NCTCE webinar to explore investment and cleantech capital

Raising capital and securing investment for cleantech innovation in today’s market will be the focus of the latest instalment of the National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition’s (NCTCE) webinar series.

According to NCTCE Director Peta Moore, the webinar series, Cleantech Conversations, has been well received to date, with over 100 registrations for each event.

“Next week we have an excellent panel of investment heavy hitters discussing the expectations of private equity, capital markets and governments for investment in cleantech in 2020,” she said.

Providence Asset Group’s Matthew Muller will facilitate the discussion with a panel of industry leaders explaining how they navigate the investment landscape, the opportunities in public-private funding and the core tenants of good investment.

Panelists include: The Table Club CEO James Burkitt, NERA GM Innovation and Stakeholder Engagement and NCTCE Advisory Panel Member Paul Hodgson, UNSW Knowledge Exchange Director Warwick Dawson and Societe Generale Australia Managing Director Energy & Natural Resources Stephen Craen.

Date: Thursday 2 July

Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm

Click here to register.

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A new era for organics in NSW: DPIE

Through the Net Zero Emissions Plan and upcoming 20-year waste strategy, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is planning for the next phase of organics recovery in NSW.

The NSW Government’s recently released Net Zero Emissions Plan signalled a paradigm shift in state emissions policy.

With a plan to hit net zero by 2050 and 35 per cent reductions on 2005 by 2030, the NSW and Federal Governments will invest almost $10 billion over 10 years to reduce emissions in the state.

For the organics recycling sector, the headline target is net zero emissions from organics waste by 2030.

As organics waste comprises around 40 per cent of the red-lidded kerbside bin, the next steps for statewide recovery will focus on lifting recovery rates.

This is being explored through consultation on the NSW 20 Year Waste Strategy, looking at regulatory settings, infrastructure needs, end uses and renewable energy.

Amanda Kane, Manager Organics at the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), heralds it as an exciting step forward for organics recovery in NSW.

“The plan aligns waste with a major climate action program for the first time, while also recognising that there are multiple benefits for organics recovery,” Amanda says.

She says the net zero emissions organics target links in well with the National Food Waste Strategy target to halve food waste by 2030, supported by the National Waste Strategy Action Plan.

Action points to meet net zero emissions will align with the 20-Year Waste Strategy, which closed for consultation on 8 May. The Cleaning Up Our Act Issues Paper, which was a key part of the consultation, canvassed options for the management of organics in the future.

This may include mandating source separation at a generator level and standardising household and business collections – supported by critical infrastructure and concepts such as joint procurement.

In the meantime, the NSW Government is providing $24 million in funding to support local councils and the alternative waste industry.

Last year DPIE awarded almost $3 million to FOGO collection projects, with services now planned or up and running in 50 local government areas.

The funding package, which opened in mid-May, aims to help affected councils and the industry to implement or improve kerbside organics waste collections, purchase new equipment and upgrade facilities.

It includes $5 million in Local Council Transition grants to support councils impacted by Mixed Waste Organics Outputs (MWOO) regulatory changes with a range of project options, including strategic planning, options assessment, community engagement, rolling out new organics collection services or improving their existing organics services.

Amanda says with the bulk of funding for Waste Less, Recycle More coming to a close, a new round of collection grants will help to continue to support councils upgrading to food and garden organics (FOGO) collection in NSW.

On the commercial side, organics infrastructure funding for onsite systems was awarded last year to major institutions such as AMP Capital Investors, the City of Sydney, David Jones Food Hall and Taronga Zoo.

“Our goal has always been to increase processing capacity to match the increased supply where it’s needed, and we will continue to need to do that as we work towards the Net Zero Emissions goal,” Amanda says.

The infrastructure investment in the last round of Organics Infrastructure grants funding included $6.5 million for infrastructure announced last December – helping to build organics capacity in metropolitan Sydney.

One recipient was Australian Native Landscapes, which received $2.9 million to expand the capacity of its Badgerys Creek facility to process 45,000 tonnes more food waste into compost each year.

BetterGROW was also the recipient of a $1.5 million grant towards a 30,000 tonne per annum organics resource recovery facility at Wetherill Park.

Late last year, DPIE also awarded almost $3 million to five more collection projects, with FOGO services planned or up and running in 50 local government areas in NSW.

