ACT opens bulky waste collection tender

The ACT Government is seeking applications for a service provider to implement its bulky waste collection service, expected to roll out mid-2020.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said local industry participation will be a key evaluation criteria in the selection process.

“The government is cracking down on illegal dumping, but at the same time we will also provide an accessible service for households to drop off unwanted bulky items to encourage good behaviour,” Mr Steel said.

“Greater weighting will be given to tenderers that can demonstrate a commitment of engagement and involvement of local businesses.”

The rollout of bulky waste will see each household receive a single collection per year of up to two cubic metres for items including damaged furniture and worn-out household appliances.

According to Mr Steel, residents will be able to book collections online, with exact service details to be determined in consultation with the service operator.

“We’ve rolled out green bins across the city and we’re rolling out bulky waste collection to provide better city services in Canberra,” he said.

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WtE forum returns to Ballarat

The Australian Waste to Energy Forum, one of the country’s most comprehensive waste events, returns to the Mercure in Ballarat 18-20 February 2020.

In its fifth consecutive year, the forum aims to provide a platform for all interested parties to discuss developments in Australia’s growing waste-to-energy (WtE) sector.

The program features a range of speakers including Federal Environment Mister Sussan Ley, Blue Environment Director Bill Grant and a keynote from Veolia Kwinana Project Director Toby Terlet.

Mr Terlet’s presentation, Energy Recovery Facilities: What’s not written on the tin, will detail challenges faced by a WtE facility in Tyseley, UK, including major upgrade works at the same time as industrial action, heavy snow and a declining national public sector budget. This presentation will discuss how Veolia worked proactively through the challenges with City of Birmingham to further cement the successful long-standing partnership and resulting in a 5-year contract extension.

Other discussion topics include WtE in a Circular Economy, Anaerobic Digestion, License to operate, current project updates, project development considerations, and future opportunities and developments.

The Forum will provide an opportunity for organisations to gain visibility and exposure in an interactive conference environment, with a number of social events and networking functions.

Early-bird registration is now open, with discounts available until 17 January 2020.

For more information click here.

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SUEZ and Yume announce strategic partnership

A new partnership with Yume will see SUEZ leverage its customer network to tackle commercial food waste, as more than 4.1 million tonnes of surplus food is sent to landfill each year.

SUEZ Australia and New Zealand CEO Mark Venhoek said by partnering with Yume, SUEZ continues to focus on building its existing local infrastructure and driving innovation and collaboration across industry.

“We need to start taking responsibility for all the waste we produce, and we can achieve this by joining forces to speed up the development of more advanced approaches to recycling in Australia,” Mr Venhoek said.

“This partnership will leverage off our national presence and extensive network of customers to connect food suppliers with food buyers – achieving better outcomes for quality surplus products that’s at risk of going to waste, in order to create sustainable value for our customers.”

According to a joint statement, 55 per cent of total food waste generated comes from the primary production, manufacturing and wholesale sectors.

“At the heart of this strategic partnership is a shared commitment to prevent quality food from going to waste,” the statement reads.

Mr Venhoek said partnering with Yume aligns with SUEZ’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by promoting responsible production and consumption.

“Yume has already sold over 1,350,000 kilograms of quality surplus food, returning nearly $5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers,” he said.

“This is an incredible achievement and testament to Katy Barfield’s passion and commitment to the industry.”

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WA CDS legislative provisions in place

Western Australia’s container deposit scheme (CDS) is in full implementation phase, with legislative provisions now complete.

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment Regulations 2019 set out rules for the scheme co-ordinator, participants, refunds and eligible containers.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said more than 170 refund points will be in place by June 2020, with at least 229 points to be in place by the end of the scheme’s first year.

“The state government is working to deliver the best CDS in the nation, with more refund points per person than any scheme in Australia,” Mr Dawson said.

“People will receive a 10-cent refund when they return eligible beverage containers to refund points throughout the state.”

