Reverse logistics ewaste: Ecycle Solutions

Ecycle Solutions is helping businesses reduce their waste to landfill rate through innovative ewaste collection, recycling and disposal services.

Millions of electronic devices such as televisions and computers are discarded in Australia every year, with ewaste now the fastest-growing waste stream in the country.

Established in 2011, the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) provides Australian households and small businesses with access to free industry-funded collection and recycling services.

According to Chris Tangey of Ecycle Solutions, the NTCRS is properly designed and works well mechanically.

He adds that it has regulations that demand compliance and prescribe penalties for non-compliance.

“All stakeholders signed off with a positive assessment for the continuation and expansion of the scheme during the 2018 Statutory Review,” Tangey says.

More than 1800 collection services have been made available to the public since 2011, with over 290,000 tonnes ewaste collected and recycled.

The scheme is operated by four government-approved Co-Regulators on behalf of industry, including Ecycle Solutions.

Ecycle Solutions collects end-of-life ewaste via free drop-off and collection points at participating retail stores such as Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and Radio Rentals.

Since its launch in 2013, Ecycle Solutions’ ewaste service has grown significantly. The company now works with over 300 manufacturers and retailers, and in 2019, collected over 11,000 tonnes of ewaste.

According to Tangey, the NTCRS requires all importers of electronic goods into Australia to recycle 66 per cent of the mass they bring in.

Beginning at 30 per cent in 2011, Tangey say the recycling rate increases by two per cent each year. He adds that the rate is capped at 80 per cent due to a belief recycling beyond that level is challenging.

At the heart of the Ecycle Solutions’ system is parent company QLS Logistics, a national transport company that regularly visiting metropolitan, regional and country retail stores throughout Australia.

“As NTCRS partners, when QLS drivers deliver new white and brown goods to retail stores, they collect purpose-built ewaste bins full of end-of-life televisions and computers, which are then recycled,” Tangey says.

“This ultimately functions as a reverse logistics network, facilitating a sustainable closed loop system.”

Under the scheme, Co-Regulators such as Ecycle Solutions are required to provide reasonable access for the general public to recycle their ewaste, with approximately 300 collection points across Australia.

Tangey says in metro areas such as Melbourne and Sydney, reasonable access equates to one collection point per 250,000 people. He adds that in Melbourne, that equates to a minimum of 17 collection points.

“When a member of the public or a small business visits one of our participating retailers they can drop their goods off free-of-charge, and are not required to buy anything.

“We audit those sites each year to ensure they are providing a compliant, accessible and streamlined service.”

Once collected by Ecycle Solutions, the ewaste is sent to third party specialist ewaste recyclers where greater than 90 per cent become reusable materials.

Ecycle Solutions use 10 recyclers in total, with four located in NSW and Victoria respectively, and another three across Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.

“We tend to aim at small-to-medium recyclers, which are often family run businesses. They are all accredited and audited to ensure they comply with all relevant regulations,” Tangey explains.

As the sole co-regulated product stewardship scheme, the NTCRS stands out within the wider product stewardship ecosystem. The scheme is effective, Tangey says, because of its extended producer responsibility focus.

“If a company is importing a future waste material into the country, they have to pay for that waste to be dealt with. That is why the scheme is so successful, as often times people need a regulatory push to transition to more sustainable practices,” he says.

As the industry continues to wait on the Federal Government’s Product Stewardship Act Review, Tangey says he would like to see the NTCRS expanded to include more products such as batteries and photovoltaic solar panels.

“We need to expand the scheme so that more waste is regulated, and resource recovery rates grow,” he says.

“The NTCRS is really starting to close the loop in Australia, with more commodities such as metals, plastics and motherboards recycled onshore.

“It’s a great example of resource recovery in action, one that would benefit from an expanded material focus.”

For more information click here. 

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Building material recycler relies on high-performance Gates belts

Ever since Melbourne-based construction and demolition material recycler, City Circle Group, were introduced by their CBC sales manager to the high-performance Gates belts a few years ago, there’s been no looking back for them, according to City Circle Group’s Recycling Operations Manager Josh Ralston.

