City of Mitcham installs recycled tyre pavement

Paving material made with recycled tyres has been installed by the City of Mitcham, as part of a field trial in sustainable urban drainage design.

The permeable paving, created by the University of Melbourne with funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia, has been laid at St Marys Park in Adelaide.

The material is made from 50 per cent used tyres and is designed to assist water drainage through surface resistance.

Tyre Stewardship Australia CEO Lina Goodman said the City of Mitcham is one of many councils interested in investigating the performance of waste tyre permeable pavement.

“This trial will utilise four tonnes of tyre-derived aggregates, the equivalent to diverting 500 passenger tyres from the waste stream,” Ms Goodman said.

“This project is envisaged to be the first of many, and has been undertaken to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product.”

Ms Goodman said wide spread implementation of the material could see 300,000 tyres used in local government infrastructure per year.

“The use of end-of-life tyres as an aggregate blend for permeable pavement has various applications such as pedestrian walks, bike paths, car parks and low volume roads,” Ms Goodman said.

“TSA is eager to see more trials take place to showcase the products full potential in the urban environment.”

City of Mitcham Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross said the trial is a first for Australia, and will involve testing the permeable pavement under various traffic loads.

“We are very excited to be involved in this innovative trial. This paving product provides many benefits to the environment, including harvesting water to help water nearby trees and gardens,” Dr Holmes-Ross said.

“Not only does it sustain urban vegetation, it can help to increase groundwater recharge, reduce surface runoff, decrease the risk of flash-flooding and help with the treatment of storm water.”

Dr Holmes-Ross said equipment had been installed below the surface of the parking bays to monitor the performance of the pavement, as well as record the surface temperature of the different pavement colours.

“The pavement design has obvious benefits for water sustainable urban design, which will be evaluated during the trial,” Dr Holmes-Ross said.

The trial will also monitor the quality of water passing through the pavement structure, and evaluate its efficiency in reducing contamination of resulting waterways.

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Finlay: separating the grime

Phoenix Environment Group is sorting problematic C&D waste from all over Melbourne into saleable streams, with the assistance of Finlay Screening, Crushing and Recycling Systems.

Mixed waste from construction and demolition sites is regularly left out in the rain or intense heat for long periods of time by some contractors and site managers. As a result, construction and demolition waste (C&D) often arrives at processing and recycling facilities as a wet, sticky mass, loaded with heavy and bulky debris.

Phoenix Environment Group, a recycling company based in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, receives waste from all over the city and deals primarily in C&D. Phoenix operates largely as a sorting facility, separating C&D into seven different streams before sending it to alternate facilities for remanufacturing.    

Company Director Ash Walker says given the nature of C&D, the material Phoenix receives is often quite contaminated, with multiple mixed materials needing to be screened and separated simultaneously.

To facilitate the cleaning of grimy material, Phoenix purchased a Terex TRS 500 from specialist equipment suppliers Finlay Screening, Crushing and Recycling Systems last year.

“We needed a recycling screen capable of separating heavy weight material from recyclable waste before we send it to separate picking stations for further separation,” Ash says.

“Our previous screen worked well. However, as the company grew and began to work with larger, more commercial clients, we required a new recycling screen to keep up with processing demands.”

The TRS 500 recycling screen is a versatile mobile screen that operates with a specialist screen box designed by German manufacturer Spaleck.

Ash says he spent a number of months researching recycling screens online before coming across the TRS 500.

After contacting Finlay about the machine, Ash was flown to Queensland to view the screen in operation.

“Once I had watched the TRS 500 in action at Finlay’s facility in Burpengary, I became confident in its ability to fulfil Phoenix’s business requirements,” Ash says.

“The Terex machine is much bigger than our previous screen, so we are able to put significantly more material through each hour – it ticked all the boxes for me.”

Phoenix has been using the TRS 500 for just under 12 months, and Ash says it hasn’t missed a beat.

“We use the screen to reclaim a lot of mixed soil and it works 100 per cent of the time,” Ash says.

“Every inch of soil is screened and cleaned effectively and quickly, which means we can remove all the contaminants at a cheap price.”

