Training for the waste sector: Academy Green Learning

One of Australia’s few Federal Government accredited waste courses has undergone a revamp to meet present day industry standards and challenges.

Waste services continue to grow rapidly, with new talent comprising engineers and environmental science graduates joining the expanding workforce.

The waste sector employs around 50,000 people and contributes more than $50 billion to the Australian economy. While the bread and butter of waste – transportation – remains a central part of the industry, the sector as a whole needs to remain nimble if it is to meet the challenges of the future.

Based in Sydney, Academy Green Learning has for years offered Certificates III and IV in Waste Management. All Academy Green Learning trainers have extensive professional development not only in the vocational areas of waste, but also in the industry with an abundance of real-life experiences to draw from.

They maintain this currency by working closely with present-day employers who are seen to be leaders in the industry.

The Federal Government-accredited courses have continued to help upskill the waste sector, but this year have been updated to reflect the contemporary landscape.

Mani Kasmani, Training Assessor at Academy Green Learning, says the courses underwent an overhaul to reflect modern regulations and the international market, including China’s National Sword policy.

He says that for example, the new courses reflect a need to cover workplace health and safety (WHS) harmonisation, which has traditionally caused problems in organisations operating in multiple states and territories.

Mani says that some of the important elements of the WHS discussion outlined in the course is the need to meet Chain of Responsibility (CoR) requirements. Under the CoR, if you are named as a party in the chain of responsibility, and you exercise or are capable of exercising control or influence over any transport task, you have a responsibility to ensure you comply with the law.

“One of the things we cover is the CoR and traffic control, which is about reminding drivers and those unloading goods that they need to comply,” Mani says.

Mani adds that the importance of safe handling of goods in the logistics sector, coupled with the need for appropriate equipment such as personal protective equipment, makes the courses particularly pertinent. He adds that additional regulation around asbestos and WHS is also prompting a need for greater professional development.

Shadi Faraj, Group Training Manager at BINGO Industries, says that more than 100 staff at BINGO’s Eastern Creek, Alexandria and Auburn recycling centres have benefited from the Certificate III in Waste Management and Certificate III in Driving Operations.

Shadi, who manages registered training organisation courses at BINGO, says the Academy Green courses have attracted a diverse range of employees, from drivers to labourers and machine operators.

Drivers have undertaken the Driving Operations course in NSW and Victoria.

“Team members are learning more about the theory behind the practical application they do everyday. It’s knowing that the outcome of their work can affect the final product and the recycling economy and taking steps towards best practice,” Shadi explains.

Shadi says that for some BINGO employees this is their first foray into professional development.

“Many people have come to me and thanked me for putting them through the course. The further along the course they go, the more positive effect and impact it has had.”

He says CoR lessons have been of great relevance to BINGO employees, in addition to safe handling of waste.

“It relates back to standards and the importance of doing your due diligence when it comes to inspection,” Shadi says.

Shadi says that ultimately the courses are relevant to anyone in the waste sector and he is proud of BINGO’s commitment to professional development. He says that BINGO Industries will continue to undertake Academy Green courses as part of the company’s education and training.

“There’s a lot of customisation to suit our onsite requirements, which is great,” he says.

Ardil Domingo, General Manager at Academy Green Learning, says there has been an increasing focus from the waste sector on nationally certified training. Over the past few years, Academy Green Learning has had a noticeable increase in enquiries and, in turn, enrolments into these qualifications.

The courses are primarily offered in-person in NSW where Academy Green Learning is based but offered online in other states.

Ardil says the course is provided under the Federal Government’s traineeship program which offers employer incentives for eligible staff.

“There aren’t many nationally recognised qualifications apart from those offered by Academy Green Learning,” he says.

The Certificate III in Waste Management (CPP30719) is suited to those engaged in waste management who undertake collection and processing across government and the private sector.

Ardil says the Certificate III is relevant to someone new to the industry who could be involved in machine operations and waste.

The course consists of four core units and eight elective units with core units focusing on waste identification and segregation, identifying and responding to hazards and emergencies and following WHS procedures.

“One of the most important aspects of the course is the safety units. Recycling plants are operating big machines and there can be a number of hazards in the form of smell and health,” Ardil says.

Electives cover an array of topics such as complying with environment protection requirements, maintaining storage areas, operating compost processing plant, machinery and equipment and applying awareness of dangerous goods and hazardous materials requirements.

Ardil says that the Certificate IV is suited to someone of high-level experience and in a managerial or supervisory position.

“It covers anything from conducting audits and management plans to assisting with tenders.”

