Inside Waste Aug / Sept 2020

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Official Publication of the

ISSUE 97 | AUG/SEPT 2020 Thousands of jobs are expected to be created by the Recycling Monetisation Fund to lead Australia out of deep recession.

INSIDE 24 Trevor Evans speaks 26 FOGO unearthed 34 City’s Young Professional

Once-in-a-generation revamp of Australia’s recycling system in waste policy but to also play an important role in leading the country out of recession.

Opposition says funding overdue Although the Labor Opposition described the announcement as “long-overdue” shadow assistant minister for the environment, Josh Wilson acknowledged that the RMF will help address a major gap in local reprocessing capacity at a time when investing in sustainable jobs is key. “We’ve known for a long time that when you stick to a resource recovery plan jobs are created and at the present, I believe the country is ready to adapt greater sustainability and self-sufficiency as a new way of life,” he told Inside Waste. “We need more detail about the funding and especially the timelines, considering it is six months until the ban on glass exports and 12 months until the ban on plastic exports. Let’s be clear, recycling and reprocessing infrastructure is only one part of the major reform needed to deal with Australia’s waste crisis. Recycled material needs a commercial end-user and it is folly to think the market is ready to deal with the anticipated volume.”

Wilson said that the government knows we need action across the full waste-to-resource-tomanufacturing cycle. “That requires innovation to design-out waste and design-in re-use and recycling; it requires product stewardship reform so that producers take responsibility for the life cycle of their products; it requires further improvements to collection and sorting, and infrastructure for recycling and reprocessing infrastructure; and it requires procurement to support demand at a necessary scale to kick-off what should be a job-creating surge in Australian manufacturing.” He added that the government has commissioned an independent analysis that shows Australia may require a 400 per cent increase in recycling infrastructure capacity to cope with additional waste from the export ban, and he pointed to the National Plastic Summit (held in March) at which no clear policy or funding was announced. “Labor has always said that direct funding for the strengthening of Australia’s waste industry is vital, which is why we promised $60 million for a national recycling fund during the 2019 election. (Continued on page 20.)

THERE HAS been considerable industry debate around Product Stewardship and the lack of a compulsory mandate for companies to stop using virgin materials in their packaging. Against this atmosphere, the advent of the Federal Government’s decision in early July to amend the Product Stewardship Act 2011, the legislative mechanism to improve the use and re-use of resources to support waste management, was overwhelmingly welcomed. This long-awaited review forms part of ongoing reform of Australia’s product stewardship regime and follows on from the National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019 agreed last November at a meeting of environment ministers, and the National Waste Policy 2018. A review of Product Stewardship has been considered by the WARR industry as a critical lever in transitioning to a circular economy, and without it, most other initiatives are left ineffectual. The Review was quickly followed by the release of $20 million to the new Product Stewardship Investment Fund. As part of this fund and from July 8, 2020, businesses are able to apply for grants of $300,000 to $1 million to develop industry-led product stewardship schemes and improve the rates of recycling in existing schemes. (Continued on page 22.)

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AS VICTORIANS faced down a resurgent wave of COVID-19 in July, the arrival of Federal Government’s $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) was welcomed by the WARR industry with open arms. This isn’t surprising because government action on the waste recovery strategy plan agreed at COAG in March is long overdue, making it more imperative that a timeline be pronounced as soon as possible. There is less than six months until the ban on glass exports activates and 12 months until the ban on plastic exports. Most importantly, the key to the success of the RMF will be the ability of the various states to meet a third of the funding. Meanwhile, the industry needs to wait until the Treasurer hands down the belated budget in October and then for the Parliament to enact the legislation. While this is being prepared, the rollout also needs to be seen within the context of a national government and society which is grappling with the biggest economic downturn in a century, exacerbated by ongoing lockdowns. It is becoming clearer that an opportunity lies within this industry to not only pave the way to recovery

Is Product Stewardship reform the turning point?

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Editor’s Note //

Opportunity for WARR industry to step up FOR DECADES THE WARR industry has sat outside the doors of government power, storming them constantly with research, irreconcilable waste statistics and often hard-line rhetoric to make the political decision-makers listen. 2020 has seen those doors swing wide open, against a backdrop of a lethal virus and now an economic downturn set to rival the Great Depression. On one hand, the industry has had many of its wishes granted – A $190 million Recycling Monetisation Fund balloon to $600m when matched equally by the states and industry; a review of the outdated Product Stewardship Scheme of 2011 and a shakeup of contentious planning laws. But on the other, it is now drawn into the inner circle of industries which have built Australia’s prosperity for more than two centuries. It’s a space both new and complex. This is a chance for the industry to accept a mantle that demands maturity and gravitas. A chance to let go of criticism of governments, put aside

factional disagreements and work together to solve the biggest crisis in 100 years, that transcends even waste and recycling. On the day that the Prime Minister signalled a $2bn Job Trainer package while millions of Victorians were under lockdown, (including those in Inside Waste’s head office), I waited for the industry to respond, to tell Australia its plans to help the 1.6 million unemployed find work today and tomorrow, not in two or three years. It seems the industry is still absorbing the government’s announcements, although one leader did jump onto the phone to tell me where industry opportunities lay for job seekers. This is also a great opportuity for the industry to develop a strong, consistent national message that includes a response to the health and economic crisis as well as waste. It can be a powerful force in job creation and go a long way to giving the country confidence in its role as a true leader.

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Auty picks up baton to lead Vic EPA through major reform

Resilience expert Toby Kent joins BCSD board

PROFESSOR KATE AUTY took up the role of chair of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) on July 1 for a five-year period. Auty has considerable experience in the fields of public sector governance and administration, law, regulation and the environment. She was former Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability and ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment and replaced Cheryl Batagol who had held the position since 2009. Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said that Auty’s expertise, leadership, insights and skills would ensure strong leadership and governance of the EPA during a period of transition and major reform. During her tenure, Auty’s mission is to support the Government’s transition to a stronger, modern EPA following a recent audit which revealed significant weaknesses within the organisation. “The EPA is working hard on the

TOBY KENT has joined the board of The Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia). He was chair of the Future Business Council (FBC), which transferred its intellectual property to BCSD Australia and closed in May. BCSD Australia chair Dr John Hewson said Kent brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and drive to the role. Hewson explained that over the past five years, Kent has helped Melbourne prepare for crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and bushfires. In 2014, Melbourne was among the first cities in the world to receive funding from the esteemed Rockefeller Foundation to employ a chief resilience officer. During Kent’s tenure, the network of Resilient Cities has grown to 100. Hewson also thanked two outgoing directors for their “significant contributions” farewelling AGL Energy sustainability senior manager


Auty’s mission is to help build a stronger, modern EPA.

implementation of the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018, which will come into effect in 2021 and the authority also has a major role to play in the delivery of the Government’s overhaul of waste and recycling,” D’Ambrosio said. She added that “the EPA will also work closely with industry and businesses so they can operate in a way that’s safe for the community and environment.” iw


During Kent’s tenure, the network of Resilient Cities has grown to 100.

Cathlin Thurbon and Kate Auty who had recently been appointed chair of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA). iw

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Profile | Tim Dawson PV Industries What was your first role/job involving waste resource recovery? Launching PV Industries in 2018, is my first role in waste and resource recovery, helping the company implement a recycling process for solar panel modules and other waste. I’ve always been a big believer in the sustainable concept, “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”, so we are implementing a process that reduces landfill, supports local manufacturing and leaves a positive net benefit on society. How did you come to setup PV Industries? My close friend and now business partner, James Petesic, came up with the initial idea, goals and concept for PV Industries. In a previous role, he worked closely with local government and saw the need for a solution to this emerging waste stream. James asked me to help out with market research and economic modelling, then a year later we moved to focus full-time on solving the solar panel waste problem and growing the business to where it is today. What’s the favourite part of your role? The favourite part my role as co-founder at PV Industries, is interacting with customers to help develop useful solutions that meet their needs. I also enjoy navigating the challenges that come from growing a business and developing a process for a new waste stream. Every day is different, and it is exciting as we help our customers achieve their goals through recycling solar panels. What are the achievements that you are most proud? I am definitely proud of how far PV Industries has come in such a short period of time and the impact it has had on the solar and waste industries. We’ve received lots of positive support from all levels of government and the solar industry.



Vic manufacturer first to produce reusable face masks following rise in COVID medical waste AS COVID medical waste emerges as a growing issue, a Victorian manufacturer has risen to the challenge of making personal protective equipment (PPE), which until now was only available from overseas. Micro Plastics in Dandenong South recognised the need for a locally produced reusable face mask in response to the COVID-19 crisis. After undertaking extensive R&D, retooling and experiencing a materials shortage earlier this year, it has secured the coveted P1 and P2 respirator rating. Micro Plastics managing director Russell Lacey said the company was proud to be the only producer of reusable face masks in Australia with P1 and P2 certification. “We’re in negotiations with some major distributors who want to highlight Australian made products. Currently we’re gearing up to produce 10,000 units per week,” he said. Sold by Australian family-owned business MP Aussie Products, the masks

filter at least 94 per cent of airborne particles, including biologically active airborne viruses and bacteria. The announcement comes at a time when there has never been more community and media focus on Australian products. Micro Plastics is a member of the South-East Manufacturers Alliance, a peak industry group that represents manufacturers in Melbourne’s south-east region. SEMMA CEO, Vonda Fenwick said it was encouraging to see local suppliers involved in the supply chain. “Australian local manufacturers are exactly that, local,” she said. “They use local suppliers and create local jobs. “If you look at any economically successful country in the world, you’re looking at a country that’s got a healthy, robust, industrialised sector, you’ve got a country that’s manufacturing.”

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Profile | InSitu Advisory







2. What are the key services that InSitu Advisory offers? We provide a broad range of services to the waste and resource management industry including EIS preparation, due diligence, strategic site selection, master planning, detailed design services, resource recovery options, expert witness, peer review, construction quality assurance supervision, project management and operational support. Our experienced, qualified and licenced valuers provide valuations of both waste and resource management assets and businesses (landfills, waste transfer, materials recovery facilities) for a variety of purposes such as debt funding, project feasibility, financial reporting, sales and acquisitions, litigation and taxation purposes. The company also undertakes transactional, environmental and regulatory due diligence across a broad range of operations and facilities.


1. When was the company founded and why? The company was established in 2016 by its two founding directors who previously led technical disciplines within an established global environmental consulting firm. The directors saw the need to focus more on client expectations around project delivery, resulting in timely and successful outcomes for the client, rather than being fee driven, which can often be the key driver for larger consultancy firms. This approach has further strengthened InSitu Advisory’s relationship with clients, resulting in increased project workflow and opportunities.

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InSitu Advisory is a corporate advisory consultancy specialising in waste management, resource recovery, valuation, geological assessments and due diligence, providing services to the waste and resource management, quarrying and mining industries. The company consults to the public sector, private sector, legal, financial and governmental clients Australia-wide.

Coles and REDcycle diverts more the one billion plastics to landfill

The program collects an average of 121 tonnes – or 30 million pieces of soft plastic every month.

COLES SUPERMARKETS and sustainability partner REDcycle have diverted more than one billion pieces of soft plastics from landfill. This includes plastic bags and soft plastic packaging such as biscuit packets, lolly bags, frozen food bags and bread, rice and pasta bags which cannot be recycled through most kerbside recycling services. The program presently collects an average of 121 tonnes – or 30 million pieces of plastic every month. In 2018, Coles became the first national supermarket retailer to

have REDcycle bins in every store for customers to donate soft plastics, which are transformed by manufacturers such as Replas into a range of recycled products including outdoor furniture for community groups. To support its recycling initiatives, REDcycle received a $430,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to increase the amount of soft plastic it collects for recycling. The funds, which it received this year, allowed the company to purchase new processing technology and three new collection vehicles. Coles’ soft plastics collected by REDcycle are also recycled into an asphalt additive for roads by Melbourne manufacturer Close the Loop and into garden edging by Albury business Plastic Forests. Meanwhile, this month, Coles supported another recycling solution for soft plastics by providing a $300,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to Plastic Forests to manufacture steel-reinforced plastic posts which can be used for fencing by farmers including those affected by bushfires.

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NSW planning reforms arrive LONG-AWAITED planning reforms for New South Wales will result in reduced planning assessment times, less red tape, and user-friendly e-planning tools to help turbo-charge the economic recovery according to Premier Gladys Berejiklian. She revealed the $83 million NSW Planning Reform Action Plan at Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) late last week. Berejiklian said the plan would build on momentum created by the NSW Government’s efforts to use the planning system to keep people in jobs and keep the economy moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The planning system has proved an incredibly powerful tool in our fight against the economic impacts of the pandemic. This plan takes us into the next phase of reform, creating a system that is efficient, rigorous, supports our economy and our environment, is accessible online and is easy for anyone to use.” The changes will cut times as follows: • rezoning decisions cut by 191 days

(33 per cent time savings); • d ecisions on Development Applications (DAs) for larger, regionally significant projects cut by 91 days (25 per cent time savings); and • decisions on major projects of significance to the state cut by 20 days (17 per cent time savings). The government has also invested almost $10m to enhance its ePlanning platform and ensure all councils can get online to process DAs more quickly and transparently slash DA processing times by more than half. All councils would have adopted the online system by 1 July 2021. NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the Planning Reform Action Plan builds on the momentum underway to create a more timely, certain and transparent planning system. “In the past 10 weeks alone, we’ve approved projects worth more than $1 billion a week, unlocking the potential to create more than 30,000 jobs, 2,000,000 sqm of open space

and more than 8,000 new homes,” Stokes said. “This plan will cut unnecessary duplication of processes and boost resources in our assessment team, so that we can keep as many people in jobs and keep our state moving both now and, in the months, and years ahead. “NSW Government agencies are also on notice as part of this plan both to reduce the number of unnecessary concurrences and referrals cases, and reduce those that are outside statutory timeframes, with support from the newly established Planning Delivery Unit that is unblocking projects that are stuck in the system,” he added. The NSW Planning Reform Action Plan also includes: • implementing the next phase of the ePlanning Program to make it easier to interact with the planning system; • a reduction in applications requiring agency concurrences and referrals, and new benchmark timeframes on key assessment and

Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed the $83 million NSW Planning Reform Action Plan at Committee for Economic Development Australia in July.

planning functions; • c omplying development reforms to support emerging industries and fast track government projects; and • boost the role and resourcing of the Land and Environment Court by establishing a new class of appeals for rezonings to help unblock the planning system and appoint an additional two commissioners to enable more cases to be heard each year. iw

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Victorian government gets serious about female leadership The It’s Our Time campaign aims to inspire women to get involved in local government and nominate for election.

A DRIVE by the Victorian Government to inspire a new generation of women on councils has been backed by social impact marketing firm Ellis Jones with a $50,000 grant to encourage and support more women to stand for election. Expected to launch in mid-August, the It’s Our Time campaign aims to inspire women to get involved in local government and nominate for election. The push will include the provision of online resources including webinars. It’s Our Time will draw on the

experience and expertise of a range of partners including LGPro (Local Government Professionals), the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, the Victorian Local Governance Association, the YWCA and the Ethnic Communities Council. Following the news of the campaign, Victorian Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group tweeted: “The leadership, expertise and insight of the women we work closely with in councils is critical to delivering a more

sustainable and liveable Victoria with less waste and more resource recovery.” A century on from the election of the state’s first woman councillor, Mary Rogers, Victoria now boasts the highest number of female mayors in history with 32 in place across the state. However, 13 of Victoria’s 79 councils have just one female councillor while overall, women account for just 38 per cent of elected representatives. The new grant brings the Victorian Government’s investment in promoting pathways for a more diverse range of candidates standing for local government in 2020 to $137,000. This has included backing the Victorian Local Governance Association’s Your Community, Country and Council campaign to Aboriginal communities. Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane has also announced the launch of a new Gender Equality Advisory Panel which will focus on achieving the 50 per cent representation target set by Victoria’s gender equality strategy Safe and Strong and delivering the reforms of the state’s new Gender Equality Act 2020.

“Gender equality makes communities, councils and Victoria stronger. That’s why we’re making support available to encourage women to run for council and support safe campaigning. The new Gender Equality Advisory Panel will be full of experience and know-how. It’s an important step towards achieving gender equity in councils by 2025 and one that will inspire a new generation of councillors,” Leane said. The panel will include members from across the sector including LGPro and councillor representatives. The Local Government Act 2020 also promotes gender diversity with stronger action on sexual harassment and rules for councils to measure gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness in their workforce plans. Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams added, “Victoria is leading the country when it comes to improving gender equality. We want people of all genders to enjoy equal rights, opportunities, responsibilities and outcomes – and programs like this help us make it happen.” iw

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Study says policy makers need to make proper disposal of compostable cups easier The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a surge in throwaway cup use.

