More WARR leaders question NSW budget

Last week WMRR CEO Gayle Sloan rebuked the State Government for failing to address key industry issues. Now the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) has labelled the NSW State Budget as ‘short sighted’, with the real economic potential of the waste and resource recovery industry being bypassed for a reliance on landfill levies.

NWRIC CEO Rose Read said NSW may claim to be open for business but not when it comes to the economic potential of material and energy recovery from waste.

“The NSW Budget forward estimates show that for 2023-24 there’s an estimated $832 million in revenue being generated from landfill levies, a more than 10% increase on the $751 million projected in the 2020-21 budget. However, only $96 million has been allocated in 2020-21 or less than 13% of the levy collected to help local councils manage waste through the Waste Less, Recycle More program.

“This reliance on landfill levies and delay in finalising the 20-year waste strategy shows the NSW Government’s mind is not open to the economic potential that transitioning to a circular economy will deliver.

“There is nothing here that encourages industry to invest in new material and energy recovery facilities to divert recyclable and residual wastes from landfill that would substantially grow the State’s GDP, create more employment opportunities and greenhouse gas savings,” Read said.

Major opportunity for NSW

She added that according to NSW Circular, over the next 20 years waste generation in NSW is projected to grow from its current 21 million tonnes to over 31 million tonnes.

“The circular economy is a major commercial opportunity for NSW.  Modelling by the Centre for International Economics has estimated that even a 5 per cent improvement in resource recovery would add $1 billion to Australia’s GDP and $644 million to NSW’s GDP.

“There are three times as many jobs in recycling as there are in landfill, and if the NSW Government is focused on economic recovery post COVID it is obvious that growing the material and energy recovery industry will boost the economy as well as create jobs.”

Read said the budget also outlined an extension of the Waste Less Recycle More program which has not shifted recycling rates since 2016.

“This program has been extended for 2021-22, however it is clear that it has not achieved what it set out to do and that needs to be addressed.”

“Landfill space is running out in NSW and the writing is on the wall. The NSW Government would be best placed to urgently refocus its waste management strategy by putting in place the economic and policy frameworks that fast track the growth of the material and energy recovery sector as NSW transitions to a circular economy,”  Read said.

It was disappointing to see the recent NSW 2020 budget announcement. It is obvious to all across the waste management sector that NSW continues to be heavily reliant on waste levy revenue with $750 million projected to be collected in the year to June 2021. And in the year to June 2024 waste levy collections have been projected by Treasury to be $832 million. It is very easy to conclude that NSW is addicted to the revenue from the waste levy.

Anticipating 2021

Meanwhile, Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW executive director Tony Khoury told Inside Waste that The Minister for the Environment Matt Kean has often stated that his vision for NSW is to have a sustainable, reliable and affordable waste and recycling sector.

“In the view of WCRA, that will require the NSW Government to commit to re-investing a much greater percentage of waste levy funds to assist industry and local government. But as we don’t yet have a 20-year waste strategy, let’s all look forward to 2021 and next years’ NSW State Budget when it is our hope that funding will be made available for what we hope will be a well-thought out, suitably funded waste strategy that will make waste and recycling across NSW sustainable, reliable and affordable,” he said.

Inside Waste is waiting for a response from the Minister’s office.

Baling cardboard and RDF efficiently

Doyle Bros is efficiently baling commercial and industrial waste at its Sydney Materials Recovery Facility with the MAC 108 from Macpresse.

The family-owned Sydney-based waste and recycling company has serviced Sydney’s commercial and industrial sector since 1989. Throughout this time, Doyle Bros told Inside Waste that it has been committed to preserving the environment through efficient recycling.

Since 2009, Doyle Bros has been diverting material from landfill into their Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to recycle Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

According to Doyle Bros, RDF is an especially valuable recycling product in environmentally responsible approach of managing waste. The company has told Inside Waste that non-recyclable residuals and waste that would otherwise be destined for the landfill, can be turned into efficient fuel. It has a lower-emission rate than coal and reduces harmful landfill emissions.

To process both incoming waste streams, the company uses state of the art European sorting and separation technology. An integral part of Doyle Bros’ recycling process is the MAC 108 baler from the Italian company Macpresse.

Global leader

Macpresse is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of plants for waste and recyclables treatment with over 50 years of experience in the production of high-volume baling presses.

