Measuring essential temperatures: FLIR Systems Australia

With a commitment to corporate responsibility, FLIR Systems Australia will prioritise the delivery of its new line of thermal imaging cameras to operators responding to COVID-19.

In the wake of COVID-19, industry consensus is clear: waste management is an essential service.

While legislative recognition is still a matter of debate, waste management operators across the country are committed to maintaining their services for councils, businesses and the wider community in challenging times.

Despite the altruism of this commitment, individuals working in the waste management space, much like their medical and food service counterparts, are having to forego self-isolation.

As such, Sean Towner, FLIR Systems Australia Sales Manager Instruments, says it’s now more important than ever to prioritise appropriate health and safety monitoring.

He adds that by doing so, businesses can protect their workers and stave off potential operational disruptions.

“Like all businesses, FLIR have had to adjust our operations in light of the current COVID-19 situation. That said, we also felt it paramount to use our technological innovation expertise to help the international community adapt,” Sean says.

The result, he explains, is FLIR’s A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor and Thermal Image Streaming fixed camera – launched 31 March this year.

“FLIR’s thermal imaging technology has been used in waste facilities across the globe for fire prevention for over 40 years. From warehouses to recycling sites and waste to energy facilities, FLIR understands that protecting one’s site from damage is integral to keeping insurance premiums down,” Sean says.

“With the new A400/A700 line, we’ve built upon that existing technology to provide an efficient screening solution for monitoring equipment, production lines, critical infrastructure, and importantly, skin temperatures.”

The highly configurable smart camera systems provide accurate, non-contact temperature monitoring across a wide range of disciplines including waste management, emissions monitoring, facility maintenance and environmental, health and safety regulation.

According to Sean, delivery of the FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor solution will be initially prioritised for operators and companies responding to COVID-19.

“As the world works together to face the global COVID-19 pandemic, FLIR will prioritise initial deliveries of this new A-series camera to professionals using it in elevated skin temperature screening, as an adjunct to other elevated body temperature screening tools to help to fight the spread of the virus,” he says.

With multi-image streaming, edge computing and Wi-Fi connectivity, Sean says the range can help speed up data flow. This, he adds, improves productivity and safety for all operations and applications.

“FLIR designed the A400/A700 cameras with two configurations to better meet application-specific needs,” Sean says.

“The Thermal Smart Sensor configuration, recommended for measuring elevated skin temperatures, incorporates advanced measurement tools and alarms with edge computing to enable faster critical decision making.”

Furthermore, the Image Streaming configuration provides multiple thermal streaming capabilities to help optimise process control, improve quality assurance or identify potential failures that could shut down facility operations.

“Users can design their systems by choosing either the Smart Sensor or Imaging Streaming configurations, selecting either the A400 or A700 camera body based on the resolutions they need, and then adding lenses and a range of optional features to fit their application,” Sean says.

The smart sensor range also includes options to adjust measurements and alarms based on a reference temperature source, with advance image quality up to 307,200 pixels and a measurement accuracy of +/- 2°C.

Sean adds that with multiple field-of-view choices, multi-streaming capabilities, motorised focus control and optional compressed radiometric streaming over Wi-Fi, FLIR’s fixed-mount camera solutions can tackle complex remote monitoring objectives.

“The camera’s remote monitoring capabilities are an added value when considering how many people are currently working from home,” he says.

“Easy configuration also allows operators to tailor the monitoring system to their company’s quality, productivity, maintenance and safety needs.”

Through compressed radiometric streaming that cuts bandwidth, Sean says FLIR’s thermal streaming solution makes it possible to add multiple cameras without the cost of expanding infrastructure.

He adds that this is a significant advantage in light of current global economic challenges.

“Regardless of external circumstances, waste management operators are committed to getting the job done. This means it’s crucial we ensure both the personal health and wellbeing of operators and the maintenance and efficiency of their equipment,” he says.

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CDS success story: Exchange for Change

Return and Earn has delivered exceptional results across litter reduction and participation since launching in 2017. Exchange for Change explains the five key factors behind the scheme’s success. 

Since Return and Earn launched in December 2017, a staggering 3.4 billion containers have been returned for recycling.

Millions of containers are now returned every single day and more than $1 million has been raised for charity and community groups through reverse vending machines (RVMs).

Put in perspective, prior to the scheme’s commencement, more than 160 million drink containers were littered across the state each year.

Since the scheme’s launch, litter from drink containers has reduced by an annual average of 40 per cent in NSW, supporting the NSW Government’s commitment to reduce overall litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

The Return and Earn scheme is delivered through collaboration with three partners.

The NSW Government who designed the scheme; Exchange for Change (EFC), the scheme coordinator, and TOMRA-Cleanaway who operate the network of return points.

Importantly, it is an excellent example of producer-responsibility, with the beverage industry funding the scheme and the community receiving a 10 cent refund when they return containers.

Since the launch of the scheme in December 2017, 3.4 billion containers have been reused or recycled.

CEO of Exchange for Change, Danielle Smalley says it’s the collaboration between the NSW Government, EFC, TOMRA-Cleanaway, and the beverage industry that drives great results.

“Return and Earn has fundamentally shifted people’s thinking around litter and waste. The community is no longer seeing containers as something you throw away, they’re actually seeing it as a valuable commodity,” she says.

She says that it’s the community that has really benefited from the success of Return and Earn. Danielle highlights that there has been a significant reduction in litter.

