Registrations launched for Waste Expo Australia

The future of waste management and resource recovery is high on the agenda at all levels of government as Australia’s largest and most comprehensive conference and exhibition, Waste Expo Australia launches registrations.

Hosting more than 120 brands and over 100 speakers across three conference stages, Waste Expo Australia will return to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 23 and 24.

Waste Expo Australia will offer free-to-attend conference content across the Waste and Wastewater Summits, attracting the largest gathering of waste management and resource professionals in Australia.

The Waste Summit Conference brought to you by Oceania Clean Energy Solutions will cover six targeted streams from resource recovery, waste-to-energy, collections, landfill and transfer stations, construction and demolition waste as well as commercial and industrial waste.

Key speakers will include Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian EPA CEO Cathy Wilkinson and Acting Executive Director for Waste Strategy and Policy at the NSW EPA Kar Mel Tang.

Other national and state-based bodies will be represented, along with case study presentations from local governments including Campaspe Shire Council, City of Holdfast Bay, Yarra City Council and Albury City Council.

Leading off day one of the Waste Summit, a panel will discuss the pressing issues surrounding Australia’s waste-to-energy (WtE) sector.

One of the panel members, Director of Enhar Consulting Demian Natakhan, will discuss the status of landfill solar generation and propose that the final resting place for municipal waste may be the beginning of new energy generation.

“Solar farming on former landfill sites offers a way to put otherwise unproductive land to a valuable use,” Mr Natakhan suggested.

“Where landfill gas is already collected in sufficient quantities to firepower generation, solar can be added onto existing grid infrastructure. In sites with lower landfill gas volumes, new solar generation with grid upgrades can unlock significant solar generation, avoiding the competition between solar farming and productive agricultural or industrial land.”

Confronting the challenges and opportunities in wastewater treatment will also be tackled at the Wastewater Summit brought to you by EnviroConcepts.

Waste Expo Australia Event Director Cory McCarrick said the event continues to grow with more speakers and suppliers on board this year than ever before.

“We have seen an increase in the total number of exhibitors this year to 120 and around 50 of these are exhibiting for the first time at Waste Expo Australia,” Mr McCarrick said.

Key exhibitors this year include Bost Group, Cleanaway, Caterpillar, HSR Southern Cross, Tricon Equipment, Applied Machinery and Hitachi.

“Add to this list our impressive line-up of speakers, there is no other waste event in Australia that gives you access to such thought-provoking content that address the major issues facing the industry coupled with the opportunities to be immersed among the key players and products for free,” Mr McCarrick said.

Waste Expo Australia is co-location with All-Energy Australia, Energy Efficiency Expo and ISSA Cleaning and Hygiene Expo — forming a significant showcase for the waste, recycling, wastewater, renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaning industries.

Across the two days attendees will have access to industry speakers and suppliers across waste management, wastewater treatment, energy generation, energy efficiency and cleaning and hygiene.

Registration gives you access to all four events on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 October 2019.

To register visit www.wasteexpoaustralia.com.au

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Taking the eco road: ECO Resources

ECO Resources is doubling its output, reducing contamination and improving safety with the installation of an Australian made picking, sorting and recycling facility.

Since starting off as a small site cleaning business in 2006, ECO Resources has made significant inroads in the construction, demolition and general inert recycling space.

The Perth-based company has over the past decade grown through a combination of key acquisitions and organic growth to become a major construction and demolition (C&D) waste management company and multi-user recycling business.

Since the launch of ECO’s first resources facility in 2011, the company has diverted significant volumes of C&D waste from landfill, servicing more than 200 businesses in Perth, including local councils, waste collectors and construction and demolition businesses.

Supporting and diverting more than 500,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill each year, ECO is focused on growing its landfill diversion rates beyond 93 per cent with $6 million of investment approved for 2019.

The company partners with Perth suppliers of reconstituted building blocks and produces recycled sand and roadbase compliant with Main Roads WA and state government requirements.

Steve Hyams, a consultant for ECO Resources, says the company’s ownership structure is unique to the waste industry. He says that ECO’s love of logistics and all things mechanical, combined with a passion for the environment, has been the foundation for its growth.

The company’s environmental focus prompted a review of collected waste streams, existing disposal options and recycling performance.

“The team identified that large quantities of C&D waste were heading to landfill and after meeting with similar local businesses, the team launched ECO’s first C&D recycling facility at Naval Base in Perth’s south,” Steve explains.

Following this review, the ECO team adopted a plan to eliminate reliance on third party disposal, develop C&D recovery and treatment capacity, diversify the business to cover the whole lifecycle of waste, along with a number of other benchmarks.

