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.”

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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

                         

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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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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A new era for organics in NSW: DPIE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bearing the energy burden in water treatment

The water industry is one of the largest industrial users of energy. The UN estimates that 0.62-0.87 KWh/m3 is required for wastewater treatment and it is estimated that electricity costs account for around 40 per cent of all operational costs in wastewater treatment plants.

Moreover, US Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has projected that, in wastewater facilities, 10–20 per cent energy savings can be reached through a better control and optimisation of the process.

It is therefore in the best interest of the environment and the economics of wastewater treatment plants, for operators to find efficiencies in energy use.

One component that plays a significant role in energy efficiency of the water treatment plants is the bearings, according to Tony Tormey, BSC’s Product Manager of Industrial Bearings.

“Bearings play an important role in the overall efficiency and sustainability of a water treatment facility. The energy savings might seem negligible but if you consider all of the gearboxes, pumps, aerators and electric motors that use different types of bearings, it makes sense,” he says.

BSC, as Australia’s largest distributor of bearings, offers the FAG X-life bearings by Schaeffler – a German-engineered brand that carries energy efficiency at the heart of its bearing designs.

Andreas Pieper, Manager of the Engineering Department for Schaeffler Australia, says Schaeffler’s FAG X-life bearings are designed with precision manufacturing techniques and incorporate design features that result in lower friction and therefore less energy consumption.

“The FAG brand consists of a wide range of cylindrical, tapered, and spherical roller bearings, axial spherical roller bearings, single and double row angular contact ball bearings, and four-point contact ball bearings – each offering a unique combination of features,” says Pieper.

“The X-life is a seal of quality and high-performance by Schaeffler. With the X-life series, Schaeffler has incorporated design and manufacturing improvements that increase the bearings’ load ratings, offer higher precision and improve energy efficiency.”

Surface finish plays a major part in the energy efficiency of the X-life series, according to Pieper.

“Smooth and uniform internal and external surfaces improve the bearings’ coefficient of friction. Schaeffler also uses a machining process – known as Plateau honing – that improves lubrication control and lowers friction in the bearings,” he explains.

While the bearing life depends on multiple variables, including the type of bearing and the application it is used for, Schaeffler estimates that a FAG X-life bearing lasts on average 7-20 per cent more than conventional bearings used for the same purpose.

BSC’s relationship with customers does not end with the sale. Tormey says the BSC sales and engineering staff work with the Schaeffler engineering team to solve any problems that a plant might be facing. The BSC team also offers site surveys, store surveys, plant mapping and onsite training upon request.

“When we visit a plant, the BSC and Schaeffler engineering teams make sure that the customer is using the right bearing with optimum specifications. We also look at the sealing arrangements to make sure that the bearings are protected against any ingress of dirt or water,” says Pieper.

“Our advice might be as simple as suggesting better protection against the sun, because heat exposure and ultraviolet rays accelerate the ageing process of the rubber material thus leading to earlier damage of the rubber seals.”

In some remote areas in Australia, the pump houses between the reservoir and the treatment facility are located kilometres away from a residential area.

“Using real-time condition monitoring can have great benefits in such cases,” he adds.

Popular hardware to enable this is the cost-efficient FAG SmartCheck unit which communicates signals wireless. Schaeffler experts regularly analyse and report the condition of the bearings.

Tormey further points out how important it is for water plant operators to have parts readily available. CBC’s footprint across Australia and partnership with Schaeffler means that customers have access to critical components at all times.

“BSC’s seasoned staff across our national branches are ready to assist customers with all sort of rotation needs. With Schaeffler’s superior FAG X-life product, we are confident that we can add value to your operations.”

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Two drums with teeth: ELB Equipment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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