WRIQ appoints new CEO

After more than 14 years at the helm, Rick Ralph will be handing the reigns as CEO of Queensland’s largest industry and business body representing the waste and recycling sector to newly appointed CEO Mark Smith.

Rick has made an enormous contribution to the sector nationally but in particular in Queensland where he founded WCRA (Qld) which evolved to WRIQ that many know today.

In his time as CEO, Rick’s delivered initiatives and programs that have strengthened the industry in Queensland and has  advocated for the many WRIQ members who are delivering essential services to every single Queensland business and household.

Stepping into the role of CEO will be former Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) Executive Officer Mark Smith.

Rick Ralph

In his time as Executive Officer of the VWMA, Mark raised the profile and membership base of the association creating new member services, training and events calendar while advocating for more effective regulation and engagement by the EPA and further investment into the sector by the Victorian Government.

Mr Smith said he was proud of the contribution he had made, including advocating for a number of policy measures included in the Recycling Victoria policy, but it was time for a new challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to supporting WRIQ members. As it is an election year in Queensland, our advocacy will be really important in shaping the state’s future in waste management and resource recovery,” Mr Smith said.

“I’m standing on the shoulder of a giant coming into the role and really excited to build on the strong foundations that have been created by Rick and the WRIQ Board.”

He added that it is no doubt a challenging time for WRIQ members, but they remain determined to deliver essential services to Queenslanders and those business that are still opening and operating.

As the transition to new CEO is currently underway, Mr Smith and outgoing CEO Rick Ralph both agreed that COVID-19 would not impact how WRIQ supports its members.

“We hear a lot of people talking about how this is unprecedented times – and this is most certainly true, but we can only get through this if we work together with government, business, community and elected representatives,” Mr Smith said.

“While there are a lot of unknowns, for our sector it doesn’t change the fact that we still need to go out and deliver services. We do this well and what I’ll be advocating to the Queensland Government will be for tangible outcomes that support our sector’s future growth”

Mr Smith said that although Rick was retiring from the role, he was confident Rick would remain a close ally for WRIQ.

WMR recently sat down with Rick to talk about his contribution to the sector you can read that article here.

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NT Industry Summit to address local market opportunities

The Territory Waste and Recycling Industry Summit, held 1-2 April in Darwin, will provide an opportunity to discuss strategic developments in the Northern Territory’s resource recovery sector.

According to Waste Recycling Industry Association Northern Territory (WRINT) CEO Rick Ralph, the waste management and secondary resources industry, representing both private and local government operations, currently provides more than 1360 jobs for Territorians and turns over more than $152 million annually.

In 2017-18, the industry managed more than 517,800 tonnes of waste and recyclables, Mr Ralph said, ensuring more than one third of those materials escaped landfill.

“On March 13, COAG will meet to discuss how Australia will manage the proposed bans on the exports of glass, tyres, plastics plus paper and cardboard. The Darwin summit provides industry, local government and territory agencies with the opportunity to discuss the COAG meeting outcomes looking to the future,” Mr Ralph said.

The territories future recycling and diversion rates, Mr Ralph said, are directly linked to both the broader Australian secondary market reuse and new local market opportunities.

“The international challenges facing export markets compound this problem, and we need new local solutions and ideas to sustain and grow the industry,” he said.

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner will lead the summit, with a presentation on insights gained from a GHD analysis into commercial market opportunities.

“We will identify new opportunities for the territory to maintain its recycling systems and enhance landfill diversion, ensuring the waste and recycling industry remains a vibrant contributor to the economy, while supporting ongoing territory jobs,” Mr Gunner said.

According to Mr Gunner, in January, his government engaged consultants GDH to undertake an assessment of future commercial waste industry opportunities that could be developed locally.

“The summit will discuss that business assessment with our top priority being jobs. It will focus on potential new business solutions, as well as discussing how we can improve our local recycling performance,” he said.

