Matt Kean addresses industry at AWRE

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean says local councils have been shut out of the waste and resource recovery conversation for too long, due to a “cosy” relationship between government and industry.

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MobileMuster releases 2019 Annual Report

Mobile telecommunication product stewardship scheme MobileMuster has released its 2019 Annual Report, to coincide with its 21st anniversary.

MobileMuster celebrated its 21st anniversary at The Mint in Sydney, with Telstra Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs and Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association Chair Jane van Beelen and Assistant Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Minister Trevor Evans.

MobileMuster Manager Spyro Kalos said the report examines the schemes performance in 2019, as well as the significant progress of the organisation over the last 21 years.

After 21 years of operation, MobileMuster is Australia’s oldest product stewardship scheme.

“The success of the program to date demonstrates how the industry can work together voluntarily to deliver social and environmental outcomes,” Mr Kalos said.

“We are committed to continuing to invest in the next generation of mobile phone users, educating them about the impact of their mobiles and how to act for a sustainable future.”

Since 1998, the program has collected and recycled nearly 1500 tonnes of mobile phones and accessories, including over 14 million handsets and batteries.

“Further, in this year alone, MobileMuster collected and recycled 84.1 tonnes of mobiles, their batteries, chargers and accessories and through the process, recovered metals, glass and plastics, averting 188 tonnes of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of planting 4840 trees,” Mr Kalos said.

Through the program’s recycling processes, over 95 per cent of the material from mobile phones and accessories is recovered and used to manufacture new products.

“With an estimated 25 million mobiles being stored by Australians, we hope to get more Australians recycling,” Mr Kalos said.

“In addition, we are working towards zero waste to landfill, that means no mobiles will be disposed of in the general waste stream.”

According to the report, MobileMuster has an industry participation level of 92 per cent, including Alcatel, Apple, Google, HMD Global (Nokia), HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola and Oppo.

To read the report click here.

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Sustainability Victoria welcomes new CEO

Claire Ferres Miles has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Sustainability Victoria, effective 25 November.

Recognised as a ‘Top 50 Woman in the Victorian Public Sector’ in 2017, Ms Ferres Miles’s previous work in local government, state government and the private sector led to breakthroughs in affordable housing, sustainability, transport and planning, according to a Sustainability Victoria statement.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio congratulated Ms Ferres Miles on her appointment.

“Ms Ferres Miles will lead Sustainability Victoria’s transformative climate and energy programs, as well as continuing to work to strengthen the state’s recycling sector,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

According to Ms Ferres Miles, Victorians are seeking advice and action in response to the challenges of a changing climate, resource recovery and energy efficiency.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure Victoria’s future is one of social, economic and environmental prosperity,” Ms Ferres Miles said.

Welcoming Ms Ferres Miles’s appointment on behalf of the Sustainability Victoria Board, Chair Heather Campbell said the organisation was looking forward to continuing its journey under Ms Ferres Miles’s leadership.

The Board also thanked and acknowledged Interim CEO Carl Muller for his leadership over the past six months.

“His continued commitment during this time has enabled the great work of the Sustainability Victoria team and helped to advance Victoria’s emerging opportunities within the circular economy,” Ms Campbell said.

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VWMA hosts National Recycling Week business breakfast

The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), in partnership with Frankston City Council, is hosting a business breakfast on 14 November as part of National Recycling Week.

With the support of Frankston City Council, Corio Waste Management and Functions by the Bay, the VWMA is aiming for a zero food waste to landfill event.

VWMA Executive Officer Mark Smith said the event is open to anyone, but is particularly focused on businesses in the Frankston Municipality.

“The Choice Energy sponsored event by will feature expert speakers from across the sustainability field, including Equilibrium, Beyond Zero Emissions and the Sustainable Australia Fund,” Mr Smith said.

“The business breakfast, held at Functions by the Bay, will include energy efficiency advice, material efficiency advice, access and explanations of tools and services to support business, and will be followed by coffee and networking.”

Mr Smith said the event is aimed at talking about waste, recycling and energy efficiency to businesses outside the waste sector.

“This event is all about making it easier for businesses to understand the steps and strategies they can begin straight away, or the areas they can make strategic investments in to reduce their waste and energy costs and increase efficiency,” Mr Smith said.

“There are a lot of government programs and grants out there for business, but these programs often have lengthy application processes with little certainty of when funds will come through if successful. What we’re hoping to create with this event is a one stop shop for businesses to gain an in-depth understanding of proven approaches to become more sustainable and more profitable.”

Frankston City CEO Phil Cantillon said the city was commitment to understanding the needs of Frankston’s diverse business community.

”Late last year we carried out a survey of our business community to understand the areas where they wanted our support to become more sustainable. This event is the outcome of that work, and we hope for a great turn out,” Mr Cantillon said.

“It’s great that the opportunity we’ve created with the VWMA includes benefits for business who register, including free energy assessments from event sponsor Choice Energy.”

