Packaging and e-waste grants open in Victoria

Sustainability Victoria (SV) is offering significant grants focused on and packaging and e-waste to build Victoria’s e-waste resource recovery sector.

The largest grant of $2million, which will be capped at $500,000 for each project, is designed to support organisations in Victoria to reduce packaging waste disposed in landfill and is open for small to medium enterprises, not-for-profits and social enterprises with applications open until March 5, 2021.

SA has stated that only projects that address or use a combination of key criteria will be considered:

  • reduce generation of packaging waste
  • increase or improve recovery of packaging waste
  • manufacture packaging using recovered materials
  • remanufacture using packaging waste.

To receive the grant, they must primarily reduce, recover or reuse plastics, paper and cardboard, glass and rubber, while those that primarily recover metals are excluded.

The costs that the grants will assist with include piloting new systems, processes or technologies, acquiring additional plant and equipment, expanding facilities to enable increased resource recovery on existing premises, enabling works to house new plant and equipment and research, development and demonstration.

Financial co-contribution is required at a ratio of 1:1 and small to medium enterprises can contribute up to 25% of their co-contribution as in-kind. Funding from other government sources cannot be included in the co-contribution.

Meanwhile not-for-profits and social enterprises can contribute up to 50% of their co-contribution as in-kind. Funding from other government sources can be included in the co-contribution.

E-waste streams of funding

Round two of SA’s e-waste grants will prioritise building reprocessing capability and capacity, and ensure collection and storage of e-waste is conducted to a high standard.

Up to $500,000 is available across two streams of funding for industry and local government and Waste and Resource Recovery Groups (WRRGs) to invest in projects that increase recovery of e-waste materials and/or ensure the safe collection and storage of e-waste.

E-waste reprocessing grant

This has been designed for projects which will increase Victoria’s e-waste processing capacity and capability by delivering e-waste reprocessing solutions and/or upgrades to existing e-waste reprocessing facilities. SV will provide up to $500,000 to purchase and install equipment and/or upgrade infrastructure at existing e-waste reprocessing facilities. Projects must address one or more of the below benefits and be completed by March 31, 2022.

  • build e-waste reprocessing capacity and capability in Victoria
  • improve the value of e-waste materials through better sorting and reprocessing of e-waste
  • increase recovered e-waste materials with secured end markets
  • align with the goals and directions in the SWRRIPand relevant regional and metropolitan waste and resource recovery infrastructure plan(s)
  • be located in and servicing Victoria

This funding conditional on a minimum co-contribution model towards total project cost. For applications by business/ industry, each $1 of funding must be matched by a $2 co-contribution.

While applications by local government or WRRGS, each $1 of funding must be matched by a $1 co-contribution.

The e-waste Collection and Storage grant

Projects focused on ensuring collection and storage of e-waste is conducted to a high standard are eligible for the collection and storage grant which also closes on March 31, 2022.

SV will provide funding of up to $100,000 for projects delivering fixed, semi-permanent e-waste infrastructure upgrades and alternate non-fixed collection and storage solutions such as an e-waste collection trailer.

Projects that meet the following criteria will be considered by SV for funding:

  • collection and storage projects must be designed and constructed in line with:
    • key requirements of the AS/NZS 5377: 2013
    • all relevant building codes
    • all OH&S Act requirements including Section 28
    • all relevant EPA requirements
    • any other relevant requirements that may not be listed.
  • projects in identified geographical e-waste collection gaps including:
    • eastern suburbs of Melbourne and Warrnambool.
  • other geographical locations with a demonstrated need which are located in and servicing Victoria

SA has stated that this funding type is conditional on a minimum co-contribution model towards total project cost. Applications by business/ industry, each $1 of SV funding must be matched by a $2 co-contribution while applications by local government or WRRGS, each $1 of SV funding must be matched by a $1 co-contribution.

Victoria gets moving with household rubbish transformation

Driven by the Victorian Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG), in partnership with sixteen councils, the largest tender for new waste management infrastructure has begun. It’s also the first collective tender on behalf of councils for an alternative solution to landfill.

The procurement for advanced waste processing solutions is expected to play a significant role in achieving the Victorian Government’s new target to divert 80 per cent of household rubbish from landfill by 2030.