The funding boost aims to support local government while the 20-Year Waste Strategy remains in development. DPIE, with the EPA, will continue to undertake research into organics to improve investor confidence in collection and processing.

As part of this, a series of new datasets have been released that will inform the next steps for resource recovery and organics diversion.

This comprises an analysis of the performance of food and garden organics collections in NSW.

DPIE engaged consultants Rawtec to independently review and analyse kerbside red and green lid bin audits undertaken by councils across NSW.

Released in April 2020, the Analysis of NSW Kerbside Green Lid Bin Audit Data Report audited 38 areas/councils to understand the performance of kerbside residual waste and organics services.

Performance was measured at an individual household level by audited area/council and according to the bin size/frequency of collection.

Across all audited councils, the average proportion of available food and garden organics diverted from landfill was 85 per cent.

On average 44 per cent of available food waste was diverted from landfill, though this varied across the areas from five to 78 per cent. Garden organics rated higher in diversion rates, with 98 per cent of available garden organics diverted.

Contamination news was highly positive, with only a 2.2 per cent contamination rate by weight in the FOGO bin.

The research concluded that FOGO services were performing well in organics diversion. However, there are opportunities to improve diversion rates through food waste education.

It showed that reducing access to landfill disposal options through smaller residual waste bins and user selected services led to higher food waste diversion.

The best configuration was a small 120/140 litre residual waste bin, collected fortnightly and a large 240-litre FOGO bin collected weekly.

Amanda says the new report reaffirms that most people are doing the right thing and targeted education would improve results.

As part of ongoing education, DPIE has launched the FOGO Education Deep Dive – a project involving 24 FOGO council educators from around NSW.

The project will explore household behaviour in the kitchen and kerbside and test various interventions to further reduce contamination and increase recovery.

“Everything is aligning to recognise the value of organics as a waste stream and the opportunities for recovery, valorisation and beneficiation,” Amanda says.

For more information click here

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Focusing on the future through positive reform

In response to the NSW Government’s issue paper Cleaning Up Our Act, a number of priority steps have been identified, writes Rose Read, CEO of the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council.

The NSW Government’s issue paper Cleaning Up Our Act: The Future of Waste and Resource Recovery outlines the current challenges facing the waste system and proposes a vision for the future NSW circular economy including options for reform.   

What is pleasing about the paper is that the NSW Government clearly recognises the current waste and resource recovery system is inadequate to meet the state’s growing needs, let alone the transition to a circular economy.

Business as usual won’t fix it, and if we fail to act now to disrupt this trend, the NSW waste system may not be able to cope.

From an infrastructure perspective, the nuts and bolts of the waste system, the issues paper clearly recognises the system’s current limitations and gaps.

From collection challenges and the lack of capacity to process, recover and treat waste, to the limited resilience in the system to ensure service continuity and reliability.

It also acknowledges the essential nature of waste and recycling infrastructure, the workforce supporting it, and community well-being.

Importantly, the government’s vision gives more weight to waste avoidance and creating markets. The NWRIC welcomes this, and it is consistent with the current National Waste Policy. 

It also clearly acknowledges that responsibility for waste isn’t just with those who collect, recycle and dispose of waste or the community.

More so, it identifies that those enterprises that make, sell and construct are key players who must adopt a stronger sense of environmental responsibility for their products across the entire supply chain and material lifecycle.

The paper also places explicit emphasis on waste being seen as a resource that should positively contribute to a sustainable future.

This shift reflects the principles of a circular economy, building social, environmental and economic capital, as opposed to simply reducing environmental harm.

The options proposed in the issues paper are comprehensive and far-reaching, reflecting complex interrelationships and the need for system-wide reform that meets growing public expectations.

The challenge now is to prioritise these options, ensuring an implementation-oriented plan that can deliver measurable outcomes over the next five years from 2021.

Considering our current status, we need to look to the future and design a process that can navigate a clear pathway to change and reform.

In its response to the issues paper, the NWRIC identified a number of priority steps to a more sustainable, affordable and reliable waste and recycling sector.

From a material perspective, priority should initially be given to organics, plastics and glass.

Specifically, this means diverting organics from landfill and increasing the recovery of plastics and glass. This will require system-wide changes and collaboration with other jurisdictions.

