NWRIC State Associations update: August

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council State Affiliates provide a detailed overview of industry and policy changes across the country. 

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) is the national industry body for commercial waste and recycling operators Australia wide.

It brings together national businesses and affiliated state associations to develop and promote policies and actions to advance waste management and resource recovery in Australia – ensuring a fair, safe and sustainable industry that serves all Australians.

NWRIC affiliated state associations include the Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ), the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW & ACT (WCRA), the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), the Waste Recycling Industry of South Australia (WRISA), the Waste Recycling Industry of Western Australia (WRIWA) and the Waste Recycling Industry Northern Territory (WRINT).

NSW – WCRA – Impact of waste levy on recycling residuals and impacts of continued export of unprocessed scrap 

The current NSW EPA waste levy is continuing to have a major detrimental impact on the scrap metal recycling sector in NSW. The levy is a cost impost that makes scrap metal processing more expensive in this jurisdiction and thus makes exports of unprocessed material far more attractive.

Metal shredder operators reiterate their warning that the future recycling of marginal materials such as whitegoods (in terms of value of outputs) is being openly questioned.

To avoid the NSW waste levy, many thousands of tonnes of unprocessed scrap metal is being exported for overseas shredding. On the other hand, NSW steel mills have to import processed recycled steel to ensure there’s an adequate input of feedstock.

These movements of scrap metal out of (and into) NSW have a major negative impact on the environment. To create more NSW jobs and to increase local recycling, the preferred option for the scrap metal sector is a zero NSW waste levy on the landfilling of floc waste residues.

Victoria – VWMA  – What does Stage 4 lockdown mean for waste and recycling businesses in Victoria

Victoria has now entered Stage 4 lockdown, in what was deemed to be a necessary step to ensure that deaths from the insidious COVID virus are minimised.

The waste industry remains essential, but operators are on high alert to ensure the virus is not spread at work. To date, the majority of cases in Victoria have resulted from transmission at work, with workers either coming to work sick or unwittingly infecting others, not knowing they are infectious. It’s a difficult time for everyone.

This week, the Victorian Government issued a list of businesses which will remain open, and those that will close during the six week lockdown. Almost all discretionary businesses are affected, meaning commercial waste will drop.

Borders also remain a challenge, with COVID testing mandatory for drivers crossing the NSW and SA borders. The VTA has been working actively to ensure rules that are sensible and practical.

Meanwhile, the VWMA has been advocating the increased access hours offered during COVID should become permanent, as they have improved safety without impacting community amenity.

Queensland – WRIQ – Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch to speak at upcoming WRIQ Business Lunch  

At WRIQ’s upcoming Business Lunch, attendees will hear directly from Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch on the government’s waste and resource recovery priorities, with special updates from the Department of Environment and Science. 

Held 18 August, WRIQ will also be launching new member services and has curated an expert legal panel from Minter Ellison and Corrs Chambers Westgarth to present on important matters to the industry. 

The special event has been made possible with the support of WRIQ members Hitachi and includes a two-course meal, delegate packs and access to experts that will be providing updates on matters that impact Queensland’s waste and resource recovery sector.  

WRIQ will also be raffling off a hamper to raise money for Mates of Mates, one of the country’s leading charities providing physical, psychological and social support services to the Defence community.

The event is open to members and non-members, discounts apply for WRIQ members. Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, there will be strictly limited numbers. Book early to avoid missing out. Click here.

WRIQ is also hosting a series of free drop-in events throughout August in Cairns, Maroochydore and Townsville. These regional events have been made possible by Advisernet. 

Maroochydore: 11 August, Maroochy Surf Club

Cairns: 25 August, Vines at Limberlost Café 

Townsville: 27 August, The Sun Hotel

This article is the third in an ongoing monthly series. 

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