Staff Writer

Closing the loop of Magnetic Island

Speaking to Inside Waste after winning the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) Transfer Stations Excellence Awards at the 2017 Australian Landfill & Transfer Stations Innovation and Excellence Awards in March, Matt McCarthy, manager of Townsville City Council’s Waste Services, said the facility has been a long time coming and a lot of planning and work was done over 10 years.

“Ten years ago, we knew we were running out of landfill space and we needed to do something more, so a lot of community consultation was undertaken around the waste management strategy for Magnetic Island, and we surprisingly got a lot of support from the community – I think it was 98% support for a transfer station,” McCarthy said. Read more

Heads of EPA discuss national approaches

At a Waste Management Association of Australian (WMAA) NSW industry update earlier this month, NSW EPA director waste and resource recovery Steve Beaman said HEPA – an informal organisation – decided to form this waste working group as discussions within COAG tended to focus on issues such as container deposit schemes and plastic bag bans, and there is “a bit missing where there’s a need for regulatory policy and for the states to get together to harmonise.”

Beaman told attendees the working group would meet “fairly frequently” and as a start, would be principle-based although the intent is to get into the details “fairly quickly” Read more

Pushing for phosphate-free detergents in two years

A new report has found alarming levels of phosphates in 62% of the auto dishwasher tablets sold in Coles and Woolworths stores nationally over the last 12 months.

Back in 2010, Jon Dee – co-founder and managing director at DoSomething – launched a campaign to get laundry detergent manufacturers to voluntarily phase out the use of phosphates in laundry detergents, in both powders and liquids.

He was successful in this and as a result of the campaign 2.3 billion laundry detergents a year in Australia is now phosphate-free. Though the success wasn’t complete as he began to see some people “dragging the chain” in this space. Read more

Redback Technologies in NZ for Virtual Power Plant trial

Redback’s Smart Hybrid System will be used as part of a two-year solar and battery technology trial designed to support Wellingtonians in the event of a natural disaster.

The technology will allow residents to access energy from solar power generation and battery storage when the electricity grid is under pressure during peak times or is compromised due to outages.

Tim Latimer, director of sales for Oceania at Redback Technologies, says that Redback began talks with Contact Energy at the beginning of the year after Contact employees saw their product at a show. Read more

Legal Eagle: NSW Land and Environment Court sentencing judgement for contravention of EPL and POEO Act


Mr Osman-Kerim was the sole-director of Sydney Drum Machinery Pty Ltd (Sydney Drum) and consequently, involved in the day-to-day management of the business. The business activities were conducted at St Marys and included the cleaning and reconditioning of intermediate bulk containers and drums, which were used as chemical containers by suppliers to store liquid products. Environment Protection Licence (EPL) No. 12893 was held by Sydney Drum and permitted container reconditioning and waste processing (non-thermal treatment) at the premises.

Contravention of EPL condition Read more

Uncovering the issues that waste managers face

Speaking at Waste 2017 in Coffs Harbour in April, former Local Government NSW (LGNSW) senior policy officer, Mark McKenzie – he left LGNSW shortly after the conference and is now a City of Canterbury Bankstown councillor – offered insights into waste management and planning, and discussed the issues faced by councils in NSW.

McKenzie noted that one of the biggest issues that councils face during the planning process is being caught in the middle and having to deal with competing stakeholders.

“Council might have a wonderful strategy mapped out to the nth degree – its future growth, the types of businesses involved, how many residences, all of those sorts of things – but you still have all of the impositions put on you on all of the aspects of the waste management and planning,” McKenzie said. Read more

Driving the drone economy

Speaking exclusively to Inside Waste (IW)  Terra Drone founder and CEO Toru Tokushige, who will also be presenting at the 2017 World of Drones Congress at the end of August, detailed what the company has to offer and why its chosen Australia as its Asia Pacific base.

IW: Tell us more about Terra Drone – what sets the company and its equipment apart? Read more

Future Focus: Reset the dial on landfill food and organic 'waste'

Future Focus: Reset the dial on landfill food and organic ‘waste’

But it prompts the questions – what should be done, and why do we continue to allow nutritious food to go to landfill? Why do we send policy and landfill price signals that fail to reflect the true cost of food in landfill? It should be far more expensive to send food to landfill than building rubble, for example.

Inert building rubble does not emit methane and contribute to climate change, nor does it produce leachate that seeps into groundwater and river systems, and there are few beneficial alternative destinations for rubble as there is for food. Read more

Screw it, let’s do it

Speaking to Inside Waste after winning the Waste Management Association of Australia Innovation Award for automation at the facility at the 2017 Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations conference in March, Council’s manager – waste services, Troy Uren, said the decision to build the facility wasn’t based on a desire to be innovative. Instead, they were focused on their customers and how to better deliver services to the community as well as the operational aspects of running a facility.

Tapping into more than 20 years of waste management operations experience, including as a consultant who saw many mistakes made across the country, Uren decided that Council needed to bite the bullet and build a facility that avoided the mistakes made in the past. A key factor was to focus on the operational issues, rather than only focusing on engineering issues when designing a site, and construct a transfer station that could remain standing and efficient for decades to come. Read more