Particle size innovation

Melbourne’s Knox Transfer Station is pioneering refuse-derived fuel using an Australian-first technology to achieve a small particle size.

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Toowoomba waste transfer facility approved

Toowoomba Regional Council has approved the development application to construct a new waste transfer facility in Kleinton, to cater for growth in the Queensland region.

Waste Committee Chair Nancy Sommerfield said the transfer station will be built over the existing landfill site, which has reached capacity, and an adjacent parcel of land already owned by council.

“This state-of-the-art facility will be the fifth project delivered under the Waste Services Infrastructure Plan,” Ms Sommerfield said.

“The Kleinton waste transfer station will deliver environmental benefits to the area, and much greater opportunities for recycling.”

The Toowoomba Waste Services Infrastructure Plan details how service levels can be achieved to support resource recovery over landfill within the context of a growing population.

“As a region, our communities have embraced the need to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill, and this new facility will build on our region’s culture to reduce, reuse and recycle,” Ms Sommerfield said.

“The new facility will be a cleaner and tidier waste solution, with the waste stored on pavement and transported to landfill locations offsite.”

The existing landfill site will be rehabilitated as part of the project.

“These rehabilitation works include capping of the old landfill, and are a requirement under the existing Environment Authority and not part of the development application,” Ms Sommerfield said.

The new transfer station is expected to be complete by 2021.

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Bettergrow invest $10M in CDEnviro technology

Organic residuals recycling company Bettergrow, has invested $10 million in CDEnviro hydro excavation technology.

The investment marks an expansion of Bettergrow’s non-destructive digging waste facility in Wetherill Park NSW.

Bettergrow Operations Director Neale Hogarth said the company was excited to increase its capacity to divert and re-use non-destructive digging muds.

“We have worked with CDEnviro for years now, and have partnered with them on this project to ensure the highest level of technology for our customers,” Mr Hogarth said.

“The facility is going to be huge, but that’s because we know the potential for waste to become a resource is huge.”

According to Mr Hogarth, the facility will showcase some of the most innovative technology in the industry, including the CDEnviro HYDRO:TIP.

The HYDRO:TIP is a patent-pending tipping station for vacuum tanker muds and other solid liquid wastes.

“The large-scale investment is our third investment in CDEnviro equipment since 2016,” Mr Hogarth said.

“Bettergrow customers that use this facility will benefit from significant cost savings on both transport and landfill.”

Bettergrow owner Neil Schembri said the facility demonstrates the company’s commitment to the circular economy.

“The large-scale recycling facility at Wetherill Park will enable Bettergrow to not only process larger volumes of drilling muds than ever before, but also process a range of other complex and highly contaminated wastes,” Mr Schembri said.

“The next stage of development for the NSW site will be receiving food waste and other organics. We will again be working with CDEnviro to determine the most appropriate technology for these resources.”

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Contract awarded for East Rockingham WtE facility

A construction contract for the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility’s new waste-to-energy (WtE) plant has been awarded to ACCIONA.

The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract was awarded by the facility’s development consortium, which consists of the New Energy Corporation, Tribe Infrastructure Group and Hitachi Zosen INOVA.

Under the EPC contract, ACCIONA will deliver the project in partnership with Hitachi Zosen INOVA.

According to a consortium statement, the project encompasses the design, construction, financing and operation of a greenfield WtE facility in the Rockingham Industry Zone south of Perth.

“The new facility will recover resources from approximately 300,000 tonnes of residual waste from municipal, commercial and industrial sources per year, and up to 30,000 tonnes of biosolids,” the statement reads.

“The WtE facility will generate approximately 29 megawatts of reliable renewable energy, enough to power over 36,000 homes.”

ACCIONA Geotech Managing Directer Bede Noonan said the facility was a landmark project for Australia.

“WtE is gaining traction quickly, and it’s great to see New Energy, Tribe and our EPC partners HZI developing the second large-scale plant here,” Mr Noonan said.

“Not only will we be able to build on the capabilities harnessed for our first project in Perth, but also get the opportunity to work with industry leader HZI to bring the best available technology to Australia for the first time.”