Recycling construction material and waste generated from building demolitions is a highly challenging task. The process involves crushing heavy concrete blocks and large pieces of rock into crushed aggregates that can be re-used in pavement or road construction.

City Circle Group, is  one of the leaders in this field in Victoria and has considerable capacity to process and supply a range of high quality recycled concrete, rock, brick rubble and timber products to the Victorian construction industry.

The company owns three facilities across Melbourne, each of which has the capacity to recycle as much as 1.5 million tonnes of waste material per year.

Ralston says the belts they were using prior to switching to Gates were not as durable as they needed them to be. With the heavy work load and the harsh work environment, the City Circle Group team were looking for belts that would require minimal maintenance and last a long time.

“We’ve worked with CBC for nearly five years and they’ve always been very helpful and quick to respond whenever we needed any equipment or spare parts. Through CBC, we were introduced to Gates belts and we’ve simply never stopped using them since,” says Ralston.

“We use the Gates Predator v-belts in our jaw crushers and cone crushers. They are the strongest belts out there and we are getting three to four times more life out of them as we could get with any other belts, the design, construction and materials used in this belt really do make a difference and will save you money and down time. We also use a range of standard Gates belts, including the Gates Hi-Power II wrapped v-belts on conveyor belts and other general applications,” he adds.

Building materials account for about half of all materials used and about half of the solid waste generated worldwide.

In Australia, about 20.4 million tons of waste was generated from construction and demolition in 2017, of which more than 7.3 million tons went into landfills.

But the push to increase recycling in the sector is growing, with the Federal and state governments each having policies in place to increase their recovery rates by 2021-2022.

A part of this increased demand for waste recycling will inevitably be borne by the existing plants, highlighting a need for the recycling plants to streamline their operations and add capacity where possible.

One of the ways by which existing operations could operate with better efficiencies is by switching to higher capacity drive systems, according to Steve Hittmann, National Product Manager of Mechanical Drives at CBC Australia.

“Gates belts are among the high-end v-belts in the market. For recycling applications such as in the crushing or mulching machine that works continuously under peak loads, we recommend using a high-end product such as the Gates Predator and Super HC v-belts,” he says.

“The Gates Super HC belts are ideal for transmitting high horsepower on high-speed applications where space is limited. Despite their small cross sections, they feature higher tensile strength than the conventional rubber belts,” he adds.

Iain Street, Business Development/ Technical Support Manager for Power Transmission at Gates, concurs.

“While the Gates Predator v-belts are the toughest belts in the range, the Gates Super HC belts are the next in class.

They can handle up to three times more force than the industry standard v-belts or carry the same power at one third or half the space, and with all sizes meeting the Gates V80 tolerances, can be installed without matching” he says.

“The Flex Weave wrapping on the Super HC belts adds additional protection against oil, dirt and heat – all of which may be present in a recycling environment,” he adds.

Street, who has been working in the power transmission sector for over 25 years, says poor installation and poor maintenance are the most common reasons that belts fail prematurely.

“If belts are not tensioned correctly during installation or if the pulleys are not aligned properly, it increases the risk of belt failure. Belt re-tensioning is another important maintenance practice that tends to get overlooked,” he explains.

All of Gates belts that carry the V80 logo match all other V80 belts of the same type and size. These include the Gates Hi-Power, Super HC and Tri-Power belts.

“When a number of belts work together in a group, a length difference of even a fraction of an inch can make or break the belt drive. If the belts are not matched correctly, this leads to uneven load distribution and sheave wear, which ends in premature failure of the belt. The Gates Super HC belts are V80 matched belts; which means that they meet the tolerances set out by the Rubber Manufacturers Association,” he explains.

Street says as part of the Gates engineering technical services, Gates’ field team members visit and survey any plant along with the relevant CBC team member to provide on-site solutions, ranging from drive performance evaluation, belt tensioning, laser alignment and more.

Additionally, the Gates engineering technical team also conducts preventive maintenance training upon request to train the maintenance crew on the most common causes of poor belt life.

The Design Flex Pro belt drive design software is another tool that helps the operators in designing the drive system and checking if the existing belts are sufficient to carry the incoming loads, according to Street.

