Southern Grampians Shire launches FOGO

Residents in Victoria’s Southern Grampians Shire will soon receive a third, lime green lidded bin, as council prepares to introduce its compulsory FOGO collection service.

Council resolved to introduce the service to all townships currently in the compulsory kerbside waste service zones in September 2019, with bins to be rolled out in the coming weeks. Residents will also receive a kitchen caddy with their bin.

Southern Grampians Shire Mayor Chris Sharples said the service sees council ahead of the curve when it comes to processing organic waste.

“We made the decision to introduce the three-bin system to increase our effectiveness in processing our organic waste following a series of audits,” he said.

“Since resolving on this decision in September last year, the state government has now mandated that all councils introduce a compulsory FOGO service as part of its circular economy policy.”

According to Mr Sharples, more than 50 per cent of waste in Southern Grampians Shire bins is organic food and garden waste.

“This material breaks down without air and releases harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. With the introduction of the compulsory FOGO bin, this organic material will be composted and returned to farm land to improve soil health,” he said.

“Importantly, it also saves council on costs associated with landfill charges, EPA levies and transport costs.”

Bins will be collected fortnightly from July 1 2020, on the alternate week to recycling. In spring however, bins will be collected weekly to account for excess garden waste produced at that time.

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Works begin to support $13M Toowoomba waste facility

Toowoomba Regional Council will commence road widening works to support the construction of its new $13.9 million Tier 2 Kleinton Waste Management Facility.

Toowoomba Regional Council Waste Chair Rebecca Vonhoff said the project involves the widening of 300 metres of Kleinton School Road adjacent to the waste transfer facility.

“The current waste facility will keep operating while road construction is underway,” she said.

Ms Vonhoff said the Kleinton Waste Management Facility will be the fifth project delivered under council’s Waste Infrastructure Plan, and will provide environmental benefits to the area including increased opportunities for recycling.

“This design of the new state-of-the-art facility will cater for the northern region population growth expected over the next 25 years,” she said.

“The new facility, expected to be completed in 2021, will modernise council’s network of waste facilities and maintain our high service level where 98 per cent of the region’s population lives within a 20-minute drive of a waste management facility.”

According to Ms Vonhoff, the rehabilitation of council’s existing landfill site will also form part of the overall project, including the capping of the old landfill.

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Central Coast reopens waste facilities

Residents on the Central Coast in NSW are able to utilise the Woy Woy and Buttonderry waste management facilities following its closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Although access remained open for waste management vehicles, private waste contractors and small business customers, the public were prohibited from entering all three Central Coast Council waste facilities.

A Central Coast Council spokesperson said all three facilities were closed to the public in line with NSW Police advice and the NSW Government’s Public Health Order of March 29.

“In response to the developing situation with COVID-19, the NSW Government later issued a fact sheet clarifying the management of waste and recycling facilities,” the spokesperson said.

“As a result, the restriction on public access to the Woy Woy and Buttonderry waste management facilities was lifted.”

The Kincumber facility remains closed due to ongoing maintenance work.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the community, limit the need for residents to travel, minimise contact and ensure services are still being provided, Council has changed some operations at its waste management facilities.

Council is encouraging all residents to utilise their three bin and bulk collection services and comply with requirements around non-essential travel.

CEO Central Coast Council, Gary Murphy, said Council’s priority is the health of staff and the Central Coast community and continuing to deliver essential services.

“I want to assure the community that all our essential services are not interrupted, and this includes water and sewer; collection and management of waste,” he said.

Essential services across the region continue, including work on its rolling program to inspect and replace critical sewage sewage to improve the performance and reliability of the network.

More than $2 million dollars has been earmarked for the project this financial year that sees existing pipes rehabilitated with structural relining to extend their service life by up to 50 years or replacing end-of-design-life equipment.

“We manage an extensive sewer network with 2,649 kilometres of sewer pipelines across the region as well as eight sewage treatment plants and more than 320 sewage pumping stations,” Council spokesperson said.

“We are using innovative techniques to rehabilitate damaged sewer pipelines during the work.”

Council starts by clearing the pipe and assessing the conditions of sewer lines via CCTV camera, then insert a liner to reinforce the existing pipe structure that seals any leaks, significantly reducing the risk of future damage, particularly from tree roots.

“This technique reduces the need to excavate, minimising disruption to services during works and reduces repair costs,” Council spokesperson said.

“This essential maintenance on local sewer infrastructure will improve asset and network reliability, lower the risk of environmental discharges and help ensure we have adequate and sustainable infrastructure to meet future demand.”

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Degraded SKM waste to be re-located in SA

Commingled recyclables stored by SKM Recycling in South Australia have become too degraded to be recycled with currently available technology, according to an independent waste expert.

