10-year extension for Cleanaway City of Sydney South contract

Cleanaway will continue providing general and hard waste collection services to the City of Sydney South, under a 10-year contract extension with council.

According to a Cleanaway statement, seven vehicles and 21 staff have been added to the company’s Hillsdale Depot to support additional services, with a total of 86 Cleanaway employees now servicing the city.

“With the new agreement, Cleanaway will now be providing essential waste services including commingled and green waste recycling to the entire City of Sydney, both North and South, as it was previously known,” the statement reads.

General Manager Solid Waste Services David Clancy said Cleanaway is proud to providing council and residents with essential waste services.

“Thanks to the entire Cleanaway team that has worked to deliver the new contract extension during these challenging times,” he said.

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NSW and Fed Govt reach new bilateral agreement under EPBC Act

Major project assessments are set to be streamlined under a new bilateral agreement between the Federal and NSW Governments.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the new Bilateral Assessment Agreement will reduce the risk of Federal and state government duplication under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, while maintaining strong environmental safeguards.

“The changes are being made within the current Act, and do not form part of the wider EPBC review under Professor Graeme Samuel,” she said.

“They help all parties to understand what is expected of them in protecting the environment and the responsibilities they face in putting forward major projects.”

The new agreement includes harmonisation of the way proponents ‘off-set’ environmental impacts through the provision of alternate habitat areas.

“The NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme will now apply to all projects under the Bilateral agreement, and requires companies to contribute to the Biodiversity Conservation Trust that funds appropriate environmental protections to achieve strategic biodiversity gains across the state,” Ms Ley said.

According to NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes, the bilateral agreement is just one element of ongoing reforms designed to provide greater certainty, timeliness and transparency to the NSW Planning system.

“This agreement will mean environmental protections are applied more consistently than ever before to deliver better environmental outcomes,” he said.

“It will also help to achieve a single, streamlined assessment process that provides certainty for industry and investors by eliminating double-handling delays.”

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Temporary buffer zone set to become permanent in Ipswich

Ipswich City Council’s temporary local planning instrument (TLPI) is set to be permanently incorporated into council’s forthcoming planning scheme.

Due to expire next week, the Queensland Government has extended the TLPI for a further two years, during which time Ipswich City Council is expected to have a new planning scheme in place.

State Planning Minister Cameron Dick said extending the “waste protection” planning tool would provide certainty to the development industry and wider Ipswich community.

“The Queensland Government will work closely with the new Ipswich City Council to have the provisions incorporated into its updated planning scheme. This will give permanent effect to the waste protections we’ve put in place,” he said.

In 2018, the state government exercised its legislative powers to mandate a 750-metre buffer zone between existing, approved or planned residential areas and new and expanded waste facilities including landfill.

The decision came in the wake of an Austin BMI landfill proposal and Opposition parliamentary motion that the state government “call in” the application.

The proposal, which was met with some community opposition, would have seen a former disused coal mine at New Chum converted into a new landfill and waste transfer station.

According to Bundamba Member Elect Lance McCallum, extending the TLPI while council finalises its new planning scheme will ensure elements of council’s current planning scheme relating to waste activities remain suspended.

“The existing TLPIs are effective, so it’s vital we continue to regulate what can and cannot occur in these areas,” he said.

“I know how important the issue of waste management is to our community, which is why I got straight onto the Planning Minister this week to ensure existing protections were extended.”

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SV extends Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund EOI

Sustainability Victoria has extended its Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund expressions of interest period to support projects aimed at improving recycling and local reprocessing of paper and cardboard, plastics and glass.

According to a Sustainability Victoria statement, local government authorities are now eligible for the grant, with expressions of interest extended to 8 May.

“By extending the closing date of the expressions of interest we are optimistic this will be beneficial to all stakeholders and the funding program,” the statement reads.

Funding is available for infrastructure projects (new infrastructure or upgrades) that increase the capacity and capability of Victoria’s resource recovery sector and/or improve the quality of available materials for reprocessing and remanufacturing.

