Councils are being invited to apply for the GISA (Green Industries South Australia) Recycling Infrastructure and Circular Economy Market Development grants. Read more
The Annual Legatus SA Community Wastewater Management Conference will be held on 20 April and will feature case studies and a panel discussion on the future of community waste water management. Read more
Research from Flinders University into a wastewater recycling program has aimed to develop a cost-effective method to produce materials for use in a range of applications, including biofuels.
Olive processors in South Australia have an incentive to reuse wastewater instead of discharging it to the sewer.
The 2019-20 Recycling Activity Survey for South Australia will be released on 1 September. Read more
South Australia is the first state in the nation to pass legislation to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers.
The South Australian Government has approved $1.7 million in funding for projects designed to reduce household waste sent to landfill.
Environment Minister David Speirs said the funding, delivered through Green Industries SA, will assist councils upgrade and modernise waste collection and recycling services and increase kerbside diversion rates through innovation and improved efficiencies.
“Twenty-two regional councils will also benefit from transport subsidies, which will support councils’ continued recycling efforts by offsetting some of the extra costs associated with processing and transporting collected recyclables,” Mr Speirs said.
Councils awarded under the Regional Transport Subsidies Program include the City of Mount Gambier, Berri Barmera Council, City of Port Lincoln and the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority, which represents Alexandrina, Victor Harbor, Yankalilla and Kangaroo Island councils.
According to Mr Speirs, funding is allocated under three programs – one to reduce food waste sent to landfill, another to help councils modernise their collection systems and the other for regional council transport subsidies.
“Improved waste management is not only good for the environment, but it contributes to South Australia’s economic growth by creating jobs and developing new business opportunities to recycle and reuse our resources right here in South Australia,” he said.
The largest area for improvement in council kerbside systems is food waste, Mr Speirs said, which makes up approximately 40 per cent of the weight of household residual waste bins sent to landfill.
“By supporting councils to improve their collection of food waste we can lower waste management costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a valuable resource like compost,” he said.
“I congratulate the seven councils awarded funding under the Kerbside Performance Plus (Food Organics) Incentives Program for their commitment towards implementing systems which assist with the diversion of food waste from landfill.”
Under the program, councils receive a subsidy for the cost of bench-top containers, compostable bags and production of householder education material.
Awarded councils include the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, which received $106,765 to reinvigorate an area-wide system for 20,900 households, and the City of Tea Tree Gully, which received $73,588 to improve its opt-in service for 8000 households.
Twelve local government organisations have also received funding to help modernise their collection services to increase landfill diversion, decrease contamination levels and improve data collection.
“Congratulations to the 12 local government organisations who are willing to push the envelope with investment in alternative delivery models and technologies such as smart bins to improve operational efficiencies,” Mr Speirs said.
Local government organisations awarded under the Council Modernisation Program include East Waste, which received $90,000 for Fight Food waste CRC audits and research, and Holdfast Bay, which received $97,900 for a weekly food and green organics collection pilot.
Clean-up is set to begin at two sites in Sedan, South Australia, where thousands of tonnes of construction and demolition waste containing asbestos was found dumped in 2017.
The sites, on Battens and Pipelines roads, were discovered after an EPA investigation involving the SA Police, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and local government.
EPA Director Regulation Peter Dolan said the EPA had stepped in to remove the waste after the Port Adelaide-based demolition contractor alleged to have dumped the material failed comply with a clean-up order.
“We have engaged appropriately licensed contractors to carry out the work in order to protect the community and the environment,” he said.
“I can assure residents that the clean-up and transport operation is perfectly safe. Asbestos has to be inhaled to be hazardous to human health.”
According to Mr Dolan, the waste has been sprayed with glue to prevent the escape of exposed asbestos fibres.
“It will be wrapped and transferred in covered trucks to a specially lined cell at the Cambrai Waste Depot, which is licensed to receive asbestos,” he said.
“Air quality monitoring is also being carried out at both sites while work is under way.”