The scheme has also created significant opportunity for smaller and local businesses to play a role collecting containers as over the counter return points or automated depots. This also generates the potential for local job creation.

Last, but not least, the scheme shares the wins with everyone, including consumers, councils and charities.

More than $1 million has been raised for official donation partners listed on reverse vending machine return points since the scheme launched, and countless more funds raised for charities, schools and community groups through their own return and earn activity.

Public participation in Return and Earn is also very strong, with 59 per cent of NSW adults having participated in the scheme.

The majority – 78 per cent of these participants, which is nearly half the population of NSW, return containers every month or more.

Danielle says it’s repeated behaviour that is really important.

“There was initially awareness building and then when people started to engage, it was about getting them to make it habitual and Return and Earn has been successful on both fronts,” she says.

“A great deal of the repeated behaviour can be attributed to the excellent customer experience. It’s accessible, easy to return and there’s an instant refund, so people come back again and again.”

This positive experience has been driven by the customer-centric design of Return and Earn, which mandated that return points needed to be located at convenient locations in existing paths of travel for consumers.

These community access principles were central to the tendering process for the scheme. On the ground, the customer centricity is being delivered through TOMRA Cleanaway’s network of more than 635 convenient return points widely available across NSW.

These include over the counter, RVMs, automated depots and donation stations. Variations between the type of return point, whether it be cash refund, donation or voucher, and the quantities they accept also make it easier for the public to choose a return system that suits them best.

The scheme is also data-rich thanks to a strong technology foundation through TOMRA Connect, enabling scheme partners to respond to issues quickly and rapidly adapt to the needs of the customers.

For example, a live data feed is connected to the Return and Earn website and the myTOMRAapp, helping NSW consumers find the nearest return point and to quickly check availability before returning.

The network of return points also enables real-time monitoring of the scheme, helping identify the busiest points and enabling evidence-based decision making on possible future locations and how best to optimise network use.

At the time of writing, in response to COVID-19, consumers could access Return and Earn for returns if it was in line with the most recent advice from the NSW Government Public Health Order.

The network operator has been able to adapt to the unfolding situation, introducing ‘touch-free recycling’ at RVMs with no need for consumers to touch machines, alongside a range of extra measures to ensure participants follow government advice on good hygiene and maintaining social distancing.

Looking at the future, there is real potential for the model of partnerships and producer-led responsibility to help deliver the NSW Government’s vision for a circular economy.

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Smashing contamination: Woodlands

A trial in a local council park housing a bin with compostable dog waste bags has led to a less than one per cent contamination rate, showing promise for a wider roll-out.

In 2020, Andrew Wynne of Woodlands is counting his lucky stars that he stuck to 100 per cent Australian-made, as he says the ability to support locally made products is important now more than ever.

“Given the current climate and economic and social challenges we face, the more we can do to support local products and employment, the better,” Andrew says.

Based in Perth, Woodlands, which has been around for around 30 years, has been designing Australian-made litter receptacles and complementary products for more than a decade.

With demand for food and garden organics (FOGO) collection increasing, driven by WA’s push to a three-bin system, Andrew says a few years ago, the company saw a gap in the market for bins that would support compostable bags with minimal contamination.

A casual barbecue, long before the world of social distancing, saw Andrew come up with the name Doggie Dunnie – a bin that allows compostable dog waste bags to be collected and composted off-site.

The bin is threaded through a dog waste bin, ensuring no other waste contaminates the bins.

The compostable bag liner can then be taken and thrown straight into the green waste stream, preventing it from going to landfill.

The company offers both 55-litre capacity or 240-litre solo bin capacity – either a fixed galvanised liner or litter receptable, respectively.

Andrew says that with subsequent demand for compostable receptacles, one shire approached him late last year to accommodate a dog waste bag.

As part of a three-month dog waste trial project in a massive park in Port Elliot, green waste was collected for the first time in two green bins over December 2019 through to March 2020.

The headline result from the community-driven trial was a less than one per cent contamination rate with only two or three plastic bags found in the Doggie Dunnie.

The trial comprised a standard 240-litre wheelie bin that was locked and had a small round hole in the top lid with the 55-litre Doggie Dunnie bag inside.

Both green bins were weighted each week for 12 weeks and monitored for contamination for anything that was not a lime green compostable bag.

Around 121 kilograms of material in a wheelie bin was collected over 11 weeks, weighing an average of 11 kilograms per week.

Additionally, 65 kilograms collected in the Doggie Dunnie bin weighed an average of 5.9 kilograms per week, making the collective total of both bins 186 kilograms.

The number of rolls of compostable bags placed in the three dog park dispensers were also monitored before and during the trial.

Results show around 1000 bags were diverted from landfill in 12 weeks in conjunction with the dog waste collected, resulting in a positive and measurable outcome.

“The 240-litre unit can accommodate larger parks and we’re looking at rolling this out to a range of councils in WA and hopefully across the country,” he says.

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Why the BSC and Dixon valve proposition is plumb

Though BSC has long been established as a provider of industrial mechanical componentry, the company can now assist customers on the plumbing side –through their unique partnership with Dixon Asia Pacific.

“While BSC stands for ‘Bearing Service Company’, and most customers know us for bearings and power transmission, we have grown our value proposition to include a range of plumbing products and technical services for our customers,” explains BSC Industrial Hose Solutions Manager, Peter Stonehouse.