Creating markets for recovered materials is also key to making services affordable and sustainable.

The challenge here is not only to address the current quality and supply issues, but more importantly to enable recovered plastics and glass to effectively compete with virgin materials as an affordable alternative.

Several reforms are required to achieve this price parity. Improved source separation at the point of collection, increasing processing capacity, and agreed minimum recovered resource supply specifications will go a long way.

But most importantly, we need to require those who make, sell and construct to use more recovered materials in their packaging, products and infrastructure.

This can initially be driven by taking a stronger product stewardship approach and mandating minimum recycled content in plastic containers.

Requiring all government funded infrastructure projects to demonstrate how they will optimise their use of recycled materials and report on the type and volume of recycled materials and products used, will also be essential.

To encourage private sector investment and technological innovation, the government must provide for dedicated precincts in local and state planning policies, streamline the planning approval and environmental licensing process, and reform the current resource recovery order and exemption framework.

Such changes will help deliver certainty to industry; a much-needed requirement.

Reliability in the system is also paramount. The NSW Government must increase landfill capacity, and proactively support the importance of energy recovery as a viable solution to treat residual waste that cannot be recycled including, contaminated organics.

Finally, greater effort is required to eradicate sub-standard and illegal practices. The approach taken by Victoria to support a waste crime prevention inspectorate is commended.

For too long unlicensed and illegal waste activities have been allowed to occur across the state, harming the environment and putting the community at risk.

The NWRIC considers that all waste and recycling operations must be conducted in accordance with state, national and international environmental, health and safety regulations. Failure to do so is unacceptable.

Of course, essential to any effective strategy and action plan will be clear objectives, targets, data collection to review performance year-on-year, timely progress and adequate funding.

NSW is in a strong position to make these changes quickly. With more than $750 million raised per annum through the state waste levy and only 20 per cent being currently spent on waste and recycling activities, there is ample scope to implement the necessary changes.

This will serve to encourage the greater private investment necessary to create a more sustainable, reliable and affordable waste and recycling system.

The current climate clearly demonstrates that waste and recycling is a service essential to the health and well-being of NSW.

In this regard, the issues paper provides a positive outlook on how NSW can future proof its waste and recycling system as it transitions to a circular economy and recovers from COVID-19.

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Terex Washing Systems’ GreenLine engineered recycling solutions

Terex Washing Systems’ (TWS) GreenLine solutions are a packaged suite of end-to-end washing equipment offerings targeted at the recycling market.

Comprising standard equipment along with specialised recycling tailored products, they are packaged together in a pre-determined and balanced system based on TWS’ long running applications experience.

GreenLine solutions are designed to provide an easy entry to wash recycling processing for new entrants looking to develop a footprint in the expanding sector, as well as established customers in a replacement/expansion phase who require proven rugged out-of-the-box solutions.

For well in excess of a decade, TWS has provided specialist tailored equipment to customers recovering usable, sellable sands and aggregates from recycled or muck-away material that otherwise would have been destined for landfill.

While these ventures were somewhat pioneering, this segment of the industry, and its equipment scope and ability, have grown significantly over time; alongside the breadth of contaminants and composition of feed material.

TWS products packaged with AquaClear, Water Management Solutions and patented specialist units, launching in the coming months, allow TWS to simplify the waste recycling market.

The system couples TWS equipment with their expertise into fixed solutions for various materials from 60tph through to 300tph, while maintaining the ability to easily tailor for particularly specialist applications, demystifying the seemingly complex world of wash recycling.

For more information click here

Two drums with teeth: ELB Equipment

ELB Equipment’s Komptech Crambo shredders are working over-time at Van Schaik’s Bio Gro’s Melbourne organics facility to keep up with a steady influx of material.

Landscaping and permaculture suppliers have reported unprecedented demand for their products in recent months, with an increasing number of Australians looking to become self-sufficient in light of COVID-19.

According to a recent article published in The Canberra Times, the surge prompted Australia’s largest online gardening club, Victoria’s Diggers Club, to advise that it was no longer accepting new product orders.

While the new wave of home gardeners is challenging supply and demand for some, it’s welcome news to waste management and horticulture specialists Bio Gro.

Operating out of South Australia and Victoria, Van Schaik’s Bio Gro (Bio Gro) produces nutrient rich products tailored for a wide range of horticultural and agricultural applications.