“The software is relatively easy to use. By inputting only a few parameters, the program will recommend different configurations for the belt type, number and length. All you need to do then is select the solution that best suits your requirements,” he says.

Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au

                         

Applied Machinery’s HDPE Bottle and Container Washing System

Applied Machinery’s range of plastic-washing systems are designed for high-performance recovery of rigid and flexible plastics derived from a variety of sources.

The modular systems tackle HDPE bottles, PE films, PP woven bags and PET bottles.

A standout of the range is Applied’s Genox modular HDPE Bottle and Container Washing System, which is designed for ridged plastics with a wall thickness ranging from 1-25 millimetres.

The HDPE Bottle and Container washer features a wear resistant shredding system that works to maximise operating time and throughput via consistent processing.

Next, a high-speed washing system, with corresponding speed according to material type, liberates contamination for plastic flakes.

The washing tank’s under-water force-washing paddles then work to amplify washing efficiency, while mechanical and thermal drying systems reduce end product moisture.

Label separation can be achieved with advanced wind separation, while shredding and washing are set at calculated intensities to avoid over friction and material loss.

Intelligent system automation ensures that all component actions are sequenced and monitored.

The HDPE Bottle and Container Washing System features an inclined friction washer, float-sink washing tank and vertical dewatering machine, before material passes through a zig-zag classifier.

For more information contact Applied Machinery at 03 9706 8066 or visit their website here.

Future-proofing your facility: Mandalay Technologies

With waste managers facing increasingly complex operating environments, Mandalay Technologies’ Rosemary Black outlines the streamlining capabilities of cloud-based facilities management.

Regulatory environments are constantly changing and are variable state-to-state. As such, it can be challenging for waste managers and councils – often dealing with external pressures – to keep on top of changes and how they affect their day-to-day operations.

In June, for instance, the Queensland Government announced a six-month deferment to the waste levy increase, which was set to begin in July. 

The deferment falls in line with industry requests to temporarily halt regulatory changes in the wake of COVID-19. However, the 11th hour notification raised concerns, with industry given little time to adapt to pricing impacts.   

“Reporting data to meet state and national regulatory requirements is complicated and involves a lot of manual work,” explains Rosemary Black, Head of Customer at Mandalay Technologies.

“Added to this is the often-rapid nature of change, as illustrated by the Queensland levy, which highlights the complex operating environment faced by waste managers and councils.”

To mitigate these challenges and ensure facility compliance, Mandalay has integrated levy and chain of responsibility reporting that matches legislation requirements into its Facility Product Suite.

“We believe in approaching facility management from the front foot, providing practical solutions to take the pain away from clients,” Black says.

“Mandalay’s Facility Product Suite complies with various state and national regulatory bodies and regulatory requirements, and as requirements change, the system is updated to suit.”

Rosemary Black, Head of Customer at Mandalay Technologies.

In today’s digital economy, data functions much like oil in the 18th century – an immeasurably untapped valuable asset.

In the waste sector, data extraction benefits extend beyond economics, with the role of big data increasingly understood within the context of positive environmental outcomes.

The NSW Government’s March 2020 Cleaning Up Our Act issues paper, for example, suggests significant opportunities exist for data and analytics to drive improvement in waste management efficiencies.

According to Black, the role of data towards a successful circular economy transition is well understood by Mandalay.

“Mandalay is committed to a world without waste – where materials generated by the community transition from a cost centre to a revenue generator,” she says.

“The right data is critical to the success of an organisation and so too are the processes that utilise and audit that data.”

An awareness of the latent value hidden in waste data was the central driver behind the development of Mandalay’s Facility Product Suite, Black explains.

“The system integrates a range of products for waste and facility applications to capture and process vehicle movements in and out of sites, delivering critical functions including hardware interfaces, transaction capture and point-of-sale payment processing,” she says.

Designed for landfills, transfer stations, resource recovery facilities, tip and buy back shops, recycling centres and material recovery facilities, the Facility Product Suite can be configured to suit all facility situations.

Black adds that software products can operate with or without a weighbridge and be configured for automation at unmanned facilities.

“Facilities located in remote locations often require site access and transactions to be managed through automated systems,” she says.