PEOPLE ARE more likely to use re-usable coffee cups if they see others doing it, or if cafe owners charge extra for throwaway coffee cups, new research has found. A study badged Coffee On The Run: Cultural and Institutional Factors in Waste Behaviours, by a group of Australian academics, has found people would be more likely to properly dispose of compostable cups if councils provided dedicated organic waste bins. Alternatively, councils could provide facilities allowing people to rinse compostable cups before putting them

in a recycling bin. The need to find ways to encourage Australians to quit throwaway coffee cups has never been more urgent. The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly driven a surge in throwaway cup use as many cafes refused reusable cups at the height of the pandemic. In places where reusable cups are allowed, however, coffee drinkers, cafe owners and local governments can use insights from behavioural science to discourage use of throwaway cups. The study interviewed consumers, café owners and policy makers in South Australia, and observed customer behaviour in cafes for around 50 hours. One finding became very clear: people mimic each other. Customers consistently told researchers that watching their colleagues bring in their reusable coffee cups (such as a KeepCup) made them change their habits. One coffee drinker told said, “It appears that, as more consumers start using reusable coffee cups, the practice becomes ever more socially acceptable.”

According to a customer, “At first, I would not walk across the road from work holding a cup coming here [to the cafe]. I’d just feel scabby. Because I would have been the minority. It probably was a bit less socially acceptable, but it’s probably more socially acceptable now because when I’m there I do see people walk in with their cups.” Although many cafe owners offer discounts to customers who bring in their own reusable cups, the findings reveal these are ineffective in changing consumer behaviour. A cafe owner told researchers described how she didn’t think saving money motivated her customers, despite providing a 20c discount for reusable cups. “The regulars were people who’d happily drop in a dollar tip into the jar kept on the counter. They were therefore not that concerned about 20c discount,” she said. Behavioural psychological literature reports that consumers are more likely


to be what’s called ‘loss averse’ as opposed to ‘gain seekers’. In other words, people hate paying extra for takeaway coffee cups more than they like getting a discount for bringing their reusable cups. Customers often feel uncertain about how and where to dispose them. A council officer told researchers, “In the case of compostable cups, it is not solely a matter of ensuring that the cups end up in any bin, they must end up in the correct bin […] in order for compostable cups to be recycled, they must be placed in a bin dedicated to organic waste or, alternatively, rinsed and placed in a recycling bin.” However, most cities don’t have enough organic bins or facilities to allow people to rinse compostable cups before putting them in recycling bins. Councils and city governments can address this by introducing organic waste bins as a part of the street waste infrastructure to reduce the number of compostable cups ending up in landfill. iw





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ACT MRF gets massive upgrade from RMF State governments were stepping up to take responsibility for waste and its impact on the environment

THE MOMENTUM of investment into the WARR industry continues to grow with a partnership between the Federal and ACT Governments to provide $21 million from the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) to the ACT MRF. The project will improve separation and process recycling streams such as paper, glass and plastic. Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley and ACT Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel said the partnership will create a higher quality recycled product that adds value and reduces the amount of waste ending up

in landfill. The upgraded facility will have the capacity to improve the quality and marketability of 23,000 tonnes of paper and mixed cardboard, 1,800 tonnes of mixed plastics and 14,000 tonnes of glass from the ACT and five regional NSW councils annually. The upgrades to the facility will include: 1. optical scanning equipment to identify and separate different types of plastics; 2. better screening technology to reduce contamination in paper and

cardboard recycling; 3. glass washing facilities to provide better quality crushed glass “sand” products that can be used in a wider range of products; and 4. plastic washing and “flaking” facilities – the flaking process breaks the washed plastic into small pieces, providing a clean product ready for local markets. Work is expected to begin later this year with the upgrades conducted in stages and completion largely achieved in 2021–22. “Today’s announcement will also

see the creation of around 100 direct and indirect jobs for the ACT and surrounding regions, which will deliver an economic lifeline to local economies,” Ley said. Steel added that governments were stepping up to take responsibility for waste and its impact on the environment, with investment in the latest technology to generate cleaner recycling in the ACT and the Canberra Region. “When Canberrans put material in their yellow bin they should trust that is sorted and processed locally so that It has as much value as possible for reuse and remanufacturing,” he said “These upgrades to our MRF will deliver better separation of recycling streams such as paper, glass and plastic, reducing contamination rates and providing better quality recycled material.” “This is the local waste processing infrastructure that our region needs to be ready for the waste export ban, and so that we can effectively eliminate mixed plastics as a waste stream in the ACT.” iw




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Overwhelming support from Queenslanders to ban single use plastic QUEENSLAND has followed South Australia in putting a proposal before parliament to ban singleuse plastic items. The legislation would enable the ban to be extended to coffee cups, polystyrene cups, takeaway containers and heavyweight plastic bags after public consultation. It’s expected, if passed, the ban would commence July 1, 2021. However, it would include exemptions for people with disabilities or medical requirements to allow outlets such as pharmacies, and schools and care facilities to make plastic straws available to people who need them. The Queensland government surveyed the state in March and found that 94 per cent of households and business were behind banning single-use plastic straws, plates, cutlery and stirrers. Queensland environment minister, Leeanne Enoch, described the results as an overwhelming statement. “Communities want to find

Communities in Queensland want to find a positive solution to reducing plastic waste and protecting our environment.

a positive solution to reducing plastic waste and protecting our environment,” she said. Although there is momentum for the changes Enoch said the start

date was flexible, as businesses needed to source new products while they were also managing the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Other jurisdictions such as the ACT expected to introduce a similar bill this year while New South Wales and Western Australia have completed public consultation. iw





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Qld CRS review calls for deep changes to scheme A REVIEW of the Queensland Container Refund Scheme (CRS), now in its second year, has examined critical aspects of the performance of the CRS and its governance. CRS has a target return rate of 85 per cent by the year 2021/22. The review was conducted by the Total Environment Centre (TEC) which has conducted over 100 national and state environment protection programs. CRS is coordinated by a single body, Containers for Change (CoEX), which has been strongly criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability, in particular by the Qld Productivity Commission. Environment groups have also voiced concerns about the absence of any formal and public consultation about the capacity of the collection network and forward strategies. According to the review, the integrity of data about recycling and sales is central to the scheme’s credibility and it claims that the use of average weight-based verification is inherently inaccurate. The reviews’ authors states that NSW CRS has a far more rigorous and transparent approach. “It appears to us there is excessive

capacity for CoEX to massage data for public relations purposes and the incidence of fraud by collectors can exaggerate return rates,” it states. “The Qld CRS adopts the same definition of eligible containers as other Australian states (except South Australia). There is a case for joint action to expand the definition, in particular to include wine.” TEC also recently issued a report that found serious inadequacies in the network of SEQld refund points such as non-existent sites and an unacceptably high per person ratio to refund points, compared to NSW. It said that the CoEx Board is dominated by the beverage industry and CoEX nominees.

Influence by smaller beverage interests The review also stated that “…it is also of great concern that a smaller group of beverage interests took highly significant decisions about the network, prior to the full Board being established. “A primary focus on costs to the

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The Queensland Container Refund Scheme has been criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability.

sector can adversely influence the type and spread of refund points, negatively affecting convenience,” it said. Further, evidence from the NSW and Qld CRS Annual Reports show that the NSW scheme is cheaper per container returned. The review said that, while drink prices are influenced by a range of factors, the Qld CRS has been found to cause higher price impacts on alcoholic drinks than in NSW; and marginally lower prices for non-alcoholic. The review pointed to successful schemes in overseas jurisdictions that have a retail obligation to provide collection infrastructure. “This limits the potential to site inconvenient refund points. The current rate of container return to the new network is about 40 per cent (plus 14 per cent from kerbside), well below the amount required to meet the 85 per cent target,” it said. In summary, the review says that the CRS faces significant challenges and has made eight recommendations: 1. The Queensland Government requires CoEX to change its culture and procedures to meet public expectations on transparency and accountability. The government should insist upon greater transparency regarding the progress and performance of the CRS; and ensure release of key reports and data. 2. CoEX needs to achieve the same quality of data and reporting as in NSW and subject it to independent audit. 3. The state government should be considering an expansion to the scope of the CRS to include other beverage containers that could be collected by the CRS in the future. This should be done in collaboration with other jurisdictions and with input from industry and community stakeholders. The issue of recycled content could

also be explored. 4. With two CRS governance models emerging in Australia, other jurisdictions considering the design of their CRS need to seriously investigate the benefits and costs of separating the roles of Coordinator and Network Operator; and the single PRO model. 5. Environment groups have consistently called for more engagement by the retail sector in locating refund points and TEC recommends government devise ways this can occur. 6. The state government must require CoEX to publish its budget, strategies and plans for the coming year, and each subsequent year. CoEX as a not-for-profit business, should provide public reports and analysis about its strategies, procedures and performance. In addition, an annual strategy should be published explaining its investment strategies for the coming year to develop and implement its collection network in Queensland. Formal CRP operator consultations and with other stakeholders/public consultation should accompany this. 7. The government immediately review CoEX operations (including the performance of existing refund points) and future strategies and revise, where required, investment strategies that will ensure container return targets will be met. CoEX should publish identified milestone targets and updates on progress towards meeting its 85 per cent container return target by 2021/22. 8. The state government should instruct CoEX to establish formal links and regular consultations with established community environment and social groups about the expansion and maintenance of an effective refund and donation point network. iw

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WA revises waste position statements THE WESTERN Australian Waste Authority has considered and approved revised position statements on the Waste Hierarchy and Waste to Energy after they were first released in 2013. The statements include both thermal and non-thermal treatment. They build on the 2013 statements to align more closely with key concepts in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (the Waste Strategy 2030) such as circular economy and materials recovery.

Fresh creative concepts An update on the WasteSorted behaviour change campaign was noted by the Waste Authority and the Minister for Environment recently approved the creative concepts and approach for Statewide communications to support consistent messaging on waste avoidance, resource recovery and appropriate waste disposal behaviours. The creative concepts are now being refined following key stakeholder feedback. It is anticipated that the WasteSorted behaviour change campaign will commence in late 2020. The Authority also approved a proposal to align selected existing Waste Authority programs to this WasteSorted messaging. This follows a review of the branding and approach from the WasteSorted and Own Your Impact platforms. The Authority considered that a single brand is more resource efficient and will provide consistency in communications. Programs funded by the Waste Authority will transition to WasteSorted branding during 2020-21. In a statement, the Authority said that an update on the status of actions under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Action Plan 2030 for the fourth quarter 2019–20

The Census and RAWA reports will be provided to the WA Minister for Environment for noting prior to being published on the Authority website.

was considered. The majority of actions are on track, with some actions unavoidably delayed due to COVID-19 impacts shifting immediate priorities. The Waste Authority also noted the 2018-19 Census of Western Australian local government waste and recycling services (the Census) and the Recycling Activity in Western Australia 2018-19 (RAWA) consultant’s report. The reports provide data that is used to measure progress towards targets contained in the Waste Strategy 2030, inform waste policies and actions, and to meet the State’s reporting requirements to the Federal Government. The Census and RAWA reports will be provided to the Minister for Environment for noting prior to being published on the Authority website. It also received a summary of the outcomes from recent online workshops held during April to May 2020 to support the roll out of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection services. The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Waste Authority, with support from the FOGO Reference Group, delivered a series of online sessions to hear from various speakers about FOGO, and share experiences, challenges and success stories. The Authority said that the sessions were considered “highly valuable and will greatly assist the FOGO Reference Group in determining its process for working through key issues, with a focus on supporting the implementation of the FOGO rollout plan.”

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COAG update An update on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) waste export bans was noted, particularly the agreement by the Federal government to provide funding to Western Australia to support its focus to develop plastics and tyre processing capacity, and waste infrastructure in the regions of the State, with further details to be released. The Authority also received an update on emerging opportunities to use recycled materials in major transport infrastructure projects, and the role of the South West Sustainability Waste Alliance in the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) project. iw

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SUEZ and Yume forge strategic partnership to tackle food waste A PARTNERSHIP to tackle commercial food waste in Australia is kicking some major goals by selling high quality surplus food that might have otherwise gone to waste. Yume, the leading online marketplace for high-quality surplus food, teamed up with waste and recycling leader SUEZ, to offer food manufacturers an option to get a financial return on surplus products Yume founder Katy Barfield said they were seeing powerful results using their technology to offer an innovative market for surplus food. “Several multinational companies who are also SUEZ customers have now listed high quality surplus food on Yume and we are working with them to ensure those products find a new avenue to market and are consumed as intended. These companies join our network of over 500 food manufacturers, wholesalers and importers that list and sell quality stock through our online marketplace,” Barfield said. The partnership with SUEZ has resulted in the sale of 450,285 kilograms of surplus food which has


Yume’s partnership with SUEZ has resulted in the sale of 450,285 kilograms of surplus food.

returned almost $700,000 to these businesses and we are expecting this number to grow as the market adjusts to the coronavirus impact. These results add significantly to Yume’s growing impact. To date Yume has provided a new route to market for close to two million kgs of food returning over $6,000,000 to Australian businesses and farmers. “One of the companies, Patties Foods, joined the war on waste and listed a surplus consignment of caramel slices. Yume identified a new avenue to market their caramel slices and sold the


product to independent retailers and caterers all around Australia, getting them a great return. “Importantly, our work together is having a positive impact on the planet. The partnership has saved water and carbon dioxide equivalent to saving the water of 519,560 showers and taking 195 cars off the road for a year and this is just the beginning,” Barfield added. SUEZ Australia and New Zealand, chief customer officer Justin Frank said the company is committed to working with customers to ensure as much

waste as possible is recovered, recycled and treated. “The benefits of the partnership assist SUEZ’s customers in reducing waste and achieving greater sustainability. Our partnership with Yume aligns with SUEZ’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 12 – by promoting responsible production and consumption” he said. Barfield said that Yume is focused on delivering a commercial solution at the top of the food waste hierarchy – avoiding waste and reusing food wherever possible. “This is an innovative partnership in the fight against commercial food waste, we are looking to prevent 4.1 million tonnes of surplus food from going to waste in Australia every year. “In 2016-17, a massive 55 per cent of food waste was associated with primary production, manufacturing and wholesale sectors. “This food, produced by Australian farmers and manufacturers, is wasted even before it reaches supermarkets, restaurants or homes,” she said. iw

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Fromthe theCEO’s CEO’sdesk desk From WHAT’S NEW IN WARR? Well, since the last CEO report, money - and quite a lot of it! July has been a time Environment will meet for Australian the second of significant Ministers financial support from the time this yeartheonlike 7 of December, government, which has following never been the seenfirst 2018 Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) in from the federal government. April, which was in part a response to the import The sustained enthusiasm and commitment to our restrictions drivenrecovery by China’s waste and resource industryNational means thatSword Policy and the effects this policy has feels had as across for the first time in a long time, it finally the Australian waste and resource recovery (WARR) if we are moving onto a path towards creating a industry. Key decisions derived from the April MEM more resourceful Australia. include: WMRR absolutely welcomes the rapid succession of funding pledges announced, from the $190 million generation, endorsing Recycling Modernisation Fund• Reducing targeted at waste COAG waste export ban materials, atotarget the of 100% of Australian packaging being $20 million Product Stewardship Investment Fund, $24.5 million on data,recyclable, and $35 compostable or reusable by 2025, and developing million for the National Waste Action Plan targets. targets for recycled content in packaging. As we move through (I wish I could say “out” of) COVID-19, this funding will • Increasing domestic recycling capacity. prove vitalAustralia’s in providing confidence to industry to invest in infrastructure for the • Increasing the demand for recycled products. materials that will be subject to the COAG export bans commencing in 2021. There • Exploring opportunities andindustry waste-to-biofuels. is no doubt that the roadtotoadvance recovery waste-to-energy for Australia and our does include • Updating 2009onshore Wastemanufacturing, Strategy by year which will shifting tothe greater whichend, will (ideally) comeinclude in large circular part economy principles. from the secondary materials that we as an essential industry provide. These announcements are terrific and welcome; however, funding alone will not get It isus time to take stock and examine what has been achieved these decisions “there”. Where is “there” I hear you wonder? I wonder that since too sometimes. Despite were announced. Now, seven (7) months may not seem like a long time, however all of the recent talk from governments at all levels of creating a circular economy, I in that havevision seen for further marketsorclose Vietnam) and can’ttime findwe a clear our country, what(Malaysia, that meansIndonesia, for our essential industry if you are anincluding operatorthe under continued seven to (7)actually monthsknow could or others, community, whichfinancial makes itstress, very difficult make orto break what do toyou. get there - where is the roadmap? I tend to lean towards the definition of a circular economy espoused by the Ellen Following April MEM, weishave hadis three states step in with varying Macarthurthe Foundation, which one that based (3) on the principles of designing degrees of financial assistance for industry (councils and operators). This should out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating be expected considering almost all states (except Queensland and Tasmania) have natural systems. For this to become a reality, it means we need to look at how we access to significant waste levy income each year. On the eastern seaboard, Victoria design the things we make (waste and pollution are a direct consequence of what haswe approximately million wasteWelevy reserves in things the Sustainability Fund design and the$600 materials we in select). need to design that we can use andand NSW raises more than $700 million per annum from the waste levy. There re-use, repair, and remanufacture, and if we can no longer do these, we need is certainly no lack of the funds that can reinvested into ourfood essential industry. to be able to get material backbeinto circulation (like into compost) rather than simply disposing. Funding helps as we the money goes much longer way with We need an but economy (andknow, a mindset) that is not builta on extracting primary Government support and leadership, as well as appropriate policy levers. materials but rather, one that recognises the value of these materials and the benefits that secondary materials create when circulating to both the economy VICTORIA (creating jobs) and the environment (e.g. carbon mitigation). Victoria arguably the most active and of earnest in supporting the industry Whyhas then, despitebeen the ongoing championing the need to create a circular post-China, with two (2) relief packages announced to support the recycling economy, do we still only seem to talk about – also evident in the legislation industry, at awithin total of $37 million. Theyour Victorian gone industryvalued operates – waste? Just cast eye to Government terms such as has “endalso of waste above andand beyond all othersmaterials”; states by announcing it would take a leadership codes” “waste-derived it’s all about waste management. Waste is role in creating market for recycled products. something that isdemand “eliminated or discarded as no longer useful or required after the completion of a process” - it is not something upon which one builds an economy! SOUTH So,AUSTRALIA what do we need to do? We need to rapidly shift the paradigm and language. Government announced a $12.4 million support package comprising $2 million of additional expenditure, $5 million additional funding for a loan scheme, together with targeted funding from the Green Industries SA budget. The Government has also offered grants for recycling infrastructure.