According to Mr Dawson, over the next 20 years the scheme is estimated to result in 706 million fewer beverage containers littered, 6.6 billion fewer beverage containers sent to landfill and 5.9 billion more containers being recycled.

“Containers for Change will also help create 500 jobs across the state, with a key objective of the scheme to support employment of people with disability and the long-term unemployed,” Mr Dawson said.

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Applications open for Australian Recycling Investment Fund

The Federal Government is inviting applications for the newly established Australian Recycling Investment Fund.

According to Environment Minister Sussan Ley, the fund will support projects that increase recycling rates, turn waste into valuable products and encourage innovation.

“Australians want to be confident that when we put things in our recycling bin, or deliver them to a collection centre, that they will be recycled and not dumped in landfill or simply sent overseas. That is why we committed to the Australian Recycling Investment Fund at the 2019 election, and today we are delivering,” Ms Ley said.

“Last month’s Meeting of Environment Ministers set a clear message about our commitment to a circular economy and a timetable for banning problem waste exports. Growing our recycling capacity is critical in that process and this scale of investment will make a real difference.”

The fund will be managed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, with funding offered as concessional loans.

The announcement follows criticism from Labor Assistant Environment Spokesman Josh Wilson, who said the Federal Government was not doing enough to build on the national waste strategy.

“We know the so-called recycling investment plan is predominantly bulked out with prepackaged or repackaged funds,” Mr Wilson said.

“The hundred million dollars in the Australian Recycling Investment Fund consists of nothing more than a fresh label on existing clean energy finance moneys.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Federal Government had provided a direction to the CEFC Board to ensure the establishment of the fund.

“The Australian Recycling Investment Fund will provide the CEFC with the capacity to support waste and recycling technologies by making investments which attract private sector support, and by working with strategic financing partners to attract additional investments into this sector,” Mr Cormann said.

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Bin Trim opens $4.9 million grant round

A total of $4.9 million in grant funding is now available to help NSW businesses cut waste and increase recycling, as part of the state government’s Bin Trim program.

Waste and recycling service providers, equipment providers, consultants, councils and not-for-profit organisations can apply for the grants, which range from $50,000 to $300,000.

Planning, Industry and Environment Department Circular Economy Executive Director Sanjay Sridher said reducing waste sent to landfill has environmental and economic benefits for everyone.

“NSW businesses send more than 1.8 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year. From cardboard, paper and plastic through to food waste,” Mr Sridher said.

“So much of this ends up in the general waste bin, when in fact more than 70 per cent could be re-used or recycled.”

Bin Trim, administered through the state’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funds waste assessments for NSW businesses with up to 400 full time equivalent employees.

Waste experts undertake free assessments, entering waste data into an online Bin Trim App that generates a tailored action plan. The assessor also provides support and implementation advice.

Additionally, participating businesses are eligible for a Bin Trim rebate to cover 50 per cent of recycling equipment costs, up to $50,000.

According to Mr Sridher, Bin Trim has helped over 29,000 businesses and diverted 70,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.

“Businesses taking part in the program are helping the environment, with 94 per cent of Bin Trim participants implementing actions to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill,” Mr Sridher said.

Applications close 28 February 2020.

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ICCPM to hold international risk management roundtable

The International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) will hold a 2020 International Roundtable Series that explores risk, uncertainty and opportunity in complex projects.

According to the 2019 State of Risk Oversight: An Overview of Enterprise Risk Management Practices report, most of the 445 executives surveyed believe business environment uncertainties created complex risk challenges for their organisations.

The report also highlights that few executives described their organisation’s approach to risk management as mature or robust.

An ICCPM statement suggests the dynamic nature of complex projects across all industries, including waste and resource recovery, creates unique challenges for leaders.

“Increasingly volatile project contexts require leaders to integrate emergent phenomena into their adaptive response in order to sustain best practice and realise better outcomes,” the statement reads.

“The 2020 International Roundtable Series will consider what this might mean in relation to risk and opportunity in complex projects, and how we might harness the dynamics of emergence, exploit the necessary uncertainty to create value and through better decision-making, achieve better outcomes.”