Over 1500 of their balers are installed worldwide and Macpresse is present with service centres in over 60 countries. CEMAC technologies is the distributor for Australia and New Zealand and supports local installations with service and local spare stock holding.

Key benefit

Doyle Bros, managing director Paul Doyle, bought the MAC 108 three years ago after a visit to the factory south of Milan where all Macpresse machines are designed and manufactured. He was impressed with the expertise and experience of Macpresse.

“Clearly they have been in business for a very long period,” he said.

After having used the MAC 108 for three years now, said that the machine’s reliability is a key benefit. “It’s a strong and solid thing that you can count on,”

Since he put the machine into operation, Doyle has experienced no downtime. It’s maintained it with a simple maintenance routine suggested by Macpresse and ever since the start Doyle added that “it just keeps going”.

To ensure the sturdiness of all Macpresse machines, HARDOX 450 steel liners are fixed to the structure of the frame with a patented bolted application system. This wear-resistant material protects the balers from abrasion and corrosion, with replacement liners on the floor, sidewalls, and top of the extrusion chamber.

HARDOX steel is 400 per cent longer lasting than normal steel and is resistant to wear and chemical agents. It can be rapidly replaced, thereby minimising baler downtime while increasing the overall lifetime of the machine.

Another feature that improves the lifetime of the MAC 108 are the blades that are used to cut off excess material in the hopper. These are tempered blades specially designed by Macpresse to guarantee a greater resistance to wear.

Reliably bales two different materials

Besides the sturdiness of the MAC 108, Doyle explained the machine’s ability to bale two different products. Doyle Bros bales both OCC and RDF “in different shifts and it handles it”.

Due to the input material which is “very light and fluffy”, Doyle also pointed out the machine’s high processing volume.

“When all the material is placed into the Macpresse and it can be compacted into the one metre squared bales,” he said.

The MAC 108 can also process 16 tonnes of cardboard, and 30 tonnes of RDF per hour and has been specially designed for compacting medium and large quantities of materials.

Macpresse offers a wide range of different balers, from the small-sized MAC 102 to medium-sized balers such as the MAC 108, until large-sized balers like the MAC 112 XL. Due to the variety of machines, Macpresse balers are suitable for a wide range of plants from smaller supermarkets to larger sites such as landfills and transfer stations.

Tying unit and hydraulic system

Macpresse balers are renowned for the most reliable tying unit in the industry. By tying all wires simultaneously, the tying time for each bale is reduced significantly. The operator also has the option to choose between plastic or steel wires.

Additionally, Macpresse offers the option of a mobile tying unit for all their balers. This unit rotates 90 degrees away from the balers frame and returns into position only during the tying and cutting cycle. This enables an even simpler cleaning and maintenance.

The MAC 108 also has low energy consumption, mainly due to the hydraulic system, which is comprised of a high-efficiency IE3 motor and a Rexroth variable flow piston pump. This motor allows for energy savings of 30 per cent compared with traditional motors, with the variable flow piston pump further reducing electrical consumption while also allowing the hydraulic pressure to be regulated on demand.

With Macpresse’s MAC 108 Doyle said that the company can reliably and efficiently bale recyclable material. Both input streams, OCC and RDF, can then be processed further in an environmentally responsible way.

How Return and Earn became a recycling success

The NSW Return and Earn program has seen over four billion containers recycled since 2017 through the scheme.

According to Environment Minister Matt Kean, the program’s design enabled it to deliver tangible environmental, social and economic benefits to NSW, including more than $10.4 million paid to not-for-profits and charities via donations.

“The latest research shows 75 per cent of residents have now participated in Return and Earn – this is a phenomenal achievement in less than three years,” Kean said.

“It also highlights the importance of community-based return point operators like local newsagencies, corner stores and post offices.”

Job opportunities

Return and Earn has provided opportunities for local business to get on board and realise the potential for commercial opportunities and local job creation.

In turn, local businesses have improved customer access by increasing the number of return points.

Kean said that the benefits of the scheme for the environment and to the individual are clear: less material ending up as litter or landfill while being rewarded for each container returned.

“Benefitting from being part of the scheme are social enterprises like Vinnies which have set up their own return points and collected over 100 million containers.

“This has created jobs for many people within communities, including those with disabilities and the long-term unemployed,” he added.

The network of return points in NSW currently consists of 245 over-the-counter return points and 27 automated depots, alongside the 325 reverse vending machines.