The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking feedback on its recently released discussion paper on domestic waste management (DWM) charges levied by local councils.
The Victorian essential services commission has commenced stage two of its waste and recycling services review, and is now undertaking targeted stakeholder consultation.
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The NSW Government will provide $24 million in funding to support local councils and the alternative waste industry improve food and garden waste kerbside separation.
The financial injection follows the NSW EPA’s controversial October 2019 reaffirmation of its 2018 mixed waste organic output revocation, which saw the material banned from agricultural land applications.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the funding will help local councils and industry adopt and improve sustainable organic waste management, while the government undertakes consultation for its NSW 20 Year Waste Strategy.
“We know from the $105 million investment currently provided under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative that recycling food and garden waste through a dedicated kerbside bin works. Already more than 40 councils across NSW have food and garden kerbside collections with good results,” he said.
“To help make this change, we’re investing $24 million to support local councils and industry operators that were putting organic waste in red bins to produce mixed waste organic outputs.”
According to Mr Kean, the initiative is financial viable and will create a beneficial product that helps improve soil health.
“That’s why we are providing this type of support for the alternative waste industry and councils. The $24 million will help councils implement or improve kerbside organic waste collections, purchase new equipment and upgrade facilities,” Mr Kean said.
The EPA and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will also undertake organics research to improve investor confidence in collection and processing.
“This funding boost will support local government and industry while we develop the best long-term solutions for waste management and resource recovery through the NSW 20 Year Waste Strategy,” Mr Kean said.
The Victorian Government has awarded 76 councils a share of $16.5 million to improve the state’s e-waste infrastructure.
Funding will go towards upgrading more than 130 e-waste collection and storage sites and help local councils to safely store and collect increasing amounts of e-waste.
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The funding aims to assist councils prepare for the state’s ban on e-waste which will come into effect in July 2019.
The upgrades aim to ensure 98 per cent of Victorians in metropolitan areas are within a 20-minute drive of an e-waste disposal point and 98 per cent of regional Victorians are within a 30-minute drive from a disposal point.
Councils will receive discarded electronics which will then be stripped of components for reprocessing or sold on the second-hand goods market.
Applications will also open in November for a share of $790,000 to deliver local education campaigns, with councils able to apply for up to $10,000 in funding.
E-waste is defined as anything with a plug or a battery that has reached the end of its useful life, including phones, computers, white goods, televisions and air conditioners.
The amount of e-waste generated in Victoria is projected to increase from 109,000 tonnes in 2015 to 256,000 tonnes in 2035.
Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the funding will ensure the state has one of the best e-waste collection infrastructure networks in Australia.
“We’re delivering on our promise to maximise recycling and minimise the damage e-waste has on our environment,” she said.
Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has expanded to include a Demonstration and Infrastructure stream to grow the end market for tyre-derived products.
The new project stream will support projects that offer significant domestic use of tyre-derived products and demonstrate their benefits and viability to potential end users and product specifiers.
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A minimum 1:1 funding criterion is required for all projects, with a minimum funding level of $50,000 excluding GST and maximum of $300,000 excluding GST, however considerations will be given for larger or smaller project cash contribution on a dollar for dollar basis if the case can be made for the achievement of greater outcomes.
Applications will be assessed most favourably if a project consumes high volumes of Australian tyre-derived products and are considered innovative by TSA. Projects that can demonstrate a strong correlation between the delivery of the project and ongoing consumption of tyre derived products will also be strongly considered.
Projects must have collaborative partnerships between industry, research bodies and end users such as councils, road authorities, manufacturers or civil engineering and construction companies to demonstrate a realistic market application.
One example is the testing performed by state road authorities of the application of the newly released Australian Asphalt Pavement Association national specifications for crumbed rubber containing asphalt.
Other projects include the University of Melbourne’s trial to develop an optimum blend of permeable paving that uses recycled tyres to create footpaths, bike paths, carparks and low volume traffic roads which also can provide water to nearby trees.
The expanded funding stream does not allow funding of recycling infrastructure, seed funding for new ventures, clean-up of stockpiles or for feasibility studies.
TSA has already committed more than $3 million in support of research and development projects that focus on finding new domestic uses for tyre derived products.
For more information and to apply, click here.