Tackling the changing waste segment: Isuzu

Isuzu is responding to waste industry trends with a plan to improve fuel economy and durability through the launch of its new Dual Control waste and refuse line-up.

When problems in the Australian recycling sector arise, such as in the international landscape, it grabs our attention quickly.

At an on-the-ground level, the volatility of international recycling markets makes the triple bottom line an increasingly valuable proposition. In this vein, increased efficiencies and better environmental outcomes become critical to providing best practise contracts.

Amid the chorus of calls for transformational change to our waste and resource recovery systems, Isuzu Trucks is stepping up to the plate.

At this year’s Waste Expo, the company recently announced the launch of an all new dual control waste and refuse truck line-up with four models available (plus wheelbase options).

The new range of factory-built and backed dual control solutions hits the Australian market as the waste sector responds to a post National Sword era.

As the waste industry calls for greater efficiencies throughout their operations, the release of Isuzu’s new low-tare weight dual control waste solutions couldn’t be timelier.

Developed in Australia and with celebrated origins in Isuzu’s tried and tested FSR 140-260 4×2 Dual Control model, the new, expanded dual control range aims to offer high value coupled with reliability.

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) National Sales Manager Les Spaltman says the Isuzu Dual Control range represent best value and performance in each model and is smartly specified.

He says the factory developed range has been carefully designed for Australian conditions and considerations.

“Many would be aware of the discontinuation of some of the more traditional, go-to truck models in this sector. In response, we have a highly competitive, low-tare weight solution on offer – one which ticks some key boxes for Australian operators,” Les says.

The existing dual rated FSR dual control model is available in 12- and 14-tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) models.

It features robust Isuzu axles, multi-leaf steel spring rear suspension, dual circuit air over hydraulic front and rear drum brakes with ABS, Allison LCT 2500 transmission and ISRI 6860 with integrated seat belt in both left- and right-hand driver positions.

The new 16,500- and 24,000-kilogram GVM dual control models comprise standout componentry, including Hendrickson airbag rear suspension, which delivers substantial tare weight advantages. Les says these features offer a key advantage over competing brands.

The new FVZ dual control models use Isuzu’s robust six-rod and trunnion taper leaf type rear suspension, offering excellent levels of cross-articulation for work in arduous terrain, for example at a waste processing facility.

The new line-up applies the spotlight to two proven platforms from Isuzu’s medium-duty F Series line-up.

Isuzu’s Dual Control range boasts the company’s much-lauded six-cylinder, 24-valve 6HK1-TCC and TCS engines, renowned for their power, performance, economy and efficiency, especially under high idle conditions.

Common features across all Isuzu dual control models include high precision cross shafts linking both left- and right-hand steering columns.

Both driving positions are furnished with ISRI 6860 adjustable air-suspended seats with integrated seat belts, offering maximum comfort and operational visibility.

All Isuzu dual control models also come equipped with Allison automatic transmission as standard equipment, from the LCT 2500 Series in the FSR, through to the rugged 3000 Series in the FVD model and the 3500 Series in the FVZ and FVY 6×4 variants.

For ease of operation, the instrument panel has been duplicated on the left-hand driving side. Both driving positions feature air-assisted steering wheel height adjustment for complete driver customisation and control. The design also retains existing cab electrical harnessing, with ‘plug and play’ additional wiring harnesses.

Fresh safety elements include interlocks for control change overs, safety yellow grab handles and steps, along with Isuzu’s existing safety suite including ABS, RHS driver airbag and cornering lamps for urban laneway safety.

“We’ve worked really hard to develop a compelling total cost of ownership argument across these models,” Les says.

“Lower tare weights bring improved productivity and payload. And when you add the commonality of parts we’ve developed with our F Series range, the equation really adds up in favour of our customers.”     

Les says the trucks were designed specifically for Australian conditions and in response to industry needs.

“We have incorporated proven efficiencies across our engines, driveline and chassis componentry, wheelbase options and in-cab appointments, making this dual control line-up extremely competitive on a number of fronts.

“We know that when it comes to the waste and refuse industry, reliability, economy and durability are non-negotiables. We believe these new models have these qualities in spades.”

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Chain of compliance: Transport Waste Solutions

A partnership between Transport Waste Solutions Australia and Axtec is helping waste and transport companies meet their Chain of Responsibility obligations.