Eligible projects include infrastructure and equipment for new facilities, upgrades or expansions to support greater sorting and decontamination of recovered priority materials.

Additional eligible projects include infrastructure and equipment for new facilities, upgrades and expansion to enable reprocessing of materials to a higher quality suitable for manufacturers and end-markets, and infrastructure and equipment for the remanufacturing of recovered priority materials into new products.

Applicants may submit more than one application, however, each application must meet the eligibility criteria and demonstrate how its project addresses the merit criteria and objectives of the program.

“All streams of funding require a co-contribution from the applicant. Your organisation must make a minimum co-contribution of $1: $3 ratio (Government: Applicant) towards the total project cost,” the statement reads.

“Your project can receive funding from other government sources (including federal, state or local). However, this funding cannot be included in your co-contribution.”

Applicants will receive an outcome notification by June 2020, with successful applicants invited to submit a stage two business case by July. Grant recipients will be announced in December.

Funding limits: 

Paper and cardboard: up to 25 per cent of total project capital cost, capped at $8 million per project

Plastics and glass: up to 25 per cent of total project capital cost, capped at $3 million per project.

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TSA and ARRB trial crumb rubber asphalt on busy Melbourne road

Crumb rubber asphalt is being laid on a busy Melbourne road as part of a new trial funded by Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the Victorian Department of Transport.

While already a proven technology on country roads, the project aims to increase opportunities to use crumb rubber asphalt on highly trafficked roads.

The asphalt will be laid on a 1.4 kilometre section of East Boundary Rd in Bentleigh East, with four seperate crumb rubber mixes and two asphalt control sections. The equivalent of 1600 car tyres will be used.

The trial is in line with the Victorian Government’s Recycled First policy, which aims to increase the use of recycled materials in construction projects, TSA CEO Lina Goodman explained.

“Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million used car tyres every year. Around 30 per cent of those end up in landfill or are stockpiled,” she said.

“Finding innovative and sustainable ways of using old tyres is vital, and crumb rubber asphalt roads are the perfect solution to a waste problem.”

According to ARRB CEO Michael Caltabiano, when added to an asphalt mix, crumb tyre rubber not only assists with the reuse of waste, but adds value to the road structure.

“ARRB’s applied research findings show that crumb rubber asphalt lasts longer, performs better and delivers a better economic outcome for the community,” he said.

Lab and field testing will be conducted at regular intervals, with a final report due by mid 2022.

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Cleanaway awarded largest municipal contract in SA history

Cleanaway will provide essential waste services to over 160,000 South Australian residents after it was awarded the largest municipal contract in the state’s history.

The collaborative council contact includes end-to-end waste management services for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, City of Marion, City of Adelaide and City of Charles Sturt.

According to Cleanaway General Manager Solid Waste Services Conan Hookings, Cleanaway will invest in 30 new staff and over 40 fleet assets to support the contract.

“Our brand-new collection fleet will be equipped with the Cleanaview fleet management system, which provides real-time data on collection services, enabling an online portal for residents to make requests and queries,” he said.

Under the waste services contract, Cleanaway will provide kerbside waste, recycling and organics collections out of its Port Adelaide and Lonsdale depots, while residual waste will be processed at Wingfield Resource Recovery Facility and Inkerman Landfill.

The seven plus three years contract also includes bulk bin, hard waste and street litter collection and processing.

“Our service will be supported by additional education resources to help residents put the right materials in the right bin to reduce contamination and improve recycling outcomes,” Mr Hookings said.

Electric collections vehicles are also set to be trialed in select council areas.

“These zero emissions trucks were rolled out in VIC and WA as early as last year, reducing carbon footprint and noise levels on the road without impacting service levels,” Mr Hookings added.

In welcoming the contact, Marion Mayor Kris Hanna said it demonstrates what can be achieved when councils work together.

“About 43,000 households will benefit in Marion from a greener, more efficient kerbside collection service that increases the focus on our community,” she said.

The new kerbside collection service will begin in Marion and Port Adelaide Enfield 1 May, followed by Adelaide City Council 1 July. Services in Charles Sturt will be rolled out 1 May 2021.

