Waste Management Review catches up with Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan to discuss his achievements in waste over the past decade as he moves on to Solar Victoria.
Stan Krpan will leave his position as CEO of Sustainability Victoria after being appointed inaugural CEO of Solar Victoria.
Mr Krpan said it was a privilege to lead Sustainability Victoria and watch its impact grow.
“I am enormously proud to have been able to work with so many passionate people across projects which inform, educate and deliver tangible outcomes for Victorians to act on climate change and improve the way we manage waste and recycling,” Mr Krpan said.
“I am particularly grateful to the many and varied stakeholders, who have been the key ingredient to our success and share our passion to position Victoria for a sustainable future.”
Mr Krpan said the position at Solar Victoria will present an opportunity to transform the way Victorians generate residential power from renewable sources.
“In less than a year since Solar Victoria was established, we have seen the huge demand for household solar energy by Victorians,” Mr Krpan said.
“This program is a cornerstone of the Victorian Government’s target to achieve 50 per cent renewable energy in the state by 2030.”
Sustainability Victoria Board Chair Heather Campbell thanked Mr Krpan for his service.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to acknowledge and thank Stan Krpan for his dedicated leadership of Sustainability Victoria since 2012,” Ms Campbell said.
“Under Stan’s leadership Sustainability Victoria delivered Australia’s first statewide waste infrastructure plan, growing investment in waste and resource recovery infrastructure, market development and education to their highest levels.”
Ms Campbell said the board wished Mr Krpan all the best in his new role as CEO of Solar Victoria, which will deliver the state government’s $1.2 billion Solar Homes package from 1 July.
“In August 2018 Stan led the establishment of Solar Victoria as a dedicated business unit under Sustainability Victoria,” Ms Campbell said.
“This will be a seamless transition for both Stan and Solar Victoria, as that organisation moves to become a standalone entity reporting to the Environment Department and Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.”
Ms D’Ambrosio said Solar Homes would cut Victoria’s carbon emissions by four million tonnes – the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road.
“Household solar is expected to generate 12.5 per cent of Victoria’s 40 per cent target for renewable energy by 2025,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Mr Krpan has a strong record in this sector and the right experience to lead the delivery of our landmark Solar Homes package.”
Sustainability Victoria Director Corporate Services Carl Muller will act as interim CEO while a full recruitment process is underway.
The Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards is now open for entries and features a new category to celebrate outstanding contributions made by volunteers.
The new environmental volunteering category will recognise the impact made by thousands of dedicated individuals and groups who give their time to sustainability projects and environmental protection.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said as the most prestigious program of their kind in Victoria, the awards are a terrific showcase of leading edge sustainability practices.
“Through these awards we proudly showcase the businesses, government, schools, institutions and community groups that are leading the way helping to stop the effects of climate change, developing more integrated circular economies and creating a more liveable, engaged, prosperous community for us all,” Mr Krpan said.
According to Mr Krpan, recent research shows that while sustainability remains an important concern for most Australians, only half believe they are doing enough.
“Joining the program’s existing ten categories, the new environmental volunteering category will make the awards more accessible to more people who take environmental action in real, practical and tangible ways,” Mr Krpan said.
The Premier’s Sustainability Awards includes the categories built environment, community, education, environmental justice, environmental protection, environmental volunteering, government, health, innovative products or services, small to medium sized businesses and large business.
2018 winners include small business Yume Food, who won for building a marketplace exclusively for surplus food, the Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project and a campaign by Zoos Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks that addressed the threat of plastic debris to marine life.
Entries in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards close on Thursday 13 June.
The City of Greater Geelong has launched a $3 million garden organics composting facility that is able to recover 35,000 tonnes of green organics per year.
Compost from the Geelong Garden Organics Composting Facility will be used on council land, such as parks and ovals, and local farmers. It will see an abatement of 49,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
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Sustainability Victoria provided a $500,000 grant towards the facility on behalf of the Victorian Government.