The Certificate IV in Waste Management covers those in waste collection, processing, minimisation and recovery operations in supervisory, leadership or sales roles. The waste operations being targeted are similar to that of the Certificate III.

Individuals operating in waste management specification roles apply solutions to a defined range of predictable and unpredictable problems and provide leadership and guidance to others.

The core units are implementing and applying sustainable work practices, applying knowledge of WHS laws in the workplace and establishing developing and monitoring teams. Similar to the Certificate III, identifying and responding to hazards and emergencies is also covered.

Elective units comprise implementing erosion and sediment control measures, implementing site safety plans, conducting waste audits and a range of other areas to suit the applicant.

Mani says that importantly, the courses are fun, encourage active participation and are an open platform to share knowledge and experience.

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BINGO provides an update on impacts of COVID-19

BINGO has withdrawn its FY20 earnings guide as a result of the impact of COVID-19, but highlighted it remains well positioned over the medium term to capitalise on positive future regulatory and market tailwinds underpinning the business.

In a statement, BINGO highlighted as a result of measures announced by both state and federal governments to close non-essential gatherings, commercial and industrial waste volumes are likely to be impacted.

The greatest impact is expected to be in the commercial, retail, hospitality and shopping centre end marks.

“Although we have seen minimal disruption to existing construction projects, disruptions to the supply chain arising from the COVID-19 as well as economic dislocation are expected to result in some delays to the commencement of new projects,” the statement said.

“We expect this will continue in the short-term and will likely impact volumes and market pricing in the building & demolition (B&D) sector. As and when activity recovers, BINGO would expect to benefit from government stimulus packages aimed at fast tracking infrastructure and construction activity.”

The company highlighted its strong balance sheet, backed by significant property assets, noting it was confident it can meet all future cash requirements.

“We are taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of our people, sustained services to our customers and the preservation of cash flow to ensure the business is in the best position possible.”

BINGO Managing Director Daniel Tartak said the company had a strong first three quarters of FY20 and is in a solid financial position.

“Our customers are our partners, and we will continue to work with them to ensure safe and ongoing collections and waste services during this time,” he said.

“First and foremost, we are taking all the necessary precautions to safeguard the safety of our people. We have also proactively implemented business continuity plans to ensure our business continues to operate efficiently during this time of great uncertainty.”

“Despite the immediate challenges from COVID-19, BINGO remains well positioned over the medium- term to capitalise on the positive future regulatory and market tailwinds underpinning the business.”

Last year, Bingo Industries acquired Dial A Dump Industries (DADI) and set its sights on building a resource recovery park as part of the acquisition.

BINGO Industries agreed to divest its recycling facility in Banksmeadow, NSW to ease ACCC competition concerns regarding its $578 million acquisition of DADI. The ACCC required Bingo to divest the facility to maintain competition for B&D processing in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Following this, the ACCC announced it would not oppose the acquisition after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from BINGO to divest its Banksmeadow processing facility. CPE Capital was announced as the buyer for $50 million in September.

In announcing the company’s full-year results in August, Daniel noted that the asset base secured through the acquisition would transform the business for many years to come. Some of its most recent redevelopments include Bingo’s first recycling centre in West Melbourne, Victoria, having first entered the market in 2017 through several strategic acquisitions.

BINGO opens new Sydney recycling centre

BINGO Industries has opened its newest recycling centre in Mortdale, Sydney, with a license to collect 220,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste each year.

Located in close proximity to major transport routes the M5 Motorway and King Georges Road, BINGO CEO Daniel Tartak said the new facility provides a convenient tipping location for South West Sydney’s construction and demolition and commercial and industrial waste.

“This is an exciting milestone for our larger Sydney network redevelopment, and our Mortdale facility has been designed to play an important transfer and collections role within this network.” he said.

According to Mr Tartak, the facility has been built to comply with BINGO’s high standards of safety and environmental management, with advanced safety systems including fire protection hydrants, hose reels, sprinklers, water storage tanks, traffic barriers and CCTV inspection cameras.

100 kilowatts of roof-mounted solar panels have also been installed, which will see BINGO save roughly 2500 tonnes of carbon emissions over the life of the panels.

“The facility is a great example of what investment in recycling infrastructure can achieve, even at a smaller site. What was once an outdated waste facility is now leading the way in terms of fire protection, traffic flow efficiency and site safety,” Mr Tartak said.

“Space is at a premium at this site. To ensure we get our customers in and out as quickly as possible, we’ve installed four split weighbridges, meaning we can have trucks weighing in and out at the same time.”