Transporting the waste from Sedan to Cambrai is expected to take one month, with trucks working between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
“The EPA is in the process of preparing a brief for the Crown Solicitor, seeking criminal prosecution relating to the dumping of the waste and cost recovery for the clean-up,” Mr Dolan said.
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A taskforce, with representation from 15 different organisations, has meet to help inform the next steps towards banning single-use plastics in South Australia.
The state government asked the taskforce to consider what impacts legislation might have on businesses and the community, and provide advice on what a phase out of single-use plastic straws, cups, drink stirrers and food service items might look like.
Environment Minister David Speirs said the taskforce is made up of a range of interested stakeholders, including environmental groups, business representatives, the hospitality industry and disability advocates.
“The group will discuss solutions and alternatives as part of any move to phase out single-use plastics, to ensure South Australians can transition smoothly,” Mr Speirs said.
“The taskforce will also seek presentations and meetings with those with a stake in any future changes to legislation, and will assist communication with the community and business.”
According to Mr Speirs, South Australia leads the nation in issues of environmental responsibility.
“The issue of our plastic use and plastic pollution is one of the most pressing topics of our time, and we won’t be left standing on the sidelines watching the impact on our environment go unchecked,” Mr Speirs said.
“We know that our interstate colleagues are eagerly awaiting the outcomes from our taskforce and from our plastic free precinct trials. We want South Australia to again lead the way nationally and provide a blueprint for how to reduce single-use plastics.”
Legislation banning single-use plastics in South Australia is expected to be introduced into parliament in the first half of 2020.
Members of the single use plastics task force include:
Australian Food and Grocery Council
Australian Hotels Association (SA)
Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation
Conservation Council SA
Environment Protection Authority
Green Industries SA
KESAB environmental solutions
Local Government Association of SA
National Retail Association
JFA Purple Orange
Disability Elders of All Ages
Restaurant and Catering Industry Association
SA Independent Retailers
Waste Management Resource Recovery Association
Single-use plastics will be removed from multiple South Australian businesses, following the state government’s plastic free precincts announcement.
The Adelaide Central Market, The Parade (Norwood) and The Jetty Road Brighton Traders are the first three locations, with a fourth precinct encapsulating all 21 Surf Life Saving South Australia clubs across the state.
Environment Minister David Speirs said the Boomerang Alliance, who have run similar trials in Noosa in Queensland and Bassendean in Western Australia, will be working closely with traders, cafés, restaurants and retailers in these locations.
“It’s so exciting to see how some of our destination shopping precincts and the iconic Adelaide Central Markets commit to going ‘plastic free,” Mr Speirs said.
“I’m especially pleased that Surf Life Saving South Australia has put their hand up to be part of the trial. They are among the most motivated of volunteers, as our surf life savers are confronted every day with the impact of single use plastics on our coasts and beaches.”
Surf Life Saving South Australia Chief Executive Officer Damien Marangon said his organisation was thrilled to be one of the first single-use plastic-free precincts.
“As custodians of South Australia’s coastline, our organisation sees first hand the impact single-use plastics can have on our beaches and waterways,” Mr Marangon said.
“When the state government called for applications to become a plastic-free precinct, we jumped at the opportunity.”
Earlier this year, the state government called for expressions of interest to become a plastic-free precinct, as well as join the stakeholder taskforce.
Mr Speirs said the stakeholder taskforce would provide input and advice to assist in making the precinct trail as successful as possible.
“The taskforce will make sure the views and opinions of all South Australians are heard when it comes to the next steps for banning single-use plastics in our state,” Mr Speirs said.
“We’ve invited 13 representatives from across South Australia including local government, businesses, the hospitality sector and disability advocates to form the first stakeholder taskforce.”
Mr Speirs said the the government expected more plastic free precincts would follow, given the high quality of applications across the state.
“Our government is seeking a wide range of input on what any future phase out or replacement for single use plastic might look like, and the stakeholder taskforce will play an important role in our decision making,” Mr Speirs said.