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Scania and Visy work towards sustainability

Scania has delivered 10 new P 450 6×4 prime movers to Visy Logistics’ Truganina site as part of its Ecolution sustainability initiative to reduce emissions.

Scania Australia Vehicle Connected Driver Services Manager Richard Bain said the new vehicles will deliver significant savings in fuel, reduced exhaust emissions and a boost to Visy’s road safety record.

“The trucks will deliver Visy’s recycled cardboard products, manufactured at its state-of-the-art factory in Truganina, to customers across metropolitan Melbourne.”

Mr Bain said the 13-litre engine prime movers are among the most efficient available and are fitted with the standard Scania NTG safety package, comprising lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control.

“The Scania Ecolution trial will give Visy full visibility of how the truck fleet is being driven, how much fuel is being used and how emissions are being reduced, as well as directing its maintenance requirements,” Mr. Bain said.

“The Ecolution programme begins with a tailor-made specification of the prime mover, designed exactly to meet the needs of the task.”

According to Mr Bain, by using Scania’s onboard communicator and global connectivity system, Visy fleet management will be able to monitor how the vehicles are being driven, highlight deviations and allow Scania’s trainers to keep drivers performing at peak efficiency levels.

“Scania Ecolution is a powerful solution producing substantial fuel and CO2 reductions for our customer – helping to drive our ambition of providing the market’s most sustainable and profitable transport solutions,” Mr Bain said.

“By offering Visy Logistics this suite of features through the Ecolution trial, we are delivering on our strategy to be a leader in the shift towards a sustainable transport system.”

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Peats Group opens new composting and renewable energy site

Organics recycling, composting and renewable energy manufacturer Peats Group have opened a fourth compost and renewable energy site in South Australia.

The site, located in the Upper Spencer Gulf Region, is the first of many planned for the region as part of the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages grant incentive – awarded to Peats Group in September 2017.

Peats Group Managing Director Peter Wadewitz said the site will produce renewable energy and valuable soil improvement products.

“Redirecting organic recyclable materials from homes and businesses away from landfill means ozone depleting methane gas is redirected into captured biogas for renewable energy production, without affecting the production of the valuable soil improvement products,” Mr Wadewitz said.

“The official opening aims to be a celebration of both growth in renewable energy technologies in the Upper Spencer Gulf region and the expansion of a proud South Australian company with a great vision for the future.”

Mr Wadewitz said the new site will also expand the company’s practice of converting grease and liquid waste into biodiesel fuel.

“The biodiesel plant installed at Peats Brinkley site separates fats from water using Peats proprietary technology and converts it into biodiesel to fuel its vehicles,” Mr Wadewitz said.

“Call it a mix of old fashioned “Flintstones” basics with futuristic “Mad Max” fossil fuel.”

The production of compost product has commenced, with the renewable energy plant expected to be fully operational by 30 June 2020.

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Liberal Party releases waste and recycling policy

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that if elected, the Liberal Government will invest $203 million to increase recycling and reduce waste, protect Australia’s biodiversity and restore waterways

Mr Morrison said he wants to ensure the protection of Australia’s environment for future generations.

“We will increase Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and litter, accelerate work on new recycling schemes and continue action to halve food waste by 2030.”

The government’s waste and recycling initiatives include:

  • $100 million to develop the Australian Recycling Investment Fund to support the manufacturing of lower emissions and energy-efficient recycled content products including recycled content plastics, paper and pulp.
  • $20 million for a new Product Stewardship Investment Fund to accelerate work on new industry-led recycling schemes for batteries, electrical and electronic products, photovoltaic systems and plastic oil containers.
  • $20 million to find new and innovative solutions to plastic recycling and waste through the Cooperative Research Centres Projects grants program.
  • $16 million to support the Pacific Ocean Litter Project, working with neighbours in the Pacific to reduce plastics and other waste in the ocean.
  • Up to $5.8 million for a range of initiatives through the Environment Restoration Fund to support Clean Up Australia, Keep Australia Beautiful, the Australian Council of Recycling, Planet Ark, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation and OzHarvest.
  • Up to $5 million through the Environment Restoration Fund for Conservation Volunteers Australia to coordinate community campaigns to clean up plastic waste in beaches and rivers.
  • Continuing to work with state, territory and local governments on opportunities to get more recycled content into road construction – building on the funding provided to the Australian Road Research Board in the 2019-Budget.

Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) CEO Pete Shmigel said the government’s new recycling policy was a win for the industry.

“With the kerbside recycling part of our sector under pressure, this package is an appropriate, awesome and advantageous investment in Australian recycling’s domestic sustainability now and into the future,” Mr Shmigel said.

“The Coalition has kicked one strongly through the policy posts that will result in less waste to landfill, recycling industry co-investment, community confidence in their efforts, value-adding jobs in regional centres and resource security in a competitive world.”

