Fully loaded timber: CJD Equipment

Direct Pallets & Recycling are working to address the problem of wood waste with sturdy machinery from CJD Equipment.

Virtually every manufacturer deals with the issue of waste timber in the form of pallets. Despite their natural resource status, wood pallets are difficult to dispose of and take up significant landfill space.

According to the NSW EPA, approximately 140,000 tonnes of waste wood pallets and crates are sent to landfill each year in Sydney alone.

That said, the problem of wood waste is not being ignored, with proactive resource recovery work through organisations such as the Forest Stewardship Council and private businesses like Direct Pallets & Recycling.

Direct Pallets is a closed loop pallet provider that sells new, near new and fully recycled pallets. To complete the circle, Direct Pallets also shreds excess waste timber to manufacture fully recycled animal bedding, biofuels and garden mulch.

Rob James, Direct Pallets & Recycling Managing Director, says it’s not an over exaggeration to say his company handles a million pallets each year. He adds that 80 per cent of the pallets they sell are manufactured with fully recycled timber.

“Many clients will receive new or recycled pallets through us and then backload our trucks with old pallets for recycling,” Rob says.

Rob started Direct Pallets 25 years ago when he was 23 years old. He says the initial focus was metal recycling, before the company turned its attention to timber.

“Our 10,000-square metre site in Ingleburn NSW handles a near constant flow of trucks, with some dropping pallets off for refurbishing or recycling and others picking new ones up,” he says.

To keep the flow going, Rob says he relies on simple but sturdy equipment.

“We have eight-wheeler hook bin trucks, specialised walking floor trucks, flat top trucks, forklifts, excavators and two large LG946L SDLG wheel loaders,” he explains.

“We purchased the loaders from CJD Equipment after successfully working with them in the past.”

CJD is an Australian owned distributor of construction equipment and trucks for a variety of manufacturing and waste disposal industries.

CJD’s product portfolio includes multiple industry leading brands, such as Volvo, Kenworh, DAF and Fuso.

Rob says being aware of CJD’s long list of international distribution deals made him confident in the company’s ability to provide a loader that met his requirements.

“The SDLG wheel loader is a simple piece of equipment that’s ideal for loading and unloading loose material such as shredded wood.”

The SDLG loader supplied by CJD has high roll buckets, which Direct Pallets uses to load mulch into trucks for transport and reinforce pallet stockpiles.

The wheel loader has a fully certified ROPS-FOPS rollover protection air-conditioned cab, with wraparound pillarless front and rear windscreens for clear visibility.

The SDLG also comes with a standard Volvo compatible quick hitch and general purpose bucket, with a bolt-on cutting edge designed to increase productivity.

According to Rob, the engine is high torque, high performance and fuel efficient, and connects to a tropical cooling package that allows it to work at full capacity in tough conditions.

Rob says he initially brought just one SDLG wheel loader from CJD. However, after watching the machine in action, he went back for a second.

“CJD has been great to work with, not just with supplying the loaders, but also with servicing and after-sales support,” Rob says.

“The comfort of having their back-up was a big influence on our decision to buy the first, and then second SDLG loader.”

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Veolia project wins Global District Energy Climate Award

Veolia and the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) renewables district cooling and storage project has received global recognition at the 2019 Global District Energy Climate Awards in Iceland.

Supported by United Nations Environment Programme, the awards recognise environmentally sustainable and innovative district energy schemes.

District energy refers to systems that deliver heating, hot water and cooling services through a network of insulated pipes, from a central point of generation to multiple end users.

Veolia’s collaborative project with USC was awarded in the Out of the Box category, which highlights innovation in the district energy field.

According to a Veolia statement, the winning project reduces the carbon footprint of USC campus by 42 percent, through the integration of a 8.2 megawatt cooling plant, 2.1 megawatts of solar power and a 4.5 megalitre chilled water storage tank.

“The system is expected to save the university more than $100 million in energy costs and 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the coming 25 years,” the statement reads.

Veolia Regional Energy Services Manager Andrew Darr said winning the award on a global stage reaffirms how innovative the project is, and how the two organisations are challenging the current state of energy consumption and carbon emissions from large buildings and precincts.

“The partnership exemplifies the sustainable and innovative cultures of both organisations, but more importantly, shows others the transition to a sustainable future can be done in an economically viable way when the power of collaborative partnerships is harnessed,” Mr Darr said.

