Global renewable energy company Masdar and Tribe Infrastructure Group have joined Opal Australian Paper and SUEZ’s Maryvale waste-to-energy (WtE) project as equity parters.
SUEZ-ResourceCo’s South Australian waste to energy plant has officially produced one million tonnes of alternative fuel.
Australia’s first waste-to-energy plant celebrated the production of one million tonnes of alternative fuel in November, and as a process aside, the diversion of two million tonnes of waste from landfill.
Working closely with Adelaide Brighton Cement, ResourceCo developed a Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) as a partial replacement for fossil fuels for the company’s cement kiln in 2006.
The result is a plant capable of sorting, sizing and extracting 300,000 tonnes of combustible material each year. The Wingfield plant in South Australia is operated as a partnership between ResourceCo and SUEZ.
Simon Brown, ResourceCo Managing Director, says the company is proud to play a role in Australia’s efforts to move away from a make, use and dispose model in favour of a circular economy.
“ResourceCo’s ethos is to recover, recycle and re-use products to extract their maximum value – in this case dry non-recyclable material,” Simon says.
“The plant is a great example of what’s possible when it comes to circular economy initiatives.”
Cement produced by Adelaide Brighton, using PEF from the Wingfield plant, has been used in a host of major infrastructure projects across South Australia.
According to Simon, the Wingfield facility uses world-leading technology to harness the energy value in construction, demolition, commercial and industrial waste, otherwise destined for landfill, transforming it into a baseload fuel.
When unveiling a plaque to mark the one-millionth tonne milestone, Steven Marshall, South Australian Premier, acknowledged the facility as a great example of what’s possible in the resource recovery industry.
“South Australia leads the nation in resource recovery, and projects like this are fantastic for the environment as well as the economy,” Steven says.
“We know that for every tonne of waste recycled, there are more than three times the amount of jobs created compared to when sent to landfill.”
David Speirs, South Australian Environment and Water Minister, says the SUEZ-ResourceCo facility reinforces South Australia’s reputation as a national leader in waste management and circular economy initiatives.
“The waste management and resource recovery industry is a major player in South Australia’s economy with approximately 4800 people employed, and we want to this number to grow,” David says.
Mark Venhoek, SUEZ-ResourceCo Chairman and SUEZ Australia and New Zealand CEO, says in addition to creating employment, the SUEZ-ResourceCo partnership has resulted in significant environmental outcomes.
He adds that the facility has contributed not just to significant landfill diversion, but also a reduction in the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.
“PEF presents a cost-effective, sustainable solution to the generation of baseload energy, while helping to address the complex issues of waste management – it’s a win/win,” Mark says.
“Since launching as Australia’s first waste-to-energy plant in 2006, the facility has helped reduce annual green house gas emissions to the equivalent of the electricity supply of 50,000 homes.”
Nick Miller, Adelaide Brighton Limited CEO, shares Mark’s enthusiasm.
“SUEZ-ResourceCo’s alternative fuel reduces Adelaide Brighton Cement’s reliance on natural resources, as well as the use of raw materials in the cement manufacturing process,” he says.
“Through the use of this alternative fuel, Adelaide Brighton Cement has achieved a reduction of approximately 500,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions since project inception.”
Tony Circelli, South Australian EPA Chief Executive, says the plant illustrates an innovative way of dealing with waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
“The EPA has driven a regulatory risk-based framework to ensure that innovation can occur with strong attention and adherence to their social license,” Tony says.
“The outcome is positive both for the environment and the people of South Australia.”
The consortium developing the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility has reached financial close on its waste-to-energy project (WtE) in Western Australia.
The consortium is led by Hitachi Zosen Inova, with SUEZ operating as waste management partner under a 20-year contract.
SUEZ Australia & New Zealand CEO Mark Venhoek said the project demonstrates SUEZ’s commitment to develop WtE in Australia.
“WtE is currently the missing link in Australia’s waste management hierarchy and will play a key role as we move towards a circular economy,” Mr Venhoek said.
“The project will significantly accelerate the improvement of waste treatment practices in the Perth region, as well as reducing their environmental footprint.”
As waste management partner, SUEZ will facilitate waste supply via post-recycling residuals, operations and maintenance, power off-take and disposal services for fly ash residue and non-processable waste.
The facility will treat approximately 300,000 tonnes of residual waste from municipal, commercial and industrial sources and generate 29 mega watts of renewable energy each year.
The facility is the first of its kind in Australia to use “waste-arising” contracts, which provide flexibility to councils to help them meet waste reduction targets without overcommitting waste volumes.
Hitachi Zosen Inova Australia Managing Director Marc Stammbach said the facility will use proprietary moving grate combustion technology.
“For Hitachi Zosen Inova this project marks our entry into the Australian market and introduces our world renowned and leading technology to Australia – something we’ve been working on for a long time,” he said.
“For the Perth area this project marks a major step towards sustainability and renewable energy from waste.”
Financing of the $511 million project was supported by an $18 million grant from ARENA.