“One of our key points of difference is product diversity – and plumbing adds to the basket of goods we can offer.”

Importantly, BSC and Dixon Asia Pacific can both tap into a global network of supply and technical support through their respective owning companies – Inenco Industrial Solutions and Dixon Valve and Coupling Company in the United States – whilst providing a highly localised service to customers.

“Through our partnership with Dixon, we provide distribution and interface with customers. This includes a range of products that can be utilised in the water and wastewater sector,” Stonehouse clarifies.

“The Dixon stockholding from their global supply and coverage around Australia is very efficient in terms of providing technical advice or procurement of product for our branches. Additionally, we have our own technical and engineering expertise and provide immense value to customers through offering a multitude of fit for purpose componentry.”

Within that componentry, are the valves used in fluid transfer. These include knife gate and butterfly valves, with the former commonly used in sewage collection.

“A knife gate valve is used when you’ve got solids, because the knife valve will actually punch down and seal off,” explains Stonehouse.

“For this reason, knife gate valves are typically used on the back of the vacuum trucks to transport wastewater to plants to get processed. They’re especially suited to this task because when you operate the valve down, you’ve got metal to metal contact and it will squash any of the solids in the valley of the valve.”

According to David Anderson, Valve Category Manager for Dixon Asia Pacific, the Dixon uni-directional knife gate valves are particularly suited to these types of water and wastewater applications because they have a full stainless-steel body and bubble tight shut off.

“These are compact and light weight, but are made with SS316 marine grade stainless steel, which is long lasting and wear-resistant. Importantly, they will not leak because of their shut off and can be remotely operated with a pneumatic cylinder that uses the truck’s air system when automation is required,” Anderson says.

“Furthermore, they are fully lugged to AS2129 table D, which provides more secure and stable jointing to pipes and prevents leakages through threads.”

Additional features of the Dixon knife gate valve include the hard chrome plating, which prevents pitting and corrosion, and a stainless-steel guard that prevents semi solids from clogging the valve stem.

“Dixon is a market leader that is recognised for product quality and the knife gate is no exception to this,” Anderson says. “Ultimately this valve offers more features than many other valves on the market, but at a similar cost.”

And while they are used in a different water and wastewater contexts, the Dixon butterfly valve offerings also have a competitive edge that – combined with the collaborative technical expertise of BSC and Dixon – make them attractive options for customers.

These are primarily used at the final stage of water treatment before water is dispatched to industry.

“Butterfly valves are designed to isolate or regulate the flow of fluid, so when water has finished being treated at a water plant – and when there are no impurities in the water – this is where actuated butterfly valves will be used; they will isolate and regulate the flow of water coming out,” explains Stonehouse.

“Butterfly valves convey a number of benefits in this type of application. They are easier to handle and install because they are lighter weight and need less support. They are also generally most cost-effective than other valve designs that facilitate the same application. This is because they have less expensive requirements and less weight – basically these valves are put between two flanges so to replace the valve you just have to undo the bolts holding it into place.”

According to Anderson, customers have access to Dixon’s wafer, lugged, double flanged and high-performance butterfly valves through BSC.

“One of the key features of the Dixon butterfly valves is that they have universal flanges. So, the one valve suits various flanges including table D, E, ANSI 125/150, Din10, Din16 and JIS,” he says.

“There’s also greater choice of actuation options with the top flange mount which complies with the international standard ISO 5211. Additionally, Dixon butterfly valves from 2’ to 24” are 16 bar rated – unlike some other suppliers who can only supply 10 Bar rated valves from 14” to 24”.”

Importantly, Stonehouse points out that in addition to a wide range of different types of butterfly valves and body materials, Dixon also supplies Watermark Certified butterfly valves for water and wastewater applications.

Facilitated through the Australian Building Codes Board, the WaterMark Certification Scheme is a mandatory certification scheme for plumbing and drainage products.

This is to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing and drainage installations.

That is another reason Stonehouse says Dixon makes for a great partner – providing an excellent value proposition to customers with superior product and expertise. Anderson concurs.

“Both Dixon and BSC are technically competent organisations in their own right, with national and global footprints. But in this instance, the end user customers benefit from their complementing and diverse product offering and expertise. It creates a unique value proposition.”

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

 

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10 things to prioritise when buying a new shredder

Robbie McKernan, FOCUS Enviro director, and Gary Moore, UNTHA Global Business Development Director, explore the 10 things companies should prioritise when buying a new shredder.

With shredders playing an increasingly crucial part in waste management and recycling facilities, operators are quite right to ensure these assets deliver on their promises.

Once required simply to act as heavy-duty workhorses, these machines must now demonstrate far more sophisticated performance criteria if they are to provide a true return on investment.

One: define your input materials

Know the specifics of the materials you wish to shred. Think carefully about the type and bulk density of the ‘waste’ you’re handling for example, as well as any likely variation in this specification and the preferred in-feed method for loading the shredder.

These factors will influence everything from the drive power, to the chamber dimensions, cutter capabilities and even the height of the machine.

It’s also important to define the likely volume of input materials that need to be processed and at what pace, as this will shape the shredder’s throughput criteria.

As difficult as it can be to predict the future – and you don’t want to invest in too large a machine unnecessarily – it is crucial to look ahead a little too.