“The renewables district cooling and storage project at USC has been so successful, we are certainly looking to roll out similar schemes in the future.”

USC Chief Operating Officer Scott Snyder said USC plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2025, which requires significant changes to the way energy is captured and consumed.

“So, we really did have to think out of the box, and by forming a partnership with Veolia, we were able to negotiate a 10-year plan that suited us both and delivered major energy savings to the university,” Dr Snyder said.

The award was received in Iceland by Veolia’s Global Key Offer Manager Angel Andreu.

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Food waste diversion grants available

The NSW Environment Department is offering grants worth $100,000 to help food rescue organisations collect donated food and divert the material from landfill.

Environment Department Acting Director Waste and Resource Recovery Amanda Kane said Food Donation Grants are open to not-for-profit organisations and local councils, and designed to provide food relief agencies with extra resources to sign up more donors, work collaboratively and collect more surplus food for redistribution.

“Donating food is a great way to avoid food waste. Every year in NSW, almost a million tonnes of food waste ends up in landfill – 200,000 tonnes of this comes from businesses,” Ms Kane said.

“This funding will support projects that redirect surplus foods to places where it can be put to use, preventing it ever becoming waste at all.”

According to Ms Kane, the grants complement infrastructure funding provided by the NSW Government to food relief agencies for equipment such as fridges, freezers and refrigerated vans.

“Two rounds of the Food Donation Grants have already been successfully completed, with $1.7 million directed to support 21 food rescue projects,” Ms Kane said.

Grants between $5000 to $100,000 are available, with funding from the NSW Government’s $802 million Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

Applications close on 21 November 2018.

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National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition 2021

In its second year, the National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition will take place at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre on the 1-2 November 2021.

Cleantech’s 2021 theme is fast tracking sustainable growth, with a program covering all sectors including water, energy, waste, mobility, agriculture, manufacturing and built environment.

The two-day program will focus on Cleantech as an instigator of innovation, economic development, creative collaborations and inclusive prosperity.

The event will provide a national platform for collaboration, learning, networking and doing business between innovators, investors, producers and commercial end-users of clean technology.

Industry experts Veena Sahajwalla and Arron Wood are confirmed to speak.

For more information click here. 

Parliament launches inquiry into waste and recycling industries

The House Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources has launched an inquiry into Australia’s waste management and recycling industries.

Committee Chair Barnaby Joyce said the inquiry will examine different processes within Australia and compare them to international best practice.

“The committee will investigate innovative ways to reduce the millions of tonnes of waste discarded in landfill and waterways in Australia each year,” Mr Joyce said.

“Improving waste management and recycling in Australia not only provides for a cleaner and more sustainable environment, but also presents a range of economic opportunities.”

According to a Parliament of Australia statement, the committee will consider opportunities to better manage industrial, commercial and domestic waste, as well as any current impediments to innovation in those sectors.

Strategies to reduce waste in waterways and oceans will also be examined.

“The committee would like to hear from interested people, organisations and agencies working to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in Australia,” the statement reads.

Submissions to the inquiry should be received by 31 January 2020.

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$1 million awarded by NSW’s love food, hate waste program

In an Australian first, communities across NSW will deliver two-year whole-of-city approaches to food waste prevention, as part of the state government’s $1 million Love Food Communities grants program.

Grants have been awarded to the City of Sydney, Central Coast Council, Midwaste and North East Waste.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said roughly 750,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by households and businesses in NSW each year.

“I want to see less food being wasted across our communities and these grants will support the recipients to do just that by changing behaviour and giving people and businesses the tools they need to make informed decisions,” Mr Kean said.

“Together, these four newly funded projects will reach 17,000 households and nearly 500 businesses. This is a huge undertaking and will be the first time we see a whole-of-community approach taken to prevent food waste in NSW.”

Participants are required to undertake a food waste survey to understand how much food they are throwing out, implement a succinct program to amend some of their food practices, and at the end of the program re-measure their food waste.

As well as households and businesses, each project will target at least one other sector where there is scope to have a huge impact in food waste reduction such as aged care, schools, pubs and clubs and food manufacturers.

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city will work with its Green Building tenants and Sustainable Destination partners – Hilton, Accor Hotels, Hyatt – to achieve at least 20 per cent food waste reduction within their business.