Projects in regional Victoria have increased the organics processing capacity by 38,250 tonnes per year, with approximately 74,570 households now able to access kerbside collections for food and/or organic waste. With the launch of the new facility, kerbside organics collection services have resulted in an average abatement of 81,621 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said he was delighted to see the organics facility opened.
“We’ve been working closely with the City of Geelong to enable greater recovery of its valuable resources,” he said.
“Victoria’s population could reach 10 million by 2050, putting pressure to our waste recovery and disposal systems. Taking action now through creating and expanding recycling opportunities will greatly reduce the environmental impact of these resources ending up in landfill, and their economic value being lost.
“This project falls under Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan and the Victorian Organics Recovery Strategy, which plans for all viable recovered materials to be extracted from waste streams before reaching landfill,” Mr Krpan said.
The new Geelong facility is able to provide long term benefits such as processing the council’s green organics, with the potential to process additional organic materials such as food.
“Geelong is one of three large regional organics projects funded by the Victorian Government. It followed Ballarat and Bendigo which all now divert large quantities of organics from waste streams,” Mr Krpan said.
Sustainability Victoria’s Optimising Kerbside Collection Systems guide assists councils to increase recycling, improve the quality of recycled quality materials and reduce contamination
Sustainability Victoria has opened applications for Research, Development and Demonstration Grants of up to $200,000 for projects that can increase the quality of recycled products sold in Victoria.
Businesses, local governments and researchers can apply for grants between $50,000 and $200,000 to help stimulate markets for products made from recovered resources.
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Projects that investigate one or more materials which have specific supply or demand side barriers which could be overcome with support from the government are encouraged to apply.
Concrete and brick, electronic waste, glass, organic material, paper and cardboard, plastics, rubber and textiles have all been identified as targeted materials for the grant.
The grants have been designed to support the industry in commercialising new products and processing approaches and to increase the end market uptake and demand for the targeted materials.
Successful applicants will have their projects matched dollar for dollar by the state government.
Previous research projects included alternative uses for glass fines and flexible plastics in construction and manufactured products, such as railway sleepers, plastics in concrete footpaths, glass in non-load bearing concrete and roof tiles made from glass waste.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said the grants would increase job creation, develop quality products for end markets and increase investment in products made from recovered resources.
“Recent shifts in the current international recycling in gives Victoria greater impetus to develop local markets for the products we can recycle,” Mr Krpan said.
“It is crucial such markets are developed so the value of recovered resources is realised.
“This funding provides industry the opportunity to develop and trial new or existing products and specifications that use significant and reliable quantities of targeted materials,” he said.
The program will also inform the industry of the possible opportunities to use recovered materials in manufacturing to support using products made from recycled content.
“Recycling is an increasingly important community issue, and we are committed to maximising the opportunities to support new markets that use significant and reliable volumes of priority materials,” Mr Krpan said.
“It’s also an opportunity for universities and industry to work together to develop practical solutions to an important, and costly, community issue, which will benefit us all.
For more information about applying for the grant, click here.
New laws have been passed in Victoria which have given the EPA powers to stop pollution and protect the state’s environment.
The Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018 has introduced a criminally enforceable General Environment Duty which requires people conducting activities that pose a risk to human health and the environment from pollution to take responsible steps to eliminate or reduce them.
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It aims to move the focus to prevention, rather than responding to pollution after it has occurred.
The Bill substantially increases maximum penalties to better reflect the seriousness of environmental offences.
The reforms have also delivered improved clarity and flexibility, including reforms to EPA licensing and the environmental audit system.
A range of measures have been introduced to assist the EPA’s ability to protect the environment, including strengthening powers of EPA Authorised Officers to enter premises and investigate suspected breaches of the law.
Community members have also been given the ability to seek civil remedies to enforce the Environment Protection Act and regulations.
The new laws will come into effect on 1 July 2020, which will allow time to develop the regulations and guidance required to support the new laws.
Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the historic reforms were developed carefully over a number of years and will help Victoria’s environment for generations to come.
“We’re making sure Victoria’s EPA is equipped with the people, powers and resources it needs to do its job and protect Victoria’s environment,” she said.
