BINGO receives green light from ACCC for Dial A Dump acquisition

BINGO Industries has welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) announcement that it would not oppose Bingo’s proposed acquisition of Dial A Dump Industries (DADI).

It comes after BINGO accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from BINGO to divest its recycling facility in Banksmeadow, NSW.

Earlier this year, BINGO offered to sell its Banksmeadow processing plant to ease ACCC competition concerns regarding its $578 million purchase of Dial-a-Dump.

In August last year, BINGO announced it intended to acquire fully integrated NSW waste and recycling business Dial A Dump Industries for $577.5 million.

The acquisition includes its Genesis Transfer Station in Alexandria, Genesis Waste Facility (landfill, materials processing facility, and recycled products processing facility) at Eastern Creek and a collections fleet of 55 vehicles.

BINGO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Tartak said the ACCC decision was an important step in realising the company’s vision and five-year strategy to be a fully vertically integrated business and diversify into new markets in NSW.

“Our acquisition of DADI will not only be transformational for BINGO, but also for recycling in the greater Sydney region.

“Our development of a Recycling Ecology Park at Eastern Creek will allow us to process and recycle every type of waste, accelerate our vertical integration and compete more effectively with the larger local and international players.

“The ability to further consolidate more of our recycling, processing, distribution and landfill at a single site will deliver significant economic benefits. It allows us to further grow waste volumes, by freeing up space across our network of resource recovery facilities, some of which can be better utilised as transfer stations,” he said.

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DADI is a fully integrated recycling and waste management services provider in NSW. DADI has operations across the waste value chain from collections to recycling, landfill and recycled product sales. The principal asset is the waste management and resource recovery facility at Eastern Creek that spans approximately 55 hectares and is located in the Western Sydney growth precinct. It has an approved capacity of up to two million tonnes per annum between its resource recovery facility and landfill, and approximately 15 years of remaining landfill life.

BINGO expects to achieve run-rate cost synergies of around $15 million per annum through internalisation of waste volumes, operational efficiencies, and rationalisation of overheads over a two-year period.

ACCC clearance satisfies a condition precedent relating to the acquisition of DADI, and transaction settlement is expected to occur in March 2019.

“This will help ensure our vision for a more sustainable Sydney is realised, as we push for a waste-free Australia and move to build a circular economy through diverting waste from landfill,” Mr Tartak said.

“It will provide our customers with a better and more sustainable solution for both building and demolition (B&D) and commercial and industrial waste,” he said.

According to an ACCC statement, there are larger players than BINGO in the waste industry, such as SUEZ, Veolia and Cleanaway, but BINGO is the most significant player in Sydney B&D collection and processing.

“The transaction raised a number of significant concerns. Ultimately, we have concluded that the proposed acquisition, taking into consideration the divestiture undertaking, would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any market,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

A key issue for the ACCC was the loss of competition in B&D waste processing in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and inner city.

“The proposed divestment of the Banksmeadow facility will maintain competition for B&D waste processing in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and inner city,” Mr Sims said.

The other key concern related to the removal of future competition between Bingo’s and Dial-a-Dump’s non-putrescible landfill.

“The Eastern Creek landfill site that Bingo will acquire is a strategically significant asset given that some of Sydney’s other dry waste landfills are due to close in the next few years and approval of new landfills is likely to be difficult,” Mr Sims said.

“The current practice of taking waste to Queensland will also become more costly after the introduction of the Queensland landfill levy.”

Post-acquisition Bingo is expected to hold a significant share of Sydney dry landfill in terms of both annual throughput and remaining airspace.

A key issue was whether Bingo would be able to stop competing B&D waste processors from having access to dry landfill at competitive prices due to its increased vertical integration.

“After an extensive investigation, including consultation with many industry participants, we considered that most building and demolition waste processors would have sufficient dry landfill alternatives to Bingo,” Mr Sims said.

Due to the introduction of the Queensland landfill levy, the ACCC considers it likely that Sydney dry landfill prices will rise this year regardless of the proposed acquisition. This will provide an incentive for increased recycling of B&D waste and incentives for more landfill capacity being made available in NSW.

BINGO announced that the board has approved the implementation of an on-market buy-back of up to $75 million of its ordinary shares.

As foreshadowed in BINGO’s half year results announcement, BINGO’s strong balance sheet together with the current trading value of BINGO shares supports the buy-back as a capital management initiative.

The buy-back is expected to commence on 15 March 2019 and will end 12 months from the date of this announcement.

The timing and number of shares purchased under the on-market buy-back will be contingent on Bingo’s share price and prevailing market conditions.

