Waste Expo returns October 23

Waste Expo Australia, one of the most comprehensive free-to-attend conferences for the waste management, resource recovery and wastewater sectors, returns to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 23-24 October.

Waste Expo Australia Event Director Cory McCarrick said the event, featuring over 100 speakers, will provide the perfect think tank for navigating upcoming opportunities.

“On Wednesday in Melbourne, Waste Expo Australia 2019 will open its doors at one of the most significant times in history, attracting the largest gathering of waste management and resource professionals in Australia,” Mr McCarrick said. 

According to Mr McCarrick, Australia’s recent pledge to change and improve its recycling habits provides significant new opportunities for businesses in the waste and recycling industry.

“The government’s focus on improving recycling habits, particularly with plastic use, shows there will be significant environmental implications as to how businesses will need to be run into the future,” Mr McCarrick said.

The event will be opened by Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, leading a long list of industry professionals looking to discuss, question and examine Australia’s waste management processes, while also seeing the latest product innovations from over 120 brands in the supplier showcase.

Key exhibitors include Bost Group, Cleanaway, Caterpillar, HSR Southern Cross, Tricon Equipment, Applied Machinery and Hitachi.

Mr McCarrick said Waste Expo has grown significantly since 2018, and it is now a must-attend event for anyone in the waste and recycling industry.

“It is clear the push across all levels of government has put waste and recycling to the front of minds, and Waste Expo Australia will challenge current thinking and push boundaries of innovation to enable all businesses to examine their own operations, speak to suppliers and take on high-level information, all for free,” Mr McCarrick said. 

Heading up the Wastewater Summit stage on day one, Water Corporation Senior Technical Advisor Membrane Treatment Stacey Hamilton will outline the steps taken by Perth’s Water Corporation to establish Australia’s first groundwater replenishment scheme. 

“As Australia’s first scheme, developing the regulatory framework, understanding the technical challenges and keeping the community engaged are all part of keeping the scheme compliant,” Dr Hamilton said.

“The key message from the presentation will be the journey taken by the corporation to get where we are. Getting other utilities educated on the process and journey is important.”

Also on day one, Aerofloat Manager of Operations Michael Anderson will detail compact trade waste solutions and explain how washing with treated reclaimed water helps achieve high quality recycled products.

“Australia’s low water resources and environmental regulations means that any plastic recycling business must have an effective and reliable wash-water recycling system in place,” Mr Anderson said.

At the Wastwater Summit, Mr Anderson will provide delegates with a good understanding of the opportunities for plastic recycling, and highlight where businesses fit within Australia’s current political and environmental requirements.

“Attendees will see solutions that enable wash-water recycling to be used year-round, not just as a short-term fix within their plant,” Mr Anderson said.

Waste Expo Australia is co-location with All-Energy Australia, Energy Efficiency Expo and ISSA Cleaning and Hygiene Expo, forming the nation’s most significant showcase for the waste, recycling, wastewater, renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaning industries.

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NHP Electrical Engineering: controlling pumps and scarcity

NHP Electrical Engineering Smart Motor Control systems provide real-time operational disruption data and energy efficient pumping to wastewater facilities.

Australia’s dry and inconsistent climate poses a challenge to water security. As a consequence, increasing the capacity of wastewater recycling facilities is vital to mitigating resource scarcity and increasing climate resistance.

Recycling wastewater can ease pressure on water resources and avoid the need to discharge the material into the environment.

Managing masses of liquid can be challenging, however, given the rheological makeup of the material.

For wastewater facilities to operate effectively, they require centralised pumping systems supported by reliable motor control.

Power distribution, automation and motor control specialists NHP Electrical Engineering Products (NHP) have been operating in the wastewater space for decades.

Michael Liberatore, NHP Automation, Safety and Motor Control Business Manager, says within the digitised modern world, it’s important that NHP can deliver customer-focused Industrial Internet of Things initiatives and tools.

“Water is an essential input that feeds the production cycle of almost all other industries,” Michael says.

“In the contemporary climate, where limited water resources and concerns about the environmental impact of electricity production are real, innovation is central to success.”

According to Michael, Smart Motor Control is one of many innovative solutions supported by the company. He adds that efficient motor control enables application flexibility, as well as higher productivity and workplace safety.

“At the core of this are inventive solutions that provide a reliable supply of water to minimise network upgrade disruptions and optimise capital investment.”

Michael says Smart Motor Control supports secure wastewater networks by enabling real-time monitoring and asset management. Additionally, he says 75 per cent of motor control failures can be prevented by applying appropriate protection measures.

“Efficient motors drive wastewater management performance, and the impact of motor failure can be significant,” he explains.

“With Smart Motor Control devices, clients can improve productivity and help avoid motor failures with an integrated, data-driven approach.”

Michael says the technology diagnoses problems early and identifies where they are, which allows clients to transform data into actionable information to reduce production losses.

Michael says Smart Motor Control systems minimise energy expenditure by reducing overall system power requirements and wear and tear on equipment.

“Smart Motor Control can be easily integrated into clients’ existing motor control systems to offer higher productivity and shorter downtimes,” he explains.

Be it pumping station treatment plants or pipelines, Michael says NHP can provide complete solutions for the most complex water and wastewater applications.

NHP offers a complete portfolio of Smart Motor Control solutions, from simple fixed and variable speed control to precise torque and position control.