“Food waste in our residents’ red-lid bins makes up approximately 35 per cent of the city’s general waste – waste that’s bad for our wallets and bad for our environment,” Ms Clover Moore said.

“We’re pleased to be working with the state government to increase awareness about food waste across businesses, apartment dwellers and tertiary education campuses to deliver a clear reduction in waste and create a more sustainable city.”

Hilton Sydney Executive Chef Kruno Velican said organisations must have professional sensitivity and a comprehensive acceptance of how global businesses can impact the communities they serve and environment in which they operate.

“Hilton Sydney has completed two rounds of the ‘Your Business is Food’ program and has reduced its food waste by 50 per cent, saving almost $860,000 from 2016 –2018,” Mr Velican said.

“Hilton Sydney has also partnered with Addi Road to deliver the daily surplus breakfast food to the community organisation and its patrons. This not only reduces food waste sent to landfill but also ensures that perfectly good food is enjoyed by people facing food insecurity.”

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Yume CEO wins AFR award

Yume founder and CEO Katy Barfield was a winner in the Business and Entrepreneur category at this years Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards, for her innovation and leadership working to tackle food waste.

“It is a great honour to receive this recognition, a testament to the importance of the work we are doing at Yume,” Ms Barfield said.

“We thank AFR, Qantas, Sodexo, Korn Ferry and the incredible panel of judges for increasing awareness that there is a solution for commercial food industry waste in Australia.”

Launched in 2016, Yume is a commercial online marketplace that connects food suppliers, manufactures, producers and importers of quality surplus food to commercial buyers.

“We’re urgently calling on all food manufacturers and primary producers to join Yume, so that we can help prevent this food, which takes time, money and valuable resources to grow, pick, pack and distribute, from going to waste,” Ms Barfield said.

According to a Yume statement, the marketplace, which works with leading food manufacturers, such as Kellogg’s and Mondelez, and food service organisations such as Sodexo and Accor Hotels, has sold over 1,200,000 kilograms of surplus food, returning $4.5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers.

“In doing so, the award-winning social enterprise – one of only two companies globally using technology to offer an innovative market for surplus food – has saved an estimated 84 million litres of embodied water and prevented 2442 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released,” the statement reads.

The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards aim to increase the visibility of female leadership and highlight the important contribution women make in creating a bold and diverse future for Australia.

With a record number of nominations this year, Financial Review Editor-in-Chief Michael Stutchbury said selecting the category winners and overall winner was challenging.

“The calibre of this year’s entrants in the 2019 Women of Influence awards was extremely high, and it was hard enough to choose the top 100,” Mr Stuchbury said.

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Researchers turning coffee grinds into concrete

A new project from RMIT University is attempting to use coffee grinds for concrete manufacturing.

According to an RMIT statement, Australia drinks 1.3 million cups of coffee every day, meaning the grinds represent a potentially untapped reuse material.

“As part of the venture, a keen coffee-loving engineering lecturer and his students have looked to the construction industry for a novel solution to reduce the amount of coffee grinds going to landfill – using them in concrete,” the statement reads.

“Most concrete mixes contain up to 80 per cent sand – the third most used resource on the planet. But even this seemingly endless resource cannot keep up with current demand, and extracting it from places with fragile ecosystems can have a huge environmental impact.”

The team has found they can replace up to 10 per cent of sand in a concrete mix with coffee grounds and have produced sample ‘coffee bricks,’ which will be on display at RMIT’s EnGenius event Wednesday 23 October.

“With concrete mixes containing up to 80 per cent sand, the group found coffee grinds could replace up to 10 percent of sand in concrete mixes,” the statement reads.

Bachelor of Engineering students Senura Kohombange and Anthony Abiad worked with senior School of Engineering researcher Srikanth Venkatesan to test and develop the ‘coffee bricks.’

Dr Venkatesan said as a regular cappuccino drinker he was inspired to find a solution to the waste he was making each day.

“The biggest challenge is ensuring the addition of spent coffee grinds does not lead to a reduction in strength of concrete, and this is the focus of further testing and development to make this product viable for use in real-world applications,” Dr Venkatesan said.

Swinburne University did similar tests in 2016 to determine if coffee grounds could be used in subgrades.

Lab testing indicated the mixture was strong enough to compare to other road binder materials however it had yet to be tested in practical applications to determine performance over time.

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