When community engagement is not enough

As Australia looks to waste to energy as one of the solutions to solving the waste crisis, industry must act to educate and engage the public or face potentially crippling opposition to major projects, writes Nick Albrow, Director of Wilkinson Butler. Read more

A solution for uncontrolled movement / vehicle rollaway – BRAKESAFE

“Anecdotally, on average one heavy vehicle Rollaway occurs every day in Australia. Of these incidents, one per week requires emergency services intervention. How does this happen? The driver forgets to- or does not apply the Parking Brake” (Dr Peter Hart (Chairman of ARTSA) – Prime Mover Article April 2018.

As seen on the news recently, Heavy Vehicle Rollaways are a common event- and they occur far more that what is reported.

Many people suffer serious and fatal injuries due to incidents involving the uncontrolled movement (Rollaway) of all types of heavy vehicles, including Tractors, Trucks, Buses, Forklifts, Tractors, Mobile Cranes, Earthmoving Equipment, Waste Vehicles, Sweepers, etc- and more.

In most incidents the predominant cause is where the Handbrake has not been engaged. Unfortunately, forgetting to apply the Handbrake is a terrifyingly easy mistake to make when exiting a vehicle. Add to this the risk of Rollaways when the driver uncouples the brake line or the air tank disengages the handbrake as it is pressurised during vehicle start.

Bus Safety Victoria-  Bus Rollaways research released 23 November 2016, in Victoria alone, 47 bus Rollaways have been reported since 2000 resulting in injuries and fatalities to drivers, passengers, damage to infrastructure, homes and vehicles.

But there is a solution – LSM Technologies’ internationally patented- BRAKESAFE- Handbrake Failsafe Technology that prevents Runaway / Rollaway accidents once and for all.

BrakeSafe will automatically apply the vehicle handbrake:

  • If a driver forgets.
  • Leaves the seat.
  • Opens the door.
  • If brakes are engaged due to air pressure loss, BrakeSafe will monitor release to prevent Rollaway during start- up.
  • Works with Ignition On or Off.
  • Provides audible and visual alerts.

In addition, BrakeSafe integrates to LSM Technologies’ FSM Fleet Safety Manager Telematics / Web Based System for alerting, reporting, analysis of events and compliance.

For more information, see the following links:

Also see LSM Technologies’ other Vehicle Safety Control Technologies:

APCO appoints three directors to its board

Three new directors have been appointed to the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) Board at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting.

Chair of the Australian Council of Recycling and owner of Re.Group, which oversees the container deposit schemes in the ACT and Queensland, David Singh was one of the new directors appointed to the board. His selection is part of APCO’s efforts to collaborate with the waste and recycling industries and its support for the rollout of container deposit schemes nationally.

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CEO, Director and Company Secretary of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia and Board Director of the Banksia Foundation, Andrew Petersen was also selected to be a director.

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Packaging Keith Chassell was appointed to the board. Mr Chassell has around 50 years of experience in the packaging, fast moving consumer goods and the food and beverage sectors.

The Board of Directors for 2019 includes Sam Andersen, Andrew Petersen, Keith Chessell, David Singh, Trent Bartlett, Jacky Nordsvan, Anne Astin, Jason Goode and Renata Lopes.

APCO Board Chair Sam Andersen said the board is delighted to welcome the new board members who bring a wealth and diversity of industry experience at a critical time for Australia’s waste and recycling, packaging and sustainability sectors.

“This has been a remarkable year of growth and progress for APCO, and we look forward to an even more productive year in 2019 with the support and guidance of the new Board Directors,” Ms Andersen said.

City of Cockburn signs WtE agreement

The City of Cockburn has signed a waste to energy agreement with the HZI Consortium to process its waste at a facility that will produce electricity, steam and construction aggregate as useful by-products.

It progresses the council’s March decision to accept a tender to supply general waste to the proposed HZI Consortium EfW resource recovery facility in East Rockingham.

City of Cockburn Waste Manager Lyall Davieson said it was an important step toward removing the city’s municipal solid waste from landfill, in accordance with the WA Waste Authority’s waste hierarchy, along with considerable cost savings for ratepayers.

“The contents of the yellow top bin (plastics/glass/paper) will be recycled, the green top bin (garden waste) will be mulched and now the red top bin will go to the proposed HZI Consortium WtE facility in the East Rockingham Industrial Estate,” Mr Davieson said.

“Waste disposed at landfill attracts an ever increasing state government landfill levy, which is currently $70 per tonne, but this levy does not apply to WtE.

“The state government has determined that no further landfills will be approved on the Swan Coastal Plain.

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“When existing landfills reach capacity, the city, along with many other metropolitan local governments, will have to transport general waste to regional or inland rural areas, a costly proposition that would also increase the city’s transport carbon emissions.”

Cockburn will supply an estimated 27,000 tonnes per annum to the facility scheduled to open early in 2022.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city will supply its residual waste to the RRF on a ‘waste arising basis’, meaning it will only pay for capacity it uses.

This means there is no penalty for implementing waste reduction schemes, such as waste avoidance, reduction, and introducing a third bin for compostable organic waste.

Chairman of HZI Consortium partner New Energy Corporation Enzo Gullotti said WtE projects should not and need not impede higher-order recovery processes for waste streams.

“Our contracting structure allows councils to recover as much resources from waste as they can and to educate communities on minimising waste generation,” he said.