When new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws came into effect last year, weighing systems and software supplier Transport Waste Solutions Australia (TWS) formed a strategic partnership with axle weighing and load monitoring specialist Axtec.

Chris Coleman, TWS Project Manager, says that by installing Axtec products, TWS can help waste companies meet CoR obligations through accurate weighing that reduces axle overloads risk.

“CoR ensures everyone in the supply chains shares compliance responsibility, meaning it’s a shared interest to ensure all vehicles leaving waste depots comply with legislation,” Chris says.

He adds that Axtec products facilitate this compliance by providing reliable vehicle load information in real-time while waste collectors perform their day-to-day operations.

“Axtec has been operating in the weighing space since 1991 and that experience allows it to consistently develop quality products that ensure maximum return on every truck journey without risking overloads,” Chris says.

According to Chris, Axtec’s first product was a dynamic axle weighbridge, which transport and waste management companies use to charge dropoffs by weight.

“As the weighbridge is certified for commercial, public and enforcement use, a number of government agencies responsible for enforcing CoR have installed their own weighbridge as a monitoring device,” Chris says.

The Axtec dynamic weighbridge automatically weighs all vehicles entering the premises, including those with abnormal loads, and determines both individual axle and gross vehicle loads.

“A six-axle articulated lorry can be weighed in under 40 seconds, so it’s great for maintaining streamlined processes and enhancing efficiency,” Chris says.

Following the dynamic axle weighbridge, Chris says Axtec continued to innovate, introducing the onboard axle load indicator in 2007. He adds that the system provides real-time weighing information to drivers of waste vehicles from 3.5-tonne van-based derivatives through to 26-tonne and 32-tonne rigids.

“Axtec OnBoard provides the driver with information on axle and gross vehicle loads via a very simple, easy-to-read, colour-coded bar graph display,” Chris says.

“Visual and audible warnings can prompt the driver when overloads are present, while load data is simultaneously written to the built-in logger and transmitted to a tracker system.”

Chris adds that the colour touchscreen automatically displays images from rear-view or side-mounted cameras, and can be set to dim when the vehicle is in motion.

“All of these functions take place with absolutely no input from the driver, so there are no unnecessary distractions,” he says.

“Since May 2018, TWS has installed and calibrated over 30 units for customers from large waste organisations to state government utilities and local government.”

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Highly intensive tunnels: Sacyr and WTT

Waste Management Review speaks with Carlos Gros Isla, Sacyr Environment, and Sean Galdermans, Waste Treatment Technologies, about Sacyr’s new high capacity in-vessel composting facility.

Composting, once considered the domain of hippies and eco- friendly farmers, has become a booming billion-dollar industry.

While public and private investment in technologically innovative equipment and facilities have a traceable history on a global level, the Australian organics market is still somewhat in its infancy.

That said, the tide is turning, with a significant number of Australian councils embarking on separate food and garden organic waste (FOGO) collections.

On behalf of eight Victorian councils, for example, the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) negotiated a contract to facilitate kerbside FOGO collection in 2016.

Increasing the recovery of organic waste is one of four key strategic objectives set down in MWRRG’s 2016 Implementation Plan. To achieve this, MWRRG developed an organics processing network through collective procurement contracts in the northwest, southeast and east.

Sacyr Environment Australia, which operates a state of the art composting facility in Melbourne’s Dandenong South, emerged as a viable option for MWRRG’s South East network.

Sacyr Environment Australia signed a contract with MWRRG in 2017. The facility, which runs on Waste Treatment Technologies (WTT) equipment and processes, opened in May this year.

With a capacity to process 120,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, the indoor composting facility is the most advanced of its type in Australia.

When asked why the Sacyr facility has been dubbed the most advanced in Australia, Carlos Gros Isla, Sacyr Environment Australian Business Manage, says while he is hesitant to make comparisons, he has a good grasp on current capacity and innovation.

“People often want to make grand statements such as, ‘this is the biggest building in the world’, and that can be embarrassing,” he says.

“It’s not rocket science. It’s still composting, so comparing our facility to other industrial facilities wouldn’t be fair. But in terms of the composting industry, we could say it is the most advanced as a whole.”

THE EUROPEAN MODEL

According to Carlos, the facility has gained recognition because it functions as a whole package.

