Matt Kean addresses industry at AWRE

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean says local councils have been shut out of the waste and resource recovery conversation for too long, due to a “cosy” relationship between government and industry.

Addressing delegates at the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council’s (NWRIC) Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo industry breakfast, Mr Kean said his department intends to bring councils and the wider community back to the decision making table.

“Policy has been developed for too long by government working with industry, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but costs keep rising for communities and local councils. Lets not forget that waste is over a third of peoples council rates,” Mr Kean said.

“Rate-capping caps the amount of council rates on every single item on the bill except for waste, so there’s been no incentive for industry to delivered cheaper, better outcomes for the community, and that’s something I would like to see change.”

Mr Kean added that after speaking with local councils, it was clear to him that they agree.

“We need to have them as part of the conversation, and we need them at the table to talk to industry and develop policy that is going to deliver waste management services in the cheapest most environmentally sound way possible,” Mr Kean said.

“We need everyone effected by this industry to be part of the conversation, and that’s what I’m looking to do differently to my predecessors.”

At the event, chaired by NWRIC CEO Rose Read, Mr Kean also addressed the Council of Australian Government’s recent proposal to ban international waste exports.

According to Mr Kean, NSW is working closely with other governments to develop a ban timeline, which he anticipates will be tabled next month, following the November Meeting of Environment Ministers.

“We need to face the fact that the export of waste undermined the confidence of consumers who expected that when they were told they were recycling waste it was actually being recycled, the same goes for MWOO, I just want to point that out as well,” Mr Kean said.

“That’s why I was proud to sign up to a timetable to ban export waste. It’s a step towards rebuilding consumer confidence and delivering improvement in our waste management practices, including recycling.”

When asked by Ms Read why NSW’s waste levy revenue was not being reinvested in industry, Mr Kean said he had concerns over how levy revenue is currently spent.

Mr Kean added that he doesn’t believe scattering the levy delivers good environmental outcomes and said his department will review levies and targets in the 20 year waste strategy.

Ms Read also asked Mr Kean whether the state government was open to establishing a trust account to report on where levy funds are spent.

The Environment Minister replied that he wouldn’t make policy commitments on the fly, and said his government is committed to establishing policy in a considered and comprehensive manner.

Additionally, Mr Kean said his department would work to deliver greater policy and funding transparency.

Referencing NSW’s forthcoming 20 year waste strategy, Mr Kean called the policy a “huge body of work,” and reiterated the importance of working with local government to deliver positive outcomes.

“When I became the minister earlier this year, the 20 year waste strategy was flagged and it was underway, but I asked the department to put a hold on that strategy because I believe it needs to be more comprehensive,” Mr Kean said.

“I’ve reset the agenda in terms of what I want the strategy to achieve, and that agenda will be developed in consultation with industry, with local government and the community. We hope there will be a discussion paper early next year.”

Mr Kean said he hopes to deliver a strategy that provides industry certainty and enables investment before the end of 2020.

“It cant just work for Sydney, its got to work for the regions as well,” Mr Kean said.

“Major reform is on the table, so I’ve asked my department to engage in frank conversations with community groups, local councils and industry about how we can better deliver outcomes.”

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Survey reveals waste industry investment push

Australia’s waste and recycling sector is set to back Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s $20 million funding with greater investment in research and technology, according to an Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) survey.

AWRE Event Manager Andrew Lawson said the survey found 85 per cent of respondents were planning investments of up to $500,000, while 12 per cent planned to invest more than $1million.

“Organisations cited research and development, technology and innovation, and product development as their major investment priorities over the next three years,” Mr Lawson said.

“While 49 per cent of respondents said they plan to increase staff over the next 12 months, 43 per cent said there would be no staff changes.”

Mr Lawson said the survey revealed an overarching sense of optimism about the future, despite the short-term challenges following the loss of export markets.

“Not surprisingly, there is still widespread concern about China’s National Sword policy, which dramatically cut Australia’s export of plastics, paper, metal and other waste materials to that market,” Mr Lawson said.