The ICCPM International Roundtable Series was established in 2009 as a thought leadership initiative to help organisations stay at the forefront of successful complex project delivery.

“The ICCPM and Queensland University of Technology will facilitate workshops throughout 2020 in key locations across Australia and internationally, to gather insights from across industries, sectors and cultures,” the statement reads.

“At the end of the series, the workshop findings will be synthesised and written up into a final outcomes report to be released no later than mid-2021.”

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VIC EPA to assess battery recycling plant proposal

The Victorian EPA is assessing a works approval application for a battery recycling plant with the capacity to process 50,000 tonnes of used lead acid batteries each year.

The development proposal, received from Chunxing Corporation, seeks to recycle the material into 28,000 tonnes of refined lead each year.

The proposal estimates 98 per cent of the lead, plastic and electrolyte (sulfuric acid) in batteries will be recycled.

According to the Chunxing Corporation application, Australia generates roughly 150,000 tonnes of used lead acid batteries a year, most of which is sent to four existing facilities.

The application highlights that of the four facilities, only one conducts secondary lead smelting to produce lead product.

“We believe such incomplete ‘recycling’ is unsustainable, and vulnerable to overseas demand and policy changes, similar to the export of kerbside recycling, which collapsed after China introduced its China National Sword Policy,” the application reads.

“We also see this low penetration of ‘full recycling’ in the market as an opportunity.”

Chunxing Corporation intends to engage in ‘full recycling’ to produce lead ingot, a valuable commodity that is returned back to battery manufacturers.

“They plan to secure significant market volumes of used lead acid batteries that are currently partially processed and sent for export, and believe the extra market capacity our plant will provide will lead to the federal Department of the Environment an Energy rejecting some export permits in favour of in-country full recycling options,” the application reads.

Chunxing Corporation’s proposed plant will use a six step process including physical separation, waste acid processing for value added fertiliser, smelting and desulfurisation.

The EPA will assess the proposal against all relevant environmental policies and guidelines and consider any potential environmental and human health impacts that could result from the proposed development, including, but not limited to, air emissions, noise and residual waste management.

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WtE facility to inject green gas into VIC network

In a Victorian first, a waste-to-energy facility in Creswick will explore how to inject clear, filtered green gas into the state’s gas network.

Operating since July, the facility will continue its current testing phase through to early 2020.

According to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the $1.65 million Hepburn Shire Waste to Energy System will save $280,000 each year by diverting 2000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill.

“The state government invested $650,000 in the facility from the New Energy Jobs Fund, with Hepburn Shire Council delivering the remaining funding,” she said.

“The project is aiming to scale-up production to reduce waste shire-wide, with potential for the system to then be replicated across other Victorian councils.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the facility transforms organic waste from a local RACV resort into energy, compost and waste water for street planting and dust mitigation.

“A biodigester that turns organic waste into valuable products in Creswick is helping to remove waste from the environment while creating opportunities for new jobs and businesses,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Projects like these create opportunities for new products and jobs across regional Victoria and mean less waste ends up in landfill.”

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Macedon Ranges to introduce kerbside food collection

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is expanding its kerbside collection to include food organics, after receiving $182,000 in funding from the state government.

According to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the project, worth over $460,000, has the potential to divert an estimated 4864 tonnes of organic material from landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8241 tonnes.

“This will support Macedon Ranges Shire Council to better divert food and organic waste from landfill, including providing infrastructure to residents such as kitchen caddies, liners and kerbside bins,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“It’s crucial we continue to support projects like these across regional Victoria – they boost jobs, divert more waste from landfill and reduce emissions.”

Managed by statutory authority Sustainability Victoria, the funding comes from the state government’s $26 million Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, which aims to support infrastructure investment to improve collection and reprocessing.

Previous recipients include the City of Greater Geelong to develop laneway recycling for retail and hospitality outlets, Advanced Circular Polymers to assist the development of Australia’s largest plastic recycling facility and Ararat Rural City Council to consolidate three existing rural facilities.

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