He says however that because he and project partner Sean Galdermans, WTT Australia Bid and Project Manager, are both Europeans, the praise can feel awkward.

Carlos adds that processes that appear innovative in Australia are par for the course in Europe.

“This is a pretty standard package in Europe, and has been for the last 20 years, but it’s important to note that it’s not as through Australia is really behind. This technology just simply wasn’t needed before,” he says.

Given the availability of land, Carlos says landfill was not traditionally viewed as a problem in Australia.

“Plus, because they didn’t have to, councils had no incentive to pay additional gate fees and invest in new quality facilities,” he says.

Carlos says the market is changing however, with Sacyr identifying Australia as a market full of new opportunities.

Sean expresses similar sentiments and says that since arriving in Australia two years ago, he has seen a rise in interesting tenders and hot opportunities.

“I think legislation in Australia has been very slow. Regulators haven’t been pushing for the right developments,” he says.

“The Australian population is knocking on government’s doors and saying, what are you doing? All the countries a round us are investing in these new processes, so why aren’t we?”

Sean says the organics and wider recycling movement is now a mainstream conversation.

“Australia has been coping with the luxury problem of space, and as a result, used to landfill the majority of waste into old coal mines. An out of sight, out of mind mentality,” he says.

“That is the music of yesterday, Australians want to focus on the future.”

Sean adds that over the past five to ten years, many councils have made poor investment decisions.

“The problem is that in the waste sector you’re always talking about large sums of money, and when those projects fail, people develop distrust,” he says.

One of the reasons WTT decided to invest in Australia, Sean says, is that the market needed successful stories and high quality products.

“We felt that with over 25 years of experience and over 130 reference facilities, which have a combined throughput capacity of 7.3 million tonnes per annum, we could contribute to this transition and reduce the amount of organics going to landfill significantly.”

COMPOST IN DANDENONG

The Dandenong facility is not the first collaboration between Sacyr and WTT. One of Sacyr’s flagship facilities in Spain was developed using WTT technology, and, according to Carlos, has been operating for almost 15 years.

“There are not many companies that can make the high-quality in- vessel or tunnel composting facilities WTT can,” he says.

“Composting is a very simple idea, but there are huge difference between an average and good composting tunnel.”

Given Sacyr’s long-term contract with MWRRG, Carlos says seemingly small differences in design and process controls can make a big impact.

“Sacyr is very focused on providing for clients specific needs, so to be honest, if a council required a simple composting facility in a rural area, WTT wouldn’t be our first point of call,” he says.

“However, when a client tells us that high quality is their main focus, and that they are willing to pay associated gate fees, which was the case with MWRRG, WTT’s technology is the obvious choice.”

Once Sacyr had confirmed its contract with MWRRG, WTT was engaged to construct the facility’s in- vessel composting system and air and water management process.

Sean says the contract was of standard scope for WTT.

“While over the last seven years, WTT has started to adapt further processes, such as mechanical pre- and post-treatment systems, I would say in-vessel composting, anaerobic digestion and air/water treatment systems is where our core competence lays,” he says.

According to Carlos, Sacyr designed the facility to operate as close to the centre of collections’ gravity as possible.

“When you build a facility in regional areas, while the initial costs are lower, each link in the chain ends up incurring significant transport costs,” he says.

“Sacyr’s idea was to build a facility in close proximity to councils, ultimately constructing the facility within a pre- existing building.”

Carlos says Sacyr was engaged by MWRRG because the group wanted to explore the capabilities of a new market player.

“Sacyr had already built a desalination plant in Western Australia, so we were engaged in the Australian water business. But in terms of our waste division, this was our first Australian project,” he says.

On the otherhand, WTT had been involved in a number of Australian projects since opening its subsidiary office in 2018, including facilities in Wogamia and Kembla Grange NSW for SOILCO and a REMONDIS facility in Port Macquarie

AEROBIC DESIGN

After material enters the Sacyr facility, Carlos says it runs through a four-step process.

“The first step is pre-treatment or decontamination. At this stage we remove anything that shouldn’t be in the green bin or is not organic,” he says.

“From there we sieve, cut and mix the material to create a homogenous mixture. We ensure it is spongy and of the right size so it can be degraded to optimum levels in the in-vessel tunnels.”

The next stage, Carlos says, is the actual composting. He adds that in Australia, the EPA regulates a high level of pasteurisation.