New Energy Chairman Enzo Gullotti said awarding the contract was the final piece of the project puzzle, with construction expected to commence in the coming months.

“This project is well aligned with WA’s recently released Waste Strategy, supporting kerbside organics separation and helping make aggressive landfill diversion targets possible for the Perth region,” Mr Gullotti said.

“We also look forward to rewarding the bold leadership of Perth’s Local Government Authorities, namely the EMRC and the City of Cockburn.”

Cleanaway acquires SKM debt

Cleanaway Waste Management has acquired the senior secured debt in the SKM Recycling Group from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the largest lender to SKM, for approximately $60 million.

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Wastech welcomes $20M CRC grants

Wastech Engineering has welcomed the Federal Government’s $20 million commitment to grow Australia’s domestic recycling capabilities.

Funds are available through round eight of the Cooperative Research Centre grants program, which opened 13 August.

Wastech Managing Director Neil Bone said the grants are a step in the right direction, following the Council of Australian Governments export ban announcement on 9 August.

“Companies such as Wastech are ready and well prepared to assist local government and industry, with a wide range of solutions and products that will meet the desired outcomes of converting waste products into useful products for the Australian consumer,” Mr Bone said.

“This is a fantastic initiative by the Federal Government, and allows any organisation with an interest in diverting waste from landfill to apply for the grant and start minimising its environmental footprint.”

Mr Bone said in addition to reducing waste, the program will likely spark job creation and further recycling sector growth.

“With Wastech’s proven industry capabilities and equipment range, we can offer turn-key solutions for material recovery, including co-mingled recyclables, municipal solid waste, construction and demolition, commercial and industrial, waste to energy and e-waste,” Mr Bone said.

“Wastech personnel can also assist interested parties in applying for these grants.”

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Major tender awarded

The Tarp Deployment System has secured a deal with one of America’s largest waste management contractors, expanding on its reputation in the US and Australia.

The Tarp Deployment System (TDS) has been making significant inroads in the waste sector in Australia and internationally.

In one of the TDS’ biggest successes to date, manufacturers Southwestern Sales Company has been awarded a contract to supply five tarpARMOR TDS Tarp Deployment Systems to one of America’s largest waste management contractors – Waste Management Inc (turnover US $14.5 billion).

The tarping systems will be delivered within a three-week period to provide alternate daily cover for landfills in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The tarpARMOR systems, with patented reusable cover tarps, were selected over many other alternatives to replace soil and non-reusable film that were used for daily cover.   

According to South Western Sales Marketing Manager Shannon Harrop, the tender was hotly contested with all major American suppliers of daily cover systems – tarps, spray-on systems and non-reusable film, submitting proposals.

The tarpARMOR systems were selected due to their ability to improve operational efficiencies and a daily cover cost reduction that is one-tenth of the existing cover methods. Also attractive was the TDS’ design simplicity resulting in minimum service requirements, safety and spool capacity.

According to Australian TDS distributor Jaylon, these same features have resulted in sales figures in Australia exceeding expectations.

Manager Alan Liebeck says councils and waste operators in Australia can purchase a TDS unit in Australia in the full knowledge that operators throughout North America and in every state in Australia see the same value.

“In almost every Australian case study, the payback period is less than two years when comparing the cost of covering with tarps in comparison to soil. When the opportunity cost of lost airspace is taken into consideration the economics are even more attractive,” Alan says.

One of the most often asked questions regarding tarp cover systems is their ability to withstand windy conditions.

The best testimonial for the TDS units patented tarpLOX system is its ability to withstand Cyclone Marcus, which hit Darwin in March 2018 with sustained winds of 95 kilometres an hour and wind gusts of more than 130 kilometres an hour.

Four months earlier, Darwin City Council purchased a TDS unit with four standard 32-metre tarps each with six ballast cables for use at the Shoal Bay Landfill, sixteen kilometres from Darwin.

All four tarps were on the tip face when the cyclone reached Darwin and it was not until the next day that the tarps could be checked.

