Applications open for NSW Circulate grant program

Applications are now open for round three, intake seven of Circulate, the NSW Government’s industrial ecology grant program.

Grants of up to $150,000 are available to businesses, not for profit organisations, product stewardship groups, industry bodies and government organisations for projects that apply industrial ecology principles to recover materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

According to a NSW EPA statement, industrial ecology aims to increase the efficiency of industry’s resource use by shifting from a linear to a closed-loop or circular system.

“Traditional industry typically follows a linear pattern. Virgin resources are extracted from the environment, products are made and sold and waste products are sent to landfill,” the statement reads.

“Industrial ecology redesigns industrial processes so they function in similar ways to natural ecosystems. In this way, the waste products of one process become the resources of another process.”

Projects funded under the six-year, $5.46 million program must also demonstrate how recovered material will be used as feedstock for other commercial, industrial or construction processes.

“Recipients develop synergies with other industries to identify industrial ecology opportunities, increase efficiency and save money by reducing waste sent to landfill,” the statement reads.

“To date, the program has diverted more than 50,000 tonnes of C&I and C&D waste from landfill.”

Applications are open until 1 May 2020.

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Bridging the waste divide: Isuzu

Increasing demands on collection practices to keep up with the growing waste segment has influenced a new line-up of Isuzu Dual Control solutions.

Looking at the 2018 National Waste Report, the numbers tell us that Australians generate 67 million tonnes (Mt) of waste each year – of which 37 Mt comprises recycling.

Increasing recycling rates mean waste companies must adapt, travelling to new locations, carrying changing waste streams and taking on new assets and pieces of infrastructure.

While each waste company will have their own market reach, one major organisation has been growing its footprint and now holds around 5000 vehicles.

Moreover, innovation is conducive to winning new contracts in the evolving collection and resource recovery landscape.

To answer the call for efficient waste management, manufacturers must keep up with continued product investment and innovation. This allows them to deliver the outcomes expected by waste collection stakeholders.

As an essential service, waste management collection can be resource-intensive and competitive. Providing the best service provision in a cost-effective manner therefore continues to inspire a range of novel solutions.

Truck manufacturer Isuzu, which has a vision to lead the way in providing whole-of-life solutions for its customers, has been continuing to refine its products to improve its market offering.

Isuzu Australia Limited National Sales Manager, Les Spaltman, says the sheer scale of the waste management task calls for not only more waste transport solutions, but also a diverse, improved range of application-specific products.

“Taking into consideration the relentless demands on the equipment and an increasingly challenging environment, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind,” Les says.

He says that payload capacity, harsh stop-start operation and ease of operation, including visibility while driving, are important factors to consider. Likewise, Les says product performance and efficiency and product reliability and durability are equally considerable.

With all of these factors in play, Les says Isuzu Trucks’ release of an expanded Dual Control range is a timely addition to the waste solution market.

“We’re extremely pleased to be able to bring additional factory dual control solutions to market,” Les says.

“Many would be aware of the discontinuation of some of the more traditional, go-to truck models in this sector. In response, we have a highly competitive, low tare weight solution on offer – one which ticks some key boxes for Australian operators.”

TAILORED SOLUTIONS

Les says the expanded Dual Control range was OEM-developed and designed to comfortably handle the demands of the local waste industry and landscape.

“The newly expanded Dual Control range combines product value and reliability with low tare weight, meaning more waste can be transported cost-effectively,” he says.

As the trucks have been designed specifically for Australian conditions, it was important a number of elements were taken into consideration.

For example, the range comprises key gross vehicle mass (GVM), specification and wheelbase variants, and caters to a broad range of waste applications, including road sweepers and side-lift compactors.

Starting the range is the dual-rated FSR 140/120-260 Dual Control, available in 12- and 14-tonne GVM models, followed by the slightly heftier FVD 165-300 Dual Control at 16.5 tonnes GVM.