Very few organisations stand still, so some additional capacity is often helpful, as is a shredder’s proven flexibility to handle different input materials with quick and simple reconfiguration. A mobile shredder will offer even further flexibility, if it can be relocated around a site with ease.

Two: define the output specification

Likewise, operators must be clear on exactly what the shredder must do.

Some facilities invest in shredding machinery purely to reduce the size of the bulky materials they no longer have use for and/or find difficult to store, in which case output fraction is not such a priority.

Others are driven by increasing compliance requirements – certainly as more state and territory laws seem to be coming to the fore – which means output performance matters far more.

Then there are organisations with extremely defined specifications to satisfy. If a plant is manufacturing a Waste to Energy fuel such as PEF for example, a clear calorific value and homogenous particle size of <2” (50mm) is typical.

It is therefore important to look for a shredder with a proven ability to achieve the desired output specification, and in an ideal world, the machine should be flexible to evolve alongside the operator’s changing needs too. Often this is possible thanks to just a simple screen swap.

Three: ask application-specific questions

Next, ask detailed, application-specific questions to understand the shredder’s true performance capabilities. For example:

— Confidential document shredders benefit from a low speed, high torque design, as they can shred classified material to an agreed specification without destroying the material fibre, which aids downstream recycling.

— If shredding organic waste and packaging, look for specialised bearing and seal protection systems that will eliminate contamination into the machine’s gearbox and bearing areas from this potentially aggressive material.

— E-Waste shredders must have a proven ability to liberate the various high-value composite materials ‘locked’ in redundant electrical equipment and appliances, as well as an in-built resistance to ‘foreign objects’ or unshreddables that could otherwise lead to costly downtime.

Whatever the shredding scenario, ensure the chosen supplier can provide tailored advice relevant to the specific project.

Four: stipulate safety criteria

Few people would disagree that industrial shredding has the potential to be a hazardous exercise, which is why manufacturers have worked so hard to ensure equipment safety – by design – over the years.

From easy maintenance tasks that minimise operators’ exposure to the inner workings of the shredder, to proactive diagnostic control panels that prevent the need for machine entry, and foreign object protection mechanisms that ensure equipment auto-stops should it encounter an unshreddable item, there are many ways to heighten technological safety.

But engineering innovation is driving even more safety benefits.

For example, low noise shredders mean operators are protected from the potentially debilitating effect of prolonged exposure to excessive noise; machines can now feature in-built UV, infrared, heat and spark detectors to help prevent the outbreak of fire; and ergonomic design is even being prioritised so that personnel can service and maintain equipment quickly, safely and in an upright position, without the need to hunch or over-stretch.

Five: think about the environment

Attitudes towards recycling and waste management differ across Australia, not just from state to state, but from operator to operator too. This is, in a large part, due to the absence of a cohesive governmental policy which would no doubt otherwise influence a certain type of behaviour or best practice.

Compare this to certain parts of Europe, for instance – where waste and recycling is heavily legislated and target-driven – and operators must prioritise far more than their own performance criteria when it comes to investing in fit-for-purpose shredders.

This is the reason some modern machines are driven by energy-efficient electric motors such as synchronous drives instead of diesel hydraulic drives.

Not only does such technology represent far less of a fire risk, but reduced energy consumption means the net environmental gain of such shredders is much greater.

There seems little point transforming waste into a renewable fossil fuel substitute, if the ‘cost’ of the manufacturing process is extremely harmful to the environment.

Being ‘green’ also makes commercial sense, as energy-hungry shredders don’t just have a detrimental carbon impact – they can prove costly in terms of fuel consumption too, which limits the machine’s possible return on investment (ROI).

Six: ensure the shredder is ‘tried and tested’

Identify reputable shredder manufacturers who can supply individual pieces of machinery, as well as those that can help design, source and install an entire recycling or waste management system.

Whether an operator needs a complex plant or a simple waste processing line, true shredding experts will be able to help map out a turnkey solution for maximum efficiency throughout every piece of equipment.

Also, don’t just trust suppliers at face value! ‘Seeing is believing’ so ask to speak to existing customers and better still, request a site visit to witness a working demonstration of the equipment.

The perfect scenario is a trial of the chosen shredder, using your own materials. This is the best way to evidence that the shredder will truly deliver on any promises made.

Seven: new vs used

Many industrial shredders are built to last, which means that while a machine may have reached the end of its useful life in one facility, it could still have years of operational potential with another organisation.

This presents an attractive investment option for many businesses, especially those who can procure a high-performance used shredder for a fraction of the cost of new technology.

Some manufacturers offer shredder rebuild services too, giving the operator greater peace of mind regarding the ongoing condition of the equipment.

Eight: remember non-machine considerations

Of course, the shredder needs to fulfil the performance criteria set out for it, but wider due diligence is also important.

Ask the manufacturer about typical service intervals and to what extent they are likely to affect uptime, for example. Labour intensive maintenance tasks can soon cause operational disruption which isn’t just inconvenient – it costs money, restricts the payback period of the shredder and could even put operators’ health and safety at risk.

Think also about factors such as the cost of spare and wear parts, typical wear rates, and the availability of these crucial machine components. Again, this will all impact on future uptime statistics plus the shredder’s whole life running costs.

Some suppliers take aftersales support very seriously, which means long-term ROI is far more likely.

Others don’t think much beyond the initial sale of the machine, which can leave operators feeling a little isolated when it comes to refresher training or future process optimisation.