To increase its involvement in the C&D market, ECO Resources invested in a new picking, sorting and recycling facility. The new facility doubles its output in safety, volume and quality, while reducing contaminants and residual waste. The plant will allow the company to improve its sorting and segregating of C&D waste at its Hope Valley operations.

Commissioned in May this year, the 12-month project included tender, design, construction and delivery. Skala Australasia won the tender to deliver its first-ever C&D turnkey plant in WA.

Simon Toal, Skala Australasia Director, says the project was designed from scratch, working with ECO Resources managers and the operations team to develop the design via 3D modelling. The plant was designed to match Perth’s climatic conditions and input materials, reducing overall maintenance.

“ECO Resources has been operating other plants for a number of years and have some good experience on what works and doesn’t work,” Simon explains.

“We’ve build a number of plants down the eastern seaboard similar to this so we combined our collective experience to deliver them the best solution.”

As Skala also specialises in mining and industrial processes, it was able to apply its heavy-duty applications to the design, including in the chute design and wear components.

He says that ECO Resources was after a robust vibratory in-feed system that could handle larger input material and reduce the amount of pre-sorting and double handling. The primary in-feed system includes a General Kinematics primary fingerscreen to direct feed all material. Simon says this is able to process heavy-duty materials – a key point of different for Skala which aims to use less power and improve productivity.

The company processes multiple sized streams and therefore vibratory screens were needed for secondary and tertiary screening.

The overs line comprises an enclosed picking station plus ferrous and waste bays providing picking bays for timbers, plastic and other waste.

The secondary screening and density separation lines includes a double deck screen and multiple General Kinematics destoners for middle fraction and fines clean-up to remove plastics and paper.

In the unders line, an enclosed picking station allows for final cleaning of materials, with the final output being clean aggregate.

Simon says one of the unique attributes of the project is that a majority of the parts were designed and customised using Australian manufactured materials.

“Historically we’ve been more reliant on European integrators and fabrication which was a more modular off-the-shelf solution. With this project, we saw an opportunity to use Australian content which meant a greater adherence to local standards and availability of spare parts and componentry,” Simon says.

A number of features were designed for Australian conditions. As an example, European programmable logic controllers may not contain features such as an adequate air conditioner – important for the sweltering Perth heat. The magnets were also derived from STEINERT and made in Australia.

“We used flip flow technology because we know that performs better in wetter materials so we incorporated this for secondary and tertiary screening.”

Simon says that oversized bearings and impact rollers lead to higher service reliability and less downtime.

“It’s a lot easier for us to support a plant that is designed and built in Australia than components that are overseas.

“For the components we do import, we standardise on those which allows us to hold significant inventory, spare parts and technical capability.”

In terms of after-sales support, the plant has been designed with the ability for Skala to dial in and provide technical support where necessary, organise spare parts and conduct preventative maintenance checks.

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SWRW seeks landfill alternative proposals

The South West Regional Waste Group (SWRW) in Western Australia is inviting businesses to suggest alternatives to landfill and has issued a memorandum to help clarify conditions.

According to a SWRW media statement, the group believes the timing is right to explore the broadening range of new and emerging technologies that turn waste into valuable by-products.

“The waste processing market is rapidly advancing as communities and businesses become more aware of the importance of waste management and its latent value,” the statement reads.

“New ideas and innovations in relation to waste management are constantly emerging, and it is vitally important that local governments and other decision-making bodies continue to liaise closely with industry in order to identify potential opportunities.”

The statement said securing feedback from the private sector on how companies can optimise current and future waste market conditions is an important first step.

“Information obtained now will inform future decision making as local governments seek to align their approach to waste management with the state government’s direction, which is moving toward the establishment of a circular waste economy,” the statement reads.

“To this end, the SWRW is asking companies in the local, national and international markets to submit proposals on how municipal waste may be used to benefit the broader South West region both now and into the future.  These ideas will be assessed by the group when considering long-term answers to regional waste management.”

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Ecocycle unveils new branding

Ecocycle, formerly CMA Ecocycle, has updated its branding to highlight different business units, which will include Ecobatt and Ecoe-waste.

Ecocycle specialises in recycling batteries, lighting and e-waste, as well as mercury-containing waste from the dental, medical, mining, gas, and petro-chemical industries.

Ecocycle Business Development Manager Daryl Moyle said the revamp comes as the company continues to invest in modern equipment and technology.

“There are so many different products that can be recycled in the sector today, however we focus on specific products and niche markets rather than being a general waste company,” Mr Moyle said.