There is no doubt that we are facing one of the most challenging periods of Australian history and what we have seen is some of the greatest cooperation industrylevels however the Queensland Government embarked on the between of government. We need to take thishas cooperation (which is development not the of a waste strategy underpinned by a to waste disposal to increase same as onemanagement level of government telling the other what do) and move levy forward recycling and recovery and create new jobs. The State will re-introduce together on key tasks, ideally using the funding committed to the National Action a $70/ tonne landfill levy in March to 2019. There are also strong attempts to use policy Plan by the federal government creating a circular economy. levers (levy discounts and exemptions) to incentivise thefirst useport of recycled Where do we start? Let’s stop talking “waste”! Perhaps the of call is material the and make it cost competitive with virgin material. However, little has beenbedone to proposed 2020 COAG export and Product Stewardship legislation, which should establish new markets and Government has(and not products) taken theto lead in the procurement about the responsible management of material ensure they do not of recycled material. There are grants available for resource recovery operations have adverse environmental impacts, and not about managing waste. The language in Queensland although have been to assist in 2018. needs to change at all levelsno in monies order to recognise theallocated value of these materials andThis is troubling as Queensland rolled Container Refund Scheme on 1 November, gain the behaviour change we bothout wantitsand need in Australia. which will impact cost of regulatory the State’ssystem MRFs – as we Beyond thelikely language, wethe must alsoand fix revenue Australia’smodels disparate have seen most recently in NSW. that struggles with moving materials through the supply chain. We need to develop a consistent national approach (supported by a national regulatory framework) that WESTERN AUSTRALIA ensures resources can move through the supply chain and continue to be re-used, The Western Australian Government set up a Waste in direct response to repaired, and ultimately re-manufactured. Perhaps we allTaskforce need to look to what the China National Sword. As part of this announcement, the State Government Victoria is proposing with its General Environmental Duties, which attempt to better urged all councils to as begin the moves utilisation of athe three (3)-bin system - red for manage thatlocal change of state material through chain. general waste, and green for organic waste - over the coming Australia’s Actsyellow are notfor (atrecyclables least they should not be) about managing discarded years to reduce contamination. While this taskforce is a step in the right direction, products and materials; rather, they should be about the design of materials and how we are yet to see any tangible results from it or any funding for industry. In they are managed through their lifecycle, and the bans are about how materials October, that thebe WAused Waste Authoritymanufacturing released its draft Waste Strategy 2030,Acts which comprises can in secondary are managed. As such,tothese should a comprehensive and detailed roadmap towards the State’s shared allow Australia to recognise the way forward for managing materials positively, vision of becoming a sustainable, placing the responsibility onlow-waste, generators circular to designeconomy. and manage these materials and products in a way that makes them easy to be circulated. COMMONWEALTH We need to rapidly move the focus away from “waste” and instead on resources Following the MEM in April, Australia now has a new Federal Environment and supply chain management; we are already far behind in the world’s quest toMinister, Melissa Price, who in October reiterated to media MEM’s commitment to explore drive a circular economy and unless a paradigm shift occurs, we will only be driven waste to energy as part of the solution to the impacts of China’s National Sword, further from our international counterparts. It is time to take bold and urgent action which is troubling (EfW is not a solution to recycling). The Commonwealth as we all know that business as usual is not going to get us there. We need a certain has alsoquick backed Australian and endorsed National Packaging and shiftthe of mindset andRecycling we need itLabel now, in order to investthe and get secondary Targets developed by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), infrastructure moving quickly (fast-tracked even). which has to date, failed to incorporate industry feedback in the development Let’s finally get a standard national language for our industry that moves away of these To the Commonwealth’s there has been significant from waste, targets. with a certain national framework thatcredit, drives and supports circularity coordination reviewing thewe National withand thecall Department of and emphasises in design. And while are at it,Waste let’s bePolicy, really bold out Environment bringing together industry players and States during the review the role of the generator (as that is where the pollution and environmental impact process.bring them to the table, and have real financial responsibilities placed at begins), this point in the supply chain to manage materials, including the costs of circulating The when updated will nowdisposal). go before Environment Ministers onbe7 December. (and thatPolicy can’t happen, What a step change it would to finally The Commonwealth can play a key role – one that goes beyond the development have a Product Stewardship Act in Australia that is about producer responsibility. of the National Waste Policy. supportive of the Federal A key takeaway of the WMAA recentlyisreleased Breaking the PlasticGovernment Wave Report ismaximising that theurgently levers itneed has,toincluding taxation importation powers, to increasing maintain aour strong, we rethink what is putand on the market, while rapidly sustainable andcirculating; resource recovery industry. ability to keepwaste materials we cannot recycle our way out of this alone - we need to raise the level of ambition and match it with urgent action. In the AHEAD OFofMEM wise words Dame2Ellen, it’s time to eliminate, circulate and innovate! There may be movement across Australia, Gayle Sloan, chief executive officer, WMRR with some states doing better than others, but the consensus is, progress is still taking way too long. It is evident that there are funds available in almost all States to assist with developing secondary manufacturing infrastructure, however the only way that this will really happen is if there is government leadership around mandating recycled content in Australia now, not later.

NEW SOUTH WALES At first glance, New South Wales’ eye-watering $47 million recycling support Voluntary schemes like the Used Packaging NEPM, under which APCO is auspiced, package was heralded as the spark of hope industry needed. However, on closer are not working. We have 1.6million tonnes of packaging waste in Australia, which inspection, the bulk of this package that was funded via the Waste Less, Recycle needs to be used as an input back into packaging. Barriers to using recycled content More initiative and therefore the waste levy, was not new, making it very difficult in civil infrastructure must be identified and removed, and Government must lead for stakeholders, including local government, to utilise the funds as they were in this field and prefer and purchase recycled material. A tax on virgin material already committed to other activities. Some of the criteria proposed by the NSW should also be imposed as it is overseas. MEM must show strong leadership on this EPA also made it challenging for industry to apply to these grants. On the plus issue. Ministers have, since April, dealt directly with operators and councils that side, efforts are being made by the NSW Government to stimulate demand for are under stress and we have a chance to create jobs and investment in Australia recycled content through the intergovernmental agency working groups that at a time when manufacturing is declining. Ministers have the opportunity to be have been established, though no tangible increase in demand or facilities have leaders of today, not procrastinators – leaders of tomorrow and we are urging developed… Yet. them to act and not just talk in December. WMRR.ASN.AU

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Gayle Sloan Chief Executive Officer AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020 INSIDEWASTE


Cover Story //

The investment in the transformation of the waste industry needs to be strategic, according to Shadow Minister for the Environment Josh Wilson.

Once-in-a-generation revamp of Australia’s recycling system By Claire Moffat (Continued from page 1) UNTIL RECENTLY, all the Prime Minister was willing to offer was repackaged funding that was already available in the form of loans through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. And only last month we learned that not one cent from this fund had yet been allocated,” he added. Wilson believes that the transformation of the waste industry through this investment needs to be strategic, on a large scale and consider the small regions and states such as the ACT and Tasmania that don’t have the muscle to match their larger counterparts. “The government also needs to ensure that the procurement policy 20

announced in March is quickly enacted,” he said. “The WARR industry is right to be asking for timelines as soon as possible,” he said.

Packaging remains a sore point While congratulating the government on moving forward on its COAG commitments, WMRR CEO, Gayle Sloan was adamant that the government needed to go beyond its parameters and make packaging extended producer responsibility (EPR) mandatory. She said it was critical that several other elements be driven now, and “driven at high throttle too”. “All of these actions continue to encourage at best, a closed loop system. If we are serious about


transitioning Australia to a circular economy, then emphasis must be given to the design of products in the first instance… yet, to-date, no consideration has been given to mandatory EPR schemes,” she said.

Call for packaging to be mandated Sloan highlighted that genuine product stewardship legislation that makes producers responsible for managing what they bring to market is urgently required. “We should not be allowing packaging, for example, to be downcycled when we have viable packaging remanufacturing operations in Australia. We need government to require producers to use this Australian material and not import from overseas – now is

the time to be creating Australian jobs and this is a path towards that. Packaging is the one significant area primed for mandatory EPR,” she said. In order to bring about these critical changes, Sloan added that it would be vital for government to take a flexible and robust approach towards co-investment, one that is focused on long-term outcomes and end goals.

Demand needs to be ignited Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) CEO Peter Shmigel agreed with Sloan that there is still much work to be done, although he described the RMF as “bonza”. He pointed to the need to develop strong demand for recycled products. “The next key step for the transformation of Australian recycling

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states and territories. As a result, it will produce more than 10,000 jobs and divert more than 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill to the creation of “useful products”. But this will only be realised if the states are deeply committed to change, particularly NSW, which has historically lagged behind. The most prevalent comment that Inside Waste heard when researching this subject was, “NSW which has the highest levies but puts very little back into the industry. How will that change now?”

Transforming the waste paradigm

and to meet Australians’ expectation that their efforts stack up is ‘buying recycled’ by governments, corporations and the community. “More recycling factories only make sense when there is demand for their recycled content products, such as in roads and packaging,” Shmigel told Inside Waste. “Lighthouse projects using recycled content materials are needed so that the community can see the positive results of their on-going participation. With ambitious National Waste Policy targets only four years away, it’s time governments further put money – such as from $1.5 billion collected from the community in landfill levies - where their mouths are in that respect too.”

Jobs Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that the RMF will achieve its purpose by supporting innovative investment in new infrastructure to sort, process and remanufacture materials such as mixed plastic, paper, tyres and glass. The funding is reliant on co-funding from industry,

This move has been long-awaited by the WARR industry and, as Ley has previously told Inside Waste, is part of a national strategy to change the way Australia looks at waste, grows the economy, protects the environment and reaches a national resource recovery target of 80 per cent by 2030. “As we cease shipping our waste overseas, the waste and recycling transformation will reshape our domestic waste industry, driving job creation and putting valuable materials back into the economy,” Ley said. “Australians need to have faith that the items they place in their kerbside recycling bins will be re-used in roads, carpet, building materials and a range of other essential items. “At the same time, we need to stop throwing away tonnes of electronic waste and batteries each year and develop new ways to recycle valuable resources. As we pursue National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, we need manufacturers and industry to take a genuine stewardship role that helps create a sustainable circular economy. This is a once in a generation opportunity to remodel waste management, reduce pressure on our environment and create economic opportunity,” she said. WMRR president Garth Lamb told Inside Waste that he was aware that a significant contribution was on the way, following comments assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management Trevor Evans recently made to the WMRR board. “It’s fantastic to see the Australian government re-engaging with our sector, providing a level of coordination and new funding to drive the additional investment we know is urgently needed to protect and maintain the viability of existing recycling operations. It also creates new jobs and unlocks

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more opportunities within the domestic economy. “With some serious new commonwealth money on the table, hopefully the jurisdictional governments are able to rapidly identify their priority projects and allow the private sector to quickly get on with the job of delivering new infrastructure and systems,” Lamb said.

Collaborative approach Shmigel explained that ACOR had provided ideas and costings to the government to collaboratively develop its approach. “The RMF is a massive milestone for recycling, the environmental and jobs benefits of recycling will be turbo-charged by these commitments. This bonza and unprecedented investment will transform Australian recycling and help make it domestically sustainable. RMF builds on our industry’s own innovation and investment in making more recycled content products and generating hi-vis regional jobs right here in Australia,” Shmigel said. “Full marks to ministers, especially commonwealth ministers, in going where recycling policy has not gone before: real recognition of recycling’s benefits, real coordination, real money, and now real results.”

Advancing to world class The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) CEO Rose Read said, “With the Commonwealth putting $190 million on the table for states and our industry to match, together we can rapidly scale up Australia’s paper, plastic, glass and tyre recycling capacity to become world class”. “This will mean Australia converts more waste into higher valued resources ready for reuse locally by manufacturers and brands in their packaging and products; the construction sector in their roads and other essential infrastructure or for export as higher value “input ready” commodities. “It will also mean more jobs, less waste to landfill and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. As an industry we are proud to not only provide an essential service to all households and businesses but to help rebuild Australia’s economy as we recover from COVID. The legacy of this investment will also serve future generations,” she said.

Commitment to new markets However, Read believes that the commonwealth’s commitment to

develop new domestic markets for recycled materials is critical. This will be achieved by setting national standards for recycled content in roads and making recycled products a focus of procurement for infrastructure, defence estate management and general government purchasing. “We must have strong local demand for recycled materials, to maximise the potential return on investment of this recycling infrastructure (economically, socially and environmentally),” Read said.

Support for targeted investment The Australian Packaging Covenant CEO (APCO) Brooke Donnelly described the RMF as a positive step towards building a stronger onshore recycling industry here in Australia. “Moving to a circular economic model offers powerful opportunities, both economic and environmental, and it’s an approach that APCO and our membership community are actively working to develop within the packaging supply chain. “We support any targeted investment that aligns with this approach. It was also positive to see announcements from APCO members Pact Group, Coca-Cola Amatil, Cleanaway and Asahi Beverages highlighted as examples of industry action and leadership in the space,” she said.

Where will the jobs be created? In NSW the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association (WCRA) executive director Tony Khoury said that WCRA is anticipating the specific details on where the 10,000 new recycling jobs will be created, along with the annual diversion of 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill. “There will need to be a commitment by all levels of government to the on-going procurement of recycled products. It’s also important to note that our state governments, who collect many millions of dollars in waste levies also have a role to play in investing in our waste and recycling capacity,” he said. However, within a country badly shaken by an ongoing pandemic and an economic downturn rapidly manifesting into a depression, there is much work to be done to manifest the excitement around the RMF into the bricks and mortar facilities essential to meet the approaching timelines for both the glass and paper bans. iw



Product Stewardship //

Product Stewardship reform rebuilds frameworks for greater accountability and sustainability By Claire Moffat (Continued from page 1) THE GOVERNMENT’S response to the Review is expected to have far-ranging implications for how businesses think about accountability for waste, recycling and packaging, according to global law firm Baker Mackenzie. In a recent report on the Review, Baker Mackenzie identified these key takeaways: • amend the Act to shift its approach to product stewardship from specific classes of products to a broader range of materials common across classes of products; • increase the Minister’s involvement in supporting successful industryled voluntary schemes accredited under the Act and strengthening of the Minister’s Product List process to address free-rider issues; and • assess the feasibility of expanding the scope of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) to cover other categories of electronic and electrical products, and exploring options to cover the whole product lifecycle. In its essence, Product Stewardship involves increasing producers’ responsibility for waste that results from their products by requiring them to take over end of life management of their products or provide financial assistance for waste management schemes related to those products.

operations in Australia. We need government to require producers to use this Australian material and not import from overseas - now is the time to be creating Australian jobs and this is a path towards that. “Packaging is the one significant area primed for mandatory EPR and it is no secret that the Australian Packaging Covenant has failed. It is time for generational change – we must recognise the value of the materials that we are extracting

and the fact that the design of packaging to enable continued reuse of these materials is a job multiplier,” she said.