Choice Energy CEO Christopher Dean said the current state of power prices is a challenge for businesses.

“Energy costs are one of the highest line items for business, alongside tax and payroll,” Mr Dean said.

According to Mr Dean, Victorian businesses are often confused when it comes to electricity, which inhibits their ability to make good decisions about their energy supply.

“This event will help to demystify energy bills, and empower people to take back control and reduce their costs with practical advice and solutions,” Mr Dean said.

The Frankston City Business Breakfast will be held 14 November between 7:30am to 9:00am at Functions by the Bay – Cnr Plowman Place and Young Street, Frankston.

VWMA members and businesses residing within Frankston will receive special rates. For more information including how to book your place visit the VWMA website.

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Time to get Australia’s product stewardship back on track

Product stewardship is an effective way to deliver cost effective solutions that minimise the impact of products, goods and materials on the environment and human health. Product stewardship is also an important tool that can drive resource recovery and the circular economy in Australia, writes Rose Read, CEO of the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council.

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VIDEO: Terex TDSV20 medium speed shredder

The Terex TDSV20 medium speed shredder is a twin-shaft shredding unit that can perform primary or secondary shredding duties when required.

Applications such as wood waste, green waste and domestic and industrial waste are applicable to the powerful waste shredder, which features a shaft length of 2000 millimetres and a shaft diameter of 630 millimetres.

The screen system, which is available in different sizes, comes with an intelligent protection system, allowing a desired particle size to be produced, while still being able to cope with foreign objects.

For more information contact Finlay Screening, Crushing and Recycling Systems.


Ecocycle acquires AI-powered mercury-safe technology

Mercury recovery and recycling company Ecocyle has acquired the first automated ‘mercury-safe’ flat screen recycling machine from Irish firm FPD Recycling.

According to an Ecocycle statement, the FDP PRO is a fully automated recycling system that can safely and efficiently recycle flat panel displays, including televisions, monitors and laptops.

“Driven by artificial intelligence technology, the FDP PRO has fixed operation costs and transforms the recycling of flat panels into a more profitable business, while providing environmental and economic benefits,” the statement reads.

“It can depollute up to 60 displays in an hour and features a state-of-the-art filtration system to protect workers from exposure to mercury, lead and other hazardous materials.”

The new technology enables process speeds of up to 1.2 tonnes per hour and recovery rates of more than 80 per cent.

“The arrival of this new recycling technology comes amid Australia’s worsening electronic waste problem,” the statement reads.

To tackle the accelerating waste stream, Victoria introduced a ban on e-waste to landfill earlier this year, while South Australia is strengthening preexisting e-waste laws.

“As e-waste regulations tighten across the country, Ecocycle is ready to take on increased levels of e-waste with the help of its new and existing technologies,” the statement reads.

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Paintback appoints new Chair of the Board

Product stewardship scheme Paintback has appointed Lucia Cade to lead collaboration for a sustainable paint industry.

On joining Paintback’s board, Ms Cade said the unique industry-led business model creates a responsible life cycle for products, and value from previously discarded material.

Since beginning in 2016, Paintback has collected more than 13,000 tonnes of paint and packaging from consumers and trade.

“Paintback provides great environmental stewardship to match great customer service. This is the future of industry accountability to manage the world’s precious resources,” Ms Cade said.

“An inspiring level of collaboration between business is needed to achieve this.”

According to a Paintback statement, Ms Cade presides over a number of boards as a non-executive director, and holds advisory roles in global listed companies and government organisations including South East Water, Carbon Revolution, Engineers Australia, Regional Investment Corporation and Future Fuels Co-operative Research Centre.

“Bringing more than 20 years experience in commercial engineering to Paintback, Ms Cade has driven innovation and government and regulatory stakeholder engagement across industries including water, waste, energy and infrastructure,” the statement reads.

Ms Cade will lead the board of business leaders, working with Dulux Group Chief Operating Officer Patrick Jones, Consumer Brands Asia Region President Richard Meagher, Paintback CEO Karen Gomez and others.

“Successful business leaders today are conductors of an orchestra, where excellence in every single instrument is what creates beautiful music,” Ms Cade said.

“Modern leaders normalise differences in the world. You want people who are excellent at what they do.”

As an independent not-for-profit organisation, Paintback is funded through a 15 cent plus GST levy on eligible paint products sold, approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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Community conference called on Laverton North WtE plant

The Victorian EPA will host a community conference on Recovered Energy Australia’s proposed waste to energy plant in Laverton North.

In June 2019, Recovered Energy Australia submitted a final works approval application to the EPA, as required under section 19B(c) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

According to an EPA statement, the application proposed developing a waste-to-energy facility with the capacity to process 200,000 tonnes of source separated residual municipal solid waste each year.

“The proposal utilises a modular system of vertical rotary thermal gasifiers, and is classified under legislation as an A08 (waste to energy) and K01 (power station) scheduled premises,” the statement reads.

“Following a public consultation period, EPA received more than 30 submissions on the plan, which proposes to deliver approximately 15 mega watts of electricity to the grid.”

