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Collaboration produces Future Waste Resources 2021 Convention

This year, instead of hosting the Australian Waste to Energy Forum, the Australian Industrial Ecology Network (AIEN) has joined forces with the Waste Recycling Industry Association (WRIQ) and the Queensland Farmers Association to present the Future Waste Resources 2021 Convention from 1 – 3 March 2021 on the Gold Coast.

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Company fined $450,000 for fake waste disposal report

An earthmoving company engaged to remove asbestos-contaminated soil from a Sydney building site has been convicted of two offences of knowingly supplying fake tipping dockets and a disposal report that claimed the asbestos-contaminated waste had been lawfully disposed of, following a prosecution by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

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Wasted Space: When one Conference isn’t enough….

Dear Minister,

I know it’s been some months since my last report but, in my defence, my schedule has been terrifyingly full. There’s not been a free moment, as I try to keep pace with these Aussies who are working their hearts out to beat those exports bans.

It’s been exhausting watching the progress as more grants are handed out, a Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence is established and I’m sure you may have heard that the country’s first ever recycling legislation has been making its way through the Parliament.

As well as all of this long overdue activity, I’ve noticed that one of the curious strategies of the WARR industry (that’s how they style themselves down here) is to conference themselves towards them (the export bans that is). I know it’s strange, but it seems to be the way that they like to do things. As the saying goes, one conference is too many and 100 isn’t enough.

Not that I’m saying the waste industry has 100 conferences a year, it just seems like that… LOL.

It appeared to start just after lockdown in March when the face-to-face Waste Conference 2020 held at Coffs Harbour, a semi tropical beachside resort that the locals love to throng to every year, was cancelled.

Before you could say FOGO, this event metamorphised into what is now known as a ‘virtual event’.

If there was anything I needed to know about the waste industry, you bet I was able to find it there. And you know how I struggle with zoom, I never seemed to be off the darn thing.

By all accounts it was a huge success with nearly 3000 faces zooming in during the six-week program. There were eight premium sessions featured and more than 35 speakers. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut.

Meanwhile, over in the Packaging camp, not to be outdone with this  extravaganza of information, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation launched a series of Weekly Community Webinars. At the same time.

So, you ask why was there two industry events running simultaneously? Well, the answer may seem obvious, they speak to very different audiences, but lying beneath that politically correct mask, I have sensed a distinct frisson of energy between the packaging and waste industries.

Call it emotional intelligence or the like, but I would even go as far to say that they don’t like each other.

Nothing on the scale of the divide between Make America Great Again and the Democrats of course but, packaging and waste seem to make strange bedfellows. One seems to hold the other responsible for the whole waste crisis, while the other moves at a glacial rate of change while watching the world become immersed in plastic.

I digress, and I can tell you that my education continued. In October, the Australian Institute of Packaging started zooming out its annual conference to be quickly followed in November by the 2020 Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo.

You are right, it did make my head spin.

Study indicates a sustainable led COVID recovery

The iugis’ Sustainable Re-set report reveals the nation expects more from governments when it comes to issues like fighting food waste. The study, undertaken by YouGov, surveyed both consumers and small business owners about their attitudes to sustainability and food waste. It revealed the majority (75 per cent of consumers and 64 per cent of SMB owners) are concerned about sustainability and climate change with around a third in each group even more concerned about these issues now than they were before the pandemic.

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