Tyrecycle questions export ban delay

While Tyrecycle welcomes the Australian Environment Minister’s agreement to ban the export of whole baled tyres, the recycler has called the two-year implementation delay disappointing.

According to a Tyrecycle statement, the decision to delay implementation also represents a missed opportunity to grow local markets.

“To learn the ban specific to whole-baled tyres won’t be implemented until December 2021, six months after plastics which are far more challenging, seems nonsensical,” the statement reads.

“Not only is there already sufficient processing capacity in Australia for end-of-life tyres, but there are also existing local and overseas markets for recycled tyre products.”

A new report commissioned by the Australian Tyre Recyclers Association (ATRA) shows that present Australian capacity is capable of recycling all the material currently exported as bales.

“We already have the capability to recycle tyres for use in asphalt for road surfacing, in tile adhesive, in soft fall and sporting surfaces and as tyre-derived fuels to replace fossil fuel use,” the statement reads.

“All we need is a commitment to increased levels of domestic procurement for tyre-derived products.”

The statement suggests that delayed timeframes will lead to the continued exportation of roughly 70,000 tonnes of whole bales tyres per year.

“Indian authorities are presently seeking to clamp down on imports of used tyres and a recent decision by India’s Green Tribunal leans toward banning any imports of whole tyres that would be used in batch pyrolysis reactors. Surely, it’s a far more ethical and environmentally responsible approach for Australia to act first,” the statement reads.

“A ban, implemented sooner rather than later stands to create local jobs, attract investment in domestic infrastructure and technology, and position Australia as a global leader in the circular economy.”

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SA councils take part in crumb rubber trial

At least six South Australian councils have agreed to take part in a trial using crumb rubber derived from end-of-life truck tyres.

With funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), a special gap graded asphalt modified with crumb rubber will replace regular asphalt on a number of roads.

The trial involves TSA, Topcoat Asphalt and the cities of Mitcham, Port Adelaide Enfield, Campbelltown, West Torrens, Onkaparinga and Salisbury. The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure will provide technical advice.

TSA CEO Lina Goodman said the trial is the largest of its type conducted in Australia.

“These councils are playing a vital role in finding modern and environmentally sound solutions to a problematic waste problem,” Ms Goodman said.

“South Australian councils are leading the way by embracing this landmark opportunity in the development of the circular economy in Australia.”

According to a TSA statement, the equivalent of 29 million passenger tyres are up-cycled, recycled or processed locally for productive uses such as roads, playgrounds, polymers and tyre-derived fuels each year.

“But, over 27 million passenger tyres in Australia are not being recycled. These often end up in landfill, stockpiles or are exported overseas,” the statement reads.

The trial will use the equivalent of roughly 3400 passenger vehicle tyres or more than 20,000 kilograms of crumb rubber. Each of the six sites will use what equates to 566 passenger tyres.

Topcoat Asphalt will mix the crumb rubber into a special high-grade mix, which according to the statement, has a high rubber ratio.

“A similar trial was conducted earlier this year on a small section of road in the City of Mitcham which is so far showing positive results,” the statement reads.

“However, this larger trial will use a higher proportion of crumb rubber.”

Each trial site will consist of two adjacent road sections. One 200 metre section will contain the high- grade mix and the other will be normal asphalt.

The roads will be tested for resistance to rutting, susceptibility to cracking and moisture damage over a minimum of two years.

TopCoat Asphalt Technical Manager Rod McArthur said testing in other countries shows crumb rubber from old tyres works well, or even outperforms, regular asphalt.

“This trial is about proving that the product works just as well here in South Australia, using the tried and tested Californian technology, without having to reinvent the wheel,” Mr McArthur said.

City of Mitcham Principal Engineer Russel King said he believes more councils and other levels of government should be using crumb rubber technology in their roads.

“We have shown through our trial that it improves the performance of roads due to less cracking and it increases the life span,” Mr King said.

Ms Goodman said using crumb rubber is a win-win for the rate payer and the environment.

“It’s time we saw old tyres as a valuable product that can be used to make roads last longer all around Australia,” Ms Goodman said.

“The recent COAG announcement banning the export of old tyres is another reason governments should embrace this technology.”

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National recycling scheme launches for batteries and plastic pens

Officeworks has launched a new way for customers to dispose of batteries, pens and markers, as part of upgrades to recycling stations across most of its stores over the next 12 months.