Rounding out Isuzu’s offering are two heavier models, available in medium and long wheelbase options: the FVY 240-300 Dual Control and FVZ 240-300 Dual Control featuring a 24-tonne GVM rating.

Power comes from Isuzu’s six-cylinder, 24-valve 6HK1-TCC and TCS engines, renowned for their performance, economy and efficiency, especially under high-idle conditions.

Further tare weight reductions of up to 250 kilograms can be achieved with Hendrickson rear airbag suspension, which is available for the FVY and FVD models. Les says that for harsher, off-road environments, rugged steel spring rear suspension is an option.

Common features across all Isuzu dual control models include high precision cross shafts linking both left- and right-hand steering columns.

Both driving positions are furnished with ISRI 6860 adjustable air-suspended seats with integrated seat belts, offering maximum comfort and operational visibility.

All Isuzu dual control models also come equipped with Allison automatic transmission as standard equipment, from the LCT 2500 Series in the FSR, through to the rugged 3000 Series in the FVD model and the 3500 Series in the FVZ and FVY 6×4 variants.

DRIVER COMFORT

Catering to driver comfort and ease of use, the expanded Dual Control range features Allison automatic transmissions, and standard ISRI 6860 adjustable air-suspended seats with integrated seat belt across both left- and right-hand driving positions.

Both driving positions feature air-assisted steering wheel height adjustment, allowing complete driver customisation.

Additionally, the instrument panel is duplicated on the left-hand driving side for added ease of operation.

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ACT revokes all charity bin licences to combat illegal dumping

The ACT Government has immediately revoked the licences of all charity bins operating on public land throughout Canberra, in a bid to tackle a rise in illegal dumping.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said the decision was made with the support of charity bin operators.

“This decision has been made due to the growing challenges faced by charity operators in managing illegal dumping around the diminishing number of clothing bins around the city,” he said.

“Despite a range of measures to address the problem, including CCTV and improved compliance, some Canberrans are still continuing to dump goods next to bins, leaving our city untidy. It’s unfair for the charities to have to clean up these dump sites, so they have been withdrawing these services.”

According to Mr Steel, COVID-19 has also impacted the availability of charity workforces to manage the bins.

“I am urging all Canberrans to please stop taking items to charity bins from now. We have already started the process of removing the remaining ones from locations around Canberra, and will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks,” he said.

Mr Steel said the ACT Government remains committed to continued collaboration with the charity sector to ensure opportunities for the reuse and recycling of unwanted items.

“Following the public health emergency, we will seek to meet with the charity sector and other interested organisations to work on the future of textile recycling in the ACT,” he said.

“This will involve identifying alternative collection points in the future, as well as looking to improve textile recycling beyond what is already available in the ACT.”

High quality items including clothing, books and homewares will still be accepted by charities with shop fronts currently accepting goods.

“I would also ask Canberrans to be mindful of the current COVID-19 challenges and to consider storing their items at home temporarily during this time and to avoid unnecessary travel. Poor quality and broken goods should go in the rubbish bin,” Mr Steel said.

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NSW fast-tracks facility development process

The NSW Government will fast-track planning processes for State Significant Developments – including waste management facilities – to keep the development sector moving through the COVID-19 crisis.

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NSW awards over $1M to Aboriginal waste and land projects

The NSW Government has awarded $1,092,270 to 13 Local Aboriginal Land Councils for community waste projects designed to clean up and prevent illegal dumping on their land.

According to an EPA statement, Cowra, Dubbo, Worimi, Illawarra, Mindaribba, Wanaruah, Ngambri, Tibooburra, Amaroo, Cobowra and Menindee Local Aboriginal Land Councils have been awarded a total of $692,270 from the Aboriginal Land Clean Up and Prevention (ALCUP) program.

“Cleaning up a heritage property, developing a bush tucker garden, revegetating a historic campground, removing asbestos waste and stopping illegal access to dumping hot spots are among the planned ALCUP projects and clean-up activities,” the statement reads.

