Wastech Engineering, one of Australia’s leading providers of waste management and resource recovery solutions, has elevated Scott Russell to the newly-created position of CEO, as the company looks to build on its rapid growth.
Jeff Goodwin of Wastech Engineering speaks with Waste Management Review about bolstering organics recovery with highly efficient equipment.
In its recently released Net Zero Plan Stage One: 2020-2030, the NSW Government outlines its plan to achieve net zero emissions from organic waste to landfill by 2030.
“Organic waste, such as food scraps and garden trimmings, makes up about 40 per cent of red-lidded kerbside bins. When sent to landfill, the decomposing material releases methane that may not be captured,” the plan reads.
“However, when this waste is managed effectively, through proper composting and recycling processes, methane emissions can be substantially reduced, soils can be regenerated to store carbon and biogas can be created to generate electricity.”
The plan follows similar initiatives in Victoria. With the state’s Recycling Victoria strategy targeting a 50 per cent reduction in organic material sent to landfill by 2030, with an interim target of 20 per cent by 2025.
Jeff Goodwin, Wastech Engineering’s National Product Manager Projects, is enthused by the announcements, highlighting Wastech’s long standing commitment to sustainable organics processing.
Food waste is a significant issue in Australia, Jeff explains, noting that a recent Rabobank Food Waste Report revealed that Australians wasted $10.1 billion in food waste in 2019.
“It’s heartening to see governments across the country committing to food waste reduction initiatives, which is something we at Wastech have been passionate about for a long time,” he says.
“Now is the time for waste companies and food waste generators to heed the call and start investing in efficient and high capacity food waste processing solutions.”
With a 99 per cent recovery rate for both dry and liquid products, Jeff says Wastech’s ATRITOR Turbo Separator is one such solution.
Available exclusively through Wastech, the Turbo Separator range comprises four models, making it suitable for a wide range of de-packaging applications including separating organics from food waste packaging and paper from gypsum.
“The Turbo Separator combines centrifugal forces, self-generated airflow and mechanical processes to remove organic material from packaging – allowing the recovered material to be recycled,” Jeff says.
“The machine can recover anything from bread loafs in plastic wrap, beans in tins cans, milk in cartons and even pet food in plastic pouches. The only material it can’t process is glass, given its sharding effect.”
Several Turbo Separator installations have been purchased recently by recycling companies across Australia, Jeff says.
“When people are eating at a food court it’s common to throw everything into one bin, creating a mix of food and packaging waste that has been traditionally difficult to recover,” he says.
“Using the Turbo Separator however, operators can take a garbage bag containing food waste and packaging, tie up the garbage bag and run it through the machine.
“This allows shopping centres, which produce high levels of food waste, to recover that material and divert it from the general disposal stream.”
However, these bags often contain contamination such as glass bottles, so Jeff says it’s prudent to consider an inspection station prior to the Turbo Separator to remove unwanted materials first.
He adds that as a rule of thumb, for every kilogram of food waste, 10 per cent is packaging.
“When you remove packaging from the organic material, you’re able to recover 90 per cent of each kilogram of food waste, which then saves that material from entering landfill.”
The Turbo Separator includes a variable-speed shaft fitted with paddles, which rotates above a number of screens. The shaft, Jeff says, typically runs between 100 and 1000 rotations per minute, generating air flow as well as centrifugal and mechanical forces.
“Packaged material is fed by an infeed conveyor into the separation chamber, where rotating paddles open up the packaging,” he says.
“The force of the paddles then creates a squeezing effect, which separates packaging from its contents and allows the packaging to retain its integrity.”
This, Jeff says, is an added benefit, with the Turbo Separator’s squeezing as opposed to shredding process producing organic material free of shredded packaging residue.
Depending on material type, the recovered organics can be used for animal feed, nutrient-rich compost or anaerobic digestion.
Jeff explains that the separator is also well suited to product destruction, such as water or soda from half drunken bottles. It can also be used at a commercial level to recover beverages that are past their sell by date or have been damaged or incorrectly packaged.
“For operators dealing with wet material, Wastech can fit the Turbo Separator with a pump that removes liquids from the recovered organic throughput,” he says.
The design of the machine is extremely flexible, for instance, if an operator is only dealing with dry material, the pump isn’t required. Or, if they are working in a confined space, the separator can be re-configured into a different arrangement.”
According to Jeff, Wastech is ready to assist as Australia continues the fight against food waste.
“Wastech has been working in this space for years and we’re in it for the long haul. We believe a future free from food waste is possible and are excited to work with waste companies and food generators to achieve it,” he says.