The program was launched by Assistant Waste Reduction Minister Trevor Evans at Officeworks Osborne Park store in Perth, Western Australia.

“Australians can now recycle their batteries, pens and markers at Officeworks, in addition to e-waste, computers and accessories, ink and toner cartridges and mobile phones,” Mr Evans said.

“It is another step forward in Australia transitioning towards a more circular economy, in which we recognise the value of our waste resources and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”

Mr Evans said every Australian, including all levels of government, has a part to play in the waste and recycling “revolution.”

“I am delighted that Officeworks is playing its part to improve our environment, and assisting customers to dispose responsibly of unwanted technology items for free in their stores at dedicated recycling collection points,” Mr Evans said.

“Recycling old batteries and plastic pens and markers is one very practical and easy thing we can all do.”

According to Mr Evans, Officeworks existing recycling program has already collected more than 10 million ink and toner cartridges and 4800 tonnes of e-waste.

“Officeworks is planning to have battery recycling available in all its stores, and pen recycling in most stores, by the end of 2020,” Mr Evans said.

“Officeworks will recycle batteries in partnership with Envirostream, and pens and markers in partnership with BIC.”

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Sustainability systems: Method Recycling

Sebastian Waddell of Method Recycling explains how education and centralised waste stations can help reduce businesses’ costs.

Multinational corporations announcing large-scale sustainability commitments has been a common theme of 2019.

 As a result, organisations are under increasing pressure to take ownership of their waste. Beyond social pressure, businesses also have to deal with legislative changes, namely the introduction and/or rise of landfill levies.

According to Sebastian Waddell, Method Recycling National Business Development Manager, companies are now further examining how they can reduce and separate waste and recycle more effectively.

 Method operates under the philosophy of open plan recycling, where centralised recycling stations replace traditional under desk bins and one source recycling.

According to Sebastian, behavioural change is key to the Method process.

“When bins are hidden away, people often throw their waste away mindlessly, but with our system they are confronted with a choice that forces them to think, what am I holding and where does it go?” he says.

Sebastian says the first stage of switching to Method is preliminary consultation and strategy development.

First, Method contacts the client’s waste contractor to ensure it has the capacity to collect the required source separated streams. If the contractor doesn’t, Sebastian says Method will encourage the client to outsource to an additional contractor.

“Clients often think outsourcing will be an expensive process. However, if their current waste contractor is only collecting two streams, landfill and recycling, they are essentially sending 30 to 50 per cent of their waste to landfill.

“There are significant levy fees attached to landfill disposal, so getting the client to source separate as much as they can by contacting additional parties will drastically reduce waste management overheads.”

Education is the central component of this process, Sebastian says. He says that Method continuously keep its clients up to date on waste levy increases and contamination charges.

After collection is addressed, Method works closely with the client on education programs and system rollouts. “We ask, what has worked for your company in the past? What hasn’t? And what goals do you want to achieve?” We then develop support systems and collateral that underscore the do’s and dont’s of each bin, based on the waste types at that specific organisation.”

Sebastian explains that while most people are open to source separating, individuals who haven’t been exposed to the process before can be hesitant.

“In that case, it’s about working with those objections and helping people understand the benefits of separating their waste,” he says.

“The biggest problem is always the removal of under-desk bins.”

To address under-desk pushback, Method developed the precycler product, which sits on individual desks and allows people to source separate on a micro level.

When an individual then needs to leave their desk, they can take the precycler with them for disposal at a central bin station, Sebastian says

“One of our larger clients has 20 separate offices, and with that level of staff there was bound to be resistance, but after we introduced the precycler opposition dissolved immediately,” he says.

“People are becoming more conscious of their waste and it’s clear that interest is growing. Sustainability is a slow-moving wheel, but we’re getting there.

For more information contact Sebastian Waddell at sebastian@methodrecycling.com

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What happened to MWOO?

One year on from the NSW EPA’s ban on mixed waste organic material, Waste Management Review speaks with key industry stakeholders about resource recovery exemptions.

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Coca-Cola and Veolia to establish Australian plastic recycling plant

Coca-Cola Amatil and Veolia are considering opportunities to establish a recycled plastic processing plant in Australia.