“The Facility Product Suite enables automation by using various types of electronic IDs to identify preconfigured load attributes so only a ‘weight’ and ‘time’ requires capture once on site.”

By combining the functionality of a driver control station with Mandalay’s Facility Product Suite Extension Products, such as image capture and license plate recognition, Black explains that Mandalay can offer a fully automated experience.

“Including several extension products and services, the Facility Product Suite will not only drive efficient facilities, but offer detailed reporting, dashboarding and management capabilities,” she says.

Mandalay’s Facility Product Suite is more than simple weighbridge software, Black explains.

“It’s a cloud-based solution offering an interface to process transactions, capture data at manned and un-manned facilities and record data according to both state-based and national regulatory requirements,” she says.

“At the same time, the system provides admin and management teams with the ability to access and manage data across multiple facilities and locations.

“Working in conjunction with Mandalay’s range of extension products, waste data can be transformed into powerful information.”

With over 29 years’ experience as a sales professional, Black is well placed to understand the complex and localised needs of clients across the waste sector.

A key client pain point, she explains, is the issue of out of date software.

“Software deployed in places like a resource recovery centre or landfill can be 10 years old, and clearly, technology and software has advanced significantly since then,” she explains.

“With the Facility Product Suite’s cloud subscription, featuring deployment and release management tools, the latest developments, updates and new features are automatically added to users’ systems.”

An additional challenge for customers is a lack of trust in the data, and a subsequent unease about the accuracy of reported figures.

“Despite the idiom that data is more valuable than oil, many working outside the technology space are still unaware of how data functions – and are often dealing with data setup structures that lack an alignment to the needs of their organisation,” Black says.

“By utilising client feedback, Mandalay has designed reports and dashboards with data security and accuracy built into the core system.”

Furthermore, Black highlights poor and inadequate reporting. She adds that the multiple sources of data that make up the waste landscape are separate and need to be manually integrated.

“There is a pressing need for appropriate and accurate reporting to the council, without accurate data, planning for the future in facilities, contacts and needs is impossible,” she says.

“We launched our new data and analytics suite this year to address this, developed from customer feedback which meets their needs and also has in-built flexibility to customise specific requirements if necessary.”

The inability to integrate software to finance systems is another concern, Black says. As numbers come from multiple sources, manual compilation of data is required.

“Transferring data to a finance system means there are often discrepancies when changes are made in either system,” she says.

“Mandalay has integrated into or created a finance export for every finance system requested by our customers. Where each one has been uniquely defined to match customers’ finance implementation.

“We understand that each organisations need is slightly different, and our approach is to deliver the right solution for the organisation.”

This article is the first in a three-part series exploring Mandalay’s Facility Product Suite. To find out more about how Mandalay can support your business, email: enquire@mandalaytech.com or click here

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An action-plan for organics: AORA

The Australian Organics Recycling Association’s new National Strategic Plan outlines action points for sustainable growth in the accelerating sector.

Government action and funding for organics recycling has ramped up in recent months. In May, for instance, the NSW Government announced $20 million in grants for the alternative waste treatment industry and councils affected by the EPA’s controversial 2018 MWOO decision.

On the other of side of the country, the Western Australian Government has made similar commitments – injecting $20 million into the economy to support local governments transition to better practice three-bin FOGO services.

This is welcome news to Peter Olah, Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) National Executive Officer, who since joining AORA in 2019, has worked proactively to grow government support for the sector.

“The increases in funding for the organics recycling industry are a welcome recognition by governments of the industry’s contribution to our economy,” Olah says.

As the leading national voice for the organics recycling industry, AORA has developed a new strategic document – detailing targets and action points towards the creation of a more sustainable and profitable industry.   

Approved by the AORA Board in late May, the AORA National Strategic Plan 2020-2023 seeks to further entrench public and government understanding of the role of organics recovery within a circular economy.

The plan’s mission statement highlights the role AORA will play in facilitating an operating environment that maximises the recycling and reuse of organic materials.

“Through ongoing communication with stakeholders, AORA seeks to promote the benefits of compost, soil conditioners and mulches across the Australian community,” Olah says.

As the first of three objectives, AORA plans to further develop its position as the national voice of the organics recycling industry.