South Australian Environment Minister David Speirs said the material will be moved to a landfill cell at Inkerman and recovered if appropriate technology and infrastructure becomes available.

“SKM was made insolvent in July 2019, leaving more than 10,000 tonnes of commingled and PET materials at Wingfield and Lonsdale,” Mr Speirs said.

“All avenues to recycle the materials were explored but unfortunately there were no other viable options in the immediate future.”

Mr Speirs said leaving the material stored at the Wingfield and Lonsdale sites is unacceptable, as it will continue to deteriorate.

“Inkerman landfill has the capacity to receive and store the material in a separate part of the existing landfill cell until such time the infrastructure is available in South Australia to process the materials,” he said.

According to Mr Speirs, re-location requires an exemption under the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010.

“South Australia is a nation leader when it comes to recycling and resource recovery, and I hope to see future innovation in this sector that will allow these materials to reprocessed,” he said.

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Landfill levy waived for bushfire victims

Landfill levies have been waived for residents in bushfire affected areas across Victoria, following an announcement from state Premier Daniel Andrews.

“As Victorians begin returning to their homes and land following the recent bushfires, the state government will make sure people can dispose of their bushfire waste without paying the landfill levy,” Mr Andrews said.

“This is practical and immediate support for people who are undertaking the heartbreaking task of cleaning up their homes and properties.”

According to Mr Andrews, bushfire waste includes debris from homes, businesses, sheds, stock, fencing and equipment that has been damaged.

“The levy waiver will also make it easier for people to dispose of dead livestock,” he said.

The Victorian EPA will work with landfill operators and councils in fire-affected areas to apply for the exemption.

“If residents or business owners have any questions or concerns about bushfire waste clean up and disposal, they can contact EPA for further information,” Mr Andrews said.

The exemption follows similar measures in NSW, with the state government waiving the levy in bushfire natural disaster areas in November 2019.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said thousands of people across NSW are reeling from the effects of the November bushfires, which are still burning.

“We know that the effects of these bushfires will be felt for months, and even years to come, and we hope that this streamlined waste process can provide a little relief for those coping with the effects of these horrible bushfires,” he said.

The NSW exemption will apply until 29 February 2020.

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VIC EPA approves Loy Yang landfill expansion

The Victorian EPA has granted a works approval application for an extension to Latrobe City Council’s Hyland Highway Loy Yang Landfill.

According to an EPA statement, the proposed extension includes four new landfill cells within the premise’s current boundaries.

“Under the council’s proposal, landfilling will occur up to February 2033, consistent with the council’s planning permission,” the statement reads.

The EPA assessed the works approval application for potential environmental impacts such as dust, landfill gas, leachate, odour, litter issues and potential land, surface water and ground water contamination risks.

“The approval is subject to conditions, including demonstration it is needed in light of government policy and landfill airspace demands at the time prior to the construction of the new landfill cells,” the statement reads.

Under the approval, council is required to develop and implement odour, groundwater, surface waste and landfill gas monitoring and management plans.

Additionally, council will have to engage an environmental auditor to prepare an environmental audit report before the construction of new landfill cells or a leachate collection pond.

The facility has been operating for 10 years at its current location under EPA Licence No. 25565. It is permitted to dispose of putrescible waste, solid inert waste, asbestos of domestic origin and shredded tyres to be deposited to land.

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MWRRG plans new C&I strategy

The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group’s (MWRRG) 2018-19 Annual Report, tabled in parliament November 1, examines progress against the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan.

According to the report, MWRRG is developing a new strategy for commercial and industrial (C&I) waste and advanced waste processing (AWP).

“This year we began developing the evidence base to inform a C&I waste strategy, including 180 waste audits and industry workshops,” the report reads.

“The strategy will initially focus on reducing the volume of plastics and food waste going to landfill.”

Other implementation plan objectives include reducing waste sent to landfill, increasing organic waste recovered, delivering community, environmental and economic benefits and developing a plan for Melbourne’s growing population.

MWRRG’s 2018-21 business plan outlined 45 Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan deliverables, with the 2018-19 report listing 19 completed, a further 19 ongoing and 15 continued.

The highest level of deliverables was achieved in the reducing waste sent to landfill objective, with 6 completed, 9 ongoing and 2 continued.

According to the report’s Message from the Chair and CEO, MWRRG continues to support local government through capacity building, collaborative contracts procurement and education.

“Reducing waste sent to landfill continues to be a priority for us,” the report reads.

“We are achieving this in a number of ways, including recycling more green and food waste, a new strategy for commercial and industrial waste and AWP.”