Mr Shmigel said the Labor Party’s recycling policy was also strong and substantial, with commitments in the areas of industry infrastructure, product stewardship and procurement.

“Australian voters, some 90 per cent of whom voluntarily participate in recycling, can be confident that both our major parties and the Greens have provided substantive policies for this election,” Mr Shmigel said.

“All three choices are positive and ACOR will compile a comparative scorecard based on its 10 point plan in the next week.”

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$3 million in federal funding for education and resource recovery

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation (PAEF) have received $3 million in federal funding to support new recycling education and resource recovery projects.

The funding forms part of the Federal Government’s $100 million Environmental Restoration Fund, and will provide resources and support to drive the delivery of the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

The National Consumer Education Program (NCEP) has been allocated $1.1 million to create a consistent national approach to consumer education on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging over the next four years.

NCEP will extend the reach of the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program, an evidence-based labelling scheme delivered by APCO and launched by Environment Minister Melissa Price in September 2018.

APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said she is pleased the government have recognised the value of ARL, and other connected projects delivered by the organisation.

“This funding will enable us to continue our collaborative work with industry and our partners to ensure we meet the 2025 targets and continue to work toward achieving a circular economy in Australia,” Ms Donnelly said.

A further $1.6 million will support the development of a Circular Economy Hub, a new online platform and marketplace developed by PAEF and designed to help drive innovation in the transition to a circular economy in Australia.

PAEF CEO Paul Klymenko said the website will match buyers and sellers in waste resources, helping them identify products with sustainable materials, including recycled content.

“An important element will be the Circular Economy Marketplace, which will act as the B2B ‘eBay’ for the circular economy,” Mr Klymenko said.

“Planet Ark is thrilled to have been entrusted with the development of these vital tools.”

The Regional Model for Soft Plastics Recycling project, a partnership between APCO and the Plastic Police based in NSW’s Hunter Valley, will receive $150,000 to explore opportunities for expansion – including extending deployment to other regions.

A further $150,000 will also be provided to the Remote and Regional Waste Collection Partnership, a project aiming to support governments and communities address the challenges of waste and resource recovery in remote and regional areas.

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GRI Waste Standard opens for public comment

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is seeking input from international specialists and advocacy groups to shape its draft Waste Standard.

GRI is an independent international organisation that helps businesses, governments and other organisations understand and communicate their sustainability impacts.

According to GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board Chair Judy Kuszewski, GRI standards are the world’s most widely adopted sustainability reporting framework.

“In the face of a growing global waste crisis, new corporate reporting disclosures are being developed by GRI to help organisations better understand and communicate their waste impacts,” Ms Kuszewski said.

“The new Waste Standard will help companies improve their waste management, with a strong emphasis on the transition to a circular economy.”

The initial draft standard was developed by a multi-stakeholder project working group appointed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board to review, revise and expand the content of waste disclosures, and is an update on GRI 306: Effluents and Waste 2016 .

“The draft GRI Waste Standard recognises that our linear, ‘take-make-waste’ approach is contributing towards a global waste crisis,” Ms Kuszewski said.

“As the world moves to a more circular economy, in which we treat waste as an input material for production, a new approach to reporting is needed.”

Ms Kuszewski said the draft agues for a fundamental shift in the perception of waste, greater emphasis on how decisions on procuring and using materials relate directly to waste generation and new disclosures to understand how discarded waste has been created and the significance of its impact.

“International recognition of the need for action on waste is increasing, and the scale of the issue – from the effect of plastics in marine ecosystems to the mounting disconnect between food waste generation and global hunger – illustrates why businesses and other organisations need to play their part by improving waste management practices,” Ms Kuszewski said.

“The standard will help companies better understand and measure their waste impacts, disclosing reliable and comparable data that ultimately supports better decisions.”

The public comment period is open until 15 July, with contributions welcomed from anyone irrespective of sector, type of business or location.

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Applications open for NSW FOGO funding

Applications are open for round seven of the NSW EPA organics collections grant program.

$2.6 million is available for local councils and businesses wanting to introduce, or further develop, food and garden waste collection services, with funding provided by the NSW Environmental Trust.

EPA Organics Manager Amanda Kane said the grants would provide funding for household collection services, trials for food waste collections in unit blocks and new food waste collection services for businesses looking to improve their waste practice.

“Councils that have previously received these grants have been able to divert thousands of tonnes of waste by introducing regular organic collections services,” Ms Kane said.

“Councils like Bega, Byron and Shellharbour combined funding with great education programs to teach people how to use the service, while councils like Sydney and Randwick are trialling food-only collections to transform waste into electricity.”

Ms Kane said funding would help recipients make a real difference in the reduction of organic waste sent to landfill.