According to Sage Hahn, Operations Manager of Bio Gro’s Victorian Operations and Melbourne facility, the application of Bio Gro products to soil results in a range of environmental benefits.

These include, she says, improved soil health, water savings, improved crop productivity and an enhanced ability to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon within soils.

In addition to functioning as a distribution centre for premium potting mixes, Bio Gro’s Melbourne facility operates as an organics resource recovery centre.

“We manage green and timber waste for two councils out of the Eastern Organics Tender, with that material processed at our site and sent off for further composting,” Sage says.

“We deal with roughly 40-50,000 tonnes of organics per annum and produce between 35 and 40,000 cubic metres of premium product that goes out to production growers, landscapers and nurseries.”

To process its organic waste material, Bio Gro operate a Komptech Crambo dual-shaft shredder, purchased through Australia’s exclusive Komptech distributor ELB Equipment.

When material comes in, Sage says Bio Gro decontaminate it manually, before using the Crambo to break down material sizing and generate a more uniform stream.

“Particular sizing is extremely important as it allows us to get more material onto trucks, with the organic material tipped out at the other end ready for composting,” she says.

“Komptech equipment is the best we’ve seen for green waste. It’s extremely robust and the machinery is clever in the way it works through contamination. Machinery maintenance is also very easy, and the fuel efficiency is fantastic.”

Komptech Crambo dual-shaft shredders are designed for shredding all types of wood and green waste. The machines feature two slow-running drums with shredding tools to minimise fine particle and noise and dust emissions, while resisting contraries.

Simon Humphris, ELB Product Manager, says the Crambo enables easy adjustment of the output particle size, with operators able to exchange the screen basket to suit the specification.

“The Crambo is powered by a modern Caterpillar engine, with a complete muffling of the engine compartment keeping noise emissions to a minimum,” he says.

“Through load dependent rotation speed regulation, the hydraulic drum drive ensures that full advantage is taken of the engine output.”

When shredding waste wood, Simon says the shredder’s wear-resistant surface hardened teeth provides a high level of resistance to contraries.

“Counter rotating shafts, together with the special shape of the teeth, produce a perfect feed, even for fractions with high board content,” he says.

Similarly, Simon explains that the shredder facilitates a high throughput for bulky vegetation via a generously dimensioned feed area, folding hopper and counter rotating teeth.

“The teeth size the material and press it in a cutting and splitting action against the cutting edge and screen baskets located underneath,” he says.

“Slow turning results in a lumpy shred initially, however, the material does not exit the shredding area until the particle size matches the hole size of the screen basket. This enables the quantity of shredded material in the desired particle size to be maximised.”

The shredding drum, with rotation speeds up to 44 rotations per minute, has specially developed bearings to keep the drum in place even under extreme loads.

Strong planetary gears boost drive train life, Simon adds, providing dependable service through thousands of operating hours.

Bio Gro’s shredder has been performing above expectation, Sage says, maintaining consistent efficiency in the face of high capacity operations. She adds that the ELB team’s technical expertise and training is second to none.

“ELB come out to our facility and do on-site training with operators. There are not many businesses that do that level of training. And we find it to be absolutely integral to the performance we get out of the machine, because our operators actually understand how it works,” Sage explains.

Furthermore, Sage says ELB’s spare parts service works to maximise uptimes.

“With overseas equipment you can get caught out with spare parts, but because Komptech is so entrenched in the organics sector, ELB has a lot of spare parts in Australia, which means there’s much less downtime,” she says.

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QLD council awards 10-year contact to Cleanaway

Starting 1 July 2021, Cleanaway will provide general waste and commingled recycling collection services under a 10-year agreement with Logan City Council.

Logan City Council Mayor Darren Power said in addition to the collection of waste and recycling bins, the new agreement includes options for council to introduce a garden waste bin service and an on-demand bulky waste pick-up service across the city.

“We will be considering these options over the next few months,” he said.

The tender was awarded after a comprehensive evaluation of bids, Power said, conducted under the supervision of an external probity advisor.

According to Cleanaway Solid Waste Services General Manager David Wheeley, the contract will enable 60 new local jobs, with additional opportunities in procurement and supply.