The report lists AWP as a core element of MWRRG’s strategic and integrated approach to reducing waste sent to landfill, alongside recycling, composting green and food waste, and continuing landfill contracts for waste that can’t otherwise by recovered.

“Our work this year has continued to build resilience and strengthen the operation of the waste and resource recovery sector – helping to ensure regular services for the community and a lower environmental impact,” the report reads.

“For the longer term, we have laid the foundations – to reduce waste to landfill, increase organic recovery and recycling – for investment, transparency and diversity in the sector.”

MWRRG 2018-19 highlights include:

Effectively managing $100 million in council contracts annually including four landfill contracts on behalf of 26 councils, one recycling processing contact on behalf of five councils and three organics processing contracts on behalf of 21 councils.

Reducing commercial and industrial waste through 180 commercial and industrial waste audits.

Promoting green waste recycling through the Back to Earth Initiative eastern garden competition, which attracted 58 nominated projects, 18,400 votes from residents and reached 109,000 residents on Facebook.

Empowering councils to deliver effective food waste recycling through a new food and green waste collection guide.

Developing an evidence base to take action through three new social research reports on food waste recycling, advanced waste processing and illegal dumping.

Protecting communities and the environment through three plans for waste and resource recovery hubs, and leading a memorandum of understanding between key state agencies to implement a whole of government approach to land buffer protection.

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ACT appoints new landfill gas manager

Green energy supplier LGI Limited will deliver gas infrastructure services to all ACT Government landfill sites, under a new 15 year contract with the state government.

Recycling and Waste Reduction Minister Chris Steel said the contract would see an estimated 34,900 megawatt hours captured each year, enough to power 5370 homes.

LGI Limited will deliver infrastructure upgrades at Mugga Lane landfill, including at least four power generators at Mugga Lane, each with the capacity to produce 1.06 megawatts of energy per hour.

Mr Steel said LGI Limited would also install an enclosed flare at the West Belconnen landfill to manage the safe destruction of gas onsite, as the volumes are not enough to provide a commercially viable quantity for sale.

According to Mr Steel, the ACT Government has been capturing landfill site methane emissions since 1997.

“Methane gas is generated when organic waste in landfill decomposes,” Mr Steel said.

“If properly managed, gas can be extracted and used to generate electricity, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.”

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Dust control and sweeping

Tailored dust control equipment can maintain workplace safety and minimise environmental impact, writes Tennant Company. 

Challenging environments like landfills, waste transfer stations and heavy vehicle workshops demand robust, built-to-last cleaning solutions.

With its extensive line-up of waste and heavy industry machinery, Tennant Company delivers on productivity, durability and workplace health and safety efficiencies.

As ever-more stringent protocols are implemented across Australia, designed to keep workforces safe and minimise environmental impact, demand has never been higher for total equipment solutions that can tick all the boxes and exceed productivity expectations.

Dust control and sweeping 

Our waste industry customers deploy Tennant’s Sentinel High-Performance Rider Sweeper for their waste transfer and landfill operations.

The extreme levels of dust and other pollutants are simply no match for the PM-10 certified Sentinel, also valued for its four-wheel power steering, tight turning circle and maneuverability to gain access between stockpiles, without impeding traffic.

The Tennant 800 Industrial Ride-On Sweeper is another popular unit used by customers in the waste industry.

It maximises cleaning productivity with its wide cleaning path, large (up to 907 kilogram) capacity hopper and operator-friendly features.

Capable of capturing dust to heavy debris, its heavy-duty T-beam steel construction and high-performance dust containment system make it ideal for Australia’s harsh environments.

Tennant offers a line of Compact Ride-On Sweepers including the 6100, 6200 and S20, also employed by waste enterprises of all sizes, as well as warehouse & logistics customers.

Designed for optimal maneuverability and single pass sweeping the available multi-stage dust control systems, can capture dust particles as small as 0.5 microns in size.

Also supplied to the waste industry is the S10 Walk-Behind Sweeper, which protects employees and facilities by tackling work bay dust capturing particles as small as three microns in size.

Simultaneous Sweeping and Scrubbing

Where large quantities of wet debris, dirt and oil needs to be cleaned up quickly, Tennant’s line-up of Sweeper-Scrubbers are infinitely up to the task.

The M-Series machines sweep and scrub simultaneously and are available with a range of power sources (battery, LPG or Diesel) depending on your facility requirement.

The M17 is an all-electric (fume free) Ride-On Sweeper-Scrubber equipped with DFS (dual force sweeping) technology and will maintaining indoor air quality with its a two-stage dust control system.

Cleaning time is extended with the largest available battery capacity in its class.

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