According to Olah, success in this space will see governments and other stakeholders approaching AORA proactively, with the knowledge that the association provides positive direction and leadership.

“The organics recycling industry is not new. Humans have been recycling and reusing organic materials since ancient times,” Olah says.

“Today, the role of the industry is becoming more critical however, as the effects of climate change, urban development, agricultural practices and energy use impact the health of our soils and environment.”

Mirroring statements made in the Strategic Plan, Olah stresses the role of the organics industry in diverting material from landfill to beneficial reuse, mitigating climate change and improving the sustainability of agriculture.

“In order to perform this role effectively, the industry must work with governments and other stakeholders at all levels in setting the policy and regulatory frameworks which promote the best outcomes,” he adds.

To achieve this goal, AORA has outlined four key targets for 2023, including producing reports and original research to ensure the needs of the organics industry are clearly presented to government and other stakeholders.

“We do not want to produce unread reports, so any original research we undertake will always be about better positioning the industry with governments and the community,” Olah adds.

Furthermore, AORA plans to continue collaborating with governments to design and implement policy, regulation and legislation that optimises market conditions for the industry.

To support this, AORA will begin establishing knowledge hubs for recycled organics research, development and communication.

“The number one issue for our industry is the piecemeal nature of government decision making,” Olah says.

We must have a better alignment between the industry and government at all levels to improve the operating environment, so that our industry can invest and employ more, and provide even greater benefits to our society.”

The association will also further develop and position Compost for Soils as a core resource for business and the community.

“Compost for Soils works to champion pathways to sustainable, resource-efficient organics recovery and agricultural reuse practices by allowing users to find composters across all Australian states and territories,” Olah explains.

The second objective, championing a future where organics recycling is maximised, seeks to increase recycling rates nationally.

“We want to see community understanding of the industry and its products grow, and as a by-product, increase profitability across the sector,” Olah says.

“In addition to growing the industry, achieving this goal will see further applications of composted and organics products to soil, thereby sequestering carbon, improving water retention, drought-proofing land, and improving agricultural productivity.

“Organics recycling closes the loop on food and other organic wastes and ultimately returns them to food production through the soil. It’s the industrialisation of a natural process, and therefore a true exemplar of the circular economy.”

Three-year targets include identifying, communicating and celebrating best practice strategies, technologies and products.

“In the first year we will formalise partnerships with tertiary institutions, CRC’s and other associations by targeted MOU’s focused on shared strategic objectives,” Olah says.

“We also plan to communicate our major policy documents so that they are well understood by governments and other stakeholders.”

As reported by WMR in May, AORA commissioned Nick Behrens of Australian Economic Advocacy Solutions to undertake an investigation into the economic impact of the organics recycling industry.

The report highlights that each year, the organics recycling industry processes around 7.5 million tonnes of waste into valuable products for further use across the Australian economy. As a result, 2018-19 saw a collective industry turnover of $2 billion.

The report, Olah explains, provides an important baseline to inform future policy discussion with stakeholders and government.

He adds that further distribution of the report across government and the wider community is therefore critical to achieving the goals outlined in AORA’s National Strategic Plan.

The final objective concerns AORA’s internal structure, Olah says, highlighting the importance of operating as a sustainable and transparent business.

“In order to deliver the beneficial outcomes AORA envisions for its members and the Australian community, it must do so from the certain base offered only through a sustainable, well run and flexible business,” he says.

“To deliver this, AORA must have high quality and transparent corporate and financial governance, a broad and reliable revenue base, a well-managed and targeted approach to expenditure, and a strong central focus on identifying and delivering the needs of members.”

By 2023, AORA targets growth to 500 members and corporate sponsors, including at least 80 per cent of all processors nationally. To build that base, Olah says the next few years will see AORA delivering more significant events to demonstrate thought leadership for the industry.

“We will also work to regularly review our member products and services to ensure their ongoing relevance and broad appeal,” he says.

For more information click here.

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NWRIC State Associations update

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council State Affiliates provide a detailed overview of industry and policy changes across the country. 

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) is the national industry body for commercial waste and recycling operators Australia wide.

