NWRIC State Associations update: February

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

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 state affiliates 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).

Queensland “Sunshine State” seeking input on draft organic action plan

The Department of Environment and Science is seeking input to inform the Draft Organic Action Plan and running a workshop on 1 March. For more information click here.

This organics workshop takes place just before WRIQ’s Future Waste Resources Convention 2021.

The event is Queensland’s biggest waste and resource recovery event. WRIQ has partnered with Queensland Farmers Federation and the Australian Industrial Ecology Network.

The conference will feature a range of topics including: Export Ban, Regulatory Insights, Disaster Management, Waste Education, Industry Financing, Energy and more.

The convention also includes Industry Tours and a Ai Group Queensland Business Leaders Breakfast.

For more information click here.  

NSW 20 Year Waste Strategy – still waiting

NSW is still waiting for our 20 year waste strategy. 20 years is a very long time and it will be difficult to make meaningful plans for the waste industry over such a long period of time.

If we were undertaking this exercise 15 or 20 years ago, we would not have reasonably foreseen major matters affecting our industry such as the GFC, China Sword, long distance transport of waste to QLD, a CDS, the COAG Export Bans and COVID-19.

WCRA has recommended to the NSW Minister for the Environment the Hon Matt Kean that the 20-year waste plan be broken up into five x four-year periods, with milestones, projects and funding attached to each of these periods.

There also needs to be a provision for review of the plan.

WCRA has recommended a Committee of Management comprised of eight individuals from each of the Office of the Minister for the Environment, the CEO of WMRR, the CEO of ACOR, the National Executive Officer of AORA, the Executive Director of WCRA, CEO of the EPA, Executive Director Circular Economy & Resource Management and the President of LGNSW.

It is WCRA’s strong view that industry must be considered a partner in the 20 year waste strategy and consulted with on all aspects of this strategy including waste levy policy and settings, plus a plan to address the short-comings in the current Resource Recovery Orders and Exemption system.

Western Australia first state to receive Recycling Modernisation Fund grants

Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) grant recipients were announced by the Federal and Western Australian Governments on 2 February 2021.

Eight grants totalling $70 million in joint funding were announced, and are expected to drive a $174 million recycling boom in Western Australia.

The RMF grants are intended to drive secondary recycling to raise the standards of the products sufficiently to meet the guidelines under the Federal Government’s new waste export bans.

WRIWA hosted a roundtable for the federal Minister for the Environment with our members in October 2019, where industry pointed out that WA was the State most likely to be disadvantaged by the export bans.

WA has historically had strong primary recycling processing but no secondary processing largely due to low volumes of waste rendering secondary processing uneconomic.

Given its close proximity to Asian markets, WA is currently totally dependent on export markets for disposing of the products of its recycling industry.

Without the injection of funding under the RMF to support development of local secondary processing capacity, WA would have seen large quantities of material banned from export, with nowhere to go but landfill.

Joint venture between Cleanaway and the Pact Group Holdings

Brad Gornall Cleanaway General Manager WA/NT Solid Waste services commented: “The $9.5 million grant funding will enable a world class recycling plant to be constructed in WA for the processing of locally collected HDPE, PET, LDPE and PP into food grade polymers for use back in plastic packaging.

“The proposed plant in WA will see over 17,000 tonnes of kerbside plastic waste processed into nearly 16,000 tonnes of resin for food and household packaging.”

Joint venture between Tyrecycle and Kariyarra Port Headland Plant and Tyre Shred and Crumb Plant Perth

Tyrecycle received two grants totalling 12.1 million:

$6.9 million dollar grant in a joint venture with the Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation, based in Port Hedland and aiming to process tyres from the Pilbara mining industry .

$5.2 million grant to invest in a plant in Perth that will produce 42,000 tons of tyre shred and 3,000 tons tyre crumb per year.

Ashley Battilana, Tyrecycle Regional Manager NSW, QLD and WA commented: “It’s the vote of confidence needed to help transform Australia’s critical waste and resource recovery sector.

“This initiative will encourage further investment in projects that will boost Australia’s remanufacturing capabilities, create jobs, and progress a circular economy. We’d hope its further boosted by a commitment to policy harmonisation, investment in local product development and bold procurement targets.

“Tyrecycle, the tyre and conveyor belt recycling division of ResourceCo, looks forward to working alongside Governments at all levels and industry to deliver sustainable environmental and economic outcomes.”

Roads to Reuse: recommitment by the WA Government to the take up of Crushed Recycled Concrete in state road projects

Following three years of development, a specification for Crushed Recycled Concrete (CRC) was released in 2019 and was followed by a successful trial by Main Roads WA (MRWA) under its ‘Roads to Reuse’ initiative.

WRIWA has represented industry through the process, and has been a strong supporter of the program.

Mike Harper, WRIWA President said: “There have been two trials of CRC in WA – in 2011 and 2014 – both of which had failed because industry was unable to supply a consistent quality assured product.

“WRIWA has committed to supporting a new independently audited quality assurance process, and applauds the State Government for moving in this direction.”

RTR forms part of the WA Waste Avoidance & Resource Recovery Strategy Action Plan 2030 which aims to recover more value and resources from waste.

2025 – Increase material recovery to 70 per cent

2030 – Increase material recovery to 75 per cent

The Roads to Reuse program has been welcomed by WRIWA members who committed to the independent quality assurance process.

The process was developed by the WA Waste Authority, MRWA, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Department of Health WA.

As part of the program, MRWA also committed to use 100,000 tons of the product in 2020, 200,000 tons in 2021, and to doubling these targets in following years.

This commitment has seen five companies state wide, four of whom are WRIWA members, completing the Material Acceptance and Sampling Plan process which pre qualifies them to supply to MRWA under RTR.

Four companies have now built plants to produce the product.

Urban Resources and Waste Stream Management produced 35,000 tonnes of the product for a successful trial in 2019.

“It was a huge learning curve to get the product and process up to the quality assured standard but we have been committed to achieving this goal from day one,” Harper noted.

However, take up by MRWA contractors was slow during 2020.

On February 2021, WRIWA facilitated a site visit for senior representatives of key State Government agencies.

This included Mr Reg Howard-Smith (Chair of the Waste Authority), Mr Peter Woronzow (Acting Director General Transport), Mr Mike Rowe (Director General Department of Water and Environmental Regulation) and other senior personnel the Waste Authority and Mr Leo Coci, head of the recently established Office of Major Transport Infrastructure Delivery (OMTID).

Participants visited the Urban Resources RTR plant and the Waste Stream Management commingled construction and demolition aggregates plant, and to meet with industry members.

In discussions after the site tour, participants noted they now had a greater appreciation of the extent of industry investment, and reiterated their commitment to the Action Plan targets.

“We were very pleased to have had such senior representatives of government attend the site tour and listen to industry’s concerns,” Harper said.

“RTR has potential to reduce waste to landfill in WA by 400,000 tons per annum, create employment and make a significant contribution to the Waste Avoidance & Resource Recovery Strategy Action Plan 2030.

“We look forward to further positive interactions with Government on this matter.”

Image: Waste Stream Management Comingled Recycling plant – Site Tour 9 February 2021. 

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