“With Smart Motor Control Devices, energy consumption can be monitored on each motor individually at any point,” he explains.

“Our Smart Motor Control solution helps customers achieve advanced pressure and flow control, including soft start, stop capabilities and energy savings.”

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Veolia signs $170 million NZ contract

Veolia has signed a $17 million per year contract to operate and maintain council-owned water services company Wellington Water’s four wastewater treatment plants.

Wellington Water’s Chief Executive Colin Crampton said the 10-year contract marked the start of a new and exciting focus for Wellington’s wastewater.

“We need to start thinking of wastewater treatment by-products as a resource, and Veolia is a leading company in this area,” Mr Crampton said.

“Veolia already has a long history of involvement in the region, having operated Wellington City’s Moa Point and Western wastewater treatment plants since 2004.”

Mr Crampton said progressively, all four treatment plants will be brought under one contract.

“This will not only provide better value for the region, but also increase opportunities for improved services in the future,” he says.

Veolia General Manager New Zealand Alexandre Lagny said the contract would allow Veolia to deliver better environmental outcomes for the Wellington region.

“Veolia operates approximately 3000 wastewater treatment plants globally and we look forward to bringing our international expertise to Wellington,” Mr Lagny said.

“Wastewater treatment is actually the area where the greatest technological innovation is taking place when it comes to three waters management.”

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Tracking sludge flow for better wastewater treatment

A new way of tracking how sewage sludge flows during thermal treatment could help engineers design better wastewater treatment plants and boost the production of biogas.

Researchers at RMIT University have demonstrated how the flow behaviour of sludge can be used as a tool to gauge how quickly organic matter is dissolving at high temperatures, suggesting the potential for online monitoring.

Traditional methods of assessing thermal treatment performance require time-consuming sampling and chemical analysis,  rheology calculations however – which measure and detail how liquids flow – can be done in real time online.

The study, published in Water Research, found a correlation between how sludge dissolves and changes in its flow behaviour, indicating it may be possible to monitor thermal treatment performance simply by tracking flow.

Lead investigator Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi said correctly estimating the rheological parameters of sludge is critical to efficient process design.

“Our technique enables engineers and plant operators to conveniently obtain these parameters without having to perform the measurements at high temperatures themselves,” Ms Eshtiaghi said.

“We hope the research encourages more serious consideration of flow behaviour in optimising and designing high pressure and high temperature sludge-handling processes.”

The new technique can measure flow behaviour without destroying samples, often a big challenge for concentrated sludge data collection.

The study also shows that varying the thickness of sludge has little impact on the effectiveness of thermal treatment, meaning plant operators could potentially increase biogas production by increasing the solid content of sludge during initial treatment processes.

“Thicker sludge can be beneficial for both optimising efficiency overall, and for producing more biogas,” Ms Eshtiaghi said.

“With our discovery that the thickness of sludge makes no difference, this research gives plant operators more flexibility in designing processes that can better exploit the renewable energy potential of wastewater sludge treatment.”

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Community comments called for Australian Paper WtE facility

EPA Victoria has called for further community consultation on Australian Paper’s proposal to develop a large-scale waste to energy facility.

The company has provided the EPA with a health impact assessment to support its application to develop the facility within the boundaries of its site in Maryvale, Latrobe Valley.

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The proposed plant would generate both steam and electricity which can be directly in the paper mill or exported to the grid. It would replace two gas-fired boilers and would produce around 30 megawatts of electricity and 150 tonnes of steam per hour.

The EPA’s assessment of the applications will consider issues such as best practice technology, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, waste fuel composition, compliance with waste hierarchy, potential risks to human health and the environment from air, noise, disposal of fly ash, wastewater treatment and operational contingencies.

It follows a community public meeting held earlier in July, which found there was significant support for the proposals, with many submitters commenting the technology is already operating safely overseas, there are environmental benefits of less waste going to landfill and economic benefits of local job creation.

EPA Development Assessments Director Tim Faragher said the works approval application was originally open for public comment in June and EPA received 115 submissions.

“EPA also ran a community conference in July to hear concerns from those that made submissions. This further consultation period allows interested community members to make further comments on the new information that Australian Paper has submitted,” Mr Faragher said.

When making a final determination, the EPA will also consider all public submissions and the outcomes of the community conference.

SA Government commits to wastewater infrastructure

The South Australian Government will commit $4 million per annum to help councils build wastewater treatment systems.

The $47 million funding agreement will allow regional communities to access new community wastewater management systems.

The Minister for Local Government Geoff Brock and Local Government Association (LGA) President Lorraine Rosenberg co-signed the partnership agreement, which commits $4 million of state government funds indexed annually to the program.

The program supports councils to build modern wastewater treatment systems that address critical public health and environmental needs, and provide the necessary infrastructure for those communities to pursue economic development opportunities.

The funding allows councils to deliver the service at a cost equivalent to that which SA Water users pay.

The CWMS program provides funds to the LGA to support the installation of new communal wastewater management systems in regional towns where urban sewer systems are not provided by SA Water.

Local Government currently operates 172 community wastewater management systems in 45 councils and authorities across the state.

Over the past decade, the state government has allocated more than $38 million with local communities contributing more than $20 million since the inception of the current funding agreement in July 2008.

The combined $58.5 million state government and community investment in the CWMS over the past decade has resulted in more than 3000 connections to 11 new wastewater treatment facilities in South Australia.

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