“The actual composting happens in two different stages. The first is fermentation to achieve the required pasteurisation, which runs for 72 consecutive hours above a certain temperature threshold,” he says.

“After we’ve achieved the pasteurisation criteria, the material is taken to the compost tunnels, before it is transferred to the maturation hall for further curing.”

The Dandenong compost tunnels, Sean says, induce a highly intensive composting process to maximize organic breakdown.

“By controlling the temperature, oxygen and moisture content of each individual tunnel at all times, we’re able to tailer a recipe for each batch, and provide our client – the operator – with maximum flexibility and ease of operation,” he says.

Given the complexity of WTT’s technology, Sean says the company likes to function as a one-stop-shop.

“Instead of delivering a package, showing what it can do and leaving, we like to be involved on a long term basis to make sure clients feel comfortable with the technology,” he says.

While the facility is currently running smoothly, Carlos admits there were some teething problems.

“Both companies tried to adopt a design that has worked for us in Europe, but the reality is with waste you never know what you will receive,” he says.

After a number of trials, Carlos says the team developed a system suitable for the material it receives. He adds that because Sacyr recognises the added value of WTT’s experience, the two organisations were in constant contact throughout the process.

Sean says WTT’s knowledge centre worked to facilitate communication.

“WTT can essentially log into the facility 24 hours a day and see what the operators see, which means we can read the information, feed it back into the system and troubleshoot,” he says.

“Combined with the client’s operational team, it’s really a golden combination.”

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This vast land: West-Trans

Andrew McKinna, West-Trans National Sales Manager, explains how West-Trans’ dog trailer and hooklift combinations help mitigate transport cost and ease the tyranny of distance.

Regional communities face a number of waste management challenges, notably access to recycling markets and expansive distances between remote towns, waste processing facilities and landfills.

To avoid associated fuel costs and limit driver backtracking, rogue operators have been known to cart overloaded waste bins, in breach of vehicle mass limit legislation.

Andrew McKinna, West-Trans National Sales Manager, says while breaking Heavy Vehicle National Law is never acceptable, the challenge of rising transport costs is very real for the waste industry.

“Waste infrastructure is often pushed to the periphery and not well placed within wider transport and freight networks. This means transporting material from a local transfer station to a metropolitan recycling facility can be costly and even unviable,” he says.

“Additionally, as existing accessible infrastructure begins to reach capacity and the end of its life, those costs are likely to rise, with the risk of illegal dumping and stockpiling rising alongside them.”

According to Andrew, long-term infrastructure and market development solutions are needed to fully address the issue. He adds however that West-Trans’ built-in tri-axle dog trailer and hooklift combinations can facilitate relief in the meantime, with the addition of a dog trailer allowing operators to cart multiple bins at once.

“West-Trans offers custom built dog trailers as a matched combination to our HL20 and HL20A hooklifts, with both tipping trailer and simple rail-and-lock-trailer options available,” Andrew says.

“Drivers simply lift the first bin onto the truck, reverse back to the dog trailer, then pick up the second bin, lock both bins, reconnect the trailer and hydraulics and drive away. The set-up caused daily drop-off numbers to double for multiple operators.”

Andrew says that when a vehicle has to travel several hours between the generation point and facility drop-off, investing an extra 10 minutes to fit a second bin far outweighs the cost and time required to run multiple trips.

“The productivity benefits of the dog trailer hooklift combination allow waste companies to fulfil large contracts across vast areas, mitigating Australia’s infamous tyranny of distance,” he says.

“With a fuel burn of roughly 2.5 kilometres per litre, it doesn’t take long for the economics of a dog trailer to add up.”

West-Trans manufactures a range of fit-for-purpose dog trailers capable of carrying multiple bin sizes. Andrew adds that all custom trailers can be supplied with a swing away west-transcover tarp tower system.

“Drivers never need to climb onto their vehicle to secure a load after our tarping system is installed, which enhances safety and streamlines operations,” Andrew says.

“Additionally, our user-friendly cab gives operators the ability to control everything from inside the vehicle including weighing and reloading.”

Andrew says West Trans’ hooklifts are equally operator friendly, with 29-tonne lifting capacities and both fixed and articulated models available.

“West-Trans’ hooklifts are constructed with high tensile structural steel, using the latest available manufacturing technologies and production techniques,” he says.

