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resource recovery

G

PT has set strong objectives to achieve a

• Percentage diversion from landfill - a measure of recovery rates.

• have a limited number of recovery cycles; and

genuinely sustainable

• Percentage A-grade recovery - a measure

• produce valueless by-products after

outcome in waste and re-

of quality where processes meet the

several recycling cycles.

source management. Its

closed-loop objective.

Generally, plastic products are down-

objectives centre around

This reporting method indicates both the

cycled in Australia and this waste stream

achieving a 98% diversion of waste from

quantity and quality of the results of our

makes up the bulk of the B-grade recov-

landfill, as well as closed-loop recovery - ie,

waste and resource management processes.

ered products in GPT’s waste management

the same resources can be used over and

There are three main elements of an out-

over again in the same production cycles.

comes-based report that drive improvement:

Many other companies and government

1. Accurate weights - the first preference

agencies have also set such sustainability

is actual weights. If these are not avail-

objectives; however, there is much that needs

able, verified site densities are to be

to be done to ensure that the good intentions

applied to volume measures to derive

of these objectives result in real progress

weights. Industry average densities are

towards a closed-loop outcome. For progress

undesirable.

processes.

C-grade recovery C-grade recovered products are those which are produced in a waste diversion process but are only available for a single additional application. At GPT, this generally refers to mixed source waste products made up of a com-

to be made, managers need to make decisions

2. Deducting contamination - processes

with a better understanding of the end-of-

should be implemented to net off any

life outcomes of their waste management

contamination or non-recoverables within

processes. This requires more meaningful

recycling streams so that only the re-

data than what is currently provided.

coverable items are reported in recovery

Landfill

figures.

This is the non-recovered waste. Sources

GPT therefore advocates, and is un-

posted mix of organics and other residual waste. Energy recovery from non-renewable sources would also fall into this category.

dertaking, a shift from inputs-based to

3. Grading the outcome - GPT has named

outcomes-based reporting. An inputs-based

recovery outcomes A-, B- and C-grade.

• general waste processes;

report primarily looks at waste at the point

By adding this grading information to

• contamination within a recycling stream;

of disposal. Whereas, an outcomes-based

reports, the information improves from

report follows the waste all the way to its

simply reporting the input weights to a

end destination - in essence shifting the

recycling bin to assessing what happens

Put simply, if it starts in a bin and ends

boundaries of where waste data is being

to the contents of the receptacle at their

up in a hole in the ground, this should

reported. With accurate data and review-

final destination.

reasonably be considered landfill and GPT

ing results at the end destination, the

include:

or • losses from recovery processes.

will report it that way where it is identified.

provide managers with the most appropriate

How do the recovery grades work?

information for waste management reporting

GPT is implementing the recovery grading

A case study of input-based vs outcomes-based reporting

and decision-making.

system so that the quality of the recovered

The following example demonstrates the dif-

material can be considered alongside its

ferences between an inputs-based reporting

quantity. Each grade is explained below:

system and an outcomes-based reporting

outcomes-based reporting approach will

What is outcomes-based reporting? Outcomes-based reporting in waste and resource management accurately tracks and categorises information about the end destination of disposed items. Using the common phrases of ‘cradle-to-cradle’ or ‘cradle-to-grave’, an outcomes-based report will provide both qualitative and quantitative information about the ‘cradles’ and ‘graves’. At GPT, an outcomes-based reporting method has been designed to provide better measures for assessing performance against its sustainability objectives for waste and resource management. The principal performance measures will be: • Waste intensity - a measure of waste generation rates per m at assets. 2

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A-grade recovery: A-grade recovered products: • meet a closed loop objectives; • may be used over and over again, constantly being returned to the same production cycle; and • can be recovered without any consequent hazardous material build-up in the environment. At GPT, the recovered A-grade product consists mostly of cardboard and paper, some organics and robust recoverable materials such a glass and metals.

B-grade recovery B-grade recovered products are: • down-cycled to a lower-value product;

system for waste and resource management. The inputs data is taken from a waste services provider’s bills and monthly reports. The data in the case study is for a mixed commingled container recovery service at a shopping centre in Sydney. To avoid singling out any waste operators, the asset and service provider information has been excluded. Similar results have been found at multiple assets, so the finger cannot be pointed at a supposed rogue operator. This simply illustrates the need to reform the waste reporting processes. Other information in Table 1 is actual data from the service provider and billing costs. The inputs-based report for this commingled stream presents a picture that suggests

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Sustainability Matters Jun/Jul 2015  

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

Sustainability Matters Jun/Jul 2015  

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