“The idea is to help customers distinguish our different services, so having a specific brand like Ecobatt will help customers identify us as a battery recycler.”

Mr Moyle said Ecocycle were investing in a battery recycling plant that will be the first of its kind in Australia.

“It will bring new solutions to the world of recycling in a big way,” Mr Moyle said.

“The company is also investing in new downstream sorting machinery for e-waste that will transform sorting processes, as well as safety equipment specifically designed for dealing with lithium ion batteries.”

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Composting remains our biggest recycling opportunity

With all the recent discussion about plastic exports, it’s easy to forget that organics remains our single largest recycling opportunity, writes Rose Read CEO of the National Waste Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC).

The numbers speak for themselves, according to the National Waste Report, Australia generated 30 million tonnes of organic material in 2016-17. Of this mass, about 6.7 million tonnes went to landfill (or 22 per cent) of which around 43 per cent is food waste according to the National Food Waste Baseline Report.

What are the benefits of composting?

There are many benefits to composting organics over sending them to landfill. Firstly, composting helps to recover nutrients and organic material that can regenerate soils, critical to agricultural productivity. Secondly, diverting organics from landfill reduces greenhouse gas emissions, odour and leachate.

Composting can also save council’s and ratepayers considerable expense. In the case of councils and shires that already have a kerbside garden organics recovery services, food can also be added at little cost, which currently can make up as much as 40 per cent of a kerbside rubbish bin.

Where is composting today?

Currently, about 42 per cent of households nationally have access to kerbside organics collection service according to the National Waste Report and 15 per cent have access to food and garden collection Services (FOGO).

South Australian households have the highest access to organic kerbside collections at 92 per cent, NSW 60 per cent and Victoria 56 per cent as reported by the federal Department of Environment and Energy in its report ‘Analysis of Australia’s municipal recycling infrastructure capacity’.

Strategically, each jurisdiction has a different approach to advancing their organics recovery and only Victoria has a dedicated organics resource recovery strategy. Overall, each state government has resource recovery targets for the next decade in the order of 65 per cent to 75 per cent for commercial and municipal streams. To achieve these targets the majority of tonnage will have to come from diverting organics including food waste to composting.

In terms of investment, NSW has the single largest funding program for organics recovery, with around $9 million per annum from 2017 to 2021 as part of the Waste Less, Recycle More. Victoria recently completed a $3.3 million organics recovery program and is currently focused on implementing its e-waste landfill ban and recycling challenges.

While Queensland does not have a specific organics’ program, funding is available through its Resource Recovery Industry Development Program. A key element of Western Australia’s new 2030 waste avoidance and resource recovery strategy is to have a consistent three bin kerbside collection system, including separation of food and garden organics from other waste categories, to be provided by all local governments in the Perth and Peel region by 2025.

How can we accelerate the diversion of organics from landfill in Australia?

While there is clear intent by each state and territory government to divert food and organics from landfill, the NWRIC, in consultation with the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) has developed a four-part plan on how best to advance the composting sector.

1. Develop markets for compost

Further development of urban municipal and commercial markets has the potential to utilise large volumes of compost. Key markets include mine site rehabilitation and urban redevelopment such as highways. However, long term, agriculture has the potential to be the largest market for compost, improving soil carbon, providing healthy soils and promoting sustainable food production. Coordinated research and action that links organics diversion with the direct benefits of compost and soil carbon in agriculture is required to develop this market.

2. Long term planning for siting and protecting organic recycling facilities

In order to meet the recycling targets proposed in the state and national waste policies, Australia will need many new organics recycling facilities. The creation of organics recycling facilities requires appropriate sites and surrounding land buffers that are protected for the life of their operation. It is important that these sites are provisioned for in local and state government plans.

3. Reduce contamination in municipal and commercial waste derived compost

Compost derived from household and commercial bins can be contaminated with plastics and other undesirable materials. Through improved education and product stewardship, contamination can be reduced, and clean compost produced. Equally important will be ensuring that all compostable packaging used complies with Australian Standards for home composting AS 5810-2010 and or industrial composting AS 4736-2006 and is clearly labelled.

4. Enforcement of nationally consistent standards for the outputs from organics processing.

While most operators manufacture high quality organic products the presence of substandard products and facilities can undermine the market and damage consumer confidence. Therefore, the enforcement the existing standard for composting output AS4454 – 2012, Composts, soil conditioners and mulches is critical.

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Renewable focus: ResourceCo

ResourceCo has appointed leading expert Henry Anning to its newly created energy arm to spearhead renewable energy solutions.

As more Australian businesses seek genuine alternative energy solutions, international alternative fuels leader ResourceCo has moved to provide further industry support.