“Cleanaway’s mission is ‘to make a sustainable future possible’ and for us this means taking a leadership role in environmental sustainability, providing sustainable employment for our people and actively supporting the communities we are part of,” he said.

“Our new side-lift collection fleet will be equipped with the Cleanaview, our in-cabin technology which provides real-time data on collection services and enables us to provide support to residents to use our services correctly, reduce contamination and reduce waste to landfill.”

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Survey shows level of recycling confidence: ACOR

The Australian Council of Recycling commissioned Prime Creative Media before and after COVID-19 to get an updated measure of industry confidence.

In the wake of COVID-19, some organisations have identified the potential for new business over the next six months, but it comes against a broader backdrop of concern about public policy settings for recycling, a new report by the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) has shown.

ACOR which represents dozens of people contributing to the $15 billion resource recover industry, commissioned Prime Creative Media through its title Waste Management Review to undertake a measure of industry confidence of Australia’s recycling sector.

From January to March 2020, Prime Creative Media surveyed more than 500 respondents working in municipal waste (MSW), commercial and industrial (C&I) and construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

The trends have shown that while almost half of all organisations across MSW, C&I and C&D are positive about their organisation’s performance, more than a third of respondents across all streams are very negative about the public policy and government setting.

Respondents ranked issues most important to them and the top three issues across employees working in MSW, C&D and C&I.

Key issues highlighted by respondents were a need for greater reinvestment of state waste disposal activities into resource recovery, grants/loans for resource recovery and pro-active purchasing of recycled content by the public sector.

In ACOR’s second follow-up – COVID-19 Industry Pulse Check – 41 per cent of just under 100 participants indicated they were somewhat impacted by COVID-19, 35 per cent very impacted and 16 per cent unsure of the impact.

Businesses are also somewhat confident about identifying new business opportunities over the next three to six months, with 35 per cent indicating some level of positivity.

ACOR CEO Pete Shmigel said that with the Council of Australian Government’s ban on the export of unprocessed materials, re-investment into the sector is critical now more than ever.

“If we want to optimise recycling’s environmental and economic benefits….we need to better line up industry interests and their social outcomes and public policy,” he said.

“Implementation of the National Waste Policy with all stakeholders around one table is an opportunity in that way.”

Key findings: 


You can read the full results of the survey here.

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Big build disposal: Palfinger

To keep up with Victoria’s Big Build, Rangedale Drainage Services has introduced a range of Telescopic Palfinger hookloaders to its non-destructive drilling fleet.

Set to overtake Sydney as the country’s most populous and economically significant city by 2026, Melbourne is in a state of growth.

As reflected in Victoria’s Big Build, the city will see more than 100 critical road and rail projects delivered over the next five years.

Furthermore, with the recently announced Recycled First program, which builds new recycled content requirements into future road projects under the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority, Victoria’s Big Build is going green.

The M80 Ring Road, Monash Freeway and South Gippsland Highway upgrades, for instance, will all use more than 20,000 tonnes of recycled materials, with a further 190 million glass bottles to be used in surfaces on the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade.

With recycled content requirements and government procurement at the forefront of industry minds, Neil Kermeen, Rangedale Drainage Services Managing Director, is highlighting the parallel importance of environmentally sound construction and demolition waste disposal.

“As the state’s infrastructure projects begin including more recycled content, we also need to ensure that the other end of the spectrum, disposal is given the same environmental consideration,” he says.

According to Neil, Rangedale has performed non-destructive digging (NDD) services at several high profile infrastructure projects, including the West Gate Tunnel and Level Crossing Removals.

NDD, he says, is a process that facilitates the safe excavation of underground utilities such as pipes and cables. Despite its many benefits, such as limiting amenity disruptions, NDD presents some challenges, namely the production of large masses of liquid and slurry waste.

To appropriately manage the NDD slurry, Rangedale has recently invested in three Palfinger Telescopic hookloaders, which will be used to transport slurry for sustainable disposal.

“Our NDD trucks have internal barrels between six and 20 cubic metres, which means they are often overloaded when they leave construction sites.” he says.

“To address that challenge we’ve bought a group of sealed bins that need to be picked up by separate trucks, which is where the Palfinger hookloaders come in.”

Rangedale approached Palfinger as a number of their in-house staff had had experience with Palfinger hooks and skips in the past.

