NRL legend urges Queenslanders to support plastic bag ban

NRL legend urges Queenslanders to support plastic bag ban

The ban will see plastic bags disappear from all retail outlets, with shoppers encouraged to bring their own bags, as part of a push to reduce plastic waste.

Most retailers will begin the ban from July 1, or face a $6300 fine each time they are caught using a thin plastic bag. It is the beginning of a slow plan to reduce the amount of accumulated plastics in the environment.  Read more

Now almost 10 years in, she has the confidence to refer to herself as managing director and is slowly leading the charge of women into the traditionally male-dominated industry. "When I started I was definitely an outsider, I'd never worn steel cap boots and the last time I'd worn fluoro orange was as a kid in the eighties," Price said. "I really just fell into this as a way of trying to help my partner Michael get more work when his hours as a machine operator dried up. "I had a marketing degree and was working in an office specialising in knowledge management and procedures and I thought I'd help Michael out by setting up a website, with some marketing material and a video." "But then the phone started ringing and kept ringing and soon I was working at my office job part-time and running the business as well." "My understanding of how to communicate well, how to document processes and how to do some basic online marketing in an industry that up until recently has been largely offline, have been the keys to our success. "I saw a gap in the market which I could fill, so I imported our first road registered mobile trommel screening machine from Germany to recycle topsoil. "Trommel screening is a unique way of sifting and aerating the soil and SoilCyclers is the only Australian operator doing this on site. "Now we've got three machines across the eastern seaboard of Australia and have worked on major road projects such as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and soil remediation projects such as the Petrie Mill clean-up where we dealt with 140,000m3 of soil contaminated with plastic. "Being a young female business owner with no connection to the industry was quite a challenge in what is a very traditional, male-dominated industry. "There's been some interesting conversations along the way, some still think I'm the secretary." Price's advice for women wanting to get out of the office and on the tools: Focus on your abilities: Most technical skills can be taught but the communication, negotiation and planning skills you have from different industries are invaluable in construction. Don't assume you can't do the job just because you don't currently have all the skills and experience. Speak up: if you're in an office role in the industry talk to your boss about a transfer to a job site, if it's a complete change try to get your foot in the door with a role that matches your skills or do some training and knock on doors. Join industry associations and network: People will be impressed by your persistence and you might just get offered an opportunity. Don't be offended: There's a lot of colourful language out on job sites and it can be a bit of a boy's club but show you can do the job and you'll be accepted. "Having a female out on site definitely changes the dynamic in a good way," Price said. "Our admin assistant has just transferred from her desk job to be out on the tools as a trainee plant operator and my 17-year-old step daughter Mikayla is completing a school-based traineeship to get all her machinery tickets. "Because we're so specialised, traditional excavator operators don't have the skills we want so we prefer to train our own operators which provides some unique opportunities for up and comers. "The skills that I'm looking for are not traditionally found in the industry, I want good communicators and negotiators with good literacy and numeracy skills. "And I'm just as happy to give these opportunities to women if they're right for the role. "Being out in site and seeing the business grow is really exciting, it's not what I thought I'd be doing but I wouldn't change a thing. "We are doing something that no-one else in the industry is doing, with an end-to-end process to test, screen or sieve site soils, and ameliorate with things like compost, lime, dolomite and gypsum to create a high-quality topsoil without it having to leave the site. "This costs less than half of the price of imported top soil but is also more effective as there is less change to the eco-system and it's better for the environment with less trucks on the roads carting waste and soil back and forth. "When I started I had no contacts in the industry and I still get asked if it's my dad's business."

Brisbane woman leads the shift

Now almost 10 years in, she has the confidence to refer to herself as managing director and is slowly leading the charge of women into the traditionally male-dominated industry.

“When I started I was definitely an outsider, I’d never worn steel cap boots and the last time I’d worn fluoro orange was as a kid in the eighties,” Price said. Read more

Bundaberg assures residents of continued recycling collection

Bundaberg assures residents of continued recycling collection

The China Sword Policy has reduced significantly the return obtained for paper commons by Council’s MRF operator and there is now no market for the lowest grade of plastics that were previously recycled. This totals approximately 220 tonnes of material that will not be able to be recycled at this stage per year.

China’s lower intake of recyclables from foreign countries means there has to be a stronger effort to slash waste.  Read more

Local Law 20 anti-competitive: WRIQ

Local Law 20 anti-competitive: WRIQ

The proposed local law is intended to replace Chapter 5A: Waste Management by Local Governments of the Environmental Protection Regulations 2008 and section 7 in Part 2A of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011. Both are scheduled to expire on July 1.

The City of Gold Coast has said that its proposed Local Law 20, which was open for submissions till last week, would protect public health and amenity related to waste management by: Read more

Revisiting the issue of interstate waste movement

Revisiting the issue of interstate waste movement

The issue has now hit the political headlines. It was framed by 4 Corners as a matter of criminal behaviour, which it isn’t. Queensland has committed to reducing it through increased inspection of interstate trucks. But it is legal. Inspecting truck certificates addresses a symptom only.

To be clear, trucking waste between the states is not illegal. It is part of the free trade between states that is protected under s.92 of the Australian Constitution. Read more

Time for action: getting industry out of the corner

Speaking to industry players including NSW EPA director waste and resource recovery Steve Beaman, ACOR CEO Grant Musgrove, WCRA executive director Tony Khoury, Polytrade Rydalmere manager Nathan Ung, Bingo Industries CEO Daniel Tartak and Dial A Dump chief executive Ian Malouf, Four Corners’ “Trashed” showed viewers scenes of waste management practices, saying these would “seriously threaten the community’s faith in the billion-dollar recycling industry.”

Fixing the broken

Turning first to glass recycling, Four Corners took viewers inside Polytrade’s facilities where thousands of tonnes of glass are being stockpiled, and some landfilled, instead of being recycled. Read more

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

Ban the bag and cash for trash: new waste reduction and recycling laws in Queensland

In recent years, bans on lightweight plastic bags have been implemented in South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, while South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia all have container deposit schemes.

Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Steven Miles introduced the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 into the Legislative Assembly on June 14, 2017, citing Queensland as having one of the lowest recycling rates in Australia. Read more