The Territory Waste and Recycling Industry Summit, held 1-2 April in Darwin, will provide an opportunity to discuss strategic developments in the Northern Territory’s resource recovery sector.
According to Waste Recycling Industry Association Northern Territory (WRINT) CEO Rick Ralph, the waste management and secondary resources industry, representing both private and local government operations, currently provides more than 1360 jobs for Territorians and turns over more than $152 million annually.
In 2017-18, the industry managed more than 517,800 tonnes of waste and recyclables, Mr Ralph said, ensuring more than one third of those materials escaped landfill.
“On March 13, COAG will meet to discuss how Australia will manage the proposed bans on the exports of glass, tyres, plastics plus paper and cardboard. The Darwin summit provides industry, local government and territory agencies with the opportunity to discuss the COAG meeting outcomes looking to the future,” Mr Ralph said.
The territories future recycling and diversion rates, Mr Ralph said, are directly linked to both the broader Australian secondary market reuse and new local market opportunities.
“The international challenges facing export markets compound this problem, and we need new local solutions and ideas to sustain and grow the industry,” he said.
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner will lead the summit, with a presentation on insights gained from a GHD analysis into commercial market opportunities.
“We will identify new opportunities for the territory to maintain its recycling systems and enhance landfill diversion, ensuring the waste and recycling industry remains a vibrant contributor to the economy, while supporting ongoing territory jobs,” Mr Gunner said.
According to Mr Gunner, in January, his government engaged consultants GDH to undertake an assessment of future commercial waste industry opportunities that could be developed locally.
“The summit will discuss that business assessment with our top priority being jobs. It will focus on potential new business solutions, as well as discussing how we can improve our local recycling performance,” he said.
As part of the summit Mr Ralph will ask attendees to identify and report on five key opportunities for the territory, which WRINT will present back to government for consideration and future implementation.
“The industry summit in Darwin will bring all stakeholders together, engaging key industry experts, and I am confident the outcomes will present new local opportunities to take advantage of the waste challenges in Australia and more particularly the NT face,” he said.
Northern Territory Environment and Natural Resource Minister Eva Lawler will also address the summit at a breakfast event on day two.
“Presentations throughout the summit will provide information from industry leaders on how business and government can continue to deliver innovative secondary resource recovery solutions and maintain community confidence in recycling,” Mr Ralph said.
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