“Given the material we’re dealing with, the hooks need to be extremely robust. Plus, we run a 24-hour operation, meaning every hook will be used extensively each day,” he says.

“Our team that had worked with Palfinger equipment before recommended them enthusiastically. I was told they are the best at what they do.”

Palfinger’s range of Telescopic hookloaders are manufactured using high-tensile steel, which reduces hookloader weight and in turn, allows Rangedale to transport more waste in one trip.

Furthermore, the units are bi-point, meaning horizontal forces are reduced and tipping capacity is increased.

While it’s still early days, Neil says the Palfinger Hookloaders are operating above and beyond his expectations.

He adds that the three Telescopic hookloaders are just the beginning of Rangedale’s relationship with Palfinger.

“This is a growing arm of our business, and if things continue as they are, we expect to see a lot of expansion. We’ve got 35 bins so far, and there’s more being delivered, which means we’re going to need more hooks and trucks,” he says.

“We’re also currently getting trailers built that we’ll tow behind the hookloaders. And we’re planning on purchasing more tow trailers to hook up to the Palfinger units as well, so the versatility of their product works very well for us.”

Palfinger’s units facilitate multi-length container use, with integrated in-cab controls that position the articulated arm during low loading situations and allow a maximum tipping angle of 48 degrees.

The unit also comes with an automatic pneumatic safety lock that secures containers from falling during loading and unloading.

This, Neil says, is a particularly significant feature when transporting the liquid waste, which if incorrectly secured, could pose several health and safety issues.

Reliable and easy to handle, Palfinger’s hookloaders facilitate safe working conditions, with a Soft Stop option to reduce noise and shocks to the hookloader and truck chassis.

Neil says Palfinger’s support was strong and consistent throughout the purchasing process.

“We were novices in this space, and Palfinger Australia really helped us along and gave us the right suggestions. Since then we’ve been moving in the right direction, it’s all been very smooth,” he says.

According to Stuart Cameron, Palfinger Key Accounts Manager for Victoria, SA, and Tasmania, the company’s nationwide service partners ensure minimal downtime and ongoing service.

He adds that for an expanding company such as Rangedale, which offers a 24/7 service, this is a bonus.

“High flexibility and competence in production and a national sales and services network give us a crucial competitive edge and ensures our customers lifetime excellence,” he says.

As a company committed to innovation, Stuart says Palfinger is a perfect partner for Rangedale.

“Palfinger is committed to leadership in innovation. In the past, trailblazing developments have revolutionised products and, in future, intelligent system solutions and unique functionality will shape the industry and new product development,” he says.

“As Rangedale continues to grow and expand its industry offerings, Palfinger’s innovation streak is sure to come in handy.

“We look forward to maintaining our relationship with them long into the future.”

For more information click here

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Net zero diversion: Wastech Engineering

Jeff Goodwin of Wastech Engineering speaks with Waste Management Review about bolstering organics recovery with highly efficient equipment.

In its recently released Net Zero Plan Stage One: 2020-2030, the NSW Government outlines its plan to achieve net zero emissions from organic waste to landfill by 2030.

“Organic waste, such as food scraps and garden trimmings, makes up about 40 per cent of red-lidded kerbside bins. When sent to landfill, the decomposing material releases methane that may not be captured,” the plan reads.

“However, when this waste is managed effectively, through proper composting and recycling processes, methane emissions can be substantially reduced, soils can be regenerated to store carbon and biogas can be created to generate electricity.”

The plan follows similar initiatives in Victoria. With the state’s Recycling Victoria strategy targeting a 50 per cent reduction in organic material sent to landfill by 2030, with an interim target of 20 per cent by 2025.

Jeff Goodwin, Wastech Engineering’s National Product Manager Projects, is enthused by the announcements, highlighting Wastech’s long standing commitment to sustainable organics processing.

Food waste is a significant issue in Australia, Jeff explains, noting that a recent Rabobank Food Waste Report revealed that Australians wasted $10.1 billion in food waste in 2019.

“It’s heartening to see governments across the country committing to food waste reduction initiatives, which is something we at Wastech have been passionate about for a long time,” he says.

“Now is the time for waste companies and food waste generators to heed the call and start investing in efficient and high capacity food waste processing solutions.”

With a 99 per cent recovery rate for both dry and liquid products, Jeff says Wastech’s ATRITOR Turbo Separator is one such solution.