 

Southern Oil trials renewable diesel fuel from old tyres

An Australian-first trial using 100 percent renewable diesel from old vehicle tyres, agricultural and forestry waste, biosolids and plastics, to fuel a Scania test engine is underway.

With support from the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, Southern Oil will pioneer the refining of renewable diesel fuel from the materials.

The high-end Scania V8 test engine is being used in its power generation configuration for the testing – allowing assessment of exhaust emissions, performance and response, fuel efficiency, cost and engine lifetime.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her government is committed to creating a sustainable, export driven biofutures industry in Queensland.

“A state-based renewable fuels industry would underpin Queensland’s domestic fuel security for decades to come,” she said.

She said that over the next 12 to 18 months, Southern Oil will be trialling renewable diesel in the test engine to show it performs identically to petroleum-based diesel in terms of performance and wear-and-tear on the engine.

“Southern Oil is also aiming to build a commercial-scale renewable fuel refinery within five years, which would create significant job opportunities and improve domestic fuel security for our state.

“This trial is a critical milestone for the development of the renewable fuel industry in Queensland,” she said.

“Warranty by an original equipment manufacturer like Scania is also crucial to commercialisation and uptake of the fuel, as it must have the identical performance and characteristics of fossil fuel.”

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As a result of the trial, renewable fuels company SynBio, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Oil, will relocate from New South Wales to Queensland.

The move will create 11 direct and 25 indirect jobs for the state. Before warranty is secured, an estimated one million litres of the renewable diesel will be trialled at Southern Oil’s advanced biofuels laboratory – a leading facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the government will deliver one billion to sustainable and export-orientated biotechnology and byproducts by 2026.

Southern Oil Refinery and SynBio Managing Director Tim Rose said Queensland is leading the country in biofutures and renewable fuels.

“We’re witnessing the first step toward proving renewable diesel refined in Queensland from waste products can be chemically indistinguishable from petroleum-based diesel,” Mr Rose said.

“Having a company like Scania endorse our fuel is crucial to creating commercial demand for our diesel and moving from pilot scale into demonstration scale.

“Today’s demonstration shows there’s a huge opportunity to produce 100 per cent renewable diesel fuel in Queensland from waste.

“We could also see a reduction in industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.”

Scania Australia National Manager (Engines) Andre Arm said the company was proud to be a global leader in the shift towards a sustainable transport future.

“We have developed our heavy-duty commercial vehicle, marine and industrial engines to be able to run on a variety of renewable or alternative fuels with no loss of performance or economy, while also reducing our emissions impact,” Mr Arm said.

“Scania is delighted to be a partner in the proving of this concept.”

Numurkah tyre stockpile clean-up almost done

Work to clean up a dangerous stockpile of half a million tyres at Numurkah is close to complete, after the Victorian Government used its legislative powers to enter the site.

The work began in December 2018 and up to eight trucks a day have taken loads of tyres for shredding and recycling at an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria licensed facility in Melbourne.

The remaining tyres at Numurkah have been removed after the EPA found the facility posed a fire risk.

Located in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley Highway, the stockpile had an estimated 500,000 tyres, with a quarter being removed in January.

The EPA used its powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to remove the stockpile after other legal options had been exhausted.

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Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said preventing this sort of risk is why the government gave the EPA stronger powers.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the stockpile was an unacceptable risk to the community.

The CFA deemed potential fire consequences at the premises ‘catastrophic’ given its proximity to residences and business.

Packaging MFA reveals recycling challenges and opportunities

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) this week launched a Packaging Materials Flow Analysis (MFA), a new report developed in partnership with the Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF) mapping the current state of post-consumer packaging in Australia.

Commissioned on behalf of APCO, the report highlights a compelling need to improve packaging recovery and recycling rates across all material streams.

In 2017/18 Australians generated an estimated 4.4 million tonnes of total packaging waste, with 68 per cent of this collected, and 56 per cent of the collection total recovered by recycling efforts. This ranged from 32 per cent for plastics and up to 72 per cent for paper streams – highlighting a significant opportunity to improve waste management practices to achieve higher recovery rates.

Of the 4.4 million tonnes, the report shows 44 per cent was landfilled, 33 per cent went to local secondary material utilisation, 19 per cent exported, four per cent stockpiled and more than 0.5 per cent to energy recovery.

The MFA Report is one of several APCO initiatives being conducted during the foundation phase of the targets (2019-2020) – the groundwork stage that focuses on research, engaging stakeholders and setting baselines and frameworks.

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said that to achieve the 2025 National Packaging Targets, we need to first understand the journey materials take along the entire supply chain and establish a baseline of data to measure change and interventions. She said that the MFA is first step in this process.