It brings together national businesses and affiliated state associations to develop and promote policies and actions to advance waste management and resource recovery in Australia  – ensuring a fair, safe and sustainable industry that serves all Australians.

NWRIC affiliated state associations include the Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ), the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW & ACT (WCRA), the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), the Waste Recycling Industry of South Australia (WRISA), the Waste Recycling Industry of Western Australia (WRIWA) and the Waste Recycling Industry Northern Territory (WRINT).

State Association staff updates

With the closing of the financial year WRIQ said farewell to Rick Ralph, who after 14 years with WRIQ formerly handed over the CEO role to Mark Smith.

WRISA welcomed their new EO Adam Gray who has taken over this role from Chris Bridesdon.

On behalf of all the affiliates and NWRIC members I would like to pass on our thanks and gratitude to Rick and Chris for their contribution to the waste and recycling sector over the many years and wish you both well in your new endeavours.

Rick will now focus on his podcast series Talking Garbology – Waste and Recycling Unwrapped’ .

To tune in visit: https://thegarbologist.com.au/ . 

While Chris will continue with his waste management consulting services.

WCRA – Waste Management Award to increase in November 2020

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced that there will be an increase in all modern award minimum wages by 1.75 per cent. 

In handing down this decision, the FWC decided that some industries have been more effected by the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore the timing of the increase will be staggered for different industry sectors.

It was decided by the FWC that the Waste Management Award 2020 is a Group 2 Award, with an increase of 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020. 

The Waste Management Award 2020 covers employers in all Australian jurisdictions who operate a business in the waste management sector.  For more details, contact the WCRA office on 02 9604 7206 or email memberservices@wcra.com.au.

WRIQ – Levies and action against illegal activities

Reminder to waste operators in Queensland that the government has passed the amendment regulation relating to the landfill levy (Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy Rates for 2020–2021) Amendment Regulation 2020). 

Businesses should have updated contract pricing and implemented appropriate auditing to ensure their supply chains have been notified. 

WRIQ has provided information to its members on what changes are required. If you would like a copy of the advice please contact memberservices@wriq.com.au

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has recently taken action on a large illegal stockpile.

The WRIQ welcomes the action being taken by DES on illegal operations, as they damage the reputation of legitimate operators and create false markets.

WRIQ hopes to see more of this action on rogue operators.

WRISA – SA Draft Waste and Food Waste Strategies out for comment

With the SA Government releasing both its Draft Waste Strategy and Food Waste Strategy for public comment last week, Adam Gray, WRISA’s new EO, will be reaching out to members seeking their input and preparing a response. 

Submissions are due with the government by 15 August 2020. Please feel free to reach out to Adam at Adam@wrisa.com.au.

WRINT – new Board appointments 

The WRINT at its recent AGM has appointed Mark Sweet from VTG Waste as their President and Dean Caton from NT Recycling as Vice President. Congratulations to both.

WRINT, an affiliate of the NWRIC, represents and supports waste and recycling businesses operating across the Northern Territory.

Associate membership is also now available to state and local government bodies and businesses supplying the waste and recycling sector.

For more information about getting involved and advancing the waste and recycling industry in the territory please contact their Executive Officer Rick Ralph at Benjas1@bigpond.com.

This article is the second in an ongoing monthly series. 

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Wastech Engineering’s Bramidan Balers

Manufactured in Denmark and highly regarded for their design and quality, Bramidan Balers are globally recognised for delivering efficient waste management solutions.

Available in Australia exclusively through Wastech Engineering, Bramidan Balers are capable of compacting a wide range of materials including cardboard, plastic, e-waste and metals.

With a broad choice of Bramidan Baler models available, the crushers are ideal for businesses with a wide range of waste volumes, from small retail outlets to high capacity waste transfer stations.

For larger demands, Wastech offer the X25, which is equipped with cross cylinders to give operators stable compression and superior press force. Combined with a long stroke, a high bale weight can be achieved.

The cardboard and plastic baler is designed with easy servicing in mind, with the hydraulic unit mounted below the control panel on the side of the machine.

For service users with smaller amounts of waste, but who still need a machine to handle bulky materials, Wastech suggests the B5 W baler.

