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CASE STUDY

The City of Ballarat has received pro bono consulting on waste management after winning a US$500,000 grant from the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. The city was one of only two Australian cities, and 16 worldwide, to be awarded the grant in 2014. The City had access to five of IBM’s top experts, who spent three weeks immersing themselves in Ballarat to analyse and advise on its waste management strategy. The team interviewed dozens of local officials and community stakeholders on the issue of how Ballarat can realise its vision of becoming a leader in the use of strategies to manage residential and industrial waste more effectively. “Waste management is a key priority for the City and we want to lead the way in developing best practice approaches that can be shared with other councils and communities,” said Mayor John Philips. “We want to empower our community to take action now to ensure our waste management capabilities are both more efficient and more sustainable, as well as explore how we can get more economic value from waste as a resource stream.” IBM’s seven key recommendations are as follows: 1. Use a waste management decision framework to prioritise investment decisions, taking into consideration financial, community and environmental goals. 2. Utilise modern sorting methods to enhance resource recovery and reduce waste to landfill. 3. Explore waste to energy options that maximise landfill diversion. 4. Work with the state government to improve the attractiveness of waste to energy investments. 5. Establish a ‘Clean Ballarat’ community advisory group. 6. Develop an integrated communications plan emphasising landfill costs and lifespan concerns, and prepare the community for any waste management policy.

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IBM advises City of Ballarat on waste management

7. Employ a digital waste information system to increase understanding and support waste management process optimisation. “Ballarat has already invested significantly in waste management and there is depth of knowledge, expertise and systems in place,” said Miranda Scarff, corporate citizenship manager, IBM Australia. “By bringing the best minds in Ballarat together with IBM’s experts, better ways to manage local waste resources, reduce reliance on landfill and support economic growth can be uncovered.” IBM Australia Limited www.ibm.com/au

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Sustainability Matters Dec2014/Jan2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

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Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...