Circular economy Baker MacKenzie has noted that many developed countries have systems in place for product stewardship, often focusing on key areas such as packaging, electronic and electric waste, paints, batteries and lighting. Increasingly, the global focus is

shifting to single-use plastics, with many countries introducing bans on products such as plastic bags and food packaging. The European Commission has included a Circular Economy plan (EU Plan) in its European Green Deal, which includes both legislative and non-legislative measures designed to ensure resources are kept in the European Union economy for as long as possible. The EU Plan aims to address stewardship across the whole

Viable packaging remanufacturing operations According to Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan, if Australia is serious about transitioning to a circular economy, then emphasis must be given to the design of products in the first instance. “We should not be allowing packaging, for example, to be downcycled when we have viable packaging remanufacturing 22

Product Stewardship involves increasing producers’ responsibility for waste that results from their products by requiring them to take over end-of-life management of their products or provide financial assistance for waste management schemes related to those products.


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// Product Stewardship

economy and product life-cycle. The key value chains the EU has identified are: electronics and ICT, vehicles and batteries, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and building and biological resources. Overall, according to Baker Mackenzie, the actions in the EU Plan involve more intervention in the market than the recommendations of the Australian Review, such as introducing right to repair and software updates, requiring universal mobile phone chargers, and considerable intervention in the market for secondary raw materials.

reporting which builds upon the existing reporting framework for hazardous waste, to be available by the end of 2020. DAWE will also review the annual scheme timeline and implement improvements to help industry meet their reporting requirements, including updates to the online platform.


Scheme to address free rider issues Many of the recommendations accepted by the Australian government involve continuing and building upon existing schemes or initiatives. The essential elements of the Act will be retained, including: • the use of product stewardship as policy tool for the transition to a circular economy; • flexible frameworks which allow for voluntary, co-regulatory and mandatory product stewardship; • support of voluntary schemes; and • the Minister’s Product List which is tabled in Parliament. Areas of new development include the possible implementation of co-regulatory approaches to address free-rider issues, amendments to the Act to enable the minister to have a greater role in voluntary industry-led schemes, and the development of a central clearinghouse.

Product design Product design is a key part of developing a circular economy and is recognised in the 2019 Policy as part of achieving waste reduction. The EU Plan similarly places an emphasis on improving product design to retain value and keep resources in the economy, and Ontario in Canada has also introduced design-forenvironment regulatory standards. Submissions to the Review called for more explicit inclusion of circular economy principles across the whole lifecycle of products and recommended extending the NTCRS to include the whole product lifecycle. In response to these issues, Baker Mackenzie advises that the objects and language of the Act will be amended to encourage the development of schemes addressing the whole product lifecycle. In its current form, the objects of the Act do not include improving product design for durability, reparability, re-usability and recyclability.

Areas of new development include the possible implementation of co-regulatory approaches to address free-rider issues.

“Packaging is the one significant area primed for mandatory EPR and it is no secret that the Australian Packaging Covenant has failed. It is time for generational change – we must recognise the value of the materials that we are extracting and the fact that the design of packaging to enable continued reuse of these materials is a job multiplier.” Credible threat of regulation Significantly, the Review raises the issue of free-riders under existing voluntary schemes (such as the Packaging Covenant), and has advised that to resolve this issue, voluntary industry action will need to be supported by a backstop of a credible threat of regulation. In its current form, the Minister’s Product List serves as a flagging device, and the Review observes that there is a perceived lack of action on listed products. In response, the government will reform the Minister’s Product List to increase pressure on industries to create an industry-led proposals by imposing, as a default response, regulatory schemes where industries fail to submit a proposal by a set deadline.

Electronic and electrical waste The nature of electronic and electrical waste has changed substantially since the NTCRS was designed, with increasing use of mobile devices and wearable technology. Therefore, the government will consult with industry and stakeholders throughout 2020-

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2021 to assess the options, costs and benefits of product stewardship for electrical and electronic equipment. Updating the NTCRS to include new forms of technology across the whole product lifecycle, including design, would bring Australia’s framework towards the standard set by the EU Plan. Enforcement of the existing NTCRS will be strengthened through the introduction of a compliance policy, in order to ensure an even playing field for co-regulatory arrangements and to prevent unethical practices. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has begun working on a compliance policy and framework, and it plans to engage with stakeholders on this policy during 2020-2021. Various other amendments to the NTCRS will be made, such as updates to calculations under the Product Stewardship (televisions and computers) Regulations 2011. Baker Mackenzie has also noted that, in order to clarify material recovery tracking and downstream recycling reporting requirements, the DAWE will develop a national standard for waste data and

The Review has recommended introducing an industry-led central clearinghouse similar to those used in Europe, Asia and North America to deliver product stewardship. Clearinghouses are often more effectively able to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to oversee product stewardship schemes than government agencies. The clearinghouse can provide coordination and marketing functions, and is particularly useful where schemes involve exchanges of money between point of sale and recovery such as container deposit schemes. Baker Mackenzie suggests that if a clearinghouse was to be introduced under the Act, it could have a role that includes administration of voluntary and regulatory schemes, ensuring sustainability of scheme pricing models, developing multiproduct and multi-material logistics capability, driving best practice and innovation, and accrediting voluntary schemes. The government will assess the merit of creating a clearinghouse through consultation with industry and co-regulatory schemes in 2020-2021. The Review also recommends introducing a clearinghouse as a means of improving the outcomes, administration and compliance of the NTCRS. Although the government supports this recommendation, its response does not confirm if a NTCRS clearinghouse will be considered. Instead, the government will aim to reduce the administrative burden on participants and will implement a new compliance policy.

Accreditation and public awareness Throughout the Review, public awareness of product stewardship schemes and services is identified as an impediment to their success. To address this, the government is funding education tools and will increase branding visibility of accredited product stewardship schemes. The DAWE will also consult with stakeholders over the next year on options to improve scheme awareness and outcomes and regional and remote communities. iw



Coffs Harbour //

Resilience essential as WARR industry moves to the other side By Inside Waste THE PRESENTATION by the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans was a highpoint of the Coffs Harbour Waste Webinar 2020 Series. It came on May 27, almost three months after the country went into lockdown from COVID-19. Waste Management & Resource Recovery Association Australia (WMRR) CEO, Gayle Sloan facilitated the workshop and described the past six months as “challenging times for us all, but now we have the opportunity to grow with imports and exports which are going to look really different following the changes wrought from China and COVID.” Sloan added that it was critical for the WARR industry to develop the resilience to bounce back from global shocks such as China Sword and COVID-19. “It was reassuring to recently hear the Environment Minister [Sussan Ley] say that the government was moving away from a costs model to a value proposition, because that’s what our industry has been saying for a very long time. We know that we can create jobs and opportunities here. “But we need to make sure that we build our industry not only in response to managing the materials that once went offshore, but for our future sustainability,” Sloan said. She also presented a national map which illustrated the capacity of the states to export recovered materials, noting that Western Australia has no capacity for remanufacturing and described this as “a big challenge”. “This also applies to Far North Queensland, while South Australia is also without paper mills. There is a lot of work to be done to implement these bans. We also know that we need to focus on definitions, and one of the big factors is moving the tonnes down from 700,000 to 470,000 and being really clear that things like cardboard are exempted. We have a long way to go before Australia makes product that meets this secondary processing criteria,” she stated. 24

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans.

Evans: we are in a strong yet emerging condition Minister Evans delivered a broad address beginning with the reasons behind the Federal Government’s appearance within the waste space, which has traditionally been the domain of the states. “The national and international impacts of how the waste supply chains work around the world have become more complex. No state government is well equipped to have those discussions around export and trade that have arisen in recent years. And, as issues become more international in flavour, there has been a lack in creating a national consistency to deal with some of the challenges and opportunities which are on our door right now. “The red line for the government’s involvement is the global export of more waste streams along with the huge distances waste travels across Australia,” Evans explained.

Opportunity for prosperity Evans acknowledged that when it came to onshoring waste, the local WARR industry has the capacity to create new jobs, prosperity and economic activity, particularly in regional Australia where it is needed most. “Finally, there is an international and strategic factor here that means if we get this right, we can work closely with our near friends and neighbours in this region, for whom these issues around waste reduction, marine debris and pollution are the biggest environmental and existential


challenges they are facing,” he said. However, Evans noted that the Federal Government didn’t inherit “magical” law making powers or legislation around this industry and that the bulk of these powers continue to lie with the states. “We see the role for the Commonwealth as co-ordinating a more national approach that brings everyone to the table including extending the planning process along with the details of the regulatory environment. Evans also described prioritisation as one of the biggest challenges facing the government. “There are so many things across the board that we need to consider. We have a big supply side challenge, because for many waste streams, there is no onshore capacity to sort, process or re-manufacture and we need to create that out of nothing. “There is also a demand side challenge and we all need to take that on: government, industry and households. We all need to prioritise the purchasing of more sustainable products as well as products containing recyclable materials,” he said.

Marketplaces need to be built Evans conceded that his government could do a better job in the awareness space and the building of resource infrastructure that could take account and use huge amounts of the stockpiles of existing waste streams. “On top of supply and demand, we need to build the marketplaces where businesses and people can actually trade in some of these commodities. In Australia, we have very little history and tradition in trade and realising the value of something. “Regarding the task of education and awareness there is the question of motivation, especially around individuals and households because they have been told so many times of the outcomes to be achieved, that when they try to recycle now, they have become sceptical,” he said. Realising that sometimes the government was going to have a dual focus was realistic, he explained. “For instance, we are going to have

to deal with the issues top-of-mind for business and households as well as the challenges of size for some of the biggest waste streams because they can be two different things.”

Only fraction of waste streams exported Evans emphasised that only about six per cent of total waste streams have been exported and only ten per cent of those exports have been exposed to the recent bans. He said that while the government was focused on solutions to those bans and was delivering some good guideposts, it was not the same as the broader work it was doing to deal with larger challenges in the sector. He thanked WMRR for all the work it did on developing the definitions of the waste streams impacted by the bans and stated that it was the government’s intention to get the required laws passed in the second half of this year. He said that the industry can expect to see a draft of the laws in coming months. “In relation to response strategy, the government doesn’t want to see those materials going into landfill. COAG has agreed that we have the funding for the facilities to be built around Australia to take care of the quantities in the streams. There will also be further funding announcements to come,” he said. “We have also let the states and territories take the lead in identifying the particular solutions and what they need to invest, and we have pieced that together in the gaps in the national picture. As a result, the commonwealth and states have entered into In Principle agreements. These will be coming in the months ahead and will be in the first tranche before export bans in place. “We have announcements ready to be made for the new world on other side of COVID.” See story on page 1 regarding the most recent announcements.

No cookie cutter for paper and pulp Evans also noted that, because the investment and processes into paper and pulp are quite significant, it’s not going to be a “cookie cutter”

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// Coffs Harbour

Cleanaway general manager NSW, David Clancy

approach and every state needs its own solution. “Given that this is in the final tranche of the bans, we are going through one extra step and we asked the states to come back to us before the end of July,” he said, adding that all states have signed up to waste data tracking and agreed to procurement streams. “We are examining how we can use our recycled content as a valueadded metric in all our procurement decisions. “As Gayle said, there is a big opportunity because this sector was already identified for more self-sufficiency and we want to be recognised as one of the first sectors of the new economy which is on track,” he added.

Ready for challenges Three senior executives, Cleanaway General Manager NSW, David Clancy, ResourceCo Group CEO, Jim Fairweather and Visy general manager - innovation and corporate affairs, Richard Macchiesi have been managing the ground level impacts of China Sword for some time. They followed Evans presentation and described the opportunities and challenges they face today and tomorrow. Cleanaway was compelled to think “long and hard” about its role in the circular economy as a result of COAG, according to Clancy. “The COAG ban gave us the opportunity to do something different in our sector. Previously we had minimal influence over our activities so our level of focus on the industry was different then to what we have today.”

Glass and plastic “We inherited a lot of glass issues because our approach was minimal, and we were handing it off to the MRFs. We lived through some

challenging times when the market mechanisms fell away, but now we collect and process 90,000 tonnes of glass per year,” Clancy said. “We looked at the market to see how we could add value and re-energise it. Consequently, we commissioned a plant in Sydney and now we can convert a material that we were previously handing off at a lower value by opening it up to our glass processing operation.” Clancy said that this also unlocked opportunities for Cleanaway overseas. “We discovered that there is a good market for glass if you can do a couple of things. Firstly, you need to provide volume and then meet consistent manufacturing standards. He noted that as an industry, we are also part of a manufacturing process. “We are really a preparation point for someone further down the chain who will be using it,” he said, adding however, that there are several steps that need to occur to make this future proof: 1. Marketplace development of the downstream from our preparation stream 2. Consistent infrastructure investment across all markets 3. Resolution of the logistics challenge of glass collection from the individual and bring to a central processing point 4. Consumer awareness of contamination and management of product disposal “The main challenge for my area is getting 100 per cent coverage right across the country including regional, and then consolidate the timing of infrastructure,” he concluded.

Strong growth for crumb market Just as the COAG bans had prompted Cleanaway to pivot, Fairweather explained that COAG had provided a great opportunity to expand investment in crumbing, adding that industry experts are predicting that the crumb market could easily triple in the next 3-4 years. “But as Evans said, that will have to be underpinned by government procurement, pre-dominantly in the road sector. Once we can drive out the ‘illegitimate’ part of the business, protect gate fees and give some surety to the market, we will also drive investment and if we drive investment, we will drive jobs,” he said. Fairweather added that timing was the greatest challenge facing the market.

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“This means giving the industry enough time to respond and balance the TDF export while holding the domestic capacity in Australia. I think that if we wait too long, we will create less certainty which we are seeing now and that will increase stockpiling. I’d like to see us bring it forward,” he added.

Consumer education is critical Macchiesi referred to the comments made by the Prime Minister at the Plastics’ Summit in March this year. “When the Prime Minister stated that investing in the resource recovery sector was also good for the economy, it was a key statement that encompassed issues and solutions. At Visy we have a 30-year track record in the circular economy and the ability to recycle paper in supply chain. “The COAG ban has provided us with a unique opportunity and we are excited, especially around the education of the consumer. We have spent millions investing in enabling councils to educate consumers. The key message is what can be recycled, so anything that provides

Visy general manager - innovation and corporate affairs, Richard Macchiesi.

a consistent and clean stream will predicate further investments. “We believe the pull-through is that people are clamouring to get to Asia and some products will be able to be tradeable. There has to be a market at the backend so we can create the best opportunity to maintain Australian jobs.” iw

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Food Waste //

Pathway out of a $3.8bn food waste dilemma By Claire Moffat

Feasibility Study has begun

EACH YEAR, over five million tonnes of food in Australia ends up in landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It’s a dilemma which has not only the attention of consumers but of the federal and various state governments. In 2017, the Federal Government released the National Food Waste Strategy, which included a national target to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030. This commitment received the support of all of Australia’s environment ministers. Then, in March this year, Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) released the Roadmap for Reducing Australia’s Food Waste by Half by 2030. The Roadmap delivered a clear pathway for achieving the 50 per cent reduction in food waste, recognising the current challenges and efforts. At the time of the release, assistant minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans described the roadmap as a positive step forward. “As we work to achieve our national goal of halving the amount of food going to landfill by 2030, this is undoubtedly an ambitious goal and to achieve it, we need everyone to play their part,” he said.

This was followed in July when FIAL began its $400,000 National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study (Feasibility Study). According to FIAL, by bringing together an international consortium of individuals and organisations with globally recognised expertise, the Feasibility Study is testing whether the commitment to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030 is possible, and what actions will increase the likelihood of achieving it. Australia’s largest sustainability consultancy, Edge Environment, has been appointed by FIAL as the lead consultancy alongside WRAP, 3Keel and Lifecycles. According to FIAL, the Feasibility Study will: • Fill significant data gaps; • Increase understanding around the environmental impacts of food waste in production, consumption and waste management; • Identify food waste ‘hotspots’ across the value chain and the solutions for their reduction; develop a number of scenarios under which the target could be achieved and the costed delivery trajectories of these; and • Make recommendations on which delivery trajectories and initiatives will most likely see the target achieved.