“The geometric design keeps the lifting hook close to the rear driver when lifting, which improves lift performance and truck stability, while the rugged billet steel hook is secure yet easily placed from the driver’s seat.”

All HL20 and HL20A hooklifts feature fabricated bin rests, billet steel bin locks and standard hydraulic tipping frame locks. According to Andrew, this makes West-Trans hooklifts some of the most durable on the Australian market.

“West-Trans has been operating in Australia for over 25 years, and in that time, has developed a deep understanding the unique requirements of an Australian environment,” Andrew says.

“With a combination of tough engineering and clever geometry, we build strong equipment that’s built to last.”

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Compost by the river: SOILCO

Charlie Emery, SOILCO General Manager, speaks to Waste Management Review about SOILCO’s plans to build the largest organics recycling facility in the NSW Northern Rivers region.

The NSW Northern Rivers region is perhaps best known for its Pacific beaches, scenic drives and dramatic valleys surrounded by rivers and wildlife. Home to tourist hubs such as Tweed Head, Byron Bay and Minyon Falls, by 2021 the coastal region will also be home to one of Australia’s latest organic recycling facilities.

As early adopters of the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste program, Tweed Shire Council is committed to proactive food waste reduction and recycling initiatives.

As part of this commitment, the council has commissioned a state-of-the-art organics recycling facility in Stotts Creek. The composting facility will be the largest of its kind in the Northern Rivers, processing nearly 25,000 tonnes of organic waste each year.

SOILCO, a NSW organics recycling business, has been tasked with facility design, construction and operations.

According to Charlie Emery, SOILCO General Manager, once commissioned, the facility will complement council’s recently introduced food and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection program.

Since FOGO collections began, Charlie says the region has seen a 20 per cent reduction in organic waste to landfill. This, he says, illustrates that residents are willing, and even motivated, to engage with the closed-loop processes when given the opportunity.

Charlie says collected FOGO is currently transferred for processing at a facility located outside the local government area, meaning council must deal with additional logistics and associated transport costs.

“Once the SOILCO facility is up and running, council will be able to process its own FOGO, right next to the existing resource recovery centre. This will reduce transport and logistics costs and further streamline council services,” he says.

Following a competitive tender process, SOILCO was awarded the Stotts Creek contract in July.

“Like other progressive regions in the state, Tweed Shire Council has a long-term goal of achieving zero waste, which resonates with SOILCO’s overarching mission and current operations in the Illawarra and South Coast regions of NSW,” Charlie says.

The Stotts Creek Organics Recycling Facility will function as an enclosed composting facility, meaning SOILCO will construct a processing building alongside multiple aerated composting tunnels, biofilter and product storage infrastructure.

“The model is based on upgrades to our own facilities in Kembla Grange and Nowra, where we used Waste Treatment Technologies’ technology for positive aeration in an enclosed environment,” Charlie says.

“This allows us to improve processing controls and monitor the material to ensure compost production compliance.”

While organics compliance is a hot topic in NSW, following the EPA’s October reiteration of its controversial 2018 Mixed Waste Organic Outputs decision, Charlie says composting of source-separated materials has been largely unaffected.

That said, the EPA maintains strict regulatory rules for the production and application of compost derived from FOGO, meaning SOILCO’s facility has to consider decontamination and provide rigid process controls.   

Charlie says through the installation of a pre-sort and aerated composting tunnels, SOILCO can produce clean, compliant and nutrient-rich products.

While still in the planning and approval phase, Charlie says SOILCO has already identified existing urban and agricultural end markets for their product.

“There’s a large demand for quality compost in the region, so we’re confident in the facility’s long-term economic viability,” he says.

“As time goes on, and the benefits of food waste diversion receive wider recognition, we are sure to see an increase in facility throughput and additional capacity has been designed for.”

In addition to existing end markets, Charlie says SOILCO is looking to work with local businesses and large generators of food, such as hotels, of which there are many in the heavily visited region.

He says SOILCO operates food waste collection services out of their other NSW facilities, and intends to provide commercial collection to businesses in the Northern Rivers area as well.

“That way we’re not just capturing existing tonnage through the municipal contact but creating further commercial opportunities for food waste diversion through a system we have already established,” Charlie says.

