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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Untapped potential: Repurpose It

Repurpose It has partnered with a leading mulch distributor to scale up its green waste capabilities and support the Victorian marketplace with value-added garden supplies.

Melbourne’s resource recovery network is filled with passionate and experienced businesses often quietly operating in the background to ensure consistent and clean material supply.

Producing value-added end products is the bread and butter of recycling, and in the area of green waste, there’s a multitude of expertise waiting to be untapped.

As one of Victoria’s leading garden supply distributors, Bark King provides barks and mulches to most garden supplies in metropolitan and rural areas. Its extensive product range spans barks, coloured decorative, natural and recycled timber mulches, softplay, compost and soil.

As a supplier for government departments, landscape firms and educational institutions, sustainability has formed part of the company’s ethos since its humble beginnings in 1975.

Now in its 44th year of trading, the Australian-owned company is directed by Founder Harrold Johnston’s sons Robert, Jeff and Stuart.

Using sustainable raw materials ensures Bark King offers a closed loop solution with its entire product range a by-product of other processes.

While Bark King offers its own unique value proposition to the market, it has discovered the power of collaborative partnerships, working extensively over the past two years with construction and demolition recycler Repurpose It.

Repurpose It was founded by four experienced operators across a variety of sectors spanning logistics, road sweeping and construction, organics waste processing and infrastructure maintenance.

In the area of organics, Co-founder Anthony van Schaik brought considerable experience as a Managing Director in the organics sector and it’s these established networks that inspired Bark King and Repurpose It to work together.

Since acquiring a unique 150-acre site in early 2017 in Epping, Melbourne, Repurpose It has formed a variety of partnerships with councils, contractors working on major projects and resource recovery organisations to process a variety of wastes.

Through its state-of-the-art construction and demolition washing plant, Repurpose It has continually refined its capabilities to accept organics, glass, street sweepings and excavation waste such as rock, sand and silt from major projects.

Repurpose It’s ability to receive and process street sweepings led Bark King to begin working with the company in June 2017, with Bark King taking and processing its materials at its Hallam facility.

Ashley Johnston, Bark King Business Development Manager, says it wasn’t long before an opportunity arose for the company to grow its partnership by relocating to the Epping site.

By processing Repurpose It’s green and timber waste, Bark King was able to substantially increase its market share and reintroduce finished products back into the agricultural and forestry industries.

Bark King could also offer its services on the transport side, while Repurpose It leveraged its extensive Epping site, which is uniquely positioned near major arterial roads.

“Recovering organic material, including pine bark, using our large fleet of trucks is the core of our business,” Ashley explains.

“Contributing to Australia’s smart, low-carbon economy of the future by playing our part in reducing disposal and recovering as much value from Australia’s natural resources is a goal that Bark King achieves every time a customer purchases one of our products.”

Complementing Repurpose It’s vision of industrial ecology, nothing Bark King receives ends up in landfill, with organics a prominent focus.

Ashley says that Bark King sources by-products from the local Victorian, South Australian and NSW forestry industry, processing around 75,000 tonnes per year. Organic residues are processed at its three sites in Hallam, Epping and Montrose and recycled into natural bark products.

Bark King applies strict guidelines on what it receives, ensuring any contaminated products are stopped at the weighbridge and fees applied. The green waste comes from a variety of councils and major project contractors in the building and demolition space and their respective waste management contractors.

“The joint partnership allowed both companies to use the best practices developed over the past 45 years to recycle and reintroduce products back to the market as high-quality organic growing substrates, soil conditioners and garden mulch, playing our part in the circular economy.”

Ashley says that sharing the same site as Repurpose It, which creates high-value end products, has given Bark King the refresh it needed to explore and play with new industry techniques.

“This ensures all natural pine bark supplied by Bark King is processed by us and not reliant on others,” he says.

He says that being able to manufacture quality products is very important to Bark King and great care is taken to ensure consistency across its range.

For example in its playground range, the company tests and accredits their playground surfacing to AS/NZS 4422 and AS4685 regulations. Bark King produces more than 75,000 cubic metres of soft cushioning mulch designed specifically for playgrounds and safeguards.