FIAL managing director Dr Mirjana Prica explained that commencing the National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study was a positive step towards Australia’s goal of halving the amount of food either lost or wasted across the food value chain by 2030. “This is undoubtedly an ambitious goal and how to achieve this needs to be adequately understood,” she said. Over the past two years, FIAL has worked closely with multiple stakeholders to identify the steps required to make the food waste reduction target a reality. These stakeholders include food rescue and relief organisations, agrifood industry peak bodies, the Fight Food Waste CRC, the National Food Waste Strategy Steering Committee, the States and Territory Government Reference Group, and various national and international food waste experts.

Massive cold chain dollar losses Meanwhile, a recent report sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and by the trade group Refrigerants Australia titled “Study of Waste in the Cold Food Chain and Opportunities for Improvement” calculated for the first time, the dollar losses linked to cold chain practices in Australia. According to the report, at least

7.3 million tonnes of food grown in Australia was wasted in 2016-17, equating to almost 290 kilograms per capita. The causes lie across several areas. First, the wastage incurred at the refrigerated cold food chain, with conservative estimates putting the cost of food waste within the cold food chain at $3.8 billion at farm gate values comprising: • 25 per cent (1,930,000 tonnes) of annual production of fruit and vegetables worth $3 billion; • 3.5 per cent of annual production of meat (155,000 tonnes) worth $670 million; • seafood (8,500 tonnes) worth $90 million; and • 1 per cent (90,000 tonnes) of annual dairy production valued at $70 million. However, it is the subsequent wastage from households and primary production which are estimated to be the largest waste generating sectors, together accounting for 65 per cent of national food waste. This wastage is amplified by only 17 per cent of metropolitan and regional councils across Australia having FOGO services, enabling around four million tonnes going to landfill. Finally, another 24 per cent of wastage occurs in food manufacturing. iw Food waste is costing Australia almost $4bn annually.



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// FOGO Contributor

Getting FOGO right Modelling shows how different FOGO options impact on performance and costs.

By Bill Grant HOW CAN councils get the best results when introducing food organics and garden organics (FOGO) recovery services? Councils that have introduced FOGO services have had wildly different outcomes. Some have seen minor diversion of food organics (at times less than 5-10 per cent diversion), but others have reduced the weight of landfilled food in garbage by as much as 50-80 per cent. Councils have kept the net costs of introducing FOGO services low, but others have found the costs were much greater than they anticipated. So, what are the factors that result in such divergent outcomes? Here is my top five list of factors that make FOGO work: 1. Effective community engagement and education. FOGO is about behaviour change as much as it is about the physical act of providing a FOGO bin and collection service. Councils that get the attention of their communities, make it convenient to divert food, and clearly communicate the need to divert food from landfill get the best results. There is also a role for messages about food waste reduction and well managed home composting as

This makes it more manageable for residents and means fewer people will be deterred from participating in food diversion. Councils that have achieved the highest levels of food diversion have provided caddies and compostable liners to all residents. part of FOGO roll out. Community engagement needs to be ongoing to remind residents how to correctly use services. 2. Provision of kitchen caddies, and preferably compostable bin liners. Providing caddies gets peoples’ attention, makes food scrap diversion easier, usually reduces contamination and gives people a constant reminder to divert food waste. Compostable bin liners (plastic or paper) reduce mess in caddies and kerbside bins and contain odour and mess during handling. This makes it more manageable for residents and means fewer people will be deterred from participating in food diversion. Councils that have achieved the highest levels of food diversion have provided caddies and compostable liners to all residents. However, some composters do not accept compostable plastic bin liners, and the use of paper to line caddies or wrap food will need to be promoted. 3. Universal provision of FOGO services. When councils first introduced garden organics (GO)

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only collections services, it made sense in most instances to offer a voluntary or ‘opt-in’ service. Not every household generates a lot of garden organics, and there was a limited amount of space for garden organics when smaller-volume garbage bins were provided. Those wanting the convenience of a garden organics collection service could be charged for this. Food is different – all households generate it and other than those who home compost food waste, all of the food goes to the landfilled bin, where it contributes 30-50 per cent by weight of kerbside garbage. It makes sense to give every resident a FOGO bin unless they ask not to receive it. This will divert the most food, but it can also result in a lot of extra garden organics that households don’t currently put in their garbage going into FOGO bins and adding to costs. I recommend councils provide smaller FOGO bins as a standard, and those wanting larger bins for garden organics should pay more for the service. 4. Frequency of FOGO and garbage

collection services and standard bin sizes. A good way to get a community’s attention is to only collect their garbage every fortnight and have a weekly FOGO service. Although this can be a politically challenging decision, most residents find they can manage with a fortnightly garbage service if they divert all food and garden waste, as well as their commingled recyclables. The main limitation can be the size of current garbage bins. If many households have 80L or 120L bins, they may struggle to transition to a fortnightly garbage service. Councils may need to provide larger replacement bins, and this will add to implementation costs. Other challenges are disposable nappies and bagged pet waste, which can become more odorous over a two-week period. This is particularly a problem if smaller volume bins overfill and the lid becomes ajar. Fortnightly garbage collection has also been found to increase average household recycling rates for commingled recyclables, and some councils have halved landfill garbage with a weekly FOGO, fortnightly garbage service model. 5. Managing contamination and letting the community know how the system is performing. This returns to the need for community engagement, with feedback about results providing residents further motivation to divert organics and reduce contamination. Some councils conduct and publicise enforcement ‘blitzes’ and work with collection service providers, re-processors and their communities to target areas with high contamination. I find each council has some unique issues, but ultimately the net costs of moving to FOGO will depend on: the relative costs of landfill and organics recovery (including community engagement and contamination management costs); how much food and garden is diverted from landfill; and how much ‘additional’ garden and food organics go from backyard composts to the FOGO bin. Good planning is vital. iw Note: Bill Grant is an agricultural and environmental scientist and director with Blue Environment, and has worked in the waste and resource recovery sector since the early 1990s.




Tackling contamination of bins – Would knowing more help? By Mayuri Wijayasundara CONTAMINATION AND variability are two key challenges we attempt to tackle in our waste management operations of converting waste to a resource. Waste collectors and recyclers often struggle with these two issues, which adds complexity to all subsequent recovery operations. Not only does it become complicated to manage, it makes all downstream operations inefficient, providing low resource yields and is inevitably more costly.

Challenges for councils to adapt The time that a council goes through implementing a change to add a bin and divert different types of waste to those bins, is a time that we can expect the contamination to be high. At a time when the addition of a food organic and garden organic bin (FOGO) is subject to discussion by main councils, it is good to look at how we can use technology to enable better

tracking and more importantly, gain control of the waste supply chain, until it reaches the desired destination. We have had a number of discussions with councils to identify their best management practices. While variability is not something councils can control, there are some that were clearly ahead in managing contamination. Colac Otway Council waste management coordinator, Simone Robertson spoke about her experience with its current monitoring mechanism, which we considered a benchmark. “We started this monitoring program by asking the bin inspectors and the drivers to have a look at the bins before they collect them to check the level of contamination,” Robertson said. She added that they started collating this information for each household and built a history of records of the disposal behaviour in disposing recyclable material over time. “Later we implemented a penalty system using this. If the household was repeatedly not correcting the mixing of

waste and putting it in the wrong bin, we would keep the bin and supply a note explaining the reasoning.” This system of monitoring and recording enabled Colac Otway to understand the household’s disposal behaviour over time and to develop a system to incentivise certain attributes of behaviour – such as putting the right type of waste in the right bin. The research team are in the process of gathering needs, developing concepts and building prototypes of integrated tools that can be used for this purpose. If we look at what triggers the problem in our inability to track or manage post-consumption waste streams, it enables us to see the unknown factors: 1. What is in it? – Constituents or composition 2. Where it is generated? – Household information or location information 3. How much and when? – Frequency, quantity per waste type If all or some of this information is captured, collated and analysed, Colac Otway Council was able to understand the household’s disposal behaviour over time with a system of monitoring and recording.

that provides important insights on organising the post-consumption waste collection supply chain. The questions we then attempt to address are: 1. Where to capture this information? The two possible options are to capture this information at the point of disposal within the household or at the point the bin is loaded into the truck. Because the information chain usually ends there, this eliminates the opportunity to improve household disposal behaviour. Improved disposal within households obviously increases segregation at source and simplifies subsequent waste management operations. 2. Who will provide this information? When the waste bin become a treasure box containing valuable information about disposal behaviour, the two parties that interact with it are the waste generator – household residents disposing waste in this instance, and the collector. 3. Does it add value to know this? Most decisions involving waste management operations are multicriteria decisions and ones that need a strong and stable information base at one end when options become quite fluid at the other. We often struggle with ‘chicken or egg’ type challenges as each string attached to the problem is so uncertain. Going by ‘what gets measured gets managed’ and having this information not only provides access to management of household waste disposal behaviour and habits, but creates opportunities to introduce incentives to promote certain behavioural attributes, promoting effective segregation. For the council, it will help make decisions about allocation of bins, optimise collection routes as well truck fill factors. The outputs of the application will also be useful to have a systematic approach to maintain bin inventory in a council area. iw Mayuri Wijayasundara a lecturer at Deakin University. Along with her team she has recently developed a framework and the concept for a project on how waste composition tracking can be enhanced with the use of digital tracking.



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Dealing with FOGO stagnation By Virginia Brunton AUSTRALIA SENDS close to seven million tonnes of organic waste to landfill annually; 3.8 million tonnes of food and another three million tonnes of garden, timber and other organics. Across all levels of government there are waste strategies and policies that call for reduction in the disposal of these organic wastes to landfill. There are undisputed justifications for this; generation of nine million tonnes of greenhouse gas emission, loss of $110m in valuable nutrients and two million tonnes of organic matter, amongst others. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, “If global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the U.S. and China”. To put that into context, you can drive a truck filled with 25 tonnes of Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) 13,100 kilometres to a composting facility before it emits the same amount of greenhouse gases as that same truckload put in a landfill with 45 per cent gas capture (typical of whole of life gas capture). And without gas capture, its 21,000 kilometres! Since 2009, the National Waste Policy has provided an overarching direction for organic waste diversion and all state and territory government waste strategies list actions directed at reducing the amount of organic waste landfilled. Yet, despite this decade-long recognition of the importance of organic waste diversion, there has been little overall progress. Figure 1 shows that the per capita amount of organic waste going to landfill has barely changed over the ten years to 2018. Why is this? If we look at how and where decisions are made about the disposal of organic waste, about 60 per cent of household organics flow through to landfill via the MSW stream. Local governments are therefore responsible for where this waste ends up. Most local government areas across metropolitan and regional Australia

have garden organics collection in place and around seventy councils offer FOGO collection services. Where these systems are in place, the organics are diverted to composting facilities and converted to compost and other soil amendments. Overall, only 17 per cent of metropolitan and regional councils across Australia have FOGO services. This leaves approximately four million tonnes going to landfill.

Sydney metro lagging In NSW, 42 out of 135 councils have a FOGO service to some extent, however in Sydney metro, only one council, Penrith, has a FOGO service for the entire community. In South Australia by comparison, all Adelaide metropolitan local government areas have FOGO, in Melbourne five metropolitan councils currently have FOGO and all will have implemented FOGO by 2025, and in Western Australia FOGO is going to be commonplace across the whole of Perth and Peel region by 2025. The remaining organics to landfill come largely from the commercial sector where the main driver is cost and where landfill disposal is the cheapest option. No state or territory have a strategy, policy or actions specifically targeting diversion of commercial and industrial (C&I) organics from landfill. All rely on market forces to provide any incentives resulting in marginal diversion of C&I organics over the last decade. So, what policies and strategies are in place to influence the decisions of business and councils to divert organic waste from landfill?

Massive reduction under EU directive Since 1993, the EU Landfill Directive has required member states to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that they landfill to 35 per cent of 1995 levels by 2016 (for some countries by 2020). It has also directed that no untreated organics are disposed to landfillessentially a landfill ban. There is also a directive mandating source separation of organics. The result of this is a 58 per cent reduction in organics disposed to landfill and an

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Landfill policy strategies in Australia need to improve at state and national level.

increase of 23 per cent in recovery via composting. Unfortunately, Australia does not have such strong policy directions at either state or national levels. All of the state strategies have soft policy positions on organic waste recovery. That is, the goal or the action is non-specific, framing the outcomes as “support”, “investigate”, “deliver local solutions”, “create awareness”, “promote food organics collection” and “support innovation”. Soft targets are easy to miss. What is not measurable cannot be achieved (or perhaps failed to achieve). There are some stronger, quantitative measures and targets for specific waste streams: • NSW – 75 per cent municipal solid waste (MSW) diversion by 2020, • WA – All local governments in the Perth and Peel region provide consistent three bin kerbside collection systems that include separation of FOGO from other waste categories and • ACT – Increase the rate of resource recovery to over 90 per cent by 2025, with no recoverable waste sent to landfill.

Early gains stagnated Where there are stronger, quantifiable targets, the impact on landfilling of organics is more successful. Figure 2 shows that WA, NSW and Victoria have achieved above 40 per cent reduction in organics per capita to landfill. And yet the early gains in each of these states have stagnated. Even where there are stronger quantifiable goals, these have not been met. NSW has not met any of the three waste diversion targets stated in the 2014- 2021 WARR Strategy. For NSW, WA and Victoria early gains in recovery have slowed over the past four to five years. New stronger approaches are needed now that the early adopters have been reached and more effort or incentives required to overcome the barriers to further organics diversion. The recent Victorian waste strategy – Recycling Victoria – attempts to turn around the lagging recovery rates. Like the Western Australian strategy, the Victorian strategy contains mandatory implementation of FOGO. This reform covers all council areas, the whole of the




pathways and businesses to source separate organics. It would need to be phased in over a number of years however, to allow the processors time to build composting facilities and for industry to establish costeffective logistics. A move such as this would also capture commercial food waste; from restaurants, food manufacturers, supermarkets and wholesalers.

Figure 1 Organic waste landfilled per capita nationally (NWR 2018).

Organic waste landfilled per capita - National 3000 2500 2000

What can the Federal Government do?


1000 500 0



State. This is a unique position and may represent what it takes to have substantial reduction in organic waste to landfill. The WA approach is to provide such strong financial incentives for councils or groups of councils to provide FOGO services, that councils are more or less obliged to take up the offer, or risk going it alone with no funding or support. It’s a mandate of sorts, and it provides a strong direction and councils are responding. Will other jurisdictions follow suit or develop alternative strategies? In the prelude to preparing a 20-year Waste strategy, NSW has investigated the means to formulate mandated source-separation, raised the possibility of a ban on organics in landfill and considered what form regulation of C&I organics diversion could take. Organics belong in our soils not in landfill, and FOGO services are the best way to recover organics from the municipal waste stream. FOGO needs to become the standard waste service for all Australian households. And some form of market or regulatory intervention is required to shift C&I organics to diversion options.


“Using market-based instruments like waste levies, governments can incentivise recovery options over landfill disposal. There is a high level of inconsistency in levies across Australia from $0/t in Tas, NT and ACT to $140 in SA and $143.70 in NSW. Vic, QLD and WA are in the middle. These need to be standardised and perhaps deliberately be used as targeted disincentives with a premium for organics disposal.” in Tas, NT and ACT to $140 in SA and $143.70 in NSW. Vic, QLD and WA are in the middle. These need to be standardised and perhaps deliberately be used as targeted disincentives with a premium for organics disposal. There are other mechanisms such as landfill bans that state governments could also use. Victoria

has done this with the e-waste landfill and plastic bags ban. Bans on organics to landfill or mandated limits on organics in landfills, would create a dramatic shift in organics recovery as it has in the EU. It would provide the incentive needed by councils to introduce FOGO and for the organics recovery industry to develop recovery

Figure 2 Per capita landfilling of organic waste by state and territory.

