A pilot program introduced by Queensland’s plumbing industry is being supported by the Queensland Government, with off-cuts of PVC pipes and fittings used in the construction industry being diverted from landfill. Read more
Almost 70 kilograms of waste materials on Magnetic Island found a new life each day last month, with locals and visitors making the most of the Magnetic Island Tip Shop.
In an Australian first, 11 million plastic bread tags will be removed from local waste streams by the end of 2021 with the introduction of 100 per cent recycled and recyclable cardboard bread tags.
A trial last year saw Equine Air paving product installed on 550 square meters of Pakenham Racing Club Tynong approach track.
The product was manufactured as part of a Tyre Stewardship and Flexiroc partnership, using over 3000 equivalent passenger units, or 27 tonnes of recycled rubber.
Results from the trail were positive with riders reporting less concussive force and reduced potential for horse industry.
The unique geotechnical profile design allows the product to be placed over problematic ground conditions and drain quickly after rainfall.
Tyre Stewardship Market Development Manager Liam O’Keefe said the product is one of many developments for the company, as it seeks to grow valuable markets for recycled tyre-derived material.
“Equine Air is one of a new generation of products in the paving and surfacing industry that not only deliver better on-site outcomes but also offer a major beneficial end-use of tyre-derived material.
“The work that Tyre Stewardship Australia, and our project partners, have been undertaking in this space is certain to deliver major practical and environmental dividends in the future,” he said.
Tyre Stewardship Australia’s other new products include new mixes of crumbed rubber asphalt, permeable paving and artificial playing surfaces.
Equine Air suites a wide range of applications such as synthetic fibre tracks, sand tracks, horse walks and mounting yards.
Tyre Stewardship Australia hopes the successful trial will influence other racing tracks to use the material, creating long-term potential for the use of rubber granulate.
Loop Organics has partnered with energy company AGL Macquarie to supply a significant amount of organic material to rehabilitate AGL’s 850-hectare mine site.
Around 850 used tyres have been recycled to pave a 335 metre stretch of road as part of a crumbed rubber asphalt trial in the City of Mitcham, South Australia.
The asphalt trial is funded by Tyre Stewardship Australia to support research and development into ways of improving local markets for tyre-derived products.
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A specific warm mix of dense-graded crumb rubber modified asphalt was used on the trial, which has been laboratory tested and found to be suitable for use in challenging underlying soil conditions, such as reactive clay.
The test will focus on a range of performance factors including cracking, rutting, moisture retention and general durability. The results of the test are expected to increase the specification of such roads across Australia.
If successful, the trail aims to contribute to doubling the use of recycled tyre rubber in Australia’s roads, leading to an increase in the percentage of annual used tyres consumed from around five per cent to 10 per cent.
Australia generates around 56 million end-of-life tyres each year, however only around 10 per cent of that volume is recycled domestically in all uses. Crumbed rubber asphalt and rubberised road surface spray seals can provide a potentially benefit of increasing recycling rates and improving roads.
City of Mitcham Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross said there was not only a sustainability dividend, as the asphalt will also have the potential to directly lower maintenance costs as it is less prone to cracking and rutting.
“We are trialling the crumb rubber asphalt because of the significant environmental benefits as well as the opportunity to improve the quality and life of road pavements, particularly in areas of reactive clay soils,” Ms Holmes-Ross said.
Acting CEO of Tyre Stewardship Australia Steve Clifford congratulated the council for conducting the test.
“The work done in South Australia will play an important role in creating valuable domestic recycling outcomes for end-of-life tyres. Outcomes that can also deliver new green jobs,” Mr Clifford said.
Ongoing testing is scheduled to run for two years, with results monitored on a regular basis to assess the key performance parameters.
PepsiCo ANZ has partnered with REDcycle to help convert chip packets into furniture, bollards, signage and other sturdy products.
Consumers will be able to drop off chip packets and other soft plastics at participating supermarkets, which will go to REDcycle’s processing partner Replas to turn into fitness circuits, outdoor furniture and bollards.
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These recycled plastic products will be purchased by PepsiCo and donated to parks, public places and schools.
One of PepsiCo’s global Performance with Purpose goals is to achieve zero waste to landfill in direct operations by 2025 through efficient and responsible waste management.
Partnering with REDcycle complements PepsiCo’s strategy to design out waste by minimising the amount of materials used in packaging.
PepsiCo ANZ Environment Manager Janine Cannell said the company is pleased to be working with REDcycle.