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Regional Carmen Dwyer said many Aboriginal communities faced waste disposal barriers due to lack of services, resources and limited access to waste management facilities.

“The EPA recognises the difficult and diverse challenges faced in many remote Aboriginal communities and is committed to helping local land councils improve their environment and create long-term change,” Ms Dwyer said.

“This funding will help Local Aboriginal Land Councils tackle issues in their areas. Illegal dumping of waste is a common problem, and these grants will help make a big difference to local communities.”

A total of $726,181 has already been awarded under the ALCUP, funded through the state government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

Ms Dwyer said the program encourages community education and partnerships, and incorporates cultural activities to reduce and prevent the occurrence of illegal dumping.

“Previously, the program has funded clean-up work, surveillance cameras, deterrence signage, education and awareness programs and bush regeneration,” she said.

“Since 2006, the program has seen 6108 tonnes of waste cleaned up, 1344 tonnes of waste safely disposed of at landfills and 1706 tonnes of materials recycled.”

Additionally, Moree, Amaroo and Walgett Local Aboriginal Land Councils have been awarded a total of $400,000 under the Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program (ACWMP).

“The three ACWMP projects receiving funding will tackle bulky waste and litter in a variety of unique ways, including cleaning out a dam to restock with fish, removing damaged cars, clearing demolished house materials, removing dumped waste from riverbanks, unblocking drains, planting native grasses, growing bush tucker medicines and starting vegetable gardens and chicken-keeping,” the EPA statement reads.

“Aboriginal community members will be employed by some land councils as rangers or to undertake the work.”

The $4 million ACWMP is funded for four years until 2021.

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Global review calls for end to fast-fashion

Fundamental changes to the fashion business model, including an urgent transition away from ‘fast fashion’, are needed to improve the long-term sustainability of the fashion supply chain, according to a global review published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment.

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Associate Professor Alison Gwilt, one of the review’s co-authors, said the fashion industry is the second largest industrial polluter after aviation, and accounts for up to 10 per cent of global pollution.

“However, the industry continues to grow, despite rising awareness of the environmental impacts, in part owing to the rise of fast fashion, which relies on cheap manufacturing, frequent consumption and short-lived garment use,” she said.

“Fast fashion pieces are viewed by the consumer as disposable garments, since they are cheaper to produce and often made from poor-quality material. Normally they are designed to be on-trend, which means that new products are constantly arriving in store all the time.”

Academics from Finland, Sweden, USA, the UK and UNSW have identified the environmental impacts of the fashion supply chain, from production to consumption, focusing on textile waste, water use, chemical pollution and CO2 emissions.

“While impacts from the production of cotton and polyester continue to create concern, there has been a global response to developing new innovative fibres and fabrics that aim to replace resource-intensive natural fibres and petroleum-based man-made fibres,” the review states. 

While most environmental impacts occur in textile-manufacturing and garment-manufacturing countries, the authors write that textile waste is found globally.

“Current fashion-consumption practices result in large amounts of textile waste, most of which is incinerated, landfilled or exported to developing countries,” the review states.

A/Prof. Gwilt said that when a garment is sold on the shop floor, producers often feel that’s the end of their relationship with the product.

“But there is a discussion about whether producers should actually be responsible for the waste that they produce, and how they can they better support the extended life of garments through repair services,” she said.

According to the review, these impacts highlight the need for substantial changes in the industry, including decelerating manufacturing and introducing sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.

“As we look to deceleration in fashion manufacturing it means that brands and retailers need to look at other avenues and opportunities for growth,” A/Prof. Gwilt said.

“Currently there is a real interest in the fashion rental and subscription service. For example, Rent the Runway, the US clothing rental service, has grown exponentially. While repair and remanufacturing services enable consumers to keep their garments for longer.”

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Australia’s most iconic anti-litter movement captured the world’s attention when it began 50 years ago and significant progress has since been made. We look back at the organisation’s history.

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