What can the state governments do? State governments have constitutional control over waste. They make and enact the legislation and create an economic environment conducive to resource recovery. Using market-based instruments like waste levies, governments can incentivise recovery options over landfill disposal. There is a high level of inconsistency in levies across Australia from $0/t 30


The key instrument for waste management at the federal level is the National Waste Policy and the National Food Waste Strategy. The next iterations of these documents should set strong policy positions. These could include mandatory organics source separation, specific and timebound diversion targets and financial support attached to tonnes diverted. That would have the effect of aligning all state and territory waste planning toward FOGO composting, anaerobic digestion and other nonlandfill solutions for organic waste. Such policy directions are normal and well-practiced in European countries, but our politicians have been reluctant to impose policies on state and local governments, and through them onto you and I. But we need this sort of leadership. Doing nothing means we will continue to landfill precious organic waste rather than providing it back to farmers as compost and continue to generate millions of tonnes of GHG. Any action to get food waste out of landfill is action on climate. iw


Organic waste landfilled per capita 600 500 400 300

200 100 0


2006-07 ACT



2011-12 QLD

2014-15 SA


2016-17 VIC


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FOGO Equipment News //

How a compost technology developer bridges the gap between cost and performance By Inside Waste JUST SPEAKING to Dr Harrie Hofstede for a few minutes and you can clearly hear the passion for the WARR industry in his voice. As a 40-year veteran of the industry and a founding member of WMRR, Hofstede’s mission has been to improve not only services but efficiency within the industry through the use of advanced compost technology. He is achieving this now with the wireless FABCOM Piccolo, a mobile, open air aeration system which is presently in operation at the Bunbury Harvey Compost Facility in Western Australia. The technology was invented in Australia and internationally patented by Hofstede and is the product of almost 20 years of scientific research and development. Hofstede told Inside Waste that he is also in the process of finalizing the installation of the Piccolo system for

the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) in Perth, located at the Red Hill Landfill. “The system was designed to bridge the gap between low operational cost and high environmental performance and compliance in the processing of all types of organic waste into compost,” he said. The four councils utilising Bunbury Harvey’s Compost Facility compose of about 65,000 residents. It receives around 15,000 tonnes of FOGO a year and processes this into 8000 tonnes of compost and mulch products using three FABCOM Piccolo systems. The Piccolo system uses variable speed drive-powered motors controlled by wireless temperature probes. It can hold 1400m3 of FOGO and every four weeks, waste is turned over to an adjacent FABCOM Piccolo system until its second turn, making it a twomonth process.

Process control data communication mast (EMRC).

FABCOM Tunnel for FOGO in Maryborough, Victoria.

After two months, FOGO compost is screened over a 50mm screen to remove more than 90 per cent of contaminants as well as any oversized organic compounds. This is windrowed for storage and prior to dispatch, screened over a 10mm screen. The resulting fraction is less than 10mm and is both clean and organically certified. Meanwhile, the >10mm overburden is currently used as landfill rehabilitation or daily cover, which qualifies as waste diversion from landfill.

Significant cost savings Hofstede told Inside Waste that one of the primary benefits of the FABCOM system is the overall simplicity of the processing system and the significant the cost saving for councils. “With this system, you don’t need to have people crawling all over the compost site to continually manually collect Temperature data and no ability to control or adjust the process. The saving for councils is around $100,000 annually,” he explained. Depending on capacity, organic waste processing into compost from around $40/tonne and includes capital and operational expenditure and compost sale offset. Instead of human data collection, the FABCOM Composting technology collects process data such as temperatures, Oxygen level, and moisture content and saves the data which is then accessible through internet access,to the management. The corrosion proof system is designed to bridge the gap between low operational cost and high environmental performance and 31


compliance in the processing of all types of organic waste into compost. “The technology is ideal for regional shires, councils and cities which process FOGO, liquid waste and biosolids and need a simple solution to control and manage their organic waste with the minimum of physical on-sight interaction,” Dr Hofstede said.

Adaptable technology The technology can effectively process these waste streams without the need for specialised process knowledge as the FABPro software has customised intelligence. The FABCOM technology can also be applied to livestock waste streams, food processing waste, biosolids and greasetrap waste. “The technology is compact and has very effective odour mitigation and process control to produce good quality compost products that can comply with the Australian Standard within a relatively short time, due to optimum process condition being maintained with the system. “We are the only Australian developed and patented compost technology provider in Australia. We have also built a highly successful In – Vessel FABCOM tunnel plant for the Highlands Regional Waste Management Group, in Maryborough, Victoria, which is partly solar powered” he added. Meanwhile, FABCOM has also developed substantial odour mitigation technologies and has just developed a wireless data collection (O2, temp, humidity, weather data system) for FABCOM compost plants with a range of up to 2000m. iw

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FOGO Equipment News //

Opportunities to access deep international experience By Inside Waste CSS EQUIPMENT delivers key components in the FOGO process, and can provide complete turn-key FOGO processing lines. The company’s current brands include: • Ecostar Dynamic Disc Screening Systems, specialising in screening wet and sticky waste materials • JONO Enviro turn-key processing plants for multiple organic processes • Lindner Recyclingtech leading bag opening technology, solving a challenge for the FOGO operators Over the next 12 months, CSS has a variety of new technologies and equipment to bring to market. Top of the list is Ecostar Dynamic Disc Screening separation units. Ecostar manufactures static and mobile Dynamic Screens supplying Europe, North America and Asia. Fast and flexible, Ecostar excels screening food organic waste for biogas production, compost and other

related waste materials. “Their experience in the FOGO sector is strong, and their biggest market globally is the organics recycling sector,” CSS Equipment representative Neil Coyle explained. “We have now launched the Ecostar Hextra Mobile Screen, that can handle the sticky and wet FOGO material which, with its antiwrapping technology. Ecostar easily handles the contamination that features in FOGO material without stopping or clogging up,” he said. The new Atlas Shredder from Lindner Recyclingtech, is used in MSW and FOGO style applications for bag opening and downsizing of raw materials, to help downstream composting and further processing of FOGO material. Coyle said the Atlas Shredder is low maintenance and has low running costs, compared to other styles of shredder and bag openers available in the Australian and New Zealand markets. JONO Enviro has been designing

kitchen waste processing lines for some years now and are in the process of building their first Singaporean Mechanical Biological Treatment Plant (MBT). This plant will handle 500 tonnes per day of municipal waste and turn the byproducts into fuels, compost and biogas. “With experience in designing and building composting systems of different sizes and types, including tunnel composting and anaerobic fermentation technologies, JONO Enviro is poised to become a key player in the FOGO market in Australia,” Coyle said. Coyle believes that Australian and New Zealand based WARR operators have a chance to harness international and deep experience by utiliing the technology available via CSS Equipment. “As the local market begins to maximise the output from FOGO processing, there is an opportunity to create energy, compost and valuable biogas product, with

the right technology. “Local operators can accelerate their results by working with experienced, tried and true technology solutions for their FOGO processing. CSS Equipment’s suite of partners present opportunities from best practice technologies to more economical opportunities for the companies and government bodies that are so heavily involved in moving the FOGO sector forward,” he added. iw For more information please contact Neil Coyle on 1800 644 978. The Singaporean MBT will handle up to 500 tonnes of waste per day.

Advanced tech solutions for organics recovery process By Inside Waste CEMAC TECHNOLOGIES is known for its leading technology solutions for recycling and resource recovery, including solutions to decontaminate organic material streams such as FOGO derived compost. These include TOMRA AUTOSORT sensor based sorting with near-infra-red (NIR) and X-ray technologies, Westeria Air-lift technologies for lights and efficient flip flow screening from Spaleck.   The recently released Generation TOMRA AUTOSORT allows more effective material detection through improved optics, integration of DEEP LAISER for incompatibles and a number of other key improvements. Additionally, the new Westeria Air-Lift allows removal of film plastics from difficult fractions, with little overall investments. According to Cemac Technologies with 32

the increase of FOGO collection, there is more organic material available as compost to enrich soils with much needed carbons. “Simultaneously, the increased organic content in the bin often comes with increased contamination from kitchen bins and other sources. These require more sophisticated cleaning solutions than the current market standard,” managing director Eric Paulsen said.

Deep experience Cemac Technologies combines over thirty years of experience in engineering and supplying resource recovery and recycling technologies to the Australasian markets. As a result, Paulsen said the company’s customers benefit from a set of experiences which are highly valuable to the improvement


of onshore processing and value adding waste materials. “Our experiences include decontaminating and processing organic material streams. We have supplied several turnkey facilities and process design for decontaminating compost to allow re-use in agriculture,” Paulsen added.

Reliable focus Because Cemac Technologies also has a dedicated focus on reliable circular economy machinery, it can offer custom tailored solutions from simple shredding of wood, through to fully automated recycling plants to recycle materials into high grade and even food contact approved products.   Its technologies close the loop for many applications such as plastics, paper, wood, metals, organics, mixed wastes, Industrial wastes and C&D

waste. In the company’s back-of-factory waste management and recycling solutions it supplies balers, shredders and briquette presses. Additionally, its plastics recycling solution closes the loop from plastics sorting, plastics washing through to plastics pelletizing, including food grade approved processes from postconsumer derived sources. “Our technology partners and suppliers are world market leaders in their respective fields and through strategic synergies in Cemac’s portfolio, we can supply end-to-end solutions, truly closing the loop for the circular economy. “We support our customers and partners through plant process design, equipment scoping and selection, layout designs, business case analysis, peer reviews, installation and commissioning services,” Paulsen added. iw

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// FOGO Equipment News

Focused, expanded range and solutions for 2021 By Inside Waste FOCUS ENVIRO’S mobile and stationary solutions which are provided exclusively to the waste processing and organic recycling industries are offered as lowercost tailored solutions, from single equipment supply to complete integrated systems. Selected technologies include shredders, trommel screens, air separators, turners, flip-flow screens, mulch colouring and FOGO systems to create and maximise value in organic recycling. Concentrating on environmental equipment supply, FOCUS told Inside Waste that it has installed more FOGO processing facilities to both public and private waste management companies than any other equipment supplier in Australia.

Advanced systems Over the next few months, Focus will bring to the market more advanced application specific shredding systems with zero emissions and increased safety features. These include next generation high speed grinders, food waste processing solutions, compost management systems and modular waste recovery plants. The company said that these additions complemented its existing range, offering clients more

FOCUS Enviro waste processing system.

processing solutions as the recycling market becomes more demanding. Business development manager John McGuinness explained to Inside Waste that technologies that would be new to the market in 2021 would also include community scale compost systems together with tyre, rubber and mattress treatment plants.

FOCUS Enviro is bringing more advanced application specific shredding systems.

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Affordable solutions According to McGuinness, FOCUS’ FOGO processing does not have to “cost the earth”. “Simple modular solutions are available to recover recyclables and remove contamination for better FOGO processing. The technology must match the individual site/ client’s volume and budget.

FOCUS can assist with understanding these challenges by offering a free site survey before recommending the “best fit” of technology for the individual site/client requirements. “Local contacts and application experience have allowed the company to create opportunities for those investing in FOGO across Australia and ensure return of investment on capital equipment from day one,” he added. As the Australian materials recovery sector advances, McGuinness said that its solutions span most of the local recoverable waste streams including end-of-life tyre processing, recyclable plastics processing, medical waste, document destruction. This is in addition to a full range of FOGO technologies to ensure onshore processing of these waste streams. “FOCUS develops these solutions specific to the Australian market to keep ahead of the increasing changes to legislation. This ensures our customers are ready to process more, meet product specifications and build profit when the Australian materials recovery sector and as onshore processing starts to increase.” iw



NEWS Resource Recovery //

Exploring the merits of a WARR carbon plan – towards net zero together Contributed by Joe Pickin THE MONDAY, May 18 2020 episode of Four Corners was a sobering reminder of what Australia has lost while the wheel of exhausting and riven climate change politics has been turning. Since then, Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor unveiled the outcomes of his ‘King Review’ into the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), which is an attempt to kickstart a “technology, not taxes” pathway to reducing emissions. Importantly, after a few years of investment in bush regeneration, savanna burning and avoided deforestation, the focus appears to have shifted back to reducing industrial emissions rather than increasing carbon storage through photosynthesis. As the wheels turn again, the rules

are slowly changing (once more) from a policy of using taxpayers’ funds that rewards least-cost-ofabatement-on-delivery, to a program that calls on matched funding from governments as well as corporations. Meanwhile, progress continues across the rest of the world and in the private sector, for instance: • Carbon neutral certification under the Climate Active label has been growing exponentially; • Shell, BP and Total have pledged to become carbon neutral energy companies by 2050; • Increasingly, the finance industry requires an assessment of climate risks and use the Sustainable Development Goals as a screen to select where to allocate their capital. The regulator (APRA) has raised the profile of managing climate risk as a matter for

directors to deal with in 2020, and has aligned its guidance to the global Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD); • Record investments are being poured into renewables such as large-scale solar and batteries, pumped hydro, clean hydrogen, and renewable methane; • The Paris Agreement has legislated an outcome of stabilising the world’s temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius, which means global GHG emissions and capture (or offsetting) must be in balance by 2050 at the latest – most likely sooner. In short, the world has moved, climate change is here and decarbonisation has commenced. So, where does this leave the Waste and Resource Recovery (WARR) industry?

The carbon footprint of Australian solid waste management The GHG impact of waste and resource recovery management is complex and needs to be considered through three different perspectives: 1. Our impact on the National Inventory; 2. The carbon footprint within our operational control; and

Figure 1: Trends in methane generation, recovery and emissions from solid waste disposal, 1990–2017 (Source: National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2017).



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// NEWS Resource Recovery

Emissions has become a central focus for the Australian government in the wake of the bushfires and the current economic climate.

3. T he lifecycle of materials. The National Inventory perspective comprises the “end-of-pipe” emissions framework established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and adapted for our national inventory and National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER). On this basis, in 2016-17, solid waste is modelled to generate 8.6 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions, accounting for 1.6 per cent of Australia’s total CO2-e emissions. Methane (CH4) from landfills made up 96 per cent of these emissions with the rest resulting from organics processing and incineration. Importantly, those NGER numbers are only meant to be an estimate, made in line with international standards and based on a range of “default” parameters that seldom reflect actual emissions at the facility level. A classic example in the WARR industry is that it is quite common for well-managed landfills gas capture systems to capture much more than the NGER theoretical potential, leading to all sorts of complications and adjustments. Those numbers also do not account directly for offsets (Australia Carbon Credit Units aka ACCUs). A carbon footprint perspective expands the accounting framework to include all direct and indirect emissions from transport and on-site use of fossil fuels and electricity. Importantly, emissions from

collecting and transporting waste are relatively insignificant. Based on standard factors, depositing a 20-tonne load of municipal waste in a landfill with no gas capture (a rare case these days) produces more emissions than driving that load on a 14,000km lap of the continent. Some specific waste management operations do however, use lots of on-site fossil fuels or electricity, including paper recycling, material recovery facilities and metal shredding. This perspective is the most commonly used framework for carbon neutrality claims made by a corporations such as Telstra. A lifecycle perspective adds other significant considerations related to offsets and sequestration, that is “capture and storage”. They include: • Recycling offsets, when recovered material substitute primary material with higher energy input; • Offsets from extracting energy from organic waste and using it as a substitute for fossil fuels; and • Carbon storage in products, vegetation, soils, landfills or mine rehabilitation, in which the decay of organic carbon is prevented or delayed. The balance between the offsets and emissions is always uncertain. That is because offsets are always credited against a hypothetical baseline of “what would have happened to the waste in the absence of the offset project?”. Often, there are many different and realistic scenarios of what that

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“business as usual” could have been. Could there be another perspective to bring those three approaches together? With carbon neutrality being a global goal, could it be reasonable and practical to define a framework that recognises progress at a regional and/or an industry level?

The history of the solid waste industry and carbon policy The 2012-2014 Carbon Pricing Mechanism was not well-targeted at the waste industry. Uniquely, landfill emissions continue for decades after the original emissions causing activity (waste deposit), and are a rough estimate at best. All of which greatly complicated administration, contracting and pricing. To their credit, landfillers and landfill gas companies engaged strongly with the mechanism, which rewarded the capture of landfill gas. This led to a jump in new landfill gas projects between 2009 and 2013, bringing the sector’s emissions down to today’s levels. For resource recovery and recycling, little benefit materialised under the policy. Instead, increased energy costs meant some recyclers lost out to exports. The Coalition replaced carbon pricing with the ERF (now Climate Solutions Fund aka CSF), in which abatement generates credits that can be sold to government or private buyers on the voluntary

market. Performance since 201213 is summarised in the table below; landfill gas capture and combustion dominate the CSF with a massive 22.5Mt of contracted CO2-e abatement, equivalent to almost three years of emissions from the sector. Interestingly though, the total amount of gas captured annually has changed little since 2012-13. Perhaps because the National Inventory perspective does not allocate those offsets directly by the industry (to avoid double counting of emission reductions). Low uptake of source separated organic waste under the CSF (whilst booming in practice) may suggest councils are unclear about the value of participation in the CSF or are possibly unsure how to participate. Despite being the largest pool of direct emissions and one of the highest order activities within the waste hierarchy, to date, source separated organic waste diversion has only been credited with fewer than 4,000 Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). These are worth one tonne of certified emissions reduction measured in tCO2-equivalent, from two projects - Woolworths and Shellharbour City Council, while simultaneously hundreds are either looking at or adopting, the technology approach. Why do all the work and get none of the credit(s)? Clearly, this is a missed opportunity. Food waste can be collected via the food and garden organics (FOGO)



NEWS Resource Recovery //



Landfill gas capture and combustion



Alternative waste technology (diversion from landfill)



Source-separated organic waste (diversion from landfill)



bin, processed via composting, and beneficially used in agriculture to grow more food. According to the National Waste Report 2018, about 7.4Mt of municipal waste was sent to landfill in 2016- 17, of which approximately 4.2Mt were organic; diversion from landfill could potentially result in millions of ACCUs per year.