According to Ash, the machine was specifically designed for difficult applications, with the combination of a three-way split system and Spaleck 3D Combi screen box allowing operators to process material previously classed as problematic.

Phoenix uses the TRS 500 to process a minimum of 2000 tonnes of C&D waste at its Coolaroo recycling centre each month.

“Most of our material comes from Campbellfield Bins, Ben’s Bins Hire, Cleanaway and a handful of smaller waste removal companies,” Ash says.

Spaleck screen boxes are designed for efficient screening of wet inhomogeneous material, with separation cuts between 0.2 and 50 millimetres.

The TRS 500 incorporates the Spaleck screen box into a standard Terex platform and frame, with features including a steel apron feeder for feeding heavy bulk material, a 3D top deck screening panel and an aggressive flip-flow bottom deck.

The base frame is agitated by a shaft and unbalanced motor drive, with the vibration passed to the frame via thrust rubbers.

Ash says the tracked heavy duty screen can be operated in a wide range of primary and secondary screening applications.

“The 3D flip flow bottom deck mats can handle high-moisture material, even when screening as small as two millimetres without blinding,” Ash says.

“This ability is critical given the nature of the material we’re processing, as it reduces downtime and maximises our production capabilities.”

Additionally, Ash says the TRS’s 3D screening segments facilitate correct grain size and eliminate long and extraneous material for the tension shaft screen on the lower deck.

“The screwless mounted screening mats create less contamination than regular mats and the high acceleration has a self-cleaning effect,” he says.

Ash says Finlay has a services and parts division in Melbourne, meaning it is just around the corner when the machine needs servicing.

“They respond straight away when I make a booking and are always on call. I’ve been really happy with the service,” Ash says.

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SUEZ renews Sydney Trains’ contract

SUEZ has renewed its contract as Sydney Trains’ waste management provider, continuing a seven-year partnership with the rail operator.

SUEZ will continue to service Sydney Trains’ network of infrastructure throughout the greater Sydney area and across New South Wales, including train stations and maintenance facilities operations centres.

SUEZ NSW State General Manager Tony Grebenshikoff said the renewal follows a competitive tender process, and reflects SUEZ’s record of successful service expansion across the Sydney Trains network.

“A new feature of the contract includes the introduction of advanced technologies, such as weight-based billing and enhanced reporting capabilities, as well as additional training modules that can be easily accessed by all employees through a range of devices,” Mr Grebenshikoff said.

“These and other initiatives will enable SUEZ to work closely with Sydney Trains to provide a seamless and streamlined experience under the renewed, up to 5 year, contract.”

Mr Grebenshikoff said SUEZ had worked closely with Sydney Trains on the rollout of multiple initiatives to achieve waste reduction targets.

“We are proud to have maintained an average on time service success rate of 98 per cent,” Mr Grebenshikoff said.

“SUEZ looks forward to continuing to work with Sydney Trains to provide safe, reliable and efficient collection services across all sites, and supporting this essential public transport network in Australia’s largest city.”

Sydney Trains Chief Executive Howard Collins said the contract renewal enables SUEZ to continue an already well established partnership between the two parties.

“We have been satisfied with the service provided by SUEZ over the past seven years, and we look forward to seeing what new initiatives SUEZ has that will provide further efficiencies in waste management.”

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Sustainability Victoria announces $4.7M RRIF grants

Sustainability Victoria have announced the recipients of 13 new grants, administered via the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund (RRIF).

A total of $4.7 million has been awarded to projects that will increase Victoria’s capacity to recycle locally generated waste materials into high value commodities.

Sustainability Victoria Interim CEO Carl Muller said RRIF funding supports the recovery of recycled materials, the expansion of recycling facilities for kerbside, construction and demolition, commercial and industrial waste and improvement in the quality of collected and sorted materials suitable for commercial use.

“We cannot deny the importance of the waste and recycling industry. These grants will boost the resource recovery industry, creating jobs and driving investment in the sector,” Mr Muller said.

“The Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund facilitates change to support industry growth and development, in tandem with Victoria’s growing population.”