“Previous projects have supported new or improved green lid bins for 600,000 homes in NSW, diverting an extra 160,000 tonnes of food and garden waste from landfill, turning it into high quality compost,” Ms Kane said.

“With funding support, residents in 42 council areas across NSW are now able to recycle their food and garden waste at the kerbside each week.”

Grants will be delivered through a partnership between the EPA and the NSW Environmental Trust.

Applications close 27 June 2019.

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The weight-based billing revolution

On-board weighing systems are increasingly becoming a mainstream choice for small and medium operators alike.

From eliminating payment disputes to monitoring profitability and increased compliance, weight-based billing (WBB) is revolutionising the way the industry measures its loads.

As the national distributor for Trimble LOADRITE E2750 weighing systems, Weighing Systems Australia has seen the technology’s benefits first-hand.

According to Alan Clarke, Owner of Weighing Systems Australia, those not transitioning to onboard weighing systems are now the exception rather than the rule.

“A lot of major contracts issued now have a requirement for a weighing system as part of their contract,” Alan says.

The benefits are increasingly becoming a no-brainer for many companies, as Alan says that up to 80 per cent of customers are choosing legal-for-trade systems. This includes waste generators and small and medium-sized enterprises.

“A lot of fleets are deciding which of their trucks need retrofitting or replacing and putting weighing systems on when they order a new truck,” he says.

Alan says that onboard weighing is important to ensure accurate weights are measured and customers are charged accordingly for overloaded bins and to do this the weighing system must be a National Measurement Institute (NMI) approved scale system, in addition to reducing fines and improving safety.

He says that weighing is not only essential for quantifiable profit margins, but ensuring compliance with Heavy Vehicle National Law Chain of Responsibility laws.

“WBB as it is called now also takes into account the ever-increasing cost of landfill charges and haulers must be able to identify what each clients bin actually weighs.”

Alan says that the legal for trade system allows for Class IV NMI approved systems to be installed into both front and rear lift waste collection vehicles.

Monitoring profitability is particularly important for major retailers, Alan says, as they can ascertain what they waste internally by measuring the waste removed from sites.

Payment disputes can also be prevented by being able to check, certify and stamp legal for trade records that have been calibrated to accurate weights.

Alans says a variety of configurations are available, including front and rear lift certified and non-certified systems. He says that all new refuse collection trucks now have on-board computers that collect time, weight and date and allocate these to the specific customer selected in the routing system ready to be downloaded to the office.

Solid state positioning sensors over traditional rotary triggers are also emerging as a mainstream choice for customers. Alan says the E2750 Canbus sensors include arm and fork sensors. Alan says these are easier to install, with the ability run one cable instead of multiple cables, making installation easier and less prone to cable breaks and damage when compared to older sensors.

He says the systems are also notably fully dynamic and don’t slow drivers down.

“Fully dynamic weighing systems have an advantage over static systems where the driver has to stop to weigh up and down. This costs them time and slows down their operations,” he says.

Alan says that the systems can be easily fitted to all makes and models. When it comes to after-sales support, Weighing Systems Australia offers annual calibration services and has distributors across the country in a nationwide dealer network.

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Victorian Government commits $30 million to stockpile clean up

The Victorian Government has announced it will provide $30 million in initial funding to maintain fire prevention measures and assist clean up at a waste stockpile in Lara north of Geelong.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said clean up processes could take several years, as the stockpile contains an estimated 320,000 cubic meters of waste including timber, concrete, brick, plaster, glass and ceramics.

The Victorian EPA used powers granted under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to take over management at the stockpile after the previous operator let recycling waste grow to dangerous levels.

According to Ms D’Ambrosio, action from the EPA will ensure fire prevention can continue in the short term, ahead of a full clean up.

“Poor site management practices by the previous operator has resulted in an unacceptable risk to the local community, the environment and emergency services in the event of a fire at the site,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“The occupier and owner of the site have gone into liquidation, and the funding available to the liquidators to maintain security and fire prevention measures on site ends today (30 April 2019).”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the EPA would rigorously pursue the previous site occupiers, owners, company directors and any other relevant parties to recover the costs of the fire prevention measures and clean up.

“We will be pursuing the private operators involved for every cent of the clean up cost. They created this mess, it’s only right they pay for it to be fixed.”

Member for Lara John Eren said the site has been cause for local concern for some time.

“It’s excellent news for the whole community to know that the EPA will now take control of the clean up, it’s time to get on with fixing the problem once and for all.”

Since August 2017 the Victorian EPA has possesed additional powers to support fire services and issue remedial notices to facilities not properly managing potential fire risks.

Ms D’Ambrosio said powers will be further strengthened under the new Environment Protection Act which comes into effect on 1 July 2020.

The City of Greater Geelong will project manage the works on behalf of the EPA and state government.

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