A new partnership with Yume will see SUEZ leverage its customer network to tackle commercial food waste, as more than 4.1 million tonnes of surplus food is sent to landfill each year.
SUEZ Australia and New Zealand CEO Mark Venhoek said by partnering with Yume, SUEZ continues to focus on building its existing local infrastructure and driving innovation and collaboration across industry.
“We need to start taking responsibility for all the waste we produce, and we can achieve this by joining forces to speed up the development of more advanced approaches to recycling in Australia,” Mr Venhoek said.
“This partnership will leverage off our national presence and extensive network of customers to connect food suppliers with food buyers – achieving better outcomes for quality surplus products that’s at risk of going to waste, in order to create sustainable value for our customers.”
According to a joint statement, 55 per cent of total food waste generated comes from the primary production, manufacturing and wholesale sectors.
“At the heart of this strategic partnership is a shared commitment to prevent quality food from going to waste,” the statement reads.
Mr Venhoek said partnering with Yume aligns with SUEZ’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by promoting responsible production and consumption.
“Yume has already sold over 1,350,000 kilograms of quality surplus food, returning nearly $5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers,” he said.
“This is an incredible achievement and testament to Katy Barfield’s passion and commitment to the industry.”
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SUEZ-ResourceCo’s South Australian Wingfield facility has officially produced one million tonnes of alternative fuel.
SUEZ-ResourceCo Chairman Mark Venhoek said the facility uses technology to harnesses the energy value found in construction and demolition and commercial and industrial waste.
According to Mr Venhoek, the energy is then used to produce process engineered fuel (PEF) for Adelaide Brighton Cement.
“The partnership has seen both a huge reduction in reliance on fossil fuels and significant diversion from landfill.,” Mr Venhoek said.
“PEF presents a cost-effective, sustainable solution to the generation of baseload energy, while helping address the complex issues of waste management – it’s a win/win.”
According to a SUEZ-ResourceCO statement, the plant was the first of its kind commissioned in Australia, and has helped diverted two million tonnes of waste from landfill.
“The multi-million-dollar resource recovery and alternative fuels plant has been a leader in Australia’s efforts to move away from a make, use and dispose model, to the recovery, recycling and re-use of products to extract their maximum value,” the statement reads.
Adelaide Brighton Limited CEO Nick Miller said PEF has helped reduce the company’s reliance on natural resources.
“Through the use of this alternative fuel, Adelaide Brighton Cement has achieved a reduction of approximately 500,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions since project inception,” Mr Miller said.
“The cement produced by Adelaide Brighton is used in a host of major infrastructure projects across South Australia, including the recent redevelopment at Adelaide Oval.”
More than $165,000 in funding has been secured by groups working to improve their local communities and environment from waste and water management company SUEZ.
The 2018 SUEZ Community Grants Program provides individual grants of up to $15,000 have been awarded to community groups, organisations and schools.
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Recycling education programs, youth sustainability networks, community resources sharing initiatives and sustainable gardens are some of the successful projects that have secured funding.
Since it began in 2014, the SUEZ Community Grants Program has provided more than $740,000 to Australian organisations contributing to stronger communities and healthier environments.
SUEZ Australia and New Zealand CEO Mark Venhoek said the company sees supporting grassroots organisations and projects as crucial in helping communities and their local environments thrive.
“Every year we are inundated with applications from right across the country, from Western Australia to the east coast, for an incredibly diverse range of sustainable projects,” Mr Venhoek said.
“It’s inspiring and heartening to see such dedication to building strong and connected communities, creating a groundswell for sustainable living practices and supporting the circular economy. We look forward to seeing how this year’s recipients put the grants to work to grow the impact of their initiatives.
“We are always blown away by the depth of what’s happening out there in our communities, and it’s a real privilege to be able to continue to support that important work,” he said.
Stakeholders have largely welcomed the commitments made on Friday by state and territory ministers at April’s Meeting of Environment Ministers – with some suggestions.
Federal Government, state and territory ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association met on Friday to set a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste, in the seventh Meeting of Environment Ministers. Taking action on recycled waste in the wake of China’s restrictions on imports was the focus of the meeting. Australia is one of over 100 countries affected by China’s new restrictions, affecting around 1.3 million tonnes of our recycled waste. Read the story on the outcomes of the meeting here.
Australia’s National Waste Policy will be updated by the end of this year to include circular economy principles, along with a target endorsed of 100 per cent Australian packaging being recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.
They pledged for new product stewardship schemes for photovoltaic solar panels and batteries, while also agreeing to explore waste to energy further and advocate using recycled materials in government procurement.
While making a number of pledges, ministers agreed to have a teleconference in mid-June to discuss progress on recycling, and to meet in late 2018 to further progress delivery of the commitments on Friday.
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SUEZ Australia & New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Mark Venhoek welcomed the government’s focus on making 100 per cent of products recyclable and re-useable by 2025. He noted that swift action and investment needs to be made to ensure that this goal is met.