Mr Muller said investment in recycling infrastructure is vital to increasing the recovery valuable materials, for use in other manufacturing sectors.

“These exciting and innovative projects will drive a strong circular economy that maximises the reuse and recycling of materials and reduces waste,” Mr Muller said.

“Collective action from industry, government and the community can ensure Victoria remains a great place to live and operate in.”

Recipients include: 

Alex Fraser Group: $336,500 to install an additive bin at its Clarinda facility, which will divert low-value recovered glass that is unfit for reuse from landfill.

Repurpose It : $500,000 to install new infrastructure and improve the recovery and washing of glass fines sourced from materials recovery facilities.

Cleanaway: $500,000 to install optical sorting equipment for plastics from e-waste processing.

Pipeconnex: $500,000 for a new facility production line that will recycle up to 5246 tonnes of plastic each year.

Close the Loop: $500,000 for infrastructure that will recover 5,000 tonnes of soft plastics annually, for use in asphalt road base.

Boral: $500,000 to upgrade its asphalt plant to receive plastic, glass and crumbed rubber for asphalt production.

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NSW EPA: let’s chat compost

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has developed an engaging conversational learning program to support professional development in the organics sector.

Simulated conversational experiences, or chatbots, have been gaining traction across numerous industries.

Conversational learning is a unique concept that delivers knowledge in focused, micro-learning chunks, requiring only three to five minutes of a learner’s time.

It aims to put learners in control, use conversation and story-telling to stimulate engagement, build knowledge and allow for active discovery and decision making.

With an increase in chatbot messenger apps offering instantaneous customer service, news and other relevant notifications, chatbot experiences are even making inroads in the waste sector.

To support the compost industry, e-learning provider IMC has been working with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) via its organics program.

IMC and the EPA have developed four-five minute chatbot modules dubbed “Let’s Chat Compost” on the topics of assessing odour, pasteurisation, composting and managing contamination.

The learning sessions aim to simulate ordinary conversations, akin to those you’d have with a friend or colleague – personal, fun and to the point.

They embed personality into the learning content and create a dynamic interaction like one-on-one teaching, making social and interactive e-learning “in dialogue” possible.

The Let’s Chat Compost modules allow users to continue or refresh their learning through the EPA’s existing Compost Facility Management eLearning program, released at the end of last year.

Presented in social media messenger style, the app uses conversation and memes to engage learners to expand on their composting knowledge.

The Compost Facility Management course comprises seven modules and has been designed for regulators and people in all roles working in organics facilities.

It uses interactive content, animation and video to engage learners, with the aim of embedding high-level skills and knowledge for best practice facility management.   

IMC has leveraged its expertise from working with clients such as National Rugby League, the Department of Health and Human Services, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi to craft unique and conversational learning experiences.

Amanda Kane, Organics Manager at the NSW EPA, says Let’s Chat Compost aims to draw attention to the key processes most relevant to processors, regulators, local government, consultants and waste collection operators.

“Let’s Chat Compost will be a tool to reinforce learning and act as a reminder for what’s happening inside a compost pile that might be causing an odour, or why it’s important to manage contamination and the importance of pasteurisation,” Amanda says.

“IMC’s concept was developed in Germany and designed to look as much like a phone chat as possible. It was in recognition of the platforms we use in everyday life.”

She says that developing smartphone nuggets is an exercise in communicating the most important content in an engaging way.

“The main goal of the nuggets is to get people to take up the course, but also as a reminder for those that have completed the course,” Amanda says.

The app can send notifications to those who have completed the course, encouraging them to share the modules with their colleagues or revisit aspects of their learning.

Amanda adds that companies could adapt the program to suit their organisational tone and include additional relevant occupational health and safety and company information.

“The result is not only contributing to the production of a quality product, but upskilling the industry and minimising the environmental impact of one’s operations.

“It’s critical that processors are operating within the conditions of their license, and that if any issues do arise, they know how to respond and communicate with the EPA and advise us what’s happening.”

She says that the smartphone nuggets are aimed to be accessible on multiple devices and link back to course content.