Earlier this year, clean energy expert Henry Anning took on the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer of ResourceCo’s “specialised” energy arm.

Henry previously led the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) bioenergy platform and oversaw the investment of more than $400 million in energy projects – worth a billion dollars in the sector. This included supporting ResourceCo’s vision to roll out and build new Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) manufacturing plants Australia-wide, including its latest plant at Wetherill Park in Sydney.

He was also an Associate Director at Low Carbon Australia, where he focused on bioenergy sector finance and industry engagement.

Henry says it’s an exciting time to be joining ResourceCo, as the company’s waste-derived fuel provides a unique solution for the manufacturing sector.

“Businesses are needing low-cost, long-term renewable energy solutions fast as soaring gas and electricity prices are really hurting them. For many, gas prices have increased four-fold over the last five years,” he says.

Henry explains that there are a lot of manufacturers who are using natural gas, in particular, for heat, such as hot water, steam or hot air. He says manufacturers have expressed their frustration about the uncertainty surrounding gas prices, market volatility and short-term energy fixes.

“Manufacturers and other high energy users are wanting certainty on lower energy prices and ResourceCo is uniquely placed to provide a lower cost, renewable, long-term energy solution.”

In response to these market demands, ResourceCo is expanding its suite of 24 plants across Australia and South-East Asia by developing new energy plants with biomass boilers to use PEF. The product is manufactured mainly from timber waste materials but also includes cardboard, paper, textiles and plastics.

At its own cost, ResourceCo can install a waste-derived fuel biomass boiler between five to 40 megawatts, effectively combusting waste timber from construction, demolition, commercial and industrial sites. Henry says that this provides customers with over a 90 per cent renewable heat source as an alternative to gas and significantly reduces energy costs.

“We are targeting businesses who are using between 100 thousand gigajoules or a petajoule of natural gas. By setting up the infrastructure of the energy plant, owning and operating it for the customer, we’re taking away any responsibility for capital costs while demonstrating responsible environmental management.”

Subject to the approval process and depending on the scale of the new plant, ResourceCo estimates construction will take up to 18 months.

“It’s about us being a long-term energy partner, providing a fixed cost solution and allowing the manufacturer to focus on their core business,” Henry says.

“These businesses have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into their own facilities and need certainty about their energy costs as well as assurance they’re receiving a quality product.”

Henry says while there are other biomass feedstocks on the market, ResourceCo’s waste derived fuel is a fantastic environmental and business solution that is cost effective, simple and reliable.

ResourceCo’s proven track record as a leading provider of alternative waste fuels is demonstrated by its long-term partnerships with major companies such as Boral, Adelaide Brighton Cement, Suez and Cleanaway.

“We’ve been providing PEF to major industrial customers for more than 10 years and strong business-to-business relationships are critical and a top priority,” Henry says.

“We know where our PEF is going, that it’s being used properly, and has the full backing by the environmental regulators in each jurisdiction, both locally and overseas.”

ResourceCo only takes construction demolition and commercial industrial waste and deals directly with the customer.

Its business model is to ensure a strong chain of custody, environmental compliance and investment in local communities.

The company recycles more than 95 per cent of incoming materials while processing over two million tonnes of materials annually. Its alternative fuel complies with the requirements of the Australian Governments Clean Energy Regulator under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

“Heat is too often a forgotten energy in Australia, with electricity regularly being the focus of policy discussions to reduce emissions,” Henry says.

“PEF is a proven and successful technology, with hundreds of plants throughout Europe using waste-derived fuel for heat and electricity.”

He says that the waste-to-energy market is earmarked to become more sophisticated over the next five years, as the sector continues to experience significant growth.

“To achieve zero waste and carbon emissions is of course the ultimate goal and while this in reality is a long way off, major steps must be taken by the sector now to move towards long-term solutions.

“Future and consistent recognition of the different types of waste to energy available in the market is vital to show this is a much better solution than landfill.

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VWMA urges ongoing recycling

The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) is urging Victorians to continue recycling despite temporary interruptions to the state’s waste and recycling network.

Despite recent challenges, VWMA Executive Officer Mark Smith said the sector collectively delivers an efficient waste collection service to all Victorians.

“The private sector supports 23,000 Victorian jobs and invests over $800 million into waste and recycling services and infrastructure annually,” Mr Smith says.

“We have the potential to create sustainable solutions out of this current crisis. I hope we capitalise on it.”

Mr Smith said the current approach to waste management and recycling had evolved over decades.

“Current procurement practices have encouraged a concentration of processing capabilities across large operators and sites focused on volume processing, which has traditionally been a lower cost option,” Mr Smith said.