The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) has celebrated industry achievements from the past year in Victoria at its 2018 awards dinner.
Its event was attended by more than 90 representatives from organics processors, industry suppliers, to state and local government organisations.
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The Melbourne Cricket Club won the 2018 Sustainability Victoria Outstanding Contribution to Industry Development Award thanks to the club’s organic fertiliser that it creates on site form organic waste.
Waste produced at the MCG is treated in-house and turned into a soil additive that is being used to sustain the heritage listed Yarra Park which surrounds the stadium. An Eco Guardians dehydrator at the MCG takes the organic waste and processes them into a soil additive known as SoilFood.
Glen Eira City Council won the 2018 Yarra Valley Water Outstanding Local Government Initiative in Collection/Processing/Marketing Award thanks to the councils Food Organics into Garden Organics (FOGO) program.
Food scrap recycling was identified as a priority in the council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2016-2021. Glen Eira changed organics processor to Veolia to bring the service to residents sooner, as the company are the only contractor currently servicing the South East Organics Processing contract that is capable of processing food waste.
The campaign was soft launched in November 2017, with further marketing in the lead up to its introduction on 1 May 2018. Council offered residents a free kitchen caddy as part of the program, with around 7721 households receiving one.
Environmental management company Kilter Rural won the 2018 RMCG Compost User Demonstrating Innovation and Advocacy in Agricultural Markets Award. The company has led the recovery of severely degraded farmland in the irrigation district in Northern Victoria and restored the land to profitable production.
Burdett’s Sand and Soil won the 2018 Compost User Demonstrating Innovation and Advocacy in Amenity Market Award after using compost through its solids for at least 20 years. The company has expanded into pine barks and mulches and is known to be an avid compost user and support of recycled organics.
Image: Melbourne Cricket Club
Waste Management Review speaks to Stan Krpan, Chief Executive Officer at Sustainability Victoria, about the organisation’s future approach to data capture, Victoria’s e-waste ban to landfill and the health of the waste sector.
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Young Victorians and parents with children are key contributors to the state’s food waste dilemma, according to new research commissioned by Sustainability Victoria.
The research findings showed that Generation Z throw out $115 of food waste weekly, compared to Baby Boomers who reported just over a tenth of that at $17 per week.
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The research also found that almost half (46 per cent) of Victorians are not aware of how much money they are throwing in the bin in the form of food waste, with nine out of every 10 feeling guilt about how much food they waste.
Men were reported to waste close to twice as much as women, throwing away $54 in food waste compared to $29.
Parents with children under the age of 16 years old were also highly likely to throw out food, with more than one third believing it is their children who are responsible for the waste.
More than three quarters of respondents to the research showed a strong desire to save money on groceries, with the average Victorian household throwing away more than $2000 a year worth of food.
The research was conducted by QDOS research, which surveyed 1001 Australians over the age of 18 years old.
The findings are part of a new campaign which has launched called Love Food Hate Waste, Love a List – which encouraged Victorians to write better shopping lists and stick to them to reduce food waste and save money.
The Victorian Government has also announced an additional $1 million funding for the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to reduce food waste through to 2021.
The research findings found that only 43 per cent of Victorians shopped with a list, with 46 per cent admitting they buy food they don’t need.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said that preventing food from being wasted is the best way to address the costly problem.
“We know from previous research that households that use a shopping list reduce their food waste compared to those who don’t. Through the Love Food Hate Waste, Love a List campaign, we’re giving Victorians the tools they need to reduce their food waste,” said Mr Krpan.
Comedian Cal Wilson hosted a documentary to highlight the issue of food waste, which has significant environmental impacts. She said she was genuinely shocked at how much food is thrown out.
“There’s so much we can do to reduce food waste that doesn’t include overeating, or giving leftovers as presents. A really great first step is making a shopping list and sticking to it,” said Ms Wilson
Sustainability Victoria recommends threes ways to shop smarter, which are planning the week’s meals, writing a list and eating everything that has been bought.