In short, look for a shredder specialist that truly prioritises a long-term partnership approach.

Nine: ask for a project plan

While some facilities can be flexible in their lead times for a new shredder, others have to work to strict project plans.

So, whether a machine is replacing incumbent technology and downtime cannot be afforded, or the commissioning timeframes risk jeopardising the likelihood of a new plant coming online, talk to the supplier about next steps and key calendar milestones.

Shredders are commonly engineered to order, so a rapid turnaround is probably not possible.

But a serious and engaged supplier will respect the project criteria and do what they can to keep the installation moving, while communicating with the operator every step of the way. If this project proactivity is not apparent, it may be wise for the search to continue.

Ten: do the math

The ‘business case’ for an investment in new capital equipment will almost always come down to the numbers. The price tag matters, of course, although different finance routes can make things more affordable for organisations that need to spread the cost.

However, other metrics are also important. It’s crucial to calculate ongoing wear costs as this will rapidly inflate the financial impact of the investment.

Think as well about power consumption – some electric-driven machines are now so energy efficient that fuel savings alone, when compared to more traditional diesel-driven equipment, quickly accelerates the payback period.

Then there’s the possible revenue that can be generated from the sale of cleanly segregated recycled products, so include these projections in the numbers too.

If in any doubt regarding how to build the perfect business case, ask the shredder supplier to help – this exercise should be very straightforward for them.

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The missing link in tyre recovery: Tyre Stewardship Australia

Tyre Stewardship Australia has released the most comprehensive analysis of the Australian end-of-life tyre market that provides a rigorous data set, insight into the impact of the ban and options to support a transitioning market.

Following the recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in March, the export ban, which will commence on 1 December 2021, applies to all whole waste tyres, including baled tyres.

According to the COAG Waste Export Bans response strategy, bus, truck and aviation tyres which are legitimately exported for re-treading can continue to be exported and are not subject to the ban.

The COAG strategy points out that this is on the basis that re-treading represents a re-use. This is a higher order ‘waste hierarchy’ outcome through the resource efficiency outcomes associated with extending a tyre’s primary use, rather than reaching end-of-life and being processed into a secondary material such as a crumb or shred.

Additionally, crumb rubber, buffings, granules and tyre shred less than 80 millimetres will still be exportable as such materials are considered a ‘value-added product’ and not a waste and are therefore not subject to the ban.

As a result, the volume of waste tyres that are currently exported which are expected to be subject to the ban once it is enacted will equate to 61,282 tonnes of whole used tyres, including baled tyres, with around a third being generated in NSW and Victoria.

While the waste industry has long called for national standards and specifications for tyre-derived product in infrastructure, the COAG report’s call to action suggests the feds may finally heed this call.

Moreover, it points to “tyre research and innovation” through further support for commercialisation of new technologies, including crumb rubber in permeable pavements.

This is a product that Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has supported from early stage research to its current stage of commercialisation. Likewise, improved tracking of tyre fates and looking at recovering off-the-road (OTR) tyres is another important next step.

These plans for targeted action are consistent with the work of TSA, which has been supporting progress in these areas since it initiated market development activities five years ago.

Now, TSA has released the most authoritative and up to date data set on end-of-life tyre arisings in Australia to date.

The report, Used tyres supply chain and fate analysis, is the most comprehensive and biggest piece of research conducted into the end-of-life tyre market since the 2017 National Market Development Strategy for Used Tyres.

It combines material flow analysis data with TSA participant reports to provide a complete picture on the fate of all tyres: passenger, truck and off-the-road.

One of the key gaps identified in the last study was that around 60 to 65 per cent of all waste tyres generated were disposed to landfill or other fates like dumping or illegal stockpiling, with little verifiable data to specifically quantify each fate.

This report addresses that, and according to TSA CEO Lina Goodman, supports TSA’s role as an information hub, thought leader and provider of rigorous, independent data for the resource recovery sector.

SMASHING THE TARGET

Lina says it’s positive to see recovery rates in passenger and truck tyres at 89 per cent, which exceeds the 2018 National Waste Policy target set at 80 per cent.

Unfortunately, a recovery rate closer to 10 per cent for OTR tyres (large mining and agricultural tyres) brings down the overall recovery rate for the sector.

“Of the 460,000 tonnes used tyre arisings that reach end-of-life each year, we are seeing that 69 per cent is being recovered in passenger, truck and OTR, whether its reuse, process of tyre-derived product or used whole in thermal processing,” Lina explains.

For example, she says that when looking at the often quoted 56 million equivalent passenger units (EPUs) tyre generation figure, which is now 57 million, 40 million of these EPUs were recovered.

Lina adds that market development is a strength in Australia, and an area TSA has worked tirelessly to develop. However, finding further end markets for waste tyre consumption is critical, particularly with the impending ban.

To that end, she says on-shore energy recovery is an area of untapped potential, with cement kilns in Australia a possible outlet.

“When I travelled overseas late last year to visit a number of sister schemes in Europe, one thing I noticed was that many schemes do an excellent job at collecting and processing waste tyres domestically, and part of that is to do with consistent onshore consumption via tyre derived fuels (TDF) in cement kilns,” Lina says.

As a proportion, Australia sends a similar amount of tyres to TDF end markets. However, Australian tyres are consumed offshore in Asia – not in the domestic markets as is the case in Europe and the US.