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As a leading manufacturer and supplier of waste and recycling equipment, Wastech Engineering prides itself on providing the market with a broad range of products, suitable for a diverse range of industries.
Among its product line-up is a broad array of bins and skips including open top bins and skips, auger bins, mobile garbage bins, compactor bins and ancillary equipment such as bin lifters.
For larger operations producing increased quantities of waste or recyclables, Wastech offers open top skips in varied dimensions, hook heights and rail widths, providing added flexibility to fit customers’ site needs.
Similarly, the company’s compactor bin range can also be manufactured to suit end user requirements, while delivering even greater refuse collection power thanks to the bins’ in-built compactor function.
Wastech’s auger bin range provides a versatile solution suitable for commingled recycling, screened grit, powders and similar waste products. With an in-built levelling screw, the waste is evenly distributed to the rear of the bin ensuring full use of space to maximise payload.
Its complementary range of bin lifters are capable of lifting and tipping bins from 80 litres through to 3000 litres. The capabilities allow Wastech to make it easier, safer and more efficient to dispose of waste and recyclables.
Wastech Engineering has welcomed the Federal Government’s $20 million commitment to grow Australia’s domestic recycling capabilities.
Funds are available through round eight of the Cooperative Research Centre grants program, which opened 13 August.
Wastech Managing Director Neil Bone said the grants are a step in the right direction, following the Council of Australian Governments export ban announcement on 9 August.
“Companies such as Wastech are ready and well prepared to assist local government and industry, with a wide range of solutions and products that will meet the desired outcomes of converting waste products into useful products for the Australian consumer,” Mr Bone said.
“This is a fantastic initiative by the Federal Government, and allows any organisation with an interest in diverting waste from landfill to apply for the grant and start minimising its environmental footprint.”
Mr Bone said in addition to reducing waste, the program will likely spark job creation and further recycling sector growth.
“With Wastech’s proven industry capabilities and equipment range, we can offer turn-key solutions for material recovery, including co-mingled recyclables, municipal solid waste, construction and demolition, commercial and industrial, waste to energy and e-waste,” Mr Bone said.
“Wastech personnel can also assist interested parties in applying for these grants.”
The heavy-duty Baler PC24 HD Galvanized is designed to handle difficult recyclables such as aluminum cans and PET bottles. It’s capable of processing recyclable types such as aluminium and tin cans, plastic bottles, expanded polystyrene, hard plastics and textiles.
Available through Australian distributor, Wastech Engineering, the galvanised vertical baler uses a one-step process for baling and draining of plastic bottles and aluminium cans, with a built-in reservoir to capture residual liquids.
One of the highlights of the Danish supplied Bramidan technology is the high press force of 24 tonnes that produces extremely dense bales. For example, aluminum cans are baled so dense that they don’t need to be tied off.
Bale weights of up to 55 kilograms for aluminium cans and 105 kilograms for plastic items can be achieved.
The flap door also allows easy loading of materials into a completely closed chamber. An option for a regular painted model instead of galvanised is available.
In terms of noise, the baler boasts a low reading of about 62 to 64 decibels. According to Wastech Engineering, this is impressive when compared to the decibel reading of a refrigerator – on average 50 decibels.
Lismore City Council is reducing waste to landfill through a new commercial waste sorting facility with increased recycling capabilities.
With high volumes of material and a need to reduce labour costs, NT Recycling Solutions looked to a new way of thinking to build its materials recovery facility.
Wastech Engineering has realised its newest screening technology from its partner – the CP Group – the CP Auger Screen.
The anti-wrapping, non-blinding screen was developed specifically for material recovery facilities.
The trademark CP Auger Screen sizes material by using a series of cantilevered augers that do not wrap or jam due to their corkscrewing motion, making it highly low maintenance.
Any material that could wrap, such as hoses or plastic film, are released off the end of the auger.
Its low-wear augers are made from abrasion-resistant steel, making them durable while requiring little to no maintenance.
The CP Auger Screen can be used in various recycling applications, including municipal solid, commingled, construction and demolition and commercial and industrial wastes. The largest model can handle 32 tonnes per hour of inbound single stream material, 54 tonnes per hour of commercial and 73 tonnes per hour for construction and demolition material.
The machine is unique compared to traditional disc screens as the auger rotors act like a corkscrew, conveying any stringy materials over the side. The cantilevered augers convey large flat materials over, while fines and flexible fibre go through to under the machine and the remainder goes to the side.
Wastech’s 25-year anniversary offers an opportunity to showcase its successes, including the first-ever Performance-Based Standards-approved quad-quad road train ejection blade trailer.