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Industry responds to COVID-19 support packages

Waste Management Review will be running a four-part series throughout April on conquering waste industry challenges amid COVID-19 and possible future opportunities. In this first part, we highlight a summary of support packages available to the sector across each jurisdiction and what industry groups are hoping to see going forward.

Read moreIndustry responds to COVID-19 support packages

WA defers CDS launch in wake of COVID-19

The Western Australian Government has deferred the launch of its container deposit scheme Containers for Change due to COVID-19 concerns.

Originally planned to launch June 2, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the decision to delay the scheme reflects the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and its expected disruption to refund points.

According to Mr Dawson, the postponement is in accordance with advice from the scheme co-ordinator, WA Return Recycle Renew.

“COVID-19 has resulted in significant global, national and state impacts and there has been disruption across the board for government initiatives and services,” he said.

“The state government, in close consultation with WA Return Recycle Renew and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, determined that under the COVID-19 environment we are all faced with, there are too many potential health risks and logistical difficulties to start the scheme on June 2, 2020.”

The state government will review the situation in August 2020 to determine whether the scheme’s new start date will be November 2020 or June 2021.

“Delaying the scheme until after the major impacts of COVID-19 are felt will eliminate the public health concerns such as potential risk of infection from handling containers, as well as over-the-counter refund points contravening social distancing,” Mr Dawson said.

“While it is disappointing to be deferring the scheme, we remain committed to delivering the most diverse and accessible scheme in Australia. We will continue to work together and update the community, operators and suppliers throughout this period of uncertainty.”

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APCO report details steps to deliver National Packaging Targets

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has increased the National Packaging Target for recycled content levels from 30 to 50 per cent, as outlined in its new Our Packaging Future report.

“As Australia has already met the original 30 per cent recycled content target, a new all packaging average target of 50 per cent has been co-developed with key stakeholders in the packaging supply chain in order to drive increased demand and end-markets for post-consumer material collected in Australia,” the report reads.

“This increased target will encourage the use of an additional 1.3 million tonnes of material in packaging, from both local and imported sources.”

The report, which outlines critical steps required to deliver Australia’s National Packaging Targets, was unveiled by Assistant Waste Reduction Minister Trevor Evans and APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly at an industry webinar on 31 March.

According to Ms Donnelly, of the 5.5 million tonnes of packaging material placed on the market annually, 88 per cent is currently recyclable, yet just 49 per cent is recovered for use in future applications, with the remainder ending up as landfill or litter.

“Our Packaging Future combines data and insights from more than 200 authors and contributors, to identify the current critical challenges contributing to this gap. It then maps the strategies required to move away from our current take, make and waste approach to managing packaging,” Ms Donnelly said. 

“The strategies address issues of packaging design, improved collection and recycling systems and expanded markets for used packaging, and provides a systemic, whole of environment approach to building Australia’s sustainable packaging future.”

Key recommendations include launching a National Consumer Education Campaign, APCO convening a CDS National Working Group as a collaborative forum to facilitate consistency and alignment of future closed-loop schemes, and developing new reuse models for consumer and B2B packaging.

According to Mr Evans, governments around Australia are relying on APCO and its members to bring about a more sustainable approach to packaging.

“This report shows that about half of all packaging in Australia is not currently being recovered, and that is the gap we need to bridge to achieve the National Packaging Targets by 2025,” he said. 

Further recommendations include exploring and facilitating waste collection partnerships in regional and remote areas, including potential collaboration with other product stewardship schemes where kerbside collection is not feasible, and developing a traceability and verification program for recycled content in packaging and products.

“Our planet has finite resources to meet our ever-increasing consumption. Business as usual is simply not going to sustain our communities into the future. We will not accept a future defined by waste stockpiles, inefficient waste recovery economies, self-interest and fragmented regulation and policy approaches,” Ms Donnelly said. 

“The vision for this report is clear: building a packaging value chain that collaborates to keep packaging materials out of landfill and maximise the circular value of the materials, energy and labour within the local economy.” 

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