NSW EPA’s precipitous action jeopardises future resource recovery investments

On October 26, the NSW EPA released the Mixed Waste Organic Material (MWOO) – Regulatory Change, withdrawing the Resource Recovery Order and Exemption to end the application of processed organic material derived from residual municipal waste to land. The order and exemption were revoked with 24 hours’ notice and with immediate effect, despite the use …
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Bingo acquisition of DADI may open up C&I sorting capacity in Australia

According to the 2016 National Waste Report, commercial and industrial waste (C&I) represents 20MT of the 53MT of waste generated in Australia (or 40 per cent of generation). It also represents 34 per cent of all waste sent to landfill or 7.2MT out of 21MT; and achieves a 64 per cent recovery rate compared to …
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Why Coles' plastic bag backflip leaves us worse off than before

Why Coles’ plastic bag backflip leaves us worse off than before

This unprecedented move is in response to strong backlash by customers who are struggling to switch to reusable bags.


Read more: Why plastic bag bans triggered such a huge reaction


We know that offering free lightweight plastic bags causes excessive plastic use. We also know that banning lightweight bags can increase the use of heavier plastic bags (such as bin liners). Coles’ decision brings out the worst of both worlds: giving out heavier plastic bags for free. Read more

Short-term gain for longer-term pain: expert weighs in on Coles backflip

Short-term gain for longer-term pain: expert weighs in on Coles backflip

The dramas continue for Coles as the supermarket giant has come under fire for its reversal of its decision to stop providing free reusable bags to shoppers. To make things worse, a recently leaked internal memo to Fairfax Media has revealed that Coles told staff it would keep giving away reusable plastic bags so it could get …
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Composting massively reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to landfill

Composting massively reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to landfill

Thinking that the carbon forcing factor of methane from landfill (25 times CO2) would render that claim incorrect, I thought I should go back and check the maths. The answer was so startling I wrote this article. In short, a truck filled with 25 tonnes of Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) can be driven 13,100km …
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Incinerators for waste disposal

Incinerators for waste disposal

Incinerators work by combusting waste thus creating an exothermic reaction between the waste and oxygen from the air. The end products of combustion are molecularly stable despite the fuel source (waste in this instance) differing in element such as gas, wood, coal, liquid petrol, municipal solid waste, medical waste, or hazardous waste). Well-designed incinerators have …
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Odour control for wastewater

Odour control for wastewater

From what once used to be an afterthought, the control of odours has now become a necessary primary consideration at a facility design phase. The issue with wastewater isn’t only present in the immediate instance of unpleasant odours or bacterial exposure, it spreads further to surrounding areas that may include residential areas. In an area which has …
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Is the waste disposal levy too high?

Is the waste disposal levy too high?

The Four Corners program painted a very negative picture of much of the waste industry as it explored: • illegal dumping of waste and interstate waste transfers; • stockpiling and/or dumping of recyclable product; and • possible corrupt practices of public officials. While the program missed the opportunity to examine the underlying drivers for waste management practices …
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EfW - a sustainable solution?

EfW – a sustainable solution?

In the October issue of Inside Waste, Lee Bell from the National Toxics Network Australia, argued that EfW or waste incineration plants emit high levels of toxins. Questions have also been raised about the potential for EfW to cannibalise recycling, despite proponents insisting that only residual waste destined for landfill will be processed. So, amid the …
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