As part of the summit Mr Ralph will ask attendees to identify and report on five key opportunities for the territory, which WRINT will present back to government for consideration and future implementation.

“The industry summit in Darwin will bring all stakeholders together, engaging key industry experts, and I am confident the outcomes will present new local opportunities to take advantage of the waste challenges in Australia and more particularly the NT face,” he said.

Northern Territory Environment and Natural Resource Minister Eva Lawler will also address the summit at a breakfast event on day two.

“Presentations throughout the summit will provide information from industry leaders on how business and government can continue to deliver innovative secondary resource recovery solutions and maintain community confidence in recycling,” Mr Ralph said.

For register click here.

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WRIQ announces 2019 industry awards finalists

The Waste Recycling Industry Association QLD (WRIQ) has announced category finalists for the WRIQ 2019 Industry Awards.

WRIQ CEO Rick Ralph said the awards aim to recognise individuals and projects that contribute to Queensland’s waste management and resource recovery sector.

“The individuals and teams selected as finalists have demonstrated not only a high level of proficiency at their jobs, but also their dedication and commitment to improving and developing Queensland’s essential waste management and resource recovery industry,” Mr Ralph said.

“I thank all those who nominated for this year’s awards for their contribution to the industry and congratulate all deserving finalists.”

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner 19 July at the Brisbane Hilton.

Finalists:

Administrator of the year: SoilCyclers Sarah Armstrong, Raw Metal Corp Steffanie-Jo Kelly and Kanga Bins Tiffany Lim.

Maintenance employee of the year: Suez Randall Mckey, Westrex Services Jason Noble and BMI Group Andrew Russell.

Plant and equipment operator of the year: Cleanaway Cyril Ballard and Suez Kane Pym, Marlyn Compost Andrew Russell.

Trainee or apprentice of the year: Cleanaway Taryn Batt, Suez Dwayne Brown and Sims Metal Management Whitney Simpson.

Driver of the year: Raw Metal Corp Gary Arnold, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Antony Francis and Cleanaway Paul O’Hara.

Resource recovery employee of the year: Veolia Gary Applegate, SoilCyclers Simon Brakels and BMI Group Corey Michael.

Collaborative achievement in resource recovery: Cleanaway container refund scheme project implementation, Coastal Skip Bin Hire “Recycling Solutions” and Kanga Bins container refund and ART machine installation.

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QLD releases energy from waste policy

The public is being invited to comment on the Queensland Government’s Energy-from-Waste policy discussion paper, released earlier this week.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said finding alternative uses for waste was becoming more important than ever.

“The discussion paper is giving Queenslanders a chance to contribute to the development of a new policy, provide feedback on the types of technologies and help us plan for the future,” Ms Enoch said.

“The paper is an important action under the government’s new waste strategy.”

Ms Enoch said the government’s waste strategy outlined priorities and actions to help grow the recycling and resource recovery sector.

“We have set ambitious targets to recover 90 per cent of the waste we generate by 2050 and recycle at least 75 per cent of that waste,” Ms Enoch said.

“But we acknowledge that some wastes cannot be recycled, and it is better to retain the value of these wastes by recovering energy than it is to dispose of them to landfill. This is all part of our broader transition to a circular economy.”

Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ) Executive Officer Rick Ralph said WRIQ and its members welcomed the new waste strategy.

“Energy from waste will play an important role in helping to achieve the objectives and targets of the strategy,” Mr Ralph said.

“The release of the Energy-from-Waste discussion paper is a step in the right direction. Industry looks forward to having this discussion with the government in this important initiative.”

Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan said energy from waste was a vital part of a sustainable waste and resource recovery system.

“Its technologies are also proven globally, with more than 2000 energy from waste facilities operating safely across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, many having operated for decades,” Ms Sloan said.

“We look forward to working with the Queensland Government to leverage the technical expertise of our industry to develop a policy that promotes investment in, and growth of, an integrated waste management and resource recovery system that includes energy from waste.”

Public consultation is open until 26 August.

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