“With the ban in place, we need to focus on energy recovery as an outlet in Australia to insulate against fluctuations in foreign trade and commodity prices – such as those we are experiencing in the global trade now.”

Lina asserts that the waste ban, coupled with the disruption of global markets, will no doubt affect the cost of collection and this is an area that TSA is watching closely.

It comes as demand in India for foreign tyres constrains, with its National Green Tribunal directing the Central Pollution Control to regulate the import of waste tyres. Not to mention the impact of COVID19.

“With current upheavals in the global markets, we will see an increased risk of stockpiling as local processing capacity is limited in terms of national distribution, foreign outlets are constrained and sites reach storage limits,” Lina says.

She says that based on this, TSA will identify and engage with stakeholders to provide both a short and long-term plan to mitigate stockpiling before issues arise. Importantly, TSA will be keeping an eye on coordinated efforts by rogue operators.

“Our relationship with the consumer app Snap, Send, Solve is integral now more than ever. We’ll be asking consumers to keep an eye out and report cases of dumping. It means TSA gets live data on dumping throughout Australia and can jump on these issues right away,” she says.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

To that end, the key recommendations of the report are to increase the proportion of levied tyre sales.

With the TSA levy being paid on around 34 per cent (140,000 tonnes) of all imported passenger and truck tyres (26 per cent when including OTR) – there is significant opportunity to improve coverage of the Tyre Stewardship Scheme considering participants handled around 50 per cent of used tyre arisings (85 per cent of passenger tyres) in 2018-19.

Secondly, investigating export end markets and foreign policy plans to ensure offshore markets for shredded tyres are stable is another report recommendation.

Particularly as there will likely be a move from baling to shredding as the ban looms closer, creating an ever greater need to find foreign end market outlets for such materials.

Thirdly, in line with the research completed on OTR tyres, more work is required to stimulate OTR markets to bring the 10 per cent recovery rate in this sector more in line with that of passenger and truck tyres which is close to 90 per cent.

Finally, continuing to analyse the costs of tyre recovery will be crucial to enable TSA and other stakeholders to monitor market conditions and better understand existing and potential market risks.

“We need government intervention to help the Tyre Stewardship Scheme.

It can only go so far with the current voluntary model. Government needs to intervene so that all tyre importers play their part in contributing to better end of life tyre outcomes – not just the eight companies that currently voluntarily contribute the levy,” Lina says.

“Our market development is excellent, and it needs to remain the focus. We need to see more tyre-derived product being utilised in a wider range of applications. There is growth happening now and we believe it will escalate with the announcement of the ban – and ideally a greater financial contribution from the current ‘free riders’ should government intervene and make scheme participation compulsory for tyre importers.”

NEXT STEPS

With this in mind, building a consistent strategy around local consumption of tyre-derived product is going to play an increasing role for the next evolution of tyre resource recovery.

When it comes to the domestic fate, the data shows a number of markets are very much in their infancy.

This comprises civil engineering which makes up only one per cent of the market, or pyrolysis at less than one per cent. Around 32,900 tonnes of used tyres were recycled into crumb, granules and buffings in Australia (17 per cent) with the majority of material derived from truck tyres.

No TDF is used in Australia in cement kilns, industrial boilers or furnaces, with all TDF currently going offshore.

“In Australia, we still don’t consume enough of our own waste and we really need to focus on how we’re going to build those alternate markets to use that.”

“We’ve done some great work in market development, but we need to now work on how we’re going to commercialise it, whether it’s research and prototyping, and if so we need to dial it up in a big way. The market and environment are right, we just need to help drive outcomes.”

Passenger tyres, she says, are another priority area.

“I think the passenger tyre issue is really important because at the moment we are seeing that the major fate for passenger tyres is fuel consumption overseas.”

“Truck tyres are valuable because they’re easier to crumb than passenger tyres. We need to dispel the myth that passenger tyres can’t be used in crumb rubber applications – because they can, they just need to be processed a bit differently.”

Notably, the data reflects huge decline in stockpiling. Stockpiles now make up less than one per cent, or around 5600 tonnes of used tyres, which in the report are defined as more than 40 tonnes of untreated or unprocessed product with onsite storage for more than 12 months.

The report attributes this decrease in stockpiling to stronger EPA regulation and enforcement and increases in the volume of baled passenger tyres exported over the last few years.

However, Lina notes that with the implementation of the ban and constraints in the demand for Australian tyres from foreign markets such as India, more material may accumulate in Australia, creating stockpiling risks for responsible authorities and the community more broadly.

Also, as was noted by a recent announcement by the UK Tyre Recovery Association, with baling being removed from the market, gate fees may rise, incentivising less scrupulous operators to collect without legitimate outlets, thereby encouraging dumping.

Coordinated activity between TSA, processors, industry associations and government are needed to mitigate these risks.  

Lina adds that new participants in the market, including online retailers, will create a controlled ecosystem that helps squeeze rogue operators out of the market.   

“Auto brands are seeing a positive partnership in working with TSA and we hope to see more of that over the next 12 months,” Lina says.

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A growing equipment portfolio: Lincom Group

Lincom Group’s Mark Malone details the company’s ever-expanding range of resource recovery offerings amid an acceleration of recycling sector investment opportunities.

NSW’s waste and resource recovery sector is set to see $11.6 billion in private investment over the next 10 years.