As a critical first step in achieving the 2025 national packaging targets for all material to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, the report outlines the current journey of Australia’s packaging waste from bin to landfill or reprocessing, identifies significant data and infrastructure challenges in the system and models five potential solutions for the future.

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One of the challenges is the major losses to landfill to recoverable materials occurring before waste is collected for sorting at materials recycling facilitates (MRFs) or container deposit scheme collections. The report attributes this to incorrect disposal of packaging wastes by households and businesses.

“Better management of this waste at the source, through improved source separation, is important. Critically, consumer education and awareness raising around appropriate disposal and collection channels, as well as smarter design of packaging for recycling, are also key strategies. These are already supported by the new Australasian Recycling label (ARL) and the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP),” the report says.

Additionally, the report shows the opportunity to increase sorting efficiency by diverting materials, especially glass, from kerbside to the expanding container deposit scheme collections. It finds better sorting equipment will also support improvements in contaminant removal. The report shows there are about 100 MRFs in operation across Australia, with throughput capacities ranging from 5000 to 250,000 tonnes per annum. Around 45 per cent of the total packaging waste stream for 2017/17 gets directed to MRFs and their capabilities for efficiently sorting co-mingled and highly contaminated waste is indicated to be a major factor limiting packaging sorting efficiency in Australia.

“Upgrading existing MRF capabilities is difficult and expensive owing to market uncertainties (e.g., caused by Chinese waste import restrictions), making the case for improving up-stream source separation and collection stronger,” the report says.

Future modelling shows potential to achieve an overall packaging waste recovery rate of 77 per cent, assuming a range of strategies are adopted to address losses across the whole chain, from collection to processing.

With glass packaging, the estimated recovery rate is just over 50 per cent and 23 per cent of glass waste disposed to the residual stream. About 80,000 tonnes of glass is collected and sorted through container deposit collection systems.

The investigation in particular highlights the importance of improving source separation, particularly for plastics to address residuals, a priority for paper in reducing contamination (embedded glass fines) that could be achieved with separated paper or glass separation and diverting glass to CDS to improve the quality of the stream to be suitable for bottle to bottle recycling.

Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS) Research Director and co-author of the report Dr Nick Florin said that there is great potential to step-up material recovery from the current overall recovery rate of 56 per cent and at the same time increase demand for recycled materials to drive the transition to a circular economy for packaging.

“APCO, as the central product stewardship organisation, is well placed to support this coordinated transition that involves cooperation between consumers, designers, recyclers and packaging manufactures,” Dr Florin said.

The MFA also highlighted significant data and infrastructure gaps that need to be addressed before the 2025 targets can be achieved. These findings will be used to inform additional packaging and recycling research to develop a complete picture of the current system.

Ms Donnelly said we can’t implement effective and meaningful changes to the system if we don’t first have a complete and accurate picture.

“A collaborative approach will be critical to building this. The challenge ahead of us requires a complete transformation of the current system. Over the next 12 months, APCO will be leading an ambitious agenda of projects to build on the findings of the MFA. We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders as we transition to a circular model for packaging in Australia,” she said.

Throughout 2018 APCO also facilitated a series of five, year-long industry working groups attended by more than 80 industry members from across the value chain and government to explore solutions to problematic packaging types (including glass, polymer coated paperboard (PCPB), soft plastics, biodegradable and compostable packaging, and expanded polystyrene).

In 2019, APCO will be co-ordinating 22 new projects to build on the findings of the MFA and the 2018 working groups. These will include further detailed research into packaging consumption and recycling to establish baselines for the 2025 targets, developing targeted design resources to improve packaging recyclability, and developing strategies to address problematic packaging, including plastics.

To read the full APCO Packaging Material Flow Analysis 2018, visit the APCO website.

Baler PC24 HD Galvanized

The heavy-duty Baler PC24 HD Galvanized is designed to handle difficult recyclables such as aluminum cans and PET bottles. It’s capable of processing recyclable types such as aluminium and tin cans, plastic bottles, expanded polystyrene, hard plastics and textiles.

Available through Australian distributor, Wastech Engineering, the galvanised vertical baler uses a one-step process for baling and draining of plastic bottles and aluminium cans, with a built-in reservoir to capture residual liquids.

One of the highlights of the Danish supplied Bramidan technology is the high press force of 24 tonnes that produces extremely dense bales. For example, aluminum cans are baled so dense that they don’t need to be tied off.

Bale weights of up to 55 kilograms for aluminium cans and 105 kilograms for plastic items can be achieved.

The flap door also allows easy loading of materials into a completely closed chamber. An option for a regular painted model instead of galvanised is available.

In terms of noise, the baler boasts a low reading of about 62 to 64 decibels. According to Wastech Engineering, this is impressive when compared to the decibel reading of a refrigerator – on average 50 decibels.