The modules also include expert tips from industry leaders such as SOILCO and Australian Native Landscapes (ANL).

“We wanted to have industry voices to communicate those messages. All of the course content was filmed at sites around NSW using various technologies,” Amanda says.

“These include ANL’s open windrow or the in-tunnel systems that JR Richards & Sons have up at Grafton and then using team members at all levels to communicate the message, including EPA regulatory staff as well.

“We have had 300 people sign up, and the overall feedback is that people are finding it to be a rewarding learning experience.”

EVA Environmental Director Geraldine Busby, who also worked on the initial training course, oversaw the development of smartphone nuggets.

Carmen Locke, Instructional Designer, IMC AG, says conversational learning allows learners to make decisions while being actively immersed in a one-on-one learning scenario. This increases their ability to retain content, understand concepts and develop new skills and behaviours.

To use Let’s Chat Compost click here.

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Reviewing the PSA

Waste Management Review explores the Product Stewardship Act review and industry expectations for the final report. 

Read more

Position Partners: maximising landfill airspace

Position Partners’ Elizabeth Latham talks to Waste Management Review about machine guidance and maximising landfill productivity

When looking to expand the efficiency and productivity of a landfill site, one option is maximising airspace.

Position Partners’ Elizabeth Latham says to maximise airspace, landfill operators need to expand the amount of soil used for daily cover, along with the introduction of an alternate daily cover system.

Additionally, in order to get the best value from each cubic metre of airspace, she says operators need to optimise the compaction of waste.

“With the capability to be installed on a wide range of landfill plants, and a demonstrated track record, Carlson LandfillGrade — distributed in Australia by Position Partners — is the ideal system to implement at your landfill site to monitor waste compaction rates,” Elizabeth says.

“The two main benefits of Carlson LandillGrade, as identified at a specific Victorian landfill site, are instant operator feedback and the devices ability to extract airspace utilisation reports.”

According to Elizabeth, the site previously relied on periodic aerial surveys to provide data on airspace utilisation, before working with Position Partners to implement the Carlson management tool.

“Relying on periodic surveys meant more manual data manipulation was required, and resulted in significant time lags between data points, meaning it was more difficult to implement corrective actions,” she says.

“The ability to get real time data on waste compaction and airspace utilisation was one of the main features that drew this landfill site manager’s attention to the Carlson system.”

Elizabeth says the landfill manager also wanted a system that provided instant feedback to the compactor operators, so they could both operate to design, and know when optimal waste compaction had been achieved.

“The manager of the landfill site noted that prior to implementing the Carlson Landfill Grade, they had relied on the operator doing a certain number of passes to ensure the waste was compacted optimally, which is not a truly reliable way of managing compaction,” she adds.

 The Carlson system, implemented by Position Partners, is currently installed on two landfill compactors at the site, with plans to install a third unit on the dozer used for daily cover application further down the track.

“The manager at this landfill site has found that the Carlson system has been a seamless addition to the machines at the landfill,” Elizabeth says.

“The software tools have been integrated with the landfill site’s other systems without any issues or problems.”

Elizabeth says implementing LandfillGrade allows site managers to have access to better data, and deliver instant feedback to operators.

“This has resulted in some landfill site managers reporting an improvement in airspace utilisation efficiency of up to 10 per cent,” she says.

“Another benefit provided by the Carlson machine technology is that operators are able to get continuous feedback on where they are operating compared to the lift design, which reduces the need for rework and re-profiling, especially of the cell batters.”

Elizabeth says service and support are integral to any technology solution, along with capability and price.

“Having access to the local team of product experts is important to many of Position Partners’ customers during the decision-making process,” she says.

“The team at Position Partners is able to discuss how the system would benefit you on your site and assist you in understanding all the features of the Carlson system compared to other products that are available.”

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Tennant Company’s sustainability strategy

Tennant Company marketing specialist Rebecca Wall explains the benefits of sound environmental practice and innovative cleaning solutions. 

Has your organisation developed and implemented a sustainability strategy? When choosing suppliers, is your decision based on whether they have one?