Materials tipped at BINGO’s Mortdale facility will be sorted through the newly installed onsite plant. Material off-take will then be transferred to BINGO’s Eastern Creek and Patons Lane recycling plants, where it will be turned into BINGO’s ECO-product range of recycled building and landscaping products.

“With construction activity expected to increase across Sydney over the coming year, the opening of our Mortdale facility is well-timed,” Mr Tartak said.

“Sydney’s population and economic growth is fuelling an increase in waste volumes, and we need recycling infrastructure such as this to prevent waste from going into landfill.”

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Immersed in industry: VWMA Waste Expo site tours

The Victorian Waste Management Association’s recent industry site tours took delegates through a range of resource recovery and manufacturing facilities.

The partnership between the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) and Waste Expo Australia was particularly significant in 2019, given current challenges facing the Victorian arm of the sector.

While the event had a national focus, Mark Smith, VWMA Executive Officer, says Victoria was lucky to have Waste Expo located in Melbourne.

“We support Waste Expo because of the relevance this national event brings to the Victorian landscape, with thought provoking discussions and presentations on everything important and impactful to the sector,” he says.

As a strategic Waste Expo partner, VWMA ran three concurrent industry tours on the Friday following the expo, a first for the leading waste and resource recovery event.

Hosting a wide range of delegates including representatives from the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, industry heavy weights such as TOMRA, local government agents and small business owners, VWMA’s tours were designed to educate and stimulate conversation.

The day’s events included a construction and demolition tour, an organics tour and a packaging process tour.

“Working with industry partners Alex Fraser, the Australian Packaging and Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the Australian Organic Recycling Association (AORA), VWMA ran the tours to bring the steps industry is taking to support Victoria’s recycling agenda into focus,” Mark says.

As attendees gathered at the Melbourne Convention Centre on Friday morning, many expressed difficulty over choosing which tour to attend.

After an opening address from Mark, delegates piled into three separate buses, each with an industry specific tour guide.

The construction and demolition tour, sponsored by Alex Fraser, included site visits to Bingo Industries West Melbourne Facility, Alex Fraser’s Sustainable Supply Hub, a Level Crossing Removal Project site and the Toll Shipping’s terminal at Webb Dock.

Bingo Industries West Melbourne Facility is established on a site acquired 18 months ago by the company, with Bingo pouring $23 million into the facility since then. The site allows Bingo to convert waste into seven different products and has capacity for around 300,000 tonnes per annum. The company aims to achieve a 75 per cent recovery rate on-site.

At Webb Dock, Alex Fraser has worked with contractor Civilex to develop a heavy-duty pavement which incorporates reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) that meets VicRoads guidelines. The pavement base layers are comprised recycled glass sand and recycled concrete.

As part of the Level Crossing Removal Project, the Western Program Alliance used Alex Fraser’s recycled sand as bedding material for the combined services conduit housing the communications and power cables. The grade separation was undertaken at Kororoit Creek Road in Melbourne. The low embodied energy material replaces virgin sand with all 900 tonnes diverted from landfill at a lower cost.

Finally, Waste Management Review got to explore where Alex Fraser’s recycling happens, touring its Laverton North supply hub where more than one million tonnes of C&D waste, and one billion bottles of glass waste is reprocessed to make the quality construction materials needed to build greener roads.

A climb to the top of Alex Fraser’s high recycled technology asphalt plant topped off the excursion. The new $18 million faciliity is capable of producing over half a million tonnes of green asphalt per year, utilising the recycled glass sand and RAP produced in its collocated recycling facilities.

Shifting material focus, the Organics and Composting Tour’s first stop took attendees to the South Melbourne Market, where they were told about the market’s 32 tonne a year dehydrating compost initiative.

From there, VWMA and AORA directed the tour bus to Sacyr’s new indoor compositing facility. Michael Wood, Sacyr Environment Australia Consultant, guided the group through the 120,000 tonnes per annum facility, and explained the challenges associated with adapting a European model to an Australian environment.

The group was then guided through Cleanaway’s South East Organic Processing Facility and food depackaging unit.

Melinda Lizza, Cleanaway Development Manager, explained the depackaging unit’s 150,000 tonnes per annum capabilities, before handing the tour over to Michael Lawlor, Cleanaway Operations Supervisor.

After the tour, the group had lunch with the Cleanaway crew and discussed interactions with the EPA and growing levels of scrutiny on the compost industry.

From there, the group was driven to Bio Gro’s Dandenong South Facility, where Sage Hahn, Bio Gro General Manger, explained the company’s approach to organics diversion and composted mulch production.

After taking the group through the Bio Gro site, Sage fielded a range of technical questions and detailed the mineral additive process of mulch manufacturing.