“A series of events over the last 18-20 months has demonstrated the inherent risks of the state’s waste and recycling network when we drive low cost options.”

Over the next procurement period, VWMA strongly recommends government procurement and tendering address ongoing issues and challenges.

“For Victoria and Australia to successfully manage our future waste needs, we must invest appropriately in the people, systems, processes and education to drive sustainable change, with the private sector as a partner for local and state government,” Mr Smith said.

According to Mr Smith, the state will see materials traditionally destined for recycling end up in landfill as the system transitions.

“We may need to accept that this temporary interruption could last a few weeks, as our waste and recycling system adjusts and adapts to this most recent challenge. Temporary interruptions shouldn’t discourage people doing the right thing and disposing of their waste in the right bin,” Mr Smith said.

“I also encourage impacted members or industry to attend our conference next week. The State Conference is about Victorian issues and opportunities – this is a critical time for the industry. Come along.”

Mr Smith added that the average Australian generates roughly 2.7 tonnes of waste a year — equivalent to the weight of a Toyota HiAce.

“By global standards that’s high and is not sustainable,” Mr Smith said.

“People can support the current challenges we are having by reviewing their own habits and behaviours, including buying things made locally from recycled material.”

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Next steps for Recyclers’ Accreditation Program

A detailed analysis of the how, what and who of the Australian Council of Recycling’s (ACOR) voluntary Recyclers’ Accreditation Program (RAP) will be commissioned.

According to ACOR CEO Pete Shmigel, the analysis will include a feasibility study through consultancy firm Equilibrium.

“The recycling industry has a long history of innovation, continual improvement and collaboration along supply chains, with governments and the community,” Mr Shmigel said.

“RAP is the next logical step and we look forward to working with government and other partners to make sure it is accepted and drives performance and confidence.”

According to Mr Shmigel, RAP will aim to ensure high standards of operational performance and accountability, stakeholder and community confidence, complementary arrangements to policy directions and regulatory obligations and continual improvement in recovery rates.

When established, RAP aims to cover the collection, transport, sorting, pre-treatment and storage of recyclable materials, the remanufacturing of those materials into recycled content products and the management of supply chain relationships, including those with export partners.

Additionally, RAP will have reference to product stewardship schemes, spheres of influence in the recycling supply chain and the proximity principal.

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$70 million QLD grants open

The Queensland Government’s $365 million Building our Region’s program has opened applications for its next round of funding.

The program is open to waste infrastructure projects that provide direct economic benefit to industrial or commercial development.

A Cairns material recovery facility (MRF) doubled its processing capacity after receiving $3 million from an earlier funding round in April this year.

In reference to the MRF, State Development Minister Cameron Dick said raising the quality of recycling in Queensland would facilitate better access to relevant global export markets.

“Regional infrastructure development means more Queensland jobs, and more jobs means a stronger Queensland,” Mr. Dick said.

“That’s why our government committed another $70 million towards Building our Region’s in the 2019-20 state budget.”

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the funding.

“The LGAQ has seen firsthand the economic injection and jobs for regions this program provides,” Mr. Jamieson said.

“By working with councils to identify projects that will deliver local growth, support local businesses and create more liveable communities, the state government is supporting investment and opportunities across Queensland’s regions, which is welcomed by councils.”

In addition to waste infrastructure, applications are open to wastewater, renewable energy, marine and transport projects.

Regional councils have until 30 August to submit expressions of interest for shovel-ready projects.

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Reaccreditation for oil recycling scheme

Fulton Hogan’s oil recycling programme will run for another seven years, following reaccreditation by the New Zealand Government.

Recycling Oil Saves the Environment (R.O.S.E) was established in 2012, through a partnership between Fulton Hogan, Petroleum Services, Salters Cartage and the Federal Government.

R.O.S.E is one of 12 voluntary product stewardship schemes in New Zealand with ministerial accreditation, covering products ranging from tyres to lithium batteries.

According to Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, R.O.S.E has collected more than 100 million litres of used oil.

“People and the environment benefit when businesses step up and consider what happens to products they use, and how to avoid harmful waste from them,” Ms Sage said.

“The R.O.S.E scheme is a good example of how we can shift away from a take-make-waste economy to a make-use-return one, where products are repeatedly re-used or recycled.”

Fulton Hogan South Island General Manager Craig Stewart said R.O.S.E recycled oil is used for industrial applications.

“We all know there’s no silver bullet. The answer lies in a mix of steps – researching, experimenting, blending, testing and refining various approaches, strategies and sources or material,” Mr Stewart said.

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