Available exclusively through Wastech, the Turbo Separator range comprises four models, making it suitable for a wide range of de-packaging applications including separating organics from food waste packaging and paper from gypsum.

“The Turbo Separator combines centrifugal forces, self-generated airflow and mechanical processes to remove organic material from packaging – allowing the recovered material to be recycled,” Jeff says.

“The machine can recover anything from bread loafs in plastic wrap, beans in tins cans, milk in cartons and even pet food in plastic pouches. The only material it can’t process is glass, given its sharding effect.”

Several Turbo Separator installations have been purchased recently by recycling companies across Australia, Jeff says.

“When people are eating at a food court it’s common to throw everything into one bin, creating a mix of food and packaging waste that has been traditionally difficult to recover,” he says.

“Using the Turbo Separator however, operators can take a garbage bag containing food waste and packaging, tie up the garbage bag and run it through the machine.

“This allows shopping centres, which produce high levels of food waste, to recover that material and divert it from the general disposal stream.”

However, these bags often contain contamination such as glass bottles, so Jeff says it’s prudent to consider an inspection station prior to the Turbo Separator to remove unwanted materials first.

He adds that as a rule of thumb, for every kilogram of food waste, 10 per cent is packaging.

“When you remove packaging from the organic material, you’re able to recover 90 per cent of each kilogram of food waste, which then saves that material from entering landfill.”

The Turbo Separator includes a variable-speed shaft fitted with paddles, which rotates above a number of screens. The shaft, Jeff says, typically runs between 100 and 1000 rotations per minute, generating air flow as well as centrifugal and mechanical forces.

“Packaged material is fed by an infeed conveyor into the separation chamber, where rotating paddles open up the packaging,” he says.

“The force of the paddles then creates a squeezing effect, which separates packaging from its contents and allows the packaging to retain its integrity.”

This, Jeff says, is an added benefit, with the Turbo Separator’s squeezing as opposed to shredding process producing organic material free of shredded packaging residue.

Depending on material type, the recovered organics can be used for animal feed, nutrient-rich compost or anaerobic digestion.

Jeff explains that the separator is also well suited to product destruction, such as water or soda from half drunken bottles. It can also be used at a commercial level to recover beverages that are past their sell by date or have been damaged or incorrectly packaged.

“For operators dealing with wet material, Wastech can fit the Turbo Separator with a pump that removes liquids from the recovered organic throughput,” he says.

The design of the machine is extremely flexible, for instance, if an operator is only dealing with dry material, the pump isn’t required. Or, if they are working in a confined space, the separator can be re-configured into a different arrangement.”

According to Jeff, Wastech is ready to assist as Australia continues the fight against food waste.

“Wastech has been working in this space for years and we’re in it for the long haul. We believe a future free from food waste is possible and are excited to work with waste companies and food generators to achieve it,” he says.

For more information click here

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AWRE set to return in November

The Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo (AWRE) is set to return this November – bringing waste experts together to explore innovative solutions in recycling and other sectors, and showcase the latest in sustainable products and machinery.

AWRE is a two-day live experience promoting ideas and opportunities for Australia’s waste and recycling community.

It offers new connections, solutions and strategies to build a more stable, sustainable and profitable economy.

Held 25-26 November, at the ICC Sydney Darling Harbour, AWRE will help visitors explore new and innovative ideas in waste management and resource recovery and help exhibitors extend their marketing reach and connect people with the NSW market.

Visitors can discover an exciting showcase of full circle innovative products and sustainable solutions to collect, process and recycle waste.

Future critical areas that will be showcased include machinery and equipment, software and services, bins, vehicles, and food and organics systems.

Attendees can learn from renowned industry leaders in the free-to-attend AWRE Speaker Series, focussing on the latest challenges, developments, strategies and policies that are shaping Australasia’s waste and recycling industry.

They can also connect with an influential community of waste and recycling professionals, suppliers/service providers, government departments, public sector bodies and special interest groups to successfully drive change throughout each specialist area.

Organisers have been committed to the continued aim to provide a platform for the industry to grow, learn and conduct business safely.

“We look forward to AWRE 2020 providing a forum from which the waste, recycling and resource recovery sector can re-establish ties with each other and continue to drive change.”

Register your interest to exhibit here.

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