“This provides an opportunity for local businesses to participate in the composting process and creates a real sense of community.”

After lodging its development application in November, Charlie says SOILCO is working towards a two-year design and construction timeline.

“The facility is set to be operational by mid-2021, after which, SOILCO will operate the facility for 10 years, before transferring ownership back to council,” he says.

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Team hookloader: Palfinger

Waste Management Review speaks with the Palfinger hookloader team about working together to achieve maximum payloads.

Industrial conglomerate Sime Darby’s recent acquisition of Gough Group’s New Zealand and Australian operations led to a change of ownership for hydraulic lifting and handling company Palfinger.

The change came at a time of growth for the Australian arm of the company, which has been investing in and expanding its hookloader capabilities over the past three years.

According to Glen Woodrow, Palfinger Queensland and Northern Territory Account Manager, Palfinger’s Australian hookloader operations have traditionally played second fiddle to the company’s higher-profile crane manufacturing business.

“Globally Palfinger is renowned for its cranes, and while our hookloaders have always been just as structurally and operationally impressive, it’s only over the last few years that we have dedicated time and resources to grow this vital part of the Palfinger Australia business,” Glen says.

“The waste industry has been central to growth for us. Additionally, working with councils on tailored transport and waste solutions has really expanded our knowledge of the sector.”   

Palfinger brought Glen on as National Account Manager Hooks and Skips three years ago to expand its hookloader operations. He says that prior to his appointment, Palfinger didn’t have a dedicated hookloader team.

“I immediately worked with the developed hookloader business plan, which the team has been successfully using ever since,” he says.

“The central ideas are collaboration and knowledge transfer, which helps us deliver maximum payloads for clients, and as a result, maintain long-term relationships. Tailoring the business plan to suit both demographic and geographic demands has been part of the key to our success.”

To continue this momentum Palfinger Australia has expanded its national footprint, with two additional team members joining the business over the past two years.

They are Stuart Cameron, who oversees Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia, and Seth Ozbas, who joined the team four months ago to run New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Palfinger’s Western Australian interests are supported by Perth-based Palfinger crane salesman Mick Stone, completing the national field coverage.

The four account managers work closely together and for every unit sold, produce a detailed specification and legal loading sheet that provides clients with a complete understanding of each build.

“We debrief weekly on what went well with the sale, potential room for improvement and overall customer satisfaction. This means other team members can learn from our experience and have similar wins themselves,” Glen says.

Glen says Palfinger’s customer engagement in the preparatory stage is another critical success factor of Palfinger’s hookloader business plan.

“We work hard to make sure that when we deliver a hookloader, it’s right the first time. It’s a very bespoke process with considerable research involved – rarely are two Palfinger hookloaders the same,” Glen says.

“I like to think we turn customers into clients.”

Stuart says an increased ability to manage national accounts is a key benefit of having dedicated teams in each state.

“When a supplier’s operations aren’t centralised, problems can arise, such as red tape surrounding where an order was originally placed and where the servicing will occur. But for us, this isn’t a problem. Palfinger always has an expert available to manage the situation in every state,” he says.

Stuart says this is further supported by an extensive list of 37 fully trained service partners located throughout Australia.

Before joining the Palfinger team, Stuart worked for another hookloader manufacturer. He says while there are many good products on the market, Palfinger’s hookloaders stand out for their durability and strength.

“I know the market well and can confidently say that our top-quality European products are the best hookloaders available,” Stuart says.

“I was recently involved in fitting a 20-year-old Palfinger hookloader to a brand-new Scania because the hookloader was still operating at an optimum level. Palfinger can provide that kind of longevity.”

Seth, the newest member of the hookloader team, expressed similar sentiments, saying he is impressed with the quality of the product and streamlined nature of Palfinger’s operations.

He adds that while he covers the entire New South Wales and ACT region, he spends most of his time in Sydney’s western suburbs.

“Most waste and recycling companies are in Sydney, so I have spent the last few months meeting with clients and cold calling potential prospects,” Seth says.

“I want to make sure our clients feel comfortable to call me whenever they have a challenging opportunity, so I can arrange a quote on a new product or organise a service on existing equipment.”

According to Seth, a key benefit of the multipronged Palfinger sales strategy is the ability to quickly access all previous sales and equipment data.