In the past, behaving in a sustainable manner was considered something of a novelty. Now, it increasingly illustrates credibility and a genuine care about how your business conducts itself as member of the global community.

As more companies, large and small, turn towards sustainability initiatives, a kind of corporate fellowship has emerged. Businesses are now working together to create a link in the longer chain of environmentally conscientious organisations.

Being seen as a sustainable business is a positive thing, as countless products and services are introduced to make sustainability practices easier to implement.

Tennant company

Since 1870, Tennant Company has worked to empower its customers to reduce their environmental impact and create a cleaner, safer and healthier world. We have a definite vision to lead the way in sustainable practices.

Tennant Company continually gauge our own efforts to determine the benefits they deliver, not just for the environment but also for our bottom line. What we’ve found is that one doesn’t have to disadvantage the other, in fact, choosing a more sustainable solution can be more cost-effective.

Tennant Company research and development teams are constantly coming up with innovative and environmentally responsible cleaning solutions for customers that are increasingly seeking them.

When a potential customer asks us for a proposal, they frequently request that we summarise our sustainability strategies to determine if they match with their own. Putting sustainability policies and practices in place can very literally mean the difference between landing a new contract or not.​

Tennant Company is known for evolving to meet external influences. Early on in our history, we developed eco-advantaged products for our own business and for our customers. It began with vacuum-equipped sweepers that featured enhanced dust control. Next, we developed high-performance, low-VOC floor coatings, followed by highly concentrated detergents.

In more recent times, we introduced our game-changing ec-H2O technology, which took out the Business Innovation of the Year award at the 2009 European Business Awards. The ec-H2O delivers significant reductions in water usage, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generated — all key elements in a hardware’s lifecycle environmental footprint.

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VIC allocates $11M to recycling relief

The Victorian Government will tackle ongoing waste management issues with $11.3 million in immediate financial relief to councils and infrastructure investment.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said SKM Recycling were significantly undercutting the prices of other recycling providers, and since they stopped accepting waste, many councils are paying double what they were for recycling services.

“To alleviate this financial pressure, the state government will deliver a $6.6 million package to the 33 affected councils over the next four months, providing a rebate that will cover the additional costs they are incurring to deal with their recyclable waste,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“The state government also stands ready to work with the receiver of SKM Corporate, and any prospective buyer to remove the stockpiles at SKM-managed sites and offsite storage of material.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said it had become clear that the quality of Australia’s recyclable material is compromised due to its high rate of contamination.

“To that end, the state government will also work with councils and industry stakeholders on a major overhaul of kerbside collection to improve the quality of recyclables being collected by councils,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Council’s hoping to receive assistance will have to provide evidence that alternatives to landfill are being sought, agree to participate in collaborative procurement and provide information on current contractural rates and conditions.

The government has also announced new grants worth $4.7 million, to support projects that will improve the quality of recycled materials through better sorting and processing.

“At the most recent Council of Australian Governments meeting, the Prime Minister acknowledged that recyclable waste is a national issue, as well as an opportunity to rebuild a domestic recycling sector that can provide products to local markets,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“To achieve this, targets will also be considered to drive investment in end uses, such as glass for road base and railway sleepers made from plastics.”

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Applications open for $20M CRC grants

The Federal Government has committed $20 million to innovative projects designed to grow Australia’s domestic recycling industry.

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

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding was part of government’s commitment to work with the states and establish a timetable to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres.

“We are committed to protecting our nation’s environment while also building our capacity to turn recycling into products that people want and need,” Mr Morrison said.

“By engaging industry and researchers, we can make sure we’re seeing these changes introduced in a way that cuts costs for businesses and ultimately even creates jobs.”

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the funding would help create Australian jobs, while also reducing global plastic pollution.

According to Ms Andrews, recent figures suggest only 12 per cent of the 103 kilograms of plastic waste generated per person in Australia is recycled each year.

“This funding will strengthen Australia’s recycling industry and help us achieve higher recycling rates,” Ms Andrews said.

“Boosting our onshore plastic recycling industry has the potential to create over three times as many jobs as exporting our plastic waste, ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future.”

Applications close 24 September 2019.

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