Ashley says that the agricultural and forestry industries play a key role in managing our natural resources and as the sectors become more sustainable, the partnership with Repurpose It only becomes more important.

Repurpose It’s George Hatzimanolis says the opportunity to partner with like-minded businesses that share the company’s vision for preserving Victoria’s resources for future generations has been mutually rewarding.

“Bark King’s product range and existing market outlets has enabled Repurpose It to broaden outs is service offerings to its clients and provide a closed loop service for organic waste streams being generated from major infrastructure project,” he says

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An environmentally sound oil company?

An environmentally sound oil company? It’s achievable, says Gulf Western Oil.

As with all industries, the wastewater sector relies on the healthy functioning of its machinery, and that requires lubrication.

Oil-based lubricants, however, are generally considered a hindrance to the environment – but Gulf Western Oil (GWO) are working hard to prove this doesn’t have to be the case.

“If you told someone ten years ago that you work for an oil company, well they thought, you don’t look after the environment,” says GWO National Account Manager, Chris Bright.

“But we offset every litre of carbon through our partnership with solar companies and are continually striving to improve our business practices to ensure they are environmentally sound.”

Another initiative that GWO has implemented to mitigate the impact of oil in the environment, is the collection of water from their own facilities to separate contaminants.

“What we do in our own business is we harvest all the water runoffs from the rain from our roofs, and we put it into a separator which removes any contaminants and we keep it in a pit internally. It then gets drained out and taken off to a facility where it will be treated for us.”

GWO are a privately-owned Australian company based in Sydney. Their wastewater collection facility was built in November 2013, in conjunction with the Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“We built it to the EPA recommendations, so now we’re licensed and tested annually by the EPA to ensure it is environmentally sound.”

This is important, Bright explains, in case there is an incident wherein an oil leak occurs and then its rains.

“We actually have a system in place that if we ever ended up in a scenario where there was an incident, our team is trained to shut off any lines or any material that could potentially  go into the storm water drains around us so that there’d be no chance of contaminating leaks going out onto the roads or anything like that, you’d get no contamination from us in the event of an incident.”

“We’ve been working with the EPA every step of the process and were given the greenlight. Also, our facility gets tested by them annually to make sure we’re still compliant.”

Beyond these internal initiatives, GWO also make environmentally sound products, says Bright.

“We have a large range of hydraulic fluid that is now biodegradable. So, if you have an oil leak, for example, the oil will disperse before it actually becomes bad for the environment.”

CBC’s National Product Manager for Lubricants, Steve Keown, explains further why lubricants are such a critical part of the wastewater treatment process.

“With an array of equipment including gearboxes, pumps, chains, blowers, compressors, slides and guides, as well as the key components of these which includes bearings, it’s important to get the lubrication right so that they function well – especially in severely corrosive environments such as those common to the wastewater industry,” says Keown.

“Reliable lubrication is essential to keeping your plant online and operating efficiently to meet current regulations and budgets.”

“Yet, lubricants are often first off the mark when budget cuts are made,” Keown says, “which is a mistake.”

“Lubricant replenishment costs are relatively minor when compared to the initial infrastructure cost, and the expense and consequences of unplanned equipment failure will not only be inconvenient but can lead to a greater environmental footprint and increased energy usage.”

Keown recommends choosing a lubricants supplier that offers a quality product range but also factors in their environmental impact.

“GWO are renowned as a quality lubricants supplier. They’re also operating in an environmentally-conscious manner, not only with their products but in their practices as a company. It’s commendable.”

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Avoid collisions with proximity detection solutions: Position Partners

Proximity detection and collision awareness systems are safeguards waste management and landfill managers can implement to reduce accidents, keep track of machine movements and mitigate risk across the site.

Proximity detection systems can increase safety on site by alerting machine operators and individuals on foot to their proximity to other workers, via small devices fitted to the machine or worn on clothing.

Alternatively, collision awareness technology alerts operators to collisions, either with other machines, or assets and infrastructure around the site.

Since the technology’s inception, proximity detection and collision awareness solutions have become both more sophisticated and easier to use.