Submissions range from positive, such as support for gasification and renewable power, and negative, such as concerns over waste to energy’s inability to address waste reduction and littering.

“The purpose and agenda of the conference is to enable the EPA to listen to, and better understand, the views and concerns of the community and stakeholders,” the statement reads.

“The community conference, and the independent chair’s report, will form part of EPA’s assessment of the proposal.”

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Pushing power: Hitachi

Waste Management Review speaks with Matt McCarthy, Hitachi National Major Account Manager, about designing wheel loaders for the waste industry.

Be it mining, construction, forestry or waste management, wheel loaders are a key fixture across multiple industries. While the basic function of the machine remains relatively unchanged, different applications require specialised additives and system structures.

In a waste context, this can include devices to regulate temperature, individual guarding and differential systems designed to enhance pushing power.

Recognising the impact of industry understanding, international construction equipment manufacturer Hitachi has developed a specialised waste service team to guide in-house design and customer support.

Matt McCarthy, Hitachi National Major Account Manager, says his job requires him to work closely with major accounts to monitor their needs and industry-specific requirements.

“If a company hopes to sell into a specific industry, it must have a layered understanding of how the sector works and what its central needs are,” Matt says.

“While Hitachi’s client list spans multiple sectors, we are very attuned to the specificity of the waste and recycling industry, and the need to employ heavy-duty equipment solutions.”

Matt says Hitachi’s close relationship with the waste industry allows the company to develop machines based on acquired knowledge.

“One of our biggest strengths as a national company is our expansive branch network and industry-focused departments,” Matt says.

“This means we have a significant breadth of knowledge to pull from, plus the size of our team enables fast response times.”

Matt says when it comes to machinery and equipment design, the waste sector is demanding.

“Operators at transfer stations, landfills and resource recovery facilities expect a lot from their equipment for good reason, given they regularly deal with harsh materials that require safe and environmentally sound handling.”

Matt says Hitachi’s ZW-5 Wheel Loader range was designed with site conditions in mind and is suited to most applications.

“It can handle anything from solid waste, organics, to recyclable waste and construction and demolition material.”

According to Matt, ZW-5s were designed using research and development from Hitachi’s excavator range.   

“Hitachi is renowned for our hydraulic excavators,” he explains.

“When developing the ZW-5, we chose to incorporate a lot of the same design principals, features, benefits and even componentry.”

ZW-5 Wheel Loaders use a torque proportional differential system, which Matt says is a key point of difference.

“Hitachi includes standard torque proportioning differentials against the whole range, meaning all the machine’s usable power is available to the ground,” he says.

“Customers comment that the pushing power of the machines is exceptional, and because it’s concentrated, they are using a lot less fuel.”

The Hitachi torque proportional differential system automatically adjusts the machine’s driving force to both wheels.

“Unlike conventional differential systems, when road resistance under both wheels is different, the differential reduces slippage and enables the loader to move freely, even in slippery and uneven terrain,” Matt says.

He adds that another benefit of the differential system is reduced tyre wear.

“Hitachi’s system sends torque to the wheels to gain better traction, leading to less damage and longer tyre life.”

Hitachi Wheel Loaders are also equipped with a new hydraulic circuit that accelerates the combined operation of the bucket and lift arm for loading, while prioritising bucket use for unloading.

“The lift arm movement contributes to the new ZW-5’s high productivity levels, as the flow control lowers the lift arm smoothly, reducing vibrations and operator fatigue,” Matt says.

Matt says the manoeuvrability of the ZW-5-Wheel Loader series is also enhanced by automatic gearshift controls.

“The auto one option automatically shifts between first and fifth gear, dependent on the load, when second to fifth gears have been engaged.”

“The auto two option automatically shifts between second and fifth gear, relative to the load. If required, the operator can also change gears manually by using the down shift switch to suit the terrain on any job site.”

The ZW-5’s automatic reversible cooling fan, which Matt says allows the wheel loader to work long hours more consistently, is another relevant feature for the waste industry.

“The fan facilitates easy radiator cleaning, with a one-minute automatic reverse rotation every 30 operating minutes,” he says.

“Having engaged cleaning systems in place is crucial when working in dusty and hot environments.”

For its waste customers, Hitachi also provides a specialised waste handling package. “We can fit ZW-5s with durable guarding, reducing the potential for waste to get trapped in the machine and cause damage,” he says.

“We also have dust protection screens and guards for the front windshield, buckets and axle seals all of which conform to outdoor waste safety specifications.”

According to Matt, Hitachi’s commitment to understanding industry is driven by its total cost of ownership focus.

“Hitachi isn’t just thinking about purchase price. Instead, we are continuously examining ways to reduce total life costs through fuel saving technology and specialised servicing,” he says.

“When a machine is not working efficiently there is reduced productivity, and as such, the operator isn’t earning income.

“It’s Hitachi’s job to keep these machines running, so uptimes can be as high as possible.”

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