Through its zero organics waste to landfill by 2030 goal, the state government’s Net Zero Plan State One: 2020-2030 strategy outlines a range of actions.

NSW’s bold organics move is welcome news to Lincom Group. National Sales Manager – Forestry & Recycling Mark Malone says that Lincom’s sales team expect the initiatives will drive wider investment in efficient and high strength organics materials processing equipment.

“With over 25 years’ experience as a leading provider of material processing equipment and services, Lincom take pride in building and maintaining strong relationships with valued customers,” Mark says.

He adds that another source of pride is partnering with world-leading recycling equipment manufacturers such as Powerscreen, Neuenhauser, Kiverco, Morbark and Pronar.

As one range of many in Lincom’s extensive waste and resource recovery portfolio, Mark says Pronar Mobile Trommel Screens are a particularly effective organics solution.

He adds that given the screens’ high throughput capabilities, they are well suited to operators hoping to capitalise on the recent organics push.

“Thanks to their durable construction and simple operating principals, these mobile screens are perfect for working with various organic materials including soil, compost and biomass. Their versatility also enables the screening of municipal waste, coal and aggregate.”

Delivering the first Pronar mobile trommel to the Australian market in 2017, Lincom operates as the Polish-based manufacturer’s exclusive Australian distributor.

Mark says that Lincom can offer four separate units depending on application and throughput requirements, with replaceable drums available as punch plates of various thickness, with either square or round holes, or a mesh variety with replaceable mesh sections.

Machine dimensions and the ability to aggregate, for example with a lorry, allows operators to move on public roads without applying for a special permit. Lincom can supply screening drums customised to client needs, with circular or square perforation at any mesh size.

“Wide-opening covers provide quick and efficient access to the engine mounted on a rotating frame, providing excellent access to the powertrain, hopper and hydraulic components. This facilitates simple and efficient maintenance procedures, thereby minimising machine downtime.”

Lincom’s waste and recycling offerings also include Kiverco compact recycling plants, Morbark horizontal grinders and Neuenhauser Targo 3000 shredders and star screens.

Catrina Quinn, Lincom Group Marketing Manager says that while Lincom is particularly excited about developments in the organics sector, the company can facilitate equipment solutions for any and all waste streams.

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Digital FOGO: Source Separation Systems

Peter Cruwys of Source Separation Systems outlines the company’s new software-based approach to FOGO management and its hidden benefits for councils.

Trucks are rolling out of Source Separation Systems’ warehouse in Lake Macquarie NSW, on their annual quest to deliver over 80,000 Compost-A-Pak rolls to one of Australia’s largest food organics and garden organics (FOGO) programs.

While the sustainability outcomes and financial benefits of such programs are well documented, Peter Cruwys, Source Separation Systems Managing Director, says leveraging the company’s unique purpose-built software is delivering a number of hidden benefits for councils.

“Driven by a passionate team with an exceptionally strong communication strategy, Lake Macquarie Council reduced waste to landfill from domestic collections by 22,380 tonnes in its first year alone,” Peter says.

“Enabled by their customised Kitchen Caddies with full colour educational labels imbedded into the lids, and Australian Certified compostable liners, the contamination levels have been as low as 1.2 percent on average.”

The resulting compost, Peter says, is being used to enrich the natural beauty of the region through council gardens and public spaces, and domestically as compost is made available to residents.

“Such financial and environmental benefits are well understood. However, many councils are also discovering there are other benefits in FOGO distributions when leveraging the latest technology,” he says.

After years of walking household to household, and subsequently hours of thinking time, the team at Source Separation Systems have developed unique software for FOGO programs.

Refined over the past few years in partnership with several councils, Peter says the software is designed to leverage the unique opportunities presented by FOGO programs.

This means every household in a community is visited as part of the program.

“While each specific project is fundamentally customised, as well as timestamped GPS confirmed deliveries, this software audits the council database – identifying and taking pre-programmed actions as mismatches are identified,” he says.

So, what does that actually mean in the field? Peter explains that legacy information, systems and imports, department specific software, historical process oversights and clerical errors often mean that most council databases are well out of date, with a proportion of inaccuracies.

“The identification of database mismatches, such as new dwellings, multi-unit dwellings, and commercial buildings, when confirmed through GPS locations and real time photographic confirmation, is a source of new rates and waste services revenue for councils,” Peter says.

He adds that the identification of vacant blocks can reduce unnecessary waste collection costs.

“The identification of illegal dwellings and subdivisions are important for further assessments, including fire safety risks,” he says.

“Given our team are at the premises and comparing it block by block to the council database, it makes sense to have us capture any discrepancies, or ‘mismatches’ as we call them, and feed that information straight back to the council.”

Peter explains that this works to ensure the delivery of Source Separation Systems products are more accurate and stock controlled, particularly in situations such as unidentified multi-unit dwellings.

Developed in consultation with several councils, Source Separation Systems customises the software to meet project requirements and priorities.

“Like many modern apps, the software is built to be intuitive, so our teams are now faster, more accurate and safer during deliveries,” Peter says.

“In addition, with councils more involved in planning the programs and setting their priorities, we can be much more responsive to individual communities.”

As such, Peter says the benefits for councils have been significant.

“For most FOGO programs, while there might be a small premium for our unique service, the costs in reduced service fees and increased rates revenue for councils more than offsets this cost in the first year. And it’s an ongoing saving,” he says.