“When I’m speaking with a client who needs specific information about a product, I am able to call the responsible person who provides the information straight away, rather than wasting time scanning through documents,” he says.

“The team is really invested in working together to grow and expand Australian hookloader market.”

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No wasted data: Trimble

With Australia’s weight-based billing transition underway, Trimble explains the streamlining capabilities of LOADRITE weighing systems.

The concept behind weight-based billing is simple – reduce waste generation by offering cost incentives for reduction and recycling. The heavier the waste, the more the generator pays.

Traditionally, waste collection and disposal services billed generators based on the size and number of bins.

Weight-based billing calculates costs based on the actual weight of the material being collected.

The Organix19: Organics Waste Management in a Circular Economy report, authored by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, theorises a range of policy strategies to advance and integrate organics waste management within the Greater Sydney region.

Within the report is an argument for legally mandating weight-based billing, which Dale Cameron, Trimble Onboard Weighing’s Australian Manager, says could gain traction.

Dale says industry uptake has accelerated in recent years, due to data transparency, improved reporting and the elimination of pay disputes.

Trimble LOADRITE onboard weighing systems work under the weight-based billing framework to provide real-time cost data based on individual bin weights.

Dale says that when using a LOADRITE system, operators are able to provide accurate weights to their customers while maintaining openness.

“The cab display shows weight data calculated from the load and position sensors, and during lifting, operators can see the bin payload,” he says.

“The system also has an automatic mode that adds each bin to the total weight.

“This keeps a running tally of total truck payloads and alerts operators when bins are overloaded.”

Dale says the LOADRITE system provides accurate, reliable and traceable data on all loading activities.

“This helps waste collectors operate more efficiently, plus helps incentivise recycling and waste reduction, as organisations will notice immediate discounts in billing when they divert more waste from the landfill stream,” Dale says.

“This makes waste generators more aware of the cost of landfilling and leads to behavioural adjustments.”

As with most technology, Dale says LOADRITE weighing systems have evolved in recent years, becoming easier to use and less costly than their first iterations. He adds that much of this progression is shaped by the proliferation of connected solutions and mobile applications.

“Organisations are increasingly looking to replace payload measurement systems for next-generation onboard scales that maximise payload optimisation,” Dale says.

“Trimble weighing systems take that idea to the next level by delivering machine-to-machine connectivity that streamlines data collection and facilitates efficient data exchange.”

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Compacting plastic infrastructure: Wastech Engineering

With rapidly growing collection rates and rising public awareness, REDcycle relies on convenient compaction from Wastech Engineering.

When Downer opened its new soft plastics asphalt plant in June, Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser highlighted the facility’s ability to process thousands of tonnes of sustainable road material each year.

For every kilometre of two-lane Reconophalt road, the facilities flagship product, 530,000 equivalent plastic bags are diverted from landfill and repurposed into roadbase.

Australia’s infrastructure boom, paired with a renewed government focus on sustainable procurement, suggests Downer will require a consistent flow of soft plastic to meet demand.

Industry led product stewardship scheme REDcycle, which supplies the soft plastics used to produce Reconophalt, has collection bins in every Coles and Woolworths supermarket in the country.

According to the Coles 2019 Sustainability Report, since beginning in 2011, REDcycle has diverted more than 715 million pieces of flexible plastic from landfill. In the 2019 financial year, the volume of soft plastics collected by the program grew by 32 per cent.

Elizabeth Kasell, RED Group Director, says the program aims to provide Australian consumers with an alternative disposal option for plastic packaging that can’t be recovered through kerbside recycling.

To ensure material quality, Elizabeth says REDcycle operate a range of Bramidan Balers, supplied by Wastech Engineering.

“Another recycler recommended the Bramidan Baler range to us over 10 years ago, and REDcycle has been using them exclusively ever since,” she says.

According to Elizabeth, baling the material REDcycle collects is the most efficient transport option for the program, given soft plastic’s irregularity and tendency to hold air.

“At most of the stores, around 80 percent, the material is collected directly by us. We do have some regional stores that are well covered through a reverse logistics process,” Elizabeth says.

“After the plastic arrives at the depot, we conduct initial decontamination and sorting before baling the material and sending it to end market clients such as Downer and recycled plastic manufacturers Replas and Plastic Forests.”

Elizabeth says the compaction rate of Wastech’s Bramidan Baler range is well suited to film plastics.