HZI is one of the world’s largest builders of EfW facilities. By-products from the East Rockingham development could include 28 megawatts of electricity (enough to light up 36,000 homes), steam for industrial customers and residual products for potential uses aggregate material in construction and infrastructure projects.

Cockburn, along with the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council, SUEZ and the Water Corporation will be among inaugural customers supplying waste to the facility.

Construction of the HZI facility is expected to begin in 2019.

Pictured: City of Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain, New Energy Corporation CEO Jason Pugh and City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett sign the Energy from Waste agreement.

SUEZ propose six-year expansion to Sydney landfill

SUEZ has proposed to expand its Elizabeth Drive Landfill at Kemps Creek in Sydney.

The expansion would increase the current height of the landfill by up to 15 metres which could increase by around 5 million cubic metres. No changes to the existing cell design, cap design or waste disposal methods are involved in the project plan.

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Proposed changes to the capacity of the landfill are estimated to extend the life of the landfill by approximately six years to 2030.

The proposal comes in response to an anticipated increase in waste generation from Sydney’s growing population and several large infrastructure projects in the areas.

Elizabeth Drive Landfill is one of the only sites in the Sydney Basin that is able to receive general construction and demolition waste, according to SUEZ.

SUEZ is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the approval that will assess the likely impacts of the construction and operation of the project.

It will focus on topics including waste management, air quality, hazards and risks, noise and vibration, soil and water, traffic and transport, biodiversity, fire and incident management, visual amenity and heritage.

The EIS is expected to be put on public display for comment in late 2018 or early 2019 by the Department of Planning and Environment.

Approval from the Sydney Western City Planning Panel is required following this step before SUEZ can proceed with construction.

Project approval is expected to be decided by mid 2019 with construction aimed to begin in late 2019.

QLD State of the Environment report highlights interstate waste

The Queensland Government has released its 2018 State of the Environment report, highlighting interstate waste as a pressure on the state’s landfills.

Relatively low costs of landfill disposal in Queensland are said to be the motivator for cross-border flow of waste in the report.

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More than 1.26 million tonnes of domestic waste, 2.146 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste (C&D), and 1.443 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste was sent to landfill in 2016-17.

Of this, 53,000 tonnes of domestic waste, 640,000 tonnes of C&D waste and 23,000 tonnes of C&I waste was generated interstate and transported to Queensland landfills.

The amount of trackable waste received from interstate also increased from around 13,000 tonnes in 2011-12 to 52,200 tonnes in 2015-16.

Littering and illegal dumping is also highlighted as a serious environmental pressure, with reports suggesting the problem as widespread throughout Queensland.

The average number of litter items was found to be higher in Queensland than other Australian stats, particularly at beaches, retail strips and recreational areas.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the increase in the amount of interstate waste was proof that that Queensland needed a waste levy.

“The state government’s waste management strategy will stop interstate waste and increase investment in the industry to encourage more recycling and create jobs,” Ms Enoch said.

recycling campaign

Global initiative of 290 companies to end plastic waste

UK charity Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme have led an initiative of more than 290 companies to end plastic waste pollution.

Companies including Veolia, Suez, H&M, Nestle, Philips, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, L’Oreal, Mars, WWF, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson have signed an agreement to reach long-term targets, which will be reviewed every 18 months.

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The targets include eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging and moving to a reusable packaging model, ensuring 100 per cent of plastic packaging can be recycled or composted by 2025, and increasing the amount of recycled or reused plastics used in new packaging or products.

More than $200 million has been pledged by five venture capital funds to help build the circular economy for plastics.

“We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year. We need to move upstream to the source of the flow,” Ellen MacArthur said in a statement.

“The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic.

“This is just one step on what will be a challenging journey, but one which can lead to huge benefits for society, the economy and the environment,” she said.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said the Global Commitment is an urgently needed step-change to move from a linear economy to a circular one.

“We want to act and lead by example. We will do our part to ensure that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in the natural environment,” Mr Schneider said.

CEFC Annual Report tabled in Australian senate

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Annual Report 2017-18 has shown the corporation has invested $127 million in waste-related projects in the past year.

The report was tabled in the Australian Senate and has found the total new CEFC commitments in 2017-18 were $2.3 billion, which is up from $2.1 billion in the previous year.

Across its entire portfolio, the corporation has contributed to projects with a total value of around $19 billion and financed more than 5500 smaller-scale clean energy projects through its partners.

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The CEFC is responsible for investing $10 billion in clean energy products on behalf of the Federal Government to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

Since beginning in 2013, a total of 190 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been forecast to be cut, once funds are deployed and projects fully operation.

In the Chair’s Report, CEFC Chair Steven Skala said these investments include marquee projects and highlight decarbonisation and can be achieved profitably and effectively across the clean energy sector and waste related projects.

“This year has seen industry seizing the challenges and opportunities offered by decarbonisation and accelerating its consideration of emerging duties associated with carbon disclosure,” he said.

“The financial markets have also moved in this regard. The question now is not one of direction, but of pace. This means the CEFC will continue to have a significant number of opportunities available in its investment pipeline.”

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said much has changed since the CEFC began investing in 2013.

“From our early days largely focusing on renewable energy opportunities, we now see our capital working right across the economy, in an increasingly diverse range of projects,” Mr Learmonth said.

“We see clean energy technologies embraced by home owners and small businesses; essential infrastructure projects and landmark property developments; innovative start-ups and institutional investors with an eye to a sustainable future.

“In 2017-18, our most active year of investment, we see a common thread in this activity: a focus on embracing technological innovation to cut energy costs and lower emissions.”

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