The potential recycling plant will focus on PET plastic, which is used to manufacture plastic bottles.

Coca-Cola Amatil’s Group Managing Director Alison Watkins said a joint project team has been established by the two companies, which will consider the plant’s economic feasibility, size, scale and location, end-to-end requirements and potential integration into each company’s value chains.

Ms Watkins said the joint project team will leverage each company’s expertise and experience in respective parts of the production and recycling process.

Veolia Australia and New Zealand CEO and Managing Director Danny Conlon said the project team will make recommendations to their respective companies in the short-to-medium term.

“We’re delighted to be working with our Amatil colleagues on this important initiative,” Mr Conlon said.

“It comes at a critical time for Australia where we need to be doing more to resolve ongoing issues around plastics and their potential to be recycled. I look forward to future announcements on circular economy solutions.”

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$22 million in new biofutures projects set to start in QLD

Six new bio projects collectively valued at more than $22 million will soon be delivered in Queensland, with the first grants announced from the state government’s $5 million Queensland Waste to Biofutures Fund (W2B Fund).

The Waste to Biofutures Fund offers grants from $50,000 to $1 million to develop pilot, demonstration or commercial-scale projects that produce bio-based products instead of conventional fossil fuel-based products.

This includes utilising household food and green waste, tyres and plastics, recovered fats and oils from restaurants, and biosolids from sewerage treatment plants.

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said $1.9 million had been awarded to six businesses and universities innovating in the waste-to-bioproducts space.

“Queensland is leading the way when it comes to turning waste streams into high-value bioproducts with environmental benefits,” Mr Dick said.

“These six projects will create biogas, syngas and fertiliser replacements and energy to run industrial plants and charge electric vehicles, but most importantly they’ll create more jobs for Queenslanders.”

Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said the W2B Fund is helping Queensland companies advance exciting projects.

“These projects have enormous potential to attract investment in the bioenergy sector and create jobs,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Bioenergy is attracting considerable interest worldwide due to its enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions and drive a more sustainable energy future.”

W2B Fund recipients:

BE Power Solutions ($500,000): Biogas-solar power plant at AJ Bush rendering facility Bromelton, Scenic Rim, providing power for the facility and the grid.

Wildfire Energy ($500,000): Waste-to-energy demonstration project in Redbank Plains, Ipswich, which will convert feedstocks into syngas, enabling the production of renewable electricity, hydrogen and chemicals.

Energy360 ($363,500): Bioenergy plant and electric vehicle (EV) charging station with future potential to power Bundaberg Regional Council waste-recovery trucks.

Nilwaste Energy ($250,000): Demonstration plant at QUT’s industrial testing facility in Banyo to convert waste into bioenergy.

Pearl Global ($250,000): Project at Staplyton on the Gold Coast producing bioenergy from waste gas.

University of Southern Queensland ($50,000): Toowoomba project to create granulated organomineral fertilisers from biosolids.

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New product stewardship scheme to launch

Environment Minister Sussan Ley says she intents to add child car seats the Product Stewardship Act Priority List, following the establishment of a new stewardship scheme for the product.

The new scheme will work to provide convenient solutions for old, unwanted and potentially unsafe child car seat disposal.

“More than 1,400,000 new child car seats are sold annually in Australia,” Ms Ley said.

“The Memorandum of Understanding signed today (13 November) sees car seat manufacturers, retailers and motoring associations coming together for the first time to adopt the SeatCare program, which makes it easy for parents and families to dispose of old and potentially dangerous child safety seats for recycling.”

The industry led scheme is being co-designed and built by sustainability and environmental management consultants Equilibrium.

According to an Equilibrium statement, there is currently no Australian program to support the take-back of old child car safety seats.

“Simultaneously, there is a growing public expectation that producers and retailers are well placed to demonstrate their corporate social and environmental responsibility in a very practical manner,” the statement reads.

“As a result, SeatCare is a timely solution that will address both safety and environmental objectives in a practical way.”

Based on the 10-year recommended maximum life span of child car safety seats, national birth-rates, estimated changeover rate of units per child and per family, trials have found that up to one million child car safety seats can potentially be captured and removed from the market per year.

Equilibrium ran a trial in 2017 throughout Queensland, NSW and Victoria, which according to the statement, successfully collected 1921 seats for recovery and recycling and diverted 10,342 kilograms of material including plastic and steel from landfill.