“Due to the nature of our material, REDcycle compact’s a lot of plastic bags that are full of air, and the compaction rate of Bramidan Balers alleviates potential issues,” she says.

“We have multiple Bramidan Balers that have been running all day Monday to Friday for years, and they’re still in operation – they are very reliable.”

Elizabeth says the volume received at REDcycle depots is increasing, so the operational reliability of its Bramidan Balers is crucial. She adds that customers are dropping off roughly a million pieces of plastic each day, with the weight of bales produced by REDcycle averaging 260-290 kilos.

“We’ve been working with Wastech for many years, and while we know there are other balers on the market, their product is perfectly suited to our process,” she says.

“Plus, the support we get from Wastech ensures we can keep our processes operating at maximum capacity.”

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Sussan Ley tours Wetherill Park PEF facility

As Australia moves towards banning international waste exports, ResourceCo’s Process Engineered Fuel site is fulfilling an important role in Australia’s resource recovery framework.

Governments around the world are seeking to establish effective ways to preserve the Earth’s limited resources and deal with surrounding issues of waste.

It’s within this landscape that facilities such as Cleanaway ResourceCo’s resource recovery plant in New South Wales are demonstrating what’s possible.

The Wetherill Park facility, which is Australia’s largest plant of its kind, has processed more than 100,000 tonnes of dry commercial and industrial and mixed construction and demolition waste since opening in July last year.

Waste that would have otherwise been diverted to landfill is now being converted into a range of commodities including the baseload energy source – Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF).

The plant’s role in advancing Australia’s circular economy is generating interest both in Australia and overseas, including a recent visit from the Fijian Prime Minister.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley also recently toured the state-of-the-art resource recovery facility to see first-hand the scale of the operation.

“We have a clear focus on reducing waste to landfill and increasing the nation’s recycling capacity and within that context, the operation at Wetherill Park is impressive,” Minister Ley says.

Chief Executive Officer Sustainable Fuels at ResourceCo Ben Sawley says the plant can divert up to 50,000 truckloads of waste from landfill, while also reducing a reliance on fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

“In one year alone, it can replace 100,000 tonnes of coal usage and takes the equivalent of 20,000 cars annually off the road in terms of greenhouse gas emissions,” Ben says.

As developed countries move away from the make, use and dispose model in favour a circular economy, the importance of supporting and establishing new markets for re-manufactured products is critical.

To that end, the Federal Government has committed to working with industry leaders to decrease the amount of waste going to landfill and maximise the capability of the waste management and resource recovery sector.

At the recent Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) meeting, leaders agreed Australia should establish a timetable to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres, while building the nation’s capacity to generate high-value recycled commodities and associated demand.

They tasked environment ministers with advising on a proposed timetable and response strategy following consultation with industry and other stakeholders.

That strategy will draw on the best science, research and commercial experience, including that of agencies like the CSIRO and the work of Cooperative Research Centres.

“We are at a point where the circular economy needs to be the mainstream economy.

“There are some fantastic individual industry examples and concepts in the market and our focus is on working with industry as we broaden our approach,” Minister Ley says.

“This is going to require government and industry working together to ensure greater consistency across local, state and federal regulation and a sensible approach to supporting markets for remanufactured products.”

Ms Ley says the feedback from industry to date has been extremely positive and the clear message is that the ideas and the opportunities are there, along with the investment potential.

“What we will seek to address during the Meeting of Environment Ministers and the months that follow is a policy framework that gives the recycling industry a greater sense of direction and the comfort it needs to invest,” Minister Ley says.

It’s encouraging news for companies like ResourceCo, which is committed to playing a key role in Australia’s sustainable energy mix by reducing waste and lowering carbon emissions through production of a commercially viable sustainable energy product.

“The plant transforms waste from selected non-recyclable waste streams that would otherwise go into landfill into a range of commodities including a baseload energy source known as PEF, which is used as a substitute for fossil fuels in both domestic and offshore markets in the production of cement and energy,” Ben says.

“The opportunity to tap further into this market makes good sense, both environmentally and economically.”

ResourceCo operates a suite of 22 plants across Australia and South-East Asia, and has been at the leading edge of resource recovery for 25 years.

“Investment in resource recovery and innovative waste-to-energy solutions is critical to achieving a sustainable future,” Ben says.

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