Historically, some systems have been known to ‘over alarm’ or be very complex to install and manage, which can become a hinderance to productivity.

According to Andrew Granger, Position Partners Executive Manger Mining, Landfill and Solar, this ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation can lead to more danger, with workers not treating alarms seriously.

The way to reduce these false alarms and increase urgency and reaction to alarms is to improve accuracy,” Mr Granger says.

“Some systems, such as those by Blue Electronics, have features that increase accuracy and greatly reduce false alarms.”

Position Partners operates as Blue Electronics’ solution provider for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

Mr Granger says Blue Electronics have improved the technology around collision avoidance systems through the use of SBAS and Bluetooth low energy technology, a “failsafe” method that protects even when GPS drops out.

“The devices can be installed in a matter of minutes on any machine, heavy or light, so they can be swapped between plant,” Mr Granger says.

“The systems offer a highly modular and use-friendly solution.”

Mr Granger says Blue Electronics can achieve a relative accuracy of plus or minus one metre with no special infrastructure.

“However for applications requiring higher accuracy, operators can upgrade the system by adding a base station or our AllDayRTK network and achieve accuracies of plus or minus 25 millimetres,” he says.

“These systems are extremely reliable and easy to deploy, they are a great option for all sites, large or small.”

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Mobile multivitamin: Finlay

Craig Turner, Bio Gro Project Manager, talks to Waste Management Review about improving soil health through high-energy screening.

The viability of Australia’s productive land is being challenged by extreme weather conditions, as droughts and floods alter soil compositions and reduce nutrient levels.

Sustainability Victoria modelling suggests that as a result, the country’s agricultural and horticultural sectors will feel higher rates of climate change than other sectors.

Van Schaik’s Bio Gro, a family-owned company based in Mount Gambier, South Australia that supplies growing media, mulches and composts, are working to limit these impacts by stimulating soil health and reducing organic methane emissions.

Craig Turner, Bio Gro Project Manager, says the company works in partnership with various councils and private organisations to achieve optimum organic resource recovery. He says that currently, it processes in excess of 750,000 cubic metres of organic material per annum.

“The organic material is processed into a range of specialist growing and mulching mediums, soil amendments and biological growth stimulants, perfectly tailored for the urban amenity, intensive and extensive agriculture and viticulture markets,” Craig says.

“To effectively process the organic material, which is inconsistent and varied by nature, we require high-intensity screening equipment, which is why we work with Finlay Screening, Crushing and Recycling Systems.”

Bio Gro and Finlay’s relationship began in the early 2000s, when Finlay supplied the company with a Terex 693 Double Deck screener for mulch processing.

“Finlay offers a quality product with great service and advice, is always fast to respond to any issues we have and supplies a good spare parts service with 24-hour support,” Craig says.

“When we required a new screen to address high moisture level and increase productions times, Finlay was the obvious choice.”

After considerable consultation and on-site testing, Bio Gro purchased a Spaleck Flip Flow from Finlay in 2017.

“We needed a screen that could produce at the required volume without operators having to regularly clean screen decks, which causes downtime and poses a significant safety risk to our staff,” Craig explains.

“Additionally, we wanted a mobile screen that was versatile enough to process the wide range of organic material we receive.”

Craig says Bio Gro uses the Flip Flow to screen and separate compost bark, organic compost and recycled timber, at up to 100 cubic metres an hour.

Spaleck Flip Flow screens are designed to screen damp and wet materials of inhomogeneous origin, with separation cuts of 1.2 to approximately 50 millimetres.

According to Craig, the machine’s base frame is agitated by a shaft and unbalanced motor drive, with vibrations passed to the frame through thrust rubbers to produce reliable and high-energy screening.

A key component of the mobile system is the Spaleck 3D Combi Flip-Flow screen, which Craig says screens and loosens material on a top deck with optimal turning.

“The screen deck is mounted above the Flip-Flow deck to form a cascade, with 3D screen segments to reduce loads for the flip-flow screen mat,” he says.

“This increases the mat service life and guarantees optimum screening results. Plus, the screen mats are secured without screws, meaning there are no sharp edges or safety hazards.”