“It is estimated that over 200,000 child car seats are disposed of every year, with the majority being sent to landfill,” the statement reads.

“This is despite the fact that over 80 per cent of child car safety seats can be recycled once dismantled. A product with such a significant percentage of recyclable material should be considered a valuable resource that is wasted when sent to landfill.”

Equilibrium General Manager Damien Wigley said SeatCare will provide a unique community service that can improve road safety while also reducing waste to landfill.

“SeatCare is an excellent example of how manufacturers, auto associations, safety advocates and environmental specialists can create positive waste reduction programs that meet consumer expectations,” Mr Wigley said.

 “SeatCare demonstrates how voluntary approaches to product stewardship can be achieved in a timely and outcome-oriented way. Multi-stakeholder involvement from the outset is the key to such programs, as is equitable co-funding, transparency and environmental sound processes.”

Once established, SeatCare intends to progressively roll out collection sites in mid-2020, with an initial target of 25 locations.

“As the program expands, this number will grow and potentially could build to around 60 collection sites in both metropolitan and regional areas, and involve a number of accredited dismantling organisations and plastic and metal recyclers,” the statement reads.

SeatCare will accept:

Rear facing carriers

Forward facing seats

Booster seats

Car seat and carrier frames

Car seat and carrier strapping

Items that attach directly to the seat or carrier supported by the manufacturer

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Baled to perfection: Material Recovery Solutions

Material Recovery Solutions explains its unique value proposition as it becomes the exclusive agent for Godswill balers in Australia and New Zealand.

International original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Godswill Paper Machinery Company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of balers.

With nearly 200 balers in operation in Australia and New Zealand, Godswill holds a substantial market share, with many operating in high-volume applications.

Since 1987, Godswill Paper machinery has proven to be an international player with exclusive agents committed to providing front line service and support globally.

To offer the reliable equipment locally, Material Recovery Solutions (MRS) recently became the exclusive agent for Godswill balers in Australia and New Zealand. Its range includes, but is not limited to – channel, two ram, closed door and custom build balers.

Flagship models comprise the GB-1111FX channel baler and the GB-1175TR two ram baler.

Marcus Corrigan, Managing Director of MRS, says the new agreeement is not a decision Godswill made lightly.

“We believe in putting after-sales support first and supporting our customers. Their confidence in us results in new orders,” Marcus says.

MRS technicians are armed with a suite of OEM spare parts to support Godswill products along with a full-serviced in-house machine shop, allowing items to be manufactured quickly.

Simon Davidson, Project Engineer at MRS, says the company aims to offer unrivalled support to the marketplace.

“It’s very significant to be able to offer quality components to a high tolerance,” Simon says.

“OEM parts are trialled and tested over many years to ensure longevity and reduce damage to other aspects of the machinery caused by faulty parts.”

Godswill balers are designed to provide export bale weights at high throughputs across a range of material types.

Channel balers support fibrous materials such as paper, cardboard and various waste streams.

The two ram balers, designed to bale high memory materials such as plastic bottles and LDPE film, can also bale an array of other materials. Custom builds are also available for niche applications.

Simon says the Godswill range was designed with usability and ease of maintenance in mind.

“Touchscreen human machine interface (HMI) combined with a push button system offers ease of use.”

Simon adds that customisable material settings with selective switchovers support effortless material changeovers.

“HMI provides intuitive diagnostics. Combined with our 24/7 service and support, we are able to ensure liability and year-long operations.”

“Our direct communication and close relationship with Godswill as a supplier enables us to get a quick response on all issues backed up by our technical knowledge and industry experience.”

“Through default, all Godswill balers have innovative safety functions with dual redundancy systems to operate in the safest possible manner.”

Marcus says the company currently manufacture systems to service the baling, processing, recovery and product destruction industries.

“We are expanding our scope within the industry by providing solutions in the collection sector, currently manufacturing a number of automated document collection vehicles.”

Marcus’ 20 years of experience in the material processing industry, including 15 in the material recovery industry, ensures he can serve customers with an advanced level of industry knowledge.

“While MRS is a young company, the ever-expanding team of engineers, technicians and manufacturers offer a wealth of knowledge adding to our overall diversity. I am proud of our achievements and excited about the future,” Marcus says.

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