SMaRT Centre launched a demonstration e-waste microfactory in April, which is able to recover the components of discarded electronic items for use in high value products.

UNSW is also finalising a second demonstration microfactory, which converts glass, plastics and other waste materials into engineered stone products, which look and perform as well as marble and granite.

“Rather than export our rubbish overseas and to do more landfill for waste, the microfactory technology has the potential for us to export valuable materials and newly manufactured products instead,” Dr Sahajwalla said.

“Through the microfactory technology, we can enhance our economy and be part of the global supply chain by supplying more valuable materials around the world and stimulating manufacturing innovation in Australia.”

Veolia releases Rethinking Sustainability case study videos

Environmental services provider Veolia has released several case study videos to showcase examples of environmental and economic sustainability.

The videos aim to challenge perceptions around sustainability and feature some of the company’s significant projects and industry partnerships.

Related stories:

The case studies include Veolia’s projects in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote communities across Australia and New Zealand.

Clients and projects shown in the videos include the University of the Sunshine Coast, NSW Health Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), Seqwater, Hunter Water and Auckland Council.

Veolia Executive General Manager – Refractories and Energy Grant Winn said the University of the Sunshine Coast and the NSW Health ISLHD projects demonstrated Veolia’s capability to consider a client’s long-term needs and deliver strategies that targeted operational efficiency and continuous improvement.

“Our role as a partner is to identify, implement and monitor a client’s energy performance to deliver tangible, long-term benefits, while also taking into consideration macro-environmental concerns that could impact their operations,” Mr Winn said.

Veolia Group General Manager, New Zealand Alex Lagny said Veolia’s partnership with Auckland Council is developing waste management in a region that had only recently transitioned from bags to bins.

“We are working closely with the council to drive improvements and a better understanding of practices through data and insights. It’s an exciting space for us, as Veolia looks to expand its waste management capability in the country.”

To watch the videos, click here.

Reusable bag campaign launches ahead of VIC plastic bag ban

The Victorian Government has launched a campaign to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags ahead of the state’s 2019 ban on lightweight, single-use plastic bags.

The Better Bag Habits campaign urges Victorians to remember their bag, wallet, keys and phone when leaving the house. The campaign will run on social media and radio.

Related stories:

Some tips the campaign will encourage will be to store reusable bags in the car, at home, work to ensure customers are always ready to shop. It also encourages the use of foldable bags that can easily fit into a pocket, handbag or backpack.

Research commissioned by Sustainability Victoria found around three quarters of Victorians already carry reusable bags when food shopping.

Younger Victorians and those on higher incomes have been the slowest to say no to single-use bags, particularly when shopping for non-food items.

The ban on single-use plastic bags will come apply to shopping bags less than 35 microns tick after community consultation found a 96 per cent of the 8000 submissions were for the ban.

The state government is also working with other states and territories to phase out thick plastic bags to further reduce plastic pollution.

Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said Victorians are already saying no to plastic bags, but this campaign will encourage it to become a habit.

“We’re stopping plastic pollution and ensuring Victorians are ready to live without single-use, lightweight plastic bags.”

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Close