After surveying the damage to the city, the landfill operators were expecting the worse and were resigned to the tarps being somewhere in the Kakadu National Park. Upon inspection, they were pleasantly surprised to see all four tarps in place just as they were left prior to the cyclone.

Landfill Manager Aaron Sacagio at the time commented “well if you need evidence that your tarps can withstand 100 kilometres per hour winds then here it is”.

The TDS units are available with a range of accessories including security engine covers, lights and an odour control spray system.

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EOI’s sought for WA Contaminated Sites Committee

The Western Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest to join the state’s Contaminated Sites Committee, which determines appeals of contaminated site matters.

The independent committee, established in 2006 under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003, makes decisions regarding clean up, remediation responsibilities and classifications of contaminated sites.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said all current Contaminated Sites Committee members’ roles expire shortly, with three in October and two, including the chairperson, in December.

“WA’s Contaminated Sites Act makes it compulsory to report known or suspected contaminated sites, making this among the most progressive contaminated sites legislation in Australia,” Mr Dawson said.

“The committee has acted effectively in resolving more than 150 appeals over more than a decade, and the new members will no doubt play an important role in ensuring this continues.”

Mr Dawson said government is seeking committee members with knowledge, skills and expertise in environmental or contaminated site management, as well as legal practitioners with experience in environmental or property law.

Expressions of interest close 20 September.

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New penalties for chemical stockpiling

Rogue operators who stockpile dangerous chemicals could face up to 10 years in jail, as part of Victoria’s new Dangerous Goods Amendment (Penalty Reform) Bill.

The Victorian Government announced it would crack down on operators who disregard dangerous good laws, following the discovery of millions of litres of waste chemicals stockpiled in northern suburbs warehouses earlier this year.

In a 27 August tweet, Premier Daniel Andrews said operators putting lives and health at risk would face jail time and fines in the millions.

“This is a message for any chemical cowboys out there who think they can treat our state as a dumping ground,” Mr Andrews said.

“We said we’d change the law – and today in Parliament, we’re doing just that.”

Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said a new offence will be created for those that engage in the manufacture, storage, transport, transfer, sale or use dangerous goods in a way that places, or may place, another person in danger of death.

“Body corporates who are found guilty of this offence could face fines of more than $6.4 million,” Ms Hennessy said.

“Existing maximum penalties for endangering health and safety, property or the environment will be increased from four to five years imprisonment and from $165,000 to $297,000 in fines for individuals.”

Penalties will also be increased for failing to comply with the direction of a WorkSafe Inspector, and other duties under the Dangerous Goods Act.

WorkSafe is currently leading a government agency taskforce to remove waste chemicals from 13 sites in Epping, Campbellfield and Craigieburn.

“The clearing of these sites is well underway with approximately 6.5 million litres of waste chemicals having been removed thus far,” Ms Hennessy said.

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TOMRA Sorting’s near-infrared technology

TOMRA Sorting leverages near-infrared technology across a range of specialised products to increase revenues and reduce costs and the impact on the environment.

The near-infrared technology is ideal for packaging, municipal solid waste, thermoplastics, paper, commercial and industrial and construction and demolition waste, organic waste, refuse-derived fuel, bulky waste, wood and thermoplastics.

In particular the introduction of the laser object detection (LOD) now allows for sorting materials with no specific infrared signals.

Laser object detection sensors use a 3D laser system to physically detect items the spectrometer can’t detect. This now allows considerably improved removal of contaminants from various product streams.

Its multifunctional Autosort has been upgraded to include a user-friendly touchscreen to allow users to access various sorting programs.

Available through Australian supplier Cemac technologies, the company also offers select TOMRA technology to suit each application.

TOMRA Sorting’s Autosort flake combines colour detection with enhanced material and metal objects simultaneously to offer better purity and yield with the one machine.

Its Autosort fines was built to sort small fractions across multiple applications with a wider mechanical setup.

TOMRA Sorting’s Finder is able to target metal objects using patented z-tect technology which leverages artificial intelligence to detect and ignore disturbing noise and lead to a stable purity and high yield.