How might a WARR industry carbon plan help? Despite the rush towards carbon neutrality, an industry or a company can rarely actually be ‘carbon neutral’ on its own. Rather, it contributes to the collective effort towards neutrality. The objective is not individual (such as when minimising costs under a tax or emissions trading system, or even maximising benefits under an incentive scheme), but collective. We must pull together to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement in an effective and fair way. Other industries have taken on the collective challenge of defining a roadmap towards carbon neutrality. For example, the Australian red meat and livestock industry has set an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030 (CN30). The plan sets a clear path for the industry to capitalise on the opportunity to be a world leader in producing an environmentally friendly, sustainable and high-quality source of protein. A national carbon plan could help the WARR industry by: • focusing the attention on the long-term; • promoting consistent government policy and regulatory frameworks; • noting the happy coincidence of climate benefit and circular economy policies; • promoting low carbon technologies, systems, and management consistent with demand from households, businesses and investors; and • maintaining social licence to operate landfills and other technologies. Are there risks if the industry takes a “do nothing” approach and leave it to government? Yes. As climate change intensifies, we could find ourselves locked into decades of landfill emissions while facing a toughened policy focus on 36

CH4. Because of its fierce short-term warming, methane is high on the priority list of GHG emissions cut. We could also be locking in expensive technology that is hungry for fossil fuel or plastics if we don’t design our policies correctly. CSF contracts to capture and combust landfill gas are still viewed as temporary, given there is no plan for what happens when these projects end: with some finishing as early as 2021, we need to come up with ways to maintain the industry’s gains in the space and build on them.

Potential scope and content of a WARR carbon plan The Net Zero Initiative framework proposes a fresh way to look at how an industry, corporation or council can contribute to global action in a meaningful way (see Figure 2). As such, some of the issues and

elements that could potentially be included in a WARR industry carbon plan are: • organics out of landfill by a defined date; • industry use of the energy content of waste; • work with governments to - support circular economy principles including high quality recovered products - support use of renewable energy from waste (incl. renewable methane from non-recyclable organics) - develop a nationally coordinated framework for regulating and incentivising landfill emissions post-CSF; • support accurate measurement of CH4 emissions from landfills; and • a voluntary, industry-wide ambition and targets that are in line with science. But first, we need broad and deep industry support to understand what is achievable both technically and commercially. We also need to understand and agree on why we should be taking on such a challenge at a time when most of us are focused on COVID-19 recovery. Perhaps the opportunity lies in marrying the recovery objective with our long-term goals. Finally,

we would need to come up with a plan detailing how we propose to deliver on the promise, who might be involved, when to start, and where to focus our efforts.

How to contribute? If you have insights and ideas that could drive a WARR carbon plan forward, we would like to hear from you. Please register your interest in attending the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia’s (WMRR) next National Carbon Division meeting by emailing iw Dr Joe Pickin is director of Blue Environment, an independent Australian consulting firm that is at the forefront of development of Australia’s carbon policy. Joe, who is vice chair of WMRR’s National Carbon Division, is also the primary author of the National Waste Report 2018. Julien Gastaldi is director of Gaasta Pty Ltd, a sub-contracting company that provides GHG accounting, project development services, and strategic and technical advice to the carbon industry. He also chairs WMRR’s National Carbon Division, and leads Corporate Carbon Advisory Pty Ltd’s Strategic Development & ACCUs Origination activities.

Figure 2: The Net Zero Initiative Carbone4, 2020


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// Young professional

Sydney City waste leader delivers meaningful services despite pandemic By Inside Waste IN THIS month’s Young Professional article, we profile the City of Sydney’s resource recovery manager, Kath McLaughlin. For more than four years, Kath McLaughlin has been at the helm of waste recovery for Australia’s largest city but, like many executives in the industry, she arrived there more as a matter of attraction rather than intention. “As a little girl, I definitely didn’t dream of working in waste. Even at university, I started in a very different field, completing a Bachelor of Design with Honours through the UNSW College of Fine Arts,” she told Inside Waste. Kath’s first professional role as a carpet designer for a global custom carpet company was a long way from what she’s presently working on in 2020. “As much as the role was definitely interesting, I realised that designing tropical fish themed carpets for casinos was just not doing it for me,” she explained. Kath eventually quit the carpet industry to do some soul searching that led her to a brief stint as a volunteer in community development in Costa Rica. It was there that her desire to find a career that enabled her to contribute to the community and improve the environment emerged. “My next step was to become upskilled, so I completed a Masters of Environmental Management and this kick-started my career in sustainability. After a few more volunteering positions with local governments and environmental consultancy roles, I was drawn to the resource recovery industry. “I particularly liked how you could make a practical and immediate impact on the community and how finding solutions to waste problems can lead down some very creative and innovative paths.”

Grassroots experience A role as a volunteer at the Watershed in Newtown, (a joint initiative of City of Sydney and

Kath McLaughlin found a vocation within the WARR industry.

“I particularly liked how you could make a practical and immediate impact on the community and how finding solutions to waste problems can lead down some very creative and innovative paths.” Marrickville Council to encourage a culture of environmental sustainability in the community) was Kath’s first foray into the WARR industry. It exposed her to much grassroots community activities which she described as “fun”. These ranged from natural cleaning workshops to working with local businesses to reduce plastic bag usage. “I loved the comradery of the small organisation and being surrounded by such diversely skilled and very passionate individuals,” she said. Kath joined the City of Sydney, in 2008 and in her current position her team delivers resource recovery projects and service trials along with developing waste planning and policy and communications and engagement programs.

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“I love the variety of my work and the opportunities it provides to bring meaningful and sustainable services to our community. The most challenging part of this role is learning to be patient and realising that some things are out of my control. “I like to see real results quickly but in local government we understandably need to work within defined governance frameworks, which means it can take time to see a project through to implementation.”

WFH fit for purpose As a mother with a young son, it’s not surprising that Kath has embraced our new work from home lifestyle. “To be completely selfish and

honest, I’m enjoying how much more alone-time it has provided me. I appreciate being a solo mum to my non-stop three-year-old, but in the past, it has meant that time to myself is usually in short supply. Working from home now means that with my son still in day-care, I can get so much more done both at work and around the house,” she said. One of the biggest challenges Australians often face is thinking long-term and COVID-19 has exacerbated this, making us live in the present as we wait to see what changes the next 24 hours brings. For McLaughlin, her long-term vision is also evolving. “At the moment, I would like to think that in five years’ time I would have found a way to combine my two passions of design and resource recovery. I would like to discover new career opportunities that give me flexibility to travel, tinker in my studio, spend time with family, while still honing my skills and being challenged professionally. “Of course, I would also have built my own self-sufficient home on a couple of acres by then as well!”

If I was PM If Kath was either the Australian Prime Minister or Environment Minister, her first priority would be to fast track a strategic network of essential resource recovery infrastructure across the country. She envisions that this would use advanced technologies to maximise recovery rates for all streams, while creating a robust domestic market for recovered material. “Second, I would mandate extended producer responsibility schemes for all products, so we can truly move towards a circular economy. “Finally, I would ban the nonessential use of plastics. I don’t want our generations to be remembered as The Plastic Age. Surely, when we consider that plastic particles can now enter the fossil record, it means it’s time to curb our reckless use of the stuff,” she concluded. iw



Equipment News //

Entry Level plants for Tyre Shredding beginners By Inside Waste HAVING OVER 50 years’ experience in shredding technology UNTHA are no stranger to shredding problematic materials. The big difference is that now volume reduction alone is not enough. When the waste materials are to be re-incarnated they must be processed or sized to a given specification and cost UNTHA specialises in resource recovery from used tyres.

to maximise their afterlife value and this for many shredder manufactures has been the industry ‘holy grail’. When dealing with hard to process materials like tyres, rubber belt, pulper ropes, plastic, textiles and alternative fuels UNTHA is the forefront on this technology sector which have allowed many materials to rise from the dead out of landfill graveyards.

Entry level plants for tyre shredding beginners UNTHA whole tyre recycling plants divert off the road (OTR), truck and passenger tyres from landfill by separating the tyre into materials such as tyre derived fuel, metals and products for further processing at the lowest possible cost per tonne. Whole Tyre Recycling Systems combine the latest in feeding, shredding, screening & separation technology, allowing processors to efficiently separate, sort and recover a range of recyclable products from end of life tyres. UNTHA’s range of shredder sizes

allows primary and secondary tyre recycling from the SME right through to large multinationals enabling on shore production of used tyre derived products for use within Australia. Even entry level UNTHA machines have unique technology make possible single pass tyre derived fuel (TDF) specification with no de-beading required. UNTHA’ s global business development manager Gary Moore is by no means a psychic but during his recent visits to the Australia, meeting with new and existing UNTHA customers he observed, “Australia must take advantage of what has been happening in the European waste sectors. The European tends over the past five years can be a ‘crystal ball’ for Australian waste processors. Future market opportunities within Australia for products like tyre derived fuels are only made possible with the selection of the right technology and in market support. “At UNTHA we feel this prerequisite is met through our partnership with local company FOCUS Enviro which has

already installed multiple stationary and mobile systems for advance shredding of hard to shred material such as end of life tyres. According to FOCUS Enviro technical sales manager Ryan McParland, “Looking to the future its very comforting to know that with access to the UNTHA product range we not only have the experience and market knowledge of the past 50 years but we also have the most advance shredding and sizing technology on the market to meet increasing legislation and product specification demands.” “Thanks to UNTHA, we are well positioned to offer local support, technical knowledge and proven technology to those companies already processing end-of-life tyres but also those who are just entering the market. The pending ban on whole tyres to export will present not only challenges for some existing tyre processing companies but more importantly new market opportunities here in Australia. iw

Expansion and growth on the agenda By Inside Waste WASTECH ENGINEERING WAS FOUNDED over 25 years ago by two brothers, Neil and Paul Bone along with a small staff who still remain with the company. From modest beginnings in 1993, with a core mission of solving their customer’s problems, Wastech told Inside Waste that the company has continued to grow year-on-year while still maintaining the same core mission. Wastech has a large team of engineers and waste consultants which help the waste industry provide solutions for any waste related issue. They also supply products such as vertical and horizontal balers, stationary and transportable compactors, depackaging equipment and larger systems such as transfer stations, material recovery facilities and on-site waste 38

baling facilities. In 2021, Wastech will focus on continuing to service its current customer base and also expand its services into new fields such as mining and quarrying. Since the waste industry is a large sector within the circular economy, Wastech national product manager, projects, Chris Andel said that current products and solutions which Wastech provide, offer market leading qualities for all our customers. “This year has been challenging but we have also expanded our range by becoming exclusive agents for the Flexus waste baling system and we are also diversifying our products with the Pilot Crushtec equipment and launching our presence in the mining and quarrying sector,” Wastech national product manager, projects, Chris Andel said. iw


Flexus waste baling system.

Daily news updates at

// Equipment News

Onetrak takes on Anaconda Equipment By Inside Waste ONETRAK, distributor of large brands within the earthmoving and construction, forestry, material handling and quarry industries, has been awarded the exclusive Anaconda Equipment dealership for Australia. Onetrak product manager crushing and screening Jason MacDonald, told Inside Waste that the Anaconda range “ties in nicely with our existing product lines and complements our successful Striker crushing and screening range.” Anaconda makes a range of trommels, scalping and sizing screens from 14500kg through to 43000kg, feeder conveyors from 10 to 20m long and radial conveyors from 1523m long.

Targeted at smaller market Onetrak sees the Anaconda range being targeted at the contractor and smaller quarry market and Striker at the larger quarry and mining markets. Anaconda Equipment meets these needs by providing a host of options including specialised mesh selections, tipping grids, vibrating grids, rinser kits, magnets and very fuelefficient engines, McDonald explained. Conexpo saw the release of the larger DF518 Scalping Screen (18x5) with attention to detail evident on small features such as collars around the clamp bar bolt heads to make

changeout easier, something McDonald said those in the field will appreciate. The New J-12 jaw crusher and I-12 Impactor were also released and have been designed so that the crusher boxes are interchangeable, offering more versatility for the owner to swap between boxes as demand dictates. In the coming months there will also be recirc kits offered for the J-12 and I-12 crushers making them even more versatile. MacDonald explained that, when teamed with Striker, Fuchs material handlers, Tigercat and the Hidromek range, the Anaconda line would enable the company to serve its customers better during these difficult times, as the push for efficiency becomes even more critical. “The pursuit of the lowest cost per tonne is on to maximise profits for our customers and Onetrak is here to help. We can offer cost effective solutions by selecting the correct equipment, eliminating bottlenecks and maximising production and uptime,” he said.

National reach With branches in every state, MacDonald said the company has the service personnel and parts to service all its clients. Anaconda Equipment CEO Alistair Forsyth, added that the company offers a full line of tracked scalping and incline screens, ranging from the

Anaconda DF410 Scalper.

Daily news updates at

The Anaconda and Onetrak teams are poised to bolster the Australian market. (l-r)Nick O’Brien (Onetrak national sales manager), Alistair Forsyth (Anaconda Equipment, CEO), David Hazell (Onetrak managing director), Jason MacDonald (Onetrak product manager crushing and screening) and Shane Ricardo (Onetrak territory manager, Onetrak).

compact 10x4 units, to 14x5 units, up to the recently released 20x5 units. This is along with the incline deck screens comes a full line of tracked trommel screens, tracked feeder loaders, and tracked conveyors. “We have been on the worldwide market for 12 years and have almost 1500 machines, in more than 50 countries, across six continents sold to date. All equipment is manufactured and distributed from our full-service manufacturing and parts facility in Northern Ireland, UK,” he said. Anaconda has been in the Australian market for eight years and over that time has placed almost 400 machines in the country predominantly on the East Coast. As the company rounded off the Anaconda screening and conveying line with the introduction of a

crushing line, we required a national distributor that could carry the complete line of Anaconda products nationally as a primary offering in their aggregate equipment division.

Scalping screen “As we entered 2020, we rounded off the Screening line with the DF518 Scalping Screen along with making Anaconda’s introduction to the tracked crushing market with the launch of the J12 Jaw Crusher and I12 Impact Crusher at the 2020 ConExpo in Las Vegas this March,” Forsyth said. The scalping screen is the latest and largest scalping screen offering to be launched by Anaconda. It is available in Apron Feed or Belt Feed models and comes with a generic 18ft (5.5m) x 5ft (1.5m) top and bottom deck screen giving the operator a full 90 sqf (8.25 sqm) of screening area on the top and bottom deck. The Screen also comes with a full 8” (200mm) passing clearance between the underside of the screen center tube and the bottom deck screen allowing for primary splits to occur on the top and bottom decks. Both the mid-size product conveyor and fines product conveyor are overhead folding channel frame heavy duty designs, complete with 42” (1050mm) heavy duty belts to achieve maximum tonnage capacities regardless of the material percentage splitting from the screenbox. This heavy-duty scalping screen rounds off the Anaconda range of small, medium and large scalping screens and works well as a standalone primary screen or paired with the new Anaconda Tracked Jaw and Impactor line. iw



VB Primary Shredder

Unit dimensions: 4 to 7 Metres long. Weight: 17 - 22 tonnes on crawler tracks Motor: Diesel/Electric Screens material this size: Various (double or triple fractions) Screen type: Dynamic (Hardox Discs) Designed for (material): All waste materials Throughput: Up to 200tph+ More: or 1800 644 978

Speed (slow/high): Twin Shaft – Slow Speed Throughput: 200tph+ Suitable material: All waste types Drive type: Diesel or Electric No. shafts/speed: Twin Shaft/Slow Speed up to 40rpm Hopper size: Up to 16 cubic metres Unit Dimensions: TBC Weight (tonnes): Up to 66 tonnes No. of units in range: 6 Models Base price: $250,000 + GST More: or 1800 644 978

Wastech Engineering

CP Screens - Various Unit dimensions: Designed & manufactured to suit specific requirements Weight: To Suit Application Motor: To Suit Application Screens material this size: To Suit Application Screen type: Disc; Rubber & Steel (Cast Chromium) Designed for (material): Comingle Recyclables, MSW, C & I and C & D Throughput: To Suit Application Base price: To Suit Application More: (03) 8787 1600

Anaconda SR520 Tracked Screener

Trommel Unit dimensions: Designed & manufactured to suit specific requirements Weight: To Suit Application Motor: To Suit Application Screens material this size: To Suit Application Screen type: mesh or punch plate Designed for (material): Comingled, MSW, C&I and C&D Throughput: To Suit Application Base price: To Suit Application More: or (03) 8787 1600