Craig adds that the 3D screening segments guarantee correct particle size, with no long pieces or extraneous material passed to the tension shaft screen on the lower deck.

“The Flip Flow has far exceeded our expectations and helped Bio Gro reduce safety risks, improve output performance and meet all our product quality requirements,” Craig says.

“The screen hasn’t suffered any blockages or downtime to date, which means we can consistently produce nutrient rich mulch and soil amendments to feed our land and protect the environment.”

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Clean rent: Tennant Company

If you’re planning to add some cleaning machines to your toolkit, you’ll first need to decide whether you want to buy, finance, or rent your equipment, writes Tennant Company. 

So, what are the benefits of cleaning equipment hire? Why is it becoming so popular? And is it the best option for you?

Here’s why more companies are choosing to rent:

1. Access better tech now

When you rent, you don’t have to wait until you can afford to buy new equipment outright. It means you can add a better piece of equipment to your inventory now and start enjoying the benefits from upgraded technology right away. Benefits like saving time, saving money, operating more efficiently and getting a better, cleaner result.

2. Flexible upgrades

When you rent instead of buying your machines, it can be easier to switch to a different type of equipment if your needs change or upgrade as you go along. There’s no need to wait until the end of your machine’s life or try to find a secondhand buyer. Simply trade-in your existing rental machine for a newer model. Or add a new machine to your fleet any time you need to increase your capacity and handle a new or bigger cleaning challenge.

3. Stay on budget

Many companies can’t pay for a new piece of equipment outright – they might have to wait 3-6 months to save up for a new machine. Fortunately, you can stay within your budget and get your equipment right away with renting, because the costs are spread out over the life of your machine. Renting means you have predictable, affordable payments coming out each month instead of one lump sum.

4. Grow your business

Renting means you can spread your immediate funds across other investments that help grow your business. Investments like company vehicles, upgraded branding, marketing campaigns, and additional team members. Renting gives you the flexibility and funds to move quickly and seize new opportunities.

5. Get tax benefits

When you rent your machine, it’s considered an operating expense, whereas when you purchase your machine outright, it’s considered a capital expense (used to buy an asset). This means that renting can come with tax benefits, although you should definitely confirm this with your accountant (we don’t provide financial advice).

At the moment, if you’re a small business in Australia, the threshold for upfront asset write-offs is $30,000. If you purchase a piece of equipment for more than this, you’ll need to depreciate it and claim the tax over time. On the other hand, monthly rental payments can be 100 per cent tax-deductible, with no need to worry about depreciation rules or tracking your tax deduction over the life of your equipment. But once again, you’ll need to seek independent advice from your accountant to confirm your eligibility and how tax deductions work for your company.

6. Simplify ongoing costs

Finally, monthly rental payments can help simplify things by bundling the ongoing cost of your machine into one simple monthly payment. Cleaning equipment needs ongoing servicing and maintenance. When you hire cleaning equipment with Tennant ANZ, we combine your Factory Direct Servicing with your rental payments so you get one fixed price payment every month and a full maintenance (comprehensive) service program.

Renting cleaning equipment from Tennant

What makes Tennant’s cleaning equipment hire different?

It’s an in-house service. That means instead of dealing with a supplier or redistributor, you get to deal directly with the equipment manufacturer. Plus, access our Factory Direct Servicing, using Tennant True Parts to protect your investment and ensure maximum uptime.

It also means you can be confident you’re getting the best possible machine and expert training. As well as ongoing support from a service team of 40+ technicians who have deep knowledge of how your equipment works.

And since we’re a nationwide company, our strategic account leaders are here to help you get centralised pricing for all your locations across Australia and New Zealand.

Another huge Tennant difference is technology.

All our rentals come with IRIS Asset Manager for data management, allowing you to ensure your rental machine is being used exactly how you want. Keeping tabs on your most important assets has never been easier.

And your Tennant floor scrubber hire comes with Ec-H20 NanoClean technology for highly efficient water-based cleans. This minimises your chemical purchases during the rental period.

Finally, we’ve got a huge range available for hire. You can choose from a variety of Tennant machines available for rent, from our S10 to a S30, and from T300 to M30.

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