“However, far from throwing Australia’s waste and recycling industries into crisis, most believe this presents an opportunity to develop homegrown solutions to the growing problem of waste.”

According to Mr Lawson, 54 per cent of those surveyed said they were confident that new recycling technology, especially in energy generation, would transform the sector over the next one-to-three years.

“A majority of respondents said this far neither federal nor state initiatives had helped their business navigate the challenging new landscape, so the Prime Minister’s recent focus on these issues will be welcomed by the industry,” Mr Lawson said.

“Asked to nominate the main drivers for bringing about radical changes to Australia’s waste and recycling sector, respondents nominated government policy, technology and international trends – with some also identifying climate change as a major influence on public policy and community attitudes.”

AWRE will run 30-31 October at ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour.

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The Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo

The Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo (AWRE) is set to bring thousands of waste experts together to explore innovative solutions in recycling and other sectors, and showcase the latest in sustainable products and machinery.

AWRE is a two-day live experience promoting ideas and opportunities for Australia’s waste and recycling community.

At a vital time in the industry, AWRE 2019 offers new connections, solutions and strategies to build a more stable, sustainable and profitable economy.

Held from October 30-31, 2019, the Sydney-based expo will help visitors explore new and innovative ideas in waste management and resource recovery, it will help exhibitors extend their marketing reach and connect people with the NSW market.

Visitors can discover an exciting showcase of full circle innovative products and sustainable solutions to collect, process and recycle waste more smartly.

Future critical areas that will be showcased include machinery and equipment, software and services, bins, vehicles, and food and organics systems.

Attendees can learn from renowned industry leaders in the free-to-attend AWRE Speaker Series focussing on the latest challenges, developments, strategies and policies which are shaping Australasia’s waste and recycling industry.

They can also connect with an influential community of waste and recycling professionals, suppliers/service providers, government departments, public sector bodies and special interest groups to successfully drive change throughout each specialist area.

The free-to-attend expo will be held at the ICC Sydney at Darling Harbour.

Isuzu to showcase new heavy lifter at AWRE

Isuzu Australia (IAL) is exhibiting its latest waste management heavy lifter at the Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE), which will be held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, 29-30 August 2018.

According to IAL, AWRE brings together the “latest thinking around waste and recycling, and the products that are employed in the waste collection, processing recovery and recycling processes”.

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IAL will present a truck developed by waste equipment company, Superior-PAK, in the AWRESOME product showcase.

The FVY, rated at 24,000kg gross vehicle mass and 36,000kg gross combination mass, is reportedly an ideal platform for waste applications with its “brawny” turbo-charged and intercooled diesel engine rated at 221 kw at 2,400 RPM and 981 nM at 1,450 RPM. The emission control system comprises cooled EGR with Exhaust Diesel Particulate Diffuser and is ADR 80/03 (Euro V) and EEV compliant.

“Offsetting the harsh stop-start nature of waste applications is the Allison 3500 automatic transmission and Hendrickson HAS460 rear airbag suspension both contributing to smooth and predictable operational behaviour,” IAL said in a statement.

“In addition to the Allison auto and Hendrickson rear airbag suspension, the Isuzu FVY benefits from industry-standard components, such as Meritor axles with cross-locks, Meritor ‘Q-Plus brakes with ABS, and in the cab, the ISRI 6860 air-suspended seat.”

IAL National Truck Sales Manager, Les Spaltman said Isuzu was pleased to be supporting AWRE in 2018.

“One key to Isuzu’s success lies in developing reliable and efficient trucks that can be adapted to broad range of applications and specifications including waste and recycling, and events like this help get the product in front of the right people.

“We’re continually striving to improve our offering and partnering and mixing with like-minded business and industry leaders ensures that we are exposed to the latest thinking and ideas.

“Isuzu and AWRE go back a long way and we want to continue to offer our services and support in their endeavours to facilitate better waste and recycling management,” he said.

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