Peter adds that it’s been great to be a part of such a positive initiative.

“The program certainly does have financial benefits, but ultimately, I’m pleased we can make the case for FOGO even more compelling,” he says.

“Hopefully, that means more communities will establish FOGO programs and we can continue to build on the staggering environmental benefits being delivered.”

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Pneumatically secured health and safety: West-Trans

With asbestos removal presenting a range of complex transportation issues, World Wide Demolitions has partnered with West-Trans to safety secure their loads. 

While generally considered a material of the past, asbestos is still commonplace in Australia’s built environment. Given the significant health risks posed by exposure to airborne asbestos fibres, even in small quantities, asbestos waste disposal presents a number of complex and unique challenges.

Under EPA regulations, all transporters of asbestos waste must record information about the movement of loads from the site of generation to the final disposal point. Furthermore, every load must be secure and covered.

This is a reality known all too well by Tony Johnston of World Wide Demolitions, who’s family run asbestos removal and demolition business has been operating in the NSW Illawarra region for over 30 years.

Licensed in both friable and non-friable asbestos removal, Tony says Worldwide Demolitions follow strict safety practices, remaining consistently compliant with shifting EPA regulations.

He adds that it’s this commitment to maintaining, and exceeding, strict OHS standards that inspired his latest purchase.

“To further support our compliance with those regulations, World Wide Demolitions have recently retrofit all our skip loaders with West-Transcover tarp towers,” Tony says.

Developed by UK-based sheeting systems manufacturer TransCover and distributed exclusively in Australia by West-Trans, West-Transcover tarp towers facilitate secure and covered waste transportation through streamlined and simplified design.

Lightweight, easy to install and economical to maintain, West-Transcover tarp towers are purpose-built for the waste transport industry.

With a unique pneumatic lifting and lowering design, Tony says the tarp towers enable safe operations.

He adds that the automated process means his drivers aren’t required to climb up on their vehicles to secure a load.

“The system is designed to help operators safely secure their loads, and as such, reduces risk, and saves drivers considerable time when loading and unloading, which translates to significant economic benefits,” Tony says.

“I’ve been in this business for a long time, and the West-Transcover product functions at a level well above its competitors.”

Operating via an electric tensioning motor, West-Transcover tarp systems are almost half the weight of old fashioned and more complicated hydraulic tarp tower setups.

“Using air rather than hydraulics to extend the tower, West-Transcover tarps operate in unison with all our skip loaders. We’re yet to run into a problem,” Tony says.

In addition to World Wide Demolitions’ new tarp towers, Tony says the company own a number of West-Trans skip loaders, with another hookloader on the way.

Manufactured to suit rugged Australian conditions, West-Trans builds all major skip and hookloader components in house at their Mulgrave, NSW facility to ensure they meet the highest industry standards.

World Wide Demolitions longstanding relationship with West-Trans is about more than their quality products.

“West-Trans is incredibly easy to deal with. When I want something done, it’s done. For example, one of our drivers lost the remote for their tarp cover recently – I rang West-Trans and the next day the remote arrived in the mail. They operate under a very streamlined, customer-centric business model,” Tony says.

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More teeth, more traction and compaction: GCM Enviro

With sustainable landfills representing a critical competent of the waste management ecosystem, GCM Enviro details the importance of high-density compaction. 

Basic supply and demand economics, paired with resource recovery infrastructure shortages and still developing technologies, means sustainable landfill management remains a critical feature of any well-functioning waste management system.

To that end, GCM Enviro, a leading distributor of waste management equipment, is investing heavily in sustainable and efficient landfill compactors.

As the exclusive Australian supplier of Tana landfill compactors, Susie Solbrandt, GCM Marketing, says GCM are well placed to provide high compaction machinery that saves landfill airspace and reduces leachate generation.

This is highlighted by the company’s introduction of Tana’s specialised high-density drums to the Australian market in 2019.

“Tana’s high-density drums can be fitted to all Tana E Series Landfill Compactors, facilitating higher compaction rates via crushing force. The drums improve traction and efficiency, thereby increasing an operator’s ability to compact waste in shorter intervals,” Susie says.

With 14 teeth per 11 rows, compared to the standard Tana BigFoot drum’s 10 teeth per row, the high-density drums provide greater material engagement for each drum rotation.

This Susie says, shreds waste into more uniform sized particles, with 154 crushing feet per drum, compared to a standard drum’s 110 feet.

Susie adds that the new high-density drums produce a compaction capacity of 1150 metres cubed per hour, compared to the standard drum’s 950.

According to Susie, GCM sold a new Tana E520 Landfill Compactor to a major New Zealand waste operator in late 2019. Since running the updated high-density drum, have noticed significant compaction improvements.

Operating one of New Zealand’s largest landfills in North Waikato, Hampton Downs, the company have extensive experience in the design, construction and operation of modern landfills and cleanfills.

Susie says reports from the company show the new high-density drums are low maintenance, with superior climbing efficiency and fuel burn.

She adds that with fewer passes, simplified maintenance and good drivability, Tana E Series Compactors work to save expensive landfill airspace.

“GCM’s philosophy is to maintain constant dialogue between manufacturers and clients to ensure equipment design is governed by market requirements, particularly in the harsh climatic conditions we experience,” Susie says.

“Ultimately, our objective is to enable customers to increase revenue with cutting edge technology, allowing them to generate value from waste.”

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