“As a waste industry, we are falling behind globally and we require fast action to stimulate the local market for recycled and recovered products,” Mr Venhoek said.
“We support the government’s 100 per cent recycled packaging goal which will create a sustainable demand for these products, but believe that it should be mandatory that packaged products can be re-used.
“Collaboration to achieving this is key and without investment from government and a commitment from packaging manufacturers and industry working together, we will not achieve this goal.”
Mr Venhoek also welcomed the commitment from different levels of government to explore waste to energy projects and the support for the technology from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
“Energy from waste technology is the missing link in the waste management hierarchy and waste infrastructure in Australia. After reduction, re-use and recycling, there is a crucial element: to recover the energetic value from waste,” he said.
Sustainability Victoria Chief Executive Officer Stan Krpan said leadership is crucial to ensuring we have a sustainable recycling industry that Australians can be proud of.
Mr Krpan said yesterday’s commitments align with the Victorian Government’s suite of waste strategies and programs that move the state toward a circular economy.
“Supporting our local recycling industry to move towards a circular economy is reflected in the ministers’ commitment to increasing our recycling capacity, advocating for the increased use of recycled material and creating targets for the use of recycled content in packaging,” he said.
“We are also encouraged the strong support of product stewardship schemes and the increasing in the procurement of recycled goods government and industry buy,” he said.
“Large procurements by government and companies can influence upstream design to reduce waste and packaging and trigger other innovations.”
ACOR Chief Executive Officer Pete Shmigel said the right chords have been struck by ministers about investing in recycling’s future, but we did not hear two very important sounds: implementation details and dollars in the till.
“The recycling industry welcomes commitments about ensuring recyclability of packaging products, buying recycled content products by governments, expanding domestic reprocessing capacity and developing a new national plan,” he said.
“However, today’s ministerial announcement lacks comprehensive targets for all measures, and consequences for underperformance, that make practice from theory.”
Mr Shmigel said pro-recycling policy principles are welcome, but pro-recycling positive action and investment is now to be expected.
“As ACOR, we look forward to working directly with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to identify and facilitate a strengthened investment presence in resource recovery – including in an expedited timeframe. There are good projects that merit backing among our members.”
“As ACOR, we strongly question the timeframe given for products’ recyclability as packaging is getting more complex each day and resulting in greater contamination and community cost each day that passes. By 2025, millions of tonnes of potential contamination would have passed through the system without the producers of packaging taking greater responsibility for their decisions.
Mr Shmigel said similar commitments were given in the 2009 National Waste Policy and, on current timeframes, it will be 16 years by the time they have been realised, describing it as “truly mediocre”.
“Finally, further work is urgently needed at state levels to ensure that recyclate does not need to be disposed to landfill in the short-term.”
Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) Chief Executive Officer Gayle Sloan said it is extremely pleasing that the National Waste Strategy will be updated by the end of this year and WMAA looks forward to participating in this.
“The endorsement by Ministers of a target of 100 percent of Australian packaging being recyclable or reusable by 2025 is heartening, and we look forward to working with government to develop meaningful targets from at least 2020 to ensure that this actually achieved,” Ms Sloan said.
“Industry recalls targets set previously under the National Packaging Covenant that were never monitored or achieved, and once this failure was recognised it was just too late.”
Ms Sloan said while there was no new funding for recycling in Friday’s announcement, one thing WMAA will advocate to start immediately is government at all levels spending existing funds differently.
“Ministers must go much further than simply advocating for increased use of recycled materials in the goods that government and industry buy.
“With over 90 per cent of the community supporting recycling and the purchase of recycled products by government, government needs to hold itself to account and if it does not prioritise the use of recycled material, to report to the community why it does not, this should be the norm going forward, not the exception,” she said.
WMAA in a statement said the federal government must show leadership in this space and act now to grow demand for recycled products that can develop markets and jobs in both metropolitan and regional areas. For example, it said Commonwealth Federal Assistance Grants to local government should be predicated on councils using more recycled glass sand and not virgin sand.
“Industry absolutely recognises that there is a place for waste to energy in Australia as an alternate to landfill, and we support this technology. However, it cannot replace recycling and remanufacturing.”
Director of Boomerang Alliance Jeff Angel, which looks after 47 national, state and local groups, described the voluntary approach to recycled products as “weak.”
“Mandatory rules, as in Europe, are the only assured way to establish a stable and growing market to justify the investment into new manufacturing,” Mr Angel said.
“If we can have an enforceable renewable energy target, then we can have a similar system for recycled content. A lot of questions remain to be answered about the 100 per cent recyclable, compostable or reusable target including collection capacity – it’s not just about labels.”
Federal Government Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday said finding a solution to the 1.3 million tonnes of recyclable waste is an urgent and important issue which requires a coordinated approach from supply right through to demand.
“It is also an opportunity for Australia to develop its capabilities and capacity in recycling through effective cooperation and collaboration among the three levels of government,” he said.