Strategic Environmental Consultants


Power/Pack: Tier 3 Engine Cat C4.4 – 96.5kw, diesel tank 544 litre, hydraulic tank 630 litre Feeder: Capacity 8m3, belt feeder, feeder conveyor belt width .050mm, tipping grid with radio remote Screen Box: • Top Deck 6150mm x 1520mm (20’ X 5’) • Middle Deck 6150mm x 1520mm (20’x5’) • Bottom Deck 5490mm x 1520mm (18’ X 5’), Angle 18-30 degrees Tracks: Width 500mm Performance: Capacity up to 450 T/Hour, Maximum Feed Size 125mm. Designed for: Sand, gravel, stone and soils. More: or (03) 9709 4077

CSS Equipment

Hextra Model

Wastech Engineering

CSS Equipment

Product Profile //

Australia's waste specialists UNTHA XR3000C Shredder

Organic waste recovery systems




Unit Dimension: 12500 x 2800 x 3400mm (+ hopper) Weight: 39 tons Motor/Rotor: 2 x 132kW Screens material this size: <50mm Screen type: Optimised Designed for (material): Residual waste, RDF, SRF, Bulky waste, Tyres, Wood waste, Plastics Throughput: up to 45 tons pr/hr Base Price: Terms to be arranged, finance available More: Robbie McKernan or (02) 4365 4247


Waste minimisation and resource recovery Environmental assessment and strategic planning Product stewardship and materials efficiency Carbon emissions

Call 03 9081 0440 or email Daily news updates at

FinesSort Metals Recovery System

Application: Removes non-ferrous metallic contaminants from plastics, glass cullet, electronic scrap, automobile shredder residue (ASR), boiler bottom ash, spent foundry core sand, and mixed metals. Features: Designed with an eccentrically mounted magnetic rotor within the non-conductive larger diameter shell for separation of non-ferrous metals. The eccentric rotor concentrates its eddy current forces into a zone of separation at the end of the belt. By focusing its field, this design ignores ferrous material in the flow. Options/Extras: Choose the correct rotor assembly to suit the application. More: or 613 8401 7400

Application: Uses powerful magnetic components to recover ferrous and nonferrous metals from fine waste streams. Features: Receives the discarded “fines” material that has passed through an initial screening process. The material flows through the machine’s magnetic separators removing even partially magnetic metals from the flow, dropping them onto a cross-belt conveyor and into a recycling container. Designed with multi-stage separation process using the most effective and proven technology. Constructed according to heavy industry requirements. Result: Quick payback period. More: or 61 (3) 8401 7400


RevX-E Eddy Current Separator

Garwood Dualpact

Garwood Rearloader

Model types: 50/50, 60/40 and 70/30 splits Configuration: Fitted to any 4x2, 6x4 and 8x4 cab chassis Capacity: 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 22, 24m3 Payload: From 2.5t to 10t Length: 2800mm to 8200mm Construction material: High tensile steels Weight: 3000kg-7800kg Max load on arms: 300kg single lift and 800kg WCL Lift cycle time: Variable – single lift 6-12 secs, WCL 8-14 secs Compaction system: Rear loading with individual hoppers sweep and pack action More: or (02) 9756 3756

Model types: Miner, Bantam, Compact, Powapact, Maxipact Configuration: Fitted to any 4x2, 6x4 and 8x4 cab chassis Capacity: 4,5,6,8,10,12,15,20,22,24,28m3 Payload: From 2.5t-10t Length: 2600mm to 8200mm Construction material: High-tensile steels Weight: 2200kg-7800kg Maximum load on arms: WCL 800kg Lift cycle time: Variable – single lift 6-12 sec, WCL 8-14 sec Compaction system: Rear loading with sweep and pack action More: or (02) 9756 3756

Garwood International

Garwood International


// Product Profile

AIP Pulley

Application: The L958F is popular in quarries, feedlots, material handling, farm use, waste recycling and general construction. Features: It combines reliability, versatility and high performance – making it an excellent choice for Australian operations. Easy-toaccess service check points make daily operations more efficient. The L958F comes with and ergonomic spacious cab and a 3m3 bucket. It is engineered for high productivity and gives an excellent return on investment. All SDLG wheel loaders are rigorously tested to ensure reliability in action. More: or 1300 804 139


CJD Equipment

L958F Wheel Loader

SE-7000 Suspended Electromagnets

Daily news updates at


Garwood International

Garwood Sideloader Model types: Litterpact GII and GIII Configuration: Fitted to any 4x2 and 6x4 cab chassis Capacity: From six through to 29m3 Payload: From 2t to 10t Length: 2400mm-7400mm Construction material: High tensile steels Weight: 1800kg-6200kg Maximum load on arms: 180kg Lift cycle time: Variable – about 6 sec Compaction system: Paddle and push panel type More: or (02) 9756 3756

Application: Provides ideal automatic removal of unwanted iron-based objects from materials conveyed on belts. Features: Constructed of quality steel centre tubes with welded dividers to securely hold magnet stacks. Standard pulley models use powerful ceramic magnets in an axial interpole circuit. Pulleys are all– welded heavy-duty construction for use in severe applications involving extra-long conveyors, heavy loads or start–stop operations. Options/Extras: Custom pulley face widths, shafts and lagging. More: or 613 8401 7400

Application: Effectively removes ferrous metal contamination from waste and compost streams, protecting process equipment and helping to deliver a quality product. Features: High force index across a deep field to remove the most difficult tramp iron. Oil expansion tank prevents condensation to extend coil life. Designed for any installation angle, allowing the user to rotate the magnet to maximise effect. Options/Extras: 23 magnet sizes, 69 standard models and bespoke designs available. More: or 61 (3) 8401 7400



Wasted Space //

For Sale: One Used Glass Bottle Called Johnnie

At Inside Waste, we provide up-to-date, in-depth information on policy and regulation news affecting the waste industry. The publication offers a comprehensive overview of the innovations, challenges and achievements shaping the industry in Australia and internationally. Sign up for your copy and free newsletter today at the link below.

Officia l Public ation


www.inside waste ISSUE 97 | AUG/

ISSUE 96 | JUN/JUL 2020 Associations, entities and policymakers that underpin the industry have explained to Inside Waste how they have marshalled their own resources and reshaped operations during the COVID-19 crisis.

INSIDE 24 Waste 2020 Conference 28 Waste-to-Energy feature 37 Why we need to be loud

Once-in-a -g of Austra eneration revamp lia’sUK retakes cyclthe ing system lead in meeting plastic targets Agile and adaptable: WARR industry stares down disruptor THE WASTE and resources recovery industry has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability during the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The heads of the associations that guide their members and the industry have explained to Inside Waste how they how they have marshalled their own resources and reshaped operations. The Waste and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan was pragmatic and encouraging when she stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for Australia to build a resilient domestic economy as this creates bountiful opportunities, and the WARR industry stands ready to continue working with governments to capitalise on these opportunities and create remanufacturing jobs and investment throughout Australia. “This is a sector where the well will not run dry because where there are people, there are and will be waste (resources) ready to be remanufactured back into the products they once were,” Sloan said. The Council of Recyling CEO Pete Schmigel, underscored Sloan’s position, telling Inside Waste that the challenge for ACOR and its members during COVID

ISSN 1837-5618


of the

Thousands of to be created jobs are expected Monetisation by the Recycling Fund to lead Australia out of deep recession.

Official Publication of the

PP: 100024538

locals here are up to in wasteland. They have a lot on their plate if they are to meet those damned glass and paper targets over the next twelve months. I might see if I can have a small word with Emperor Naruhito (you know I met him on Her Majesty’s Secret Service) and ask him just what is the secret of their waste management success. It’s probably the porcelain flasks. Well, I’ll sign off now while the glass, sorry paper bottle, is still half full. Yours JB Permanent Secretary for All Things To Do With Waste iw

bottles. No, it’s proper porcelain flasks for him and the royal family. Of course, Minister, the Japanese manage their waste akin to an extreme sport. According to the OECD, just one per cent of Japan’s council waste ends up in landfill compared to 49 per cent in Australia. In Japan, the Plastic Waste Management Institute said 83 per cent of plastics were recycled or incinerated, generating power and heating local facilities like pools in the process. Imagine? I know that you are yet to hand me my next assignment as you’ve been pretty busy keeping an eye on Boris, but perhaps you might like me to take a closer look into just what the

SEPT 2020


24 Trevor Evan s speaks 26 FOGO unea rthed 34 City’s Youn g Profession al

Is Produc t Stewards hip reform the turning poi nt?

AS VICTOR IANS wave of COVID faced down a resurgent -19 in July, in waste policy of Federal Government’s the arrival an important but to also play $190 million THERE HAS Recycling role in leadin Modernisatio Wilson said been country out g the that the govern n Fund (RMF) debate around considerable indust was welcom of recession. knows we ry ed by the ment Product Stewa need action WARR indust and the lack with open rdship across ry Opposition arms. As Australia begins to pick up speedthe full waste of a compu -to-resource lsory manda says for companies This isn’t surpri manufacturi -tote funding towards setting and meeting sustainable to stop using sing becau ng cycle. overdue materials in government virgin se targets, the UK is being hailed as a “That requir their packag action on Althou the es innovation gh the Labor ing. recovery strate waste Against this design-out to Oppos theition global WARR industry. gy plan agreed atmosphere, described leader within waste and advent of the in theDuring the design-in annouone COAG re-use and of nt theasfirst presentations wasn’t keeping services going, but March is long members to start toatsee things from nceme Federa overdu “longrecycl l Government’s overdue” shado e, making decision in it more impera product stewa ing; it requires early The wPlastics session keeping governments committed to the a national tive thatperspective. assistaRevolution minister forwithin nt rdship reform a timeli Product Stewa July to amend the be pronounced the National Plastics so that reforms they have recently pledged. “We really see thisnenew approach rdship Act nment, JoshSummit inproducers take respon as soon Wilson acknoat theenviro as possib 2011, the legislative There wledged sibility for mechanism “Dealing with COVID is critical, is less as March, Nextek Ed cycle of their a long term ratherle. than a shortthan that managing the will help addres the RMF directorlife six month to improve the use and the products; it s until s a detailed further impro major gap but it should not stop the agenda ban on glass Kosior what Australia could termexport strategy for us, “she said.reproc re-use of resour requires in local vements to essing capaci s activates support waste and ces to collection and sorting, ty atthe to grow domestically sustainable 12 months until UK. Nextek is a UK As part its communications management a time investing in learn from theofban and infrast when overwhelmin plastic export , was sustai ructure nable jobs recycling through infrastructure consultancy firm is specialising infor therecycling and strategy, WMMR on increased the “We’ve gly welcom s. key. ed. reprocessing known for This long-a infrast a investment, public procurementMost importantly recycling of plastics packaging from frequency of its email communications waited long ructur when time , review forms the key to e; and it requir you stick to that part of ongoin the succes a up es s of the and better standardisation resour to food-grade by adding a new weekly Resource g plan jobs are waste ce recoveryquality.procurement to suppo RMF will product stewar reform of Australia’s ability of the beschedule. rt create the deman a necess d of services,” Schmigel said. He pointed to the UK’s national Bulletin to its and d at various states dship regime ary scale to present, I at the follows on a third of the to meet kick-o e theand should be from the Nation and Waste Resources Action Programme “Engagement, knowledge to andadapt believ countr fundin a job-creating ff what y is ready g. Meanwhile, Policy the indust greate al Waste Core Communications Action r surge in sustainabilit ry needs (WRAP), whichywas set up in Austra 2000 lian manuf advocacy just as important at Plan 2019 self-su to waitisuntil and agreed last acturing.” November Treasurer hands WMRR has focused on a core the and we have fficiency to as promote a new way at a meetin He added that sustainable these difficult times, down he told of life,” waste g of the belate the govern ministers, budge communications function to ensure t inits d members a meansInside Waste. comm as October ment has and the Nation environment focused on giving and then “We need moremanagement. WRAP describes itselfission ed an indepe al Waste Policy Parliament for the members were kept fully informed of to enact ndent analys that and a detail catalyst for positive economic of staying connected. Thisfundin also 2018. shows Austra about is the legisla the g and especi lia may requir A review of While all changes, rescheduling and delays 400 per cent this is being ally the timeli environmental action. supports themtion. in buildingconsid their ea Product Stewa increase prepar ering it is nes, been consid the rollout rdship has ed, that impacted their operations. six month infrast also needs ered by the work uniquely, and by design, business continuity plans the for 2020 ructure capaci in recycling s until ban on glass “We to be seen WARR as a critica within ty to cope additional export l lever in transit industry contextand The association moved all thethe facein the sspace between governments, Sloan added. with and 12 months until waste from of abeyond,” national circula government ioning to a the the r economy, and and he pointe ban export ban, to-face events that were previously and societ businesses, communities, thinkers “The COVID-19 pandemic has on plastic export d without it, y which is s. Let’s be other initiat grappling with most Summit (held to the National Plastic clear, scheduled, to be held nationally and individuals – forging powerful ives are left the need for Australia to recycling and the reinforced reprocessing biggest econo in ineffe March downturn in The Review ctual. infrastpartnerships mic clear ructure is only onto Zoom. It was fairly seamless, a centur and delivering groundbuild a resilient domestic economy policy or fundin ) at which no was quickl one y, exacer part of as y followed by the releas ongoing lockdo the major g was annou bated by opportunities, “Labo Sloan explained as the association breaking to support more e reforminitiatives of wns. this creates bountiful nced. r to deal with $20 has needed million to always said new Produc It isabecom the that direct fundin t Stewardship had already been developing sustainable economies and society.” and the WARR industry Recycl stands ready Australia’s ing cleare g for the streng waste crisis. ed mater r that an Investment Fund. As part opportunity thening of Australia’s Zoom communications platform as lies within In a2018, WRAP established to continue working with governmentsial needs of this fund end-u comm waste indust ser and ercial this indust July 8, 2020, to not only and from ry is vital, ry these marke pave the to direction for 2020. Theto UKthink Plastics Pact andwhich late last capitalise on opportunities it is folly businesses is why we way t is ready to the are promis apply to recovery able for ed to million $60 grants of $300,0 deal “This had been on our business year, it published its first annual and create remanufacturing and with for a nation anticipjobs the ated million to 00 to $1 al recycling develop indust plan and we had already purchased for the investment throughout Australia. volume.” report and baseline dataduring fund the 2019 electio ry-led produc stewardship n. (Conti t Zoom, so were prepared. The benefit Pact, indicating members’ starting “This is a sector where the well schemes and nued on page improve the rates of recycl 20.) of running the events digitally is position towards its targets. will not run dry because where ing in existin (Continued on page 22.) g schemes. that members from interstate who It also pointed out where there are people, there are and usually couldn’t attend the event the challenges lie including one will be waste (resources) ready to ISSN 1837-5 618

these Aussies are about their waste, talk about making-up for lost time! In the last month, the government down here began handing out RMF’s and product stewardship reviews and planning audits like their lives depended on it. Back to the paper bottles. You know Minister, that I’m not such a luddite (despite what you may have heard) to dismiss these deep techno advances and of course, I understand that the bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. But do they have to do it to whiskey? I bet Emperor Naruhito doesn’t swallow his sake in paper

were able to be involved. “So, we get a really rich level of audience participation and it enables PP: 10002 4538

DEAR MINISTER, Well, has it really come to this? Now that I’m in lockdown in Melbourne and can’t get back to the old country until who knows when, I find I have plenty of time to catch up on my reading. I was scrolling through my watch yesterday and came across the latest office memo. Is it true that we permanent secretaries are only allowed to purchase whisky that comes in what…paper bottles? That is just too much. As you know, I am a vermouth and gin man most of the time, but on occasion I have been known to reward myself (and special friends) with a topshelf Johnnie Walker and now you are telling me it’s not going to be encased in the real thing? Glass that is. Think about it, if my friends or enemies see me with a paper whiskey bottle they may start to think twice about the providence of some other accessories of mine. It just won’t do. Next, you will be telling me they will be packaging my sandwiches at the Australia Club out of sheep’s intestines. Oh Minister, I know that you will say we all need to do our bit to stop the all-mighty sea of waste that we can’t send to Asia any longer and goodness knows there’s nowhere to put it at home. It seems to be everywhere and, I have to tell you, I have noticed just how enthusiastic

be remanufactured back into the products they once were,” Sloan said. (Continued on page 20.)

billion problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic items. (Continued on page 22.)

Primary and Secondary systems for Whole tyre Off the Road export ban (OTR), Truck opportuniti es…want to and Passenger know more tyre recycling ? | info@ focusenvir See Gary Moore from UNTHA UK present on ‘RDF and PEF Australia’s future resource?’

Daily news updates at

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