“This is a great opportunity for us to recover what would otherwise go to landfill and use the recycled materials to better the communities we operate in,” Ms Cannell said.
REDcycle Director Liz Kasell said the company is delighted to have PepsiCo as REDcycle partners and looks forward to seeing what we can create using recycled materials.
Global logistics company Amazon has announced it will invest $10 million USD into a social impact investment fund to support recycling infrastructure in the United States.
The investment into Closed Loop Fund aims to increase kerbside recycling for 3 million homes around the US to make it easier for customers to recycle and develop end markets for recycled goods.
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An estimated one million tonnes will be diverted from landfill into the recycling stream, which would eliminate the equivalent of 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxides by 2028.
Closed Loop Fund provides cities and recycling companies access to funding to build recycling programs and aims to invest $100 million USD by 2020 to create economic value for cities and build circular supply chains.
The fund aims to improve recycling for more than 18 million households and save around $60 million USD for American cities.
Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark said the investment will help build local capabilities needed to make it easier for Amazon customers and their communities to recycle.
“We are investing in Closed Loop Fund’s work because we think everyone should have access to easy, convenient kerbside recycling,” he said.
“The more we are all able to recycle, the more we can reduce our collective energy, carbon, and water footprint.”
Closed Loop Fund CEO Ron Gonen said Amazon’s investment is an example of how recycling is good business in America.
“Companies are seeing that they can meet consumer demand and reduce costs while supporting a more sustainable future and growing good jobs across the country,” he said.
“We applaud Amazon’s commitment to cut waste, and we hope their leadership drives other brands and retailers to follow suit.”
Image Credit: Amazon
The City of Sydney has selected Cleanaway as its new waste and recycling provider with a seven-year contract beginning 1 July 2019.
Services for the council will include general waste, recycling, garden organics and bulk or hard waste and electronic waste kerbside collections.
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The contract also includes 25 new vehicles which have Cleanaway’s integrated data platform installed. The system uses on board cameras to track collections and service events like missed pick-ups, broken bins and can be used for single-call customer service response. Cameras can also provide insights that aim to reduce contamination, improve recycling and increase truck safety.
Cleanaway’s education team will also provide the City of Sydney with sustainability training which aims to reduce waste sent to landfill and improve recycling rates.
Cleanaway Regional Manager – Sydney Metro Michael Sankey said the company looks forward to bringing its expertise to Sydney.
“As part of the contract, Cleanaway will be setting up a new facility and implementing new operational teams and some educational resources,” he said.
“Over the next seven years we’ll be working closely with the council’s waste management team to add value for the community and help the City of Sydney achieve their sustainability goals.”
Most Australians across all states and demographics believe the recyclables they put into their council bins are ending up in landfill, according to new research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
The series of surveys has also found that 49 per cent of people believe that green and eco-friendly efforts will not have an effect in their lifetime, with 63.8 per cent of those older than 65 seeing no benefits being realised.
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Key findings also report that 72.4 per cent of people would recycle more of the material if it was reliably recycled.
Confusion also surround which level of government is responsible for residential waste and recycling services, with some people thinking industry instead of government is responsible for waste management.
UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Director Veena Sahajwalla said rising stockpiles and increasing use of landfill, in the absence of a coordinated government solution to a waste problem, had not been lost on consumers.
“Each council is fending for themselves right across Australia and while the meeting of federal and state environment ministers earlier this year made an important announcement about a new National Waste Policy stating that by 2025 all packaging will be re-usable, compostable or recyclable, we don’t have to wait another seven years for this decision to come into effect,” Dr Sahajwalla said.
“It is clear on this issue that people want action, and they want governments to invest and do something now.
“A number of councils and private business are interested in our technology but unless there are incentives in place, Australia will be slow to capitalise on the potential to lead the world in reforming our waste into something valuable and reusable.”
UNSW’s SMaRT Centre launched a demonstration e-waste microfactory in April, which is able to recover the components of discarded electronic items for use in high value products.
UNSW is also finalising a second demonstration microfactory, which converts glass, plastics and other waste materials into engineered stone products, which look and perform as well as marble and granite.
“Rather than export our rubbish overseas and to do more landfill for waste, the microfactory technology has the potential for us to export valuable materials and newly manufactured products instead,” Dr Sahajwalla said.
“Through the microfactory technology, we can enhance our economy and be part of the global supply chain by supplying more valuable materials around the world and stimulating manufacturing innovation in Australia.”