The machine is characterised by a wide filling opening of one metre, which is an advantage when handling larger cardboard boxes. The chamber is equipped with rows of efficient barbs, which keep the material back and ensure optimum filling.

An efficient and silent ejecting system ensures easy handling of the compressed bale, while the strap rolls are simple to replace in front of the machine.

Free on-site trials and flexible rental options are available. For more information click here.

Caterpillar mulching

Janelle Horne of Q Mulching details the green waste company’s 17-year relationship with Caterpillar and Hastings Deering.

With organics to landfill diversion a central target of waste and resource recovery strategies nationwide, instilling children with a passion for recycling is now more important than ever.

This is the central focus of Q Mulching’s Marvin the Worm program, which, in line with Australian curriculums for science and geography, seeks to spread positive source separation behaviours to students along Queensland’s Fraser Coast.

With an interactive trailer reminiscent of Healthy Harold and a workbook written by Q Mulching’s Rheanon Kerslake, the program travels to schools to teach children about the benefits of recycling and compost.

“When Q Mulching first began its composting process, we had some issues with contamination in the material we were receiving, which inspired me to develop the program to coincide with Fraser Coast Regional Council’s messaging around source separation,” Rheanon says.

“By using this book and program, we’re helping to lay a foundation. Teaching the importance of recycling to younger generations means they can realise what they are doing now, and then follow that into adulthood and teach their children.”

The Marvin the Worm education program builds on Q Mulching’s management of green waste processing for the entire Fraser Coast local government area.

Highlighting the company’s innovative spirit, Janelle Horne, Q Mulching Owner and Administrative Manager, says prior to Q Mulching, green waste processing was few and far between in the region.

Operating two major composting sites in addition to six smaller waste transfer stations, residents bring their green waste to Q Mulching free of charge through Fraser Coast Regional Council.

“We grind the material once a fortnight at our major sites, before composting the product to the Australian Standards 4454,” Janelle says.

Q Mulching is processing around 60 to 70,000 cubic metres of green waste material at a time at one of their facilities, with 40,000 cubic metres at the other.

To effectively manage that level of material, she says Q Mulching operate a range of Caterpillar equipment. Janelle highlights Caterpillar’s Next Gen 23T Excavator as a critical component of material management at Q Mulching’s facilities.

Built for heavy-duty performance, Caterpillar’s Next Gen 23T Excavator brings increased speed, efficiency and high productivity to high-production applications.

With up to 15 per cent less fuel consumption than comparable models, Caterpillar’s Next Gen Excavator functions in line with Q Mulching’s commitment to sustainable processing and resource recovery.

That said, while the quality of Caterpillar’s equipment is essential, Janelle emphasises Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering’s commitment to service. She adds that as seven days a week operation, reliability is critical for Q Mulching.

“We’ve used other manufacturers in the past, and unfortunately, the reliability isn’t always there, whether that’s break downs, downtime or the availability of extra parts,” Janelle says.

“The great thing about Caterpillar and Hastings Deering is that when we need a part, and we’ve ordered it by 2pm, it will usually arrive the following day.

“Not many other companies can offer that level of service. Plus, when we purchase a new Caterpillar machine, we are confident that the machine will last its term.”

Working together for more than 17 years, Janelle says Q Mulching and Hastings Deering have developed an effective and symbiotic relationship.

“When Hastings Deering has new staff, they bring them to our site and introduce them to the team. This means that when we have to order new parts or have any kind of problem, we know exactly who to contact and the faces behind the phone call,” she says.

In addition to service reliability and the quality of their machinery offerings, Janelle says Hastings Deering are always ready to point Q Mulching in the right direction when new equipment becomes available.

“Hastings Deering works to look after their current customers, as opposed to always looking out for new customers.”

Rheanon feels similarly, highlighting the Caterpillar teams’ individual approach.

“I find them very personable, of course they’re still salespeople at the end of the day, but they’re very genuine. They actually want to come in and help our operations, as opposed to just providing machinery,” she says.

This is a sentiment mirrored by Stuart Manton, Hastings Deering’s Territory Manager, who says the value of Caterpillar lies not just with their equipment, but their commitment to functioning as solutions providers.