More than $11 million to stop food and garden waste going to landfill

The NSW Government is awarding approximately $11 million in grants to boost food and garden organics recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

NSW Environment Protection Authority Head of Organics Amanda Kane said that every year in NSW, more than a million tonnes of food and garden waste ends up in landfill. The grants are part of $105.5 million dedicated to diverting organics waste from landfill through the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

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Ms Kane said that through the initiative the EPA is able to provide support to councils, the waste industry, not-for-profit organisations and businesses to keep food and garden waste out of landfill.

“This includes supporting projects that increase food donation to people in need, boost new kerbside collection services, provide education on food waste, develop new markets and invest in new organics processing infrastructure,” she said.

“Already through the initiative $44.3 million has been awarded to 90 projects to increase processing capacity for food and garden waste in NSW by 430,000 tonnes a year.”

The grants are being awarded through three programs:

  • $9,766,235 is being awarded to 16 projects through the Organics Infrastructure Large and Small grant program for new infrastructure to build or expand organics waste facilities, increase processing capacity and fund new equipment, like refrigerated vans and freezers, to enable food relief agencies to collect more donated food.
  • $765,076 will be shared between 10 not-for-profit organisations and local councils through the Food Donation Education grant program to collect and redistribute good quality surplus food to people in need, helping divert some of the 200,000 tonnes of food waste from business, that ends up in landfill in NSW each year.
  • $633,445 is being awarded to six projects through the Organics Market Developmentgrant program to increase the markets for compost in NSW.

“Waste Less Recycle More is the largest waste and recycling funding program in Australia with a total of $802 million in funding, managed by the NSW EPA, in partnership with the Environment Trust.”

Australian-first Circular Economy Lab opens

In a first for Australia, a Circular Economy (CE) Lab launched this week in Brisbane, which will see industry, research and government partnerships to identify and deliver three initial pilot projects.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government had pledged $150,000 to start the initiative which will launch innovative projects to change the way we think about materials, resources and waste in Queensland.

“Today’s launch of theCE Lab will help to propel Queensland’s transition to a new low-carbon and circular economy, delivering new opportunities for industry and more jobs for Queenslanders,” Minister Enoch said.

She said Queensland needs to move to a more-circular way of thinking and acting towards its valuable materials and resources, instead of simply using and throwing things away.

“A key feature of the CE Lab will be to consolidate industry, research and government partnerships and expertise to identify and deliver three initial circular economy pilot projects,” she said.

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“These partnerships, once operational, will focus on understanding what actions Queensland can take today to manage the transition to the circular economy of tomorrow.”

She said the CE Lab will test ideas and explore opportunities with leaders from across a range of sectors.

“The circular economy concept is relatively new in Australia, but it is well established overseas and continues to gain traction,” Minister Enoch said.

“This work certainly aligns with the vision outlined in the Queensland Government’s Draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy which is currently open for public feedback.

“I commend Coreo and Business Models Inc. on driving the establishment of this trailblazing new initiative.”

Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp said the CE Lab means Queensland is amongst the world leaders in acknowledging that there is an urgent need for a circular economy.

“For a long time, we’ve existed in a linear take-make-dispose economy. A circular economy is not just about recycling the products we use, it’s about creating new economic opportunities,” Ms Kemp said.

“A circular economy will transform the way we design, teach, invest and buy. In a circular economy there is no waste and at the worst attempt there is less.

“A circular economy designs products with disassembly and re-use in mind and materials are sourced as an enabler for extension of life or reuse in closed loop or extended loop applications.”

Researchers develop solution for glass waste

A new process turning waste glass into everyday products could save millions of tonnes of glass from landfill every year.

University of Queensland PhD candidate Rhys Pirie and Professor Damien Batstone developed a method to extract liquid silicate from waste glass.

The process can be used to make thousands of products ranging from concrete sealers to toothpaste.

The method creates little waste with almost all glass being turned into saleable products.

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Mr Pirie estimates the process will be more than 50 per cent cheaper than conventional silicate production methods.

“It requires less energy, raw materials and capital, and that’s before you consider the reduced social and economic costs,” he said.

Pirie began looking into the possibilities of glass recycling after working with Batstone who specialises in converting waste into high-value products.

“My PhD has highlighted how we need to make use of both the raw materials in waste streams and the energy embodied in them during manufacture,” Pirie said.

The pair believe the process will create positive, far-reaching and virtuous economic cycles.

UQ’s commercialisation company, UniQuest, has filed a patent covering the process and is now looking for commercial partners.

The research was co-funded by the Cotton Research and Development Council and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.