Doug Wilson, AROA Victoria Admin Officer and compost group tour guide, says the day allowed delegates to closely inspect organics processing.

“At the very time when the state government is bringing the circular economy into focus, the organics tour took delegates on an interactive experience with some of Melbourne’s most exciting and innovative organics recovery technology,” he says.

The APCO packing tour, which was delivered in partnership with the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Australian Institute of Packaging, took attendees to Ego Pharmaceuticals, the South Melbourne Markets and recycled plastic manufacturer Replas’ Carrum Downs site.

Of the APCO tour, Mark says industry is at a critical time where collaboration is essential to address challenges in the packaging supply chain and achieve the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

“Great stuff happens all across Australia by the waste and recycling industry and many organisatsions that we partner with,” Mark says.

He added that these were areas of interest that were not spoken about enough.

“It was exciting to see demonstrations of the circular economy in action. Parts of our sector are leading on this front and there are scale interventions that only really need the appropriate government policy to delivery environmental, economic and social benefits to Australia.”

He says this was clearly demonstrated on the tours in the Victoria context.

“Industry is leading on parts of this and it’s important to acknowledge the good work being done locally.

“A big thanks to all our partners for coming on board and collaborating with us.”

This article was published in the December issue of Waste Management Review. 

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Bingo sheds Sydney processing plant to ease ACCC concerns

Waste management company Bingo Industries has offered to sell its Banksmeadow processing plant to ease ACCC competition concerns regarding its $578 million purchase of Dial-a-Dump.

Read moreBingo sheds Sydney processing plant to ease ACCC concerns

Bingo Industries to acquire Dial A Dump Industries

Bingo Industries has announced it will acquire fully integrated NSW waste and recycling business Dial A Dump Industries for $577.5 million.

It comes as Bingo Industries released its full-year results (more to come on this). According to an ASX statement, consideration for the acquisition will comprise $377.5 million in cash and $200 million in Bingo shares to be issued to vendors of Dial A Dump Industries Group (DADI Group) after the acquisition is completed.

The acquisition will be funded by an underwritten 1 for 2.48 $425 million pro-rata accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer and $200 million scrip consideration to DADI vendors, priced at $2.54 per new ordinary share.

DADI Group generated financial year 2018 revenue of $198.2 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $51.6 million.

Ian Malouf, the largest vendor of DADI will join the Bingo board after the acquisition is completed with a shareholding of up to 12 per cent post completion of the entitlement offer and acquisition.

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The acquisition includes its post-collection assets, including Genesis Waste Facility at Eastern Creek, a recycling and landfill asset with approved capacity of up to two million tonnes per annum and remaining useful landfill life of about 15 years.

The ASX statement said DADI has strong future growth opportunities through exposure to favourable NSW infrastructure markets and structural shifts towards recycling.

It said there would be compelling future growth opportunities, including the opportunity to develop a Recycling Ecology Park in Eastern Creek aligned with Bingo’s strategy of further diversifying into putrescible, commercial and industrial and municipal solid waste and waste post collections.

The statement said it also provides economic benefits through volume growth and internalisation of 100 per cent of Bingo’s non-putrescible building and demolition and commercial and industrial waste, with significant landfill capacity for external customers and broader coverage of revenue from the excavation and demolition phases of the construction process.

CEO Daniel Tartak has committed to invest a further $72 million to take up 100 per cent of his entitlements, while Tony Tartak, the founder of Bingo and Mark Tartak have separately committed to invest a further $9 million each.

CEO Daniel Tartak said the DADI site at Eastern Creek provides Bingo with the opportunity to transform waste recovery and recycling in greater Sydney through the development of a Recycling Ecology Park.

“The Recycling Ecology Park, once completed, will considerably broaden our range of processed end products as we work towards building a circular economy. By seeking alternative waste solutions, we can enhance recovery rates, consistent with Bingo’s strategic intent of diverting waste from landfill through recycling led solutions,” he said.

Dial A Dump founder Ian Malouf said the company has a lot of respect for Bingo and how they have built their business.

“Bringing together these two Australian companies makes complete sense. I fully support Daniel Tartak the CEO and Bingo’s growth strategy, particularly the vision of a master site at Eastern Creek that can process all waste types. With the infrastructure program in NSW and the new waste levy in Queensland, the market is only going to grow and I’m excited to be on board for the journey,” he said.

Bingo expects to deliver run-rate synergies of $15 million per annum to be realised over two years, from internalisation of waste volumes, operational efficiencies and rationalisation of overheads.

The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions including Australian Competition and Consumer Commission informal merger clearance.

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