“People know that when they purchase a piece of Caterpillar equipment, they’re purchasing a machine that is engineered to the highest standards. However, we don’t believe in resting on our laurels,” he says.

“Our approach goes above and beyond providing a piece of equipment. We believe in developing relationships with our clients and working with them to create the best outcomes, both economically and environmentally.”    

As Caterpillar’s presence in the waste and resource recovery sector grows, Stuart hopes to continue working with environmentally aligned customers.

“We at Hastings Deering and Caterpillar are continually innovating in the waste and resource recovery space, be that new approaches to landfill compaction, or providing solutions for composting facilities such as Q Mulching,” he says.

“The waste sector is growing, and team Caterpillar is well positioned to grow alongside it.”

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The key to better machine design is no key at all

From the moment the wheel came into existence, people have been faced with the seemingly simple task of mounting their inventions to a shaft so that something useful could be accomplished.

Within an industrial scenario, such as in a recycling plant, components such as couplings, pulleys, sprockets and flywheels need to be effectively connected to a shaft in order to transfer the torque.

The choice of the right shaft connection technique could determine how well the forces are transferred and how efficiently and smoothly the operations run.

Some of the more traditional shaft connection methods, including keyed and splined connections, while quite widespread, have certain limitations, according to Donald Brierley, who is the manager of FPT Far East Pte Ltd – a subsidiary of Inenco Group.

“Using a keyed connection has some limitations. Because you have to do some machining and cut the shaft for the key to fit in, you are basically reducing the shaft’s cross section,” he explains.

This makes the shaft weaker and you need to make adjustments in the original design, which often leads to a bigger shaft cross section being used.”

“Similarly, splined connections need many notches to be machined on the shaft, which increases the manufacturing cost and time and also increases the risk of cracking around the notches,” he adds.

To avoid these limitations, Brierley recommends using keyless locking devices, such as the Trantorque keyless bushings manufactured by Fenner Drives, where speedy installation and compact designs are needed.

Keyless locking devices use locking screws and tapered rings to lock the components on to the shafts. There are a number of advantages in using a keyless mechanism, says Brierley.

“Keyless locking devices do not need any notches to be machined on to the shaft. This means you can use the full cross section of the shaft, which is more economical. Also, because you don’t need to machine a key, the processing time is reduced,” he explains.

Another advantage of using keyless locking bushings is the shorter installation time, he says.

“Using keyless bushings reduces the time needed for aligning the coupling or pulley during installation. Also, all of the screws on the Trantorque bushings can be tightened using a single spanner, which also makes the installation faster,” he says.

Lower vibration is another key consideration with a number of applications in recycling. Vibration in the shaft connection is often caused by imbalanced weight as a result of the keyed section.

But because keyless connections such as Trantorque have a uniform diameter, Brierley says vibrations are significantly reduced.

Fenner Drives’ Trantorque bushings can accommodate shaft sizes from 1/8 inch (3 millimetres) up to 3 inches (75 millimetres) and are available for both metric and imperial shaft sizes.

The locking devices are also available in the stainless-steel range or with anti-corrosion coatings, which makes them suitable for aggressive environments in recycling plants.

Steve Hittmann, who is the National Product Manager of Mechanical Drives at CBC Australia, says these advantages make Trantorque keyless bushings the connection device of choice for a number of original equipment manufacturers.

“One of our customers is a manufacturer of agricultural machinery that uses Trantorque bushings to connect hydraulic motors to driven shafts. The customer required an imperial shaft device of one-inch diameter and had a restricted envelope to work with. Because Trantorque locking devices are compact in design, they were a perfect fit,” says Steve.

“Moreover, using Trantorque enabled the hydraulic motors to be installed concentrically and with the convenience of a uniform mechanical fit,” he explains.

Apart from being the exclusive distributor of Trantorque bushings in Australia, Steve says the CBC technical team can also respond to any enquiry from the customers regarding the right design.

“When we get an enquiry from a customer, we often help them with the selection of the right locking device. When needed, we also work with Fenner Drives to assist with designing the technical specifications,” says Steve.

“This gives our customers the comfort to order what they need when they need it, knowing that we will support them every step of the way,” he concludes.

Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au

 

         

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