NWRIC State Associations update

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council State Affiliates provide a detailed overview of industry and policy changes across the country. 

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) is the national industry body for commercial waste and recycling operators Australia wide.

It brings together national businesses and affiliated state associations to develop and promote policies and actions to advance waste management and resource recovery in Australia – ensuring a fair, safe and sustainable industry that serves all Australians.

NWRIC affiliated state associations include the Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ), the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW & ACT (WCRA), the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), the Waste Recycling Industry of South Australia (WRISA), the Waste Recycling Industry of Western Australia (WRIWA) and the Waste Recycling Industry Northern Territory (WRINT).

Two new State Association appointments:

Mark Smith, previous EO at VWMA, has headed to warmer weather this month to take on the CEO role at WRIQ.

Alex Serpo, NWRIC’s Secretary, has moved across to fill the EO role at the VWMA.

While retiring from WRIQ, Rick Ralph will continue as EO for WRINT.

Congratulations to Mark and Alex. I know both are looking forward to their new roles, meeting members and advancing the industry.

Mark can be contacted at mark.smith@wriq.com.au and Alex at Alex@vta.com.au

WRIQ – Environmental Regulator Survey:

Have your say on the Queensland’s Environmental Regulator – WRIQ is inviting Queensland waste and recycling operators to share their experiences on Queensland’s environmental regulator.

The survey includes a focus on how performance of the industry’s regulator, the Department of Environment & Science (DES), has evolved since a WRIQ review in 2018 identified important industry concerns. It will also seek opinions on implementation of the new Queensland waste strategy and waste levy.

The survey is open to anyone in the Queensland waste industry and participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on the key issues, which WRIQ will then share back to government and our members.

It is expected the survey will identify priority areas for both WRIQ and DES. The survey comes at an important time for the industry, with the Queensland State Election later this year and expected economic stimulus packages issued by State and Federal Governments post Covid-19 response.

To complete the survey please click here.  The survey closes on 19 June.

Please contact memberservices@wriq.com.au if you have any questions.

VWMA – Chemical Stockpiles, Waste Education, New Recycling Authority:

EY Report into Chemical Stockpiles ReleasedErnst and Young (EY) has released its report into the EPA’s management of 14 chemical waste sites between January 2016 and April 2019, including the facility which caught fire in Campbellfield in April 2019.

In response, the EPA has already acted, including the development of a digital priority waste tracking system.

The VWMA will be working closely with the EPA to help roll out and improve this technology, as well as other important programs to ensure the safe disposal of hazardous liquids.

New yellow top bin waste education material available to businesses – In order to reduce contamination in yellow top bins, Sustainability Victoria has launched a new public education campaign.

The education material can be viewed at www.recycling.vic.gov.au. Businesses and councils wishing to share the material can download it from the Victorian Government website.

Please share this material if you can.

Advertising commenced 24 May and will run until 30 June, including broadcast free to air TV and on demand TV, social media and radio.

Consultation Underway to Develop a New Recycling Authority in VictoriaThe VWMA are currently consulting with the DELWP on the introduction of a new Waste and Recycling Act and Waste Authority for Victoria. The Waste Authority will help to deliver the new Recycling Victoria program.

The VWMA will be seeking to work proactively with government on all aspects of this new program, including the container deposit scheme, Recycled First and regulations to protect waste as an essential service.

WRISA – Container Deposit Review, Single Use Plastics:

Container Deposit Scheme Review – The SA government is currently completing an economic study and material flow analysis on kerbside, MRF and commercial CDS activity.

The outcomes of these investigations will be included in the impending CDS Review Discussion Paper, which will contain proposed changes to the scheme and form the basis of the next round of public consultation.

Legislation amendment and implementation are expected to commence in late 2020 and run through to early 2021.

Single Use Plastics – The Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 was recently introduced into parliament.

On commencement, the main points within the legislation include prohibition of the sale, supply or distribution of single-use plastic drinking straws, cutlery, and drink stirrers.

Following a period of 12 months, expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clam-shell containers, and oxo-degradable plastic products will also be prohibited.

The legislation also contains provisions for exemptions and the inclusion of additional products, which can be made via regulations.

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Industry responds to COVID-19 support packages

Waste Management Review will be running a four-part series throughout April on conquering waste industry challenges amid COVID-19 and possible future opportunities. In this first part, we highlight a summary of support packages available to the sector across each jurisdiction and what industry groups are hoping to see going forward.

Read moreIndustry responds to COVID-19 support packages

Waste and Recycling Industry Association of Western Australia grows

A state-based industry advocacy body has been continually growing its support base in Western Australia – the Waste and Recycling Industry Association of Western Australia (WRIWA).

WRIWA was formed in April, 2017 in Perth with the support of Cleanaway, Veolia, Suez, Toxfree and Sims Metal Management.

Led by Waste Stream Management’s Michael Harper, a provider of waste and remediation services, the new not-for-profit organisation will act as the state’s leading advocacy body and promote the sustainable development of waste management and recycling infrastructure and services in WA.

WRIWA’s objectives are to achieve best practice environmental outcomes from collection, processing, recycling and disposal of waste. It is also to ensure markets are fair and transparent and ensure competition occurs on a level playing field, driving value for customers and a return on investment for its members.

WRIWA members include the large nationally based waste collection and recycling companies, landfill owners and operators, along with WA-based companies including waste, recycling, demolition and associated services.

WRIWA is the WA affiliate of the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC), which represents the interests of industry members across Australia. The organisation will be canvassing its views to help inform the new Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy – which is currently under review by government.

“WRIWA is committed to working with state government, the Waste Authority, local government and our colleagues in industry to achieve much needed reform of the state’s waste strategy and its implementation,” said the organisation’s president Michael Harper.

“We can bring to the process skilled professionals with extensive state and national experience in key subject areas raised in the consultation paper, including the Container Deposit Scheme, the landfill levy and specifications for construction and demolition aggregates.”

WRIWA’s response focuses on the following key areas:

• Planning: Waste processing and recycling facilities require substantial capital investment by private industry. WRIWA argues that to continue to innovate and introduce technologies that will increase resource recovery, industry need the surety that planning laws will not allow residential and other commercial development to encroach on sites suitable for waste processing.
• Levy Avoidance: WRIRA’s focus is on improving regulatory systems to detect and stop avoidance. It argues avoidance is damaging honest operators who are complying with the regulations. It notes the current level of avoidance is well known within the waste sector and there is an increasing awareness within the NGO environmental sector and the general community. WRIWA believes a failure to bring it to an end risks undermining public confidence in the state’s waste avoidance and resource recovery strategies.
• Levy Anomalies: WA has resource recovery companies which operate in world markets. Consideration needs to be given to levy exemptions for companies which can demonstrate that the levy is damaging their ability to compete internationally.
• Acceptance of construction and demolition (C&D) aggregates: WRIWA believes there is a very low level of acceptance and take up of C&D aggregates by both the local government and state government agencies. C&D waste is successfully being diverted from landfill and is being recycled into aggregates suitable for road base. However, market uptake is lagging far behind output, and placing the sustainability of the waste strategy at risk.
• Container Deposit Scheme: WRIWA supports this proposed scheme. There needs to be strong liaison between regulators and industry particularly industry members operating Material Recovery Facilities as the details of the scheme are planned and rolled out.
• China National Sword: The Chinese Government has altered its criteria for acceptable contaminant levels in imported post-consumer products. WRIWA believes this has had an immediate effect on all sectors of the recycling industry. It is estimated that costs of processing recyclables will rise by up to $100 per tonne in Western Australia. Industry is seeking urgent assistance from the state government to address this issue.