The sixteen councils from Melbourne’s south-east collected over 490,000 tonnes of residual rubbish in 2016 and this is forecast to grow to over 700,000 tonnes a year by 2046.

MWRRG CEO, Jill Riseley said that population growth meant that the state can’t rely on landfill as the only way to manage its household rubbish.

“Starting with an Expression of Interest, the procurement process will take approximately two years to reach a final tender to design, build and operate an advanced waste processing facility to process household rubbish,” she said.

The procurement will focus on the financial, environmental and social outcomes councils want to achieve rather than specify a technology. It will then be up to bidders to recommend proven and appropriate solutions, and to demonstrate how they deliver on councils’ objectives.

 

Central Coast recycler disputes EPA claim

PAR Recycling Services P/L (PAR) based on the New South Wales Central Coast is disputing a $15,000 fine issued by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA  has said that the business did not follow orders to store chemicals safely to prevent potential pollution reaching local waterways.

A representative of PAR told Inside Waste that “PAR respects the EPA and its commitment to the legislation, and PAR did its best to comply.”

According to the EPA, the company had been directed to take immediate action to appropriately store drums, bags and containers holding 18 different chemicals on November 14, 2019. Following an inspection, the EPA said it had found 15,265 litres of liquid chemicals and 6,550 kilograms of solid chemicals stored in an area that did not have a bund or spill containment system.

The EPA added in a statement that officers also discovered PAR Recycling did not have spill kits nearby to contain the chemicals in the event of a spill. PAR disputes this statement, claiming that spill kits were in place nearby the bunds that were constructed to store the chemicals.

The chemicals were removed from the premises on January 10, 2020.

EPA director Regulatory Operations Metro North, Adam Gilligan explained that the impact of not installing environmental and pollution controls could include wide-ranging harm on the surrounding water, land, air and human health.

“If the chemicals had spilt without containment, they could have entered the stormwater system and flowed to Piles Creek.

“Chemicals must be stored to prevent, control or minimise pollution and the EPA expects all operators to comply with the safety standards that are in place to protect the environment and the community.”

More updates will follow.

Vic government creates waste crime body to clean-up industry

The Andrews Government will create a $71.4 million funded Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate within the Environment Protection Authority, which will work closely with WorkSafe Victoria, emergency service agencies, councils and other regulators to improve information sharing and coordination. The initiative is part of Recycling Victoria the government’s 10-year vision.

Speaking at CEDA in Melbourne yesterday, February 26 the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio explained that the strategy would tackle waste crime and keep Victorians safe, with more resources to stop illegal dumping and stockpiling, and deal with high-risk sites and high-risk substances.

“For too long, waste crime has undermined Victoria’s recycling sector with dangerous and illegal stockpiling. Our investment will help to clean up the industry and make it fairer for businesses that do the right thing,” D’Ambrosio said.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), has responded positively to the initiatives.

WMRR CEO, Gayle Sloan said that she considered Victoria’s Government was again leading the way by committing significant new funds towards our essential industry to help solve the challenges that we continue to face.”

“Waste crime should be addressed by both government and industry, as it impacts the economy and local communities and pays no heed to the value of scarce resources.
I strongly believe that licensed operators within the waste and resource recovery industry do not engage in these practices, however to assist in addressing we do need improved and consistent tracking, management and descriptions of waste nationally.
The crime often starts at the generator stage, be it unintentional (wrong description of waste classification) or intentional.  I think the question one has to ask as a producer is “is this price really too cheap”, and “where is my waste really going”, it really is no longer acceptable to look for the  cheapest disposal prices and no longer care where your waste goes- the community and the environment deserves better.”

Recycling Victoria will completely overhaul Victoria’s recycling sector, create 3,900 jobs and reduce waste going to landfill.

The primary purpose of the $300 million plus package is to bring together a suite of landmark reforms, dedicated to shifting Victoria to a circular economy, including a state-wide four-bin recycling system, a container deposit scheme and nearly $100 million to support businesses, drive innovation and create local jobs.

Victoria’s landfill levy is significantly lower than our neighbouring states, meaning Victoria is too often used as a dumping ground for waste coming from New South Wales and South Australia.

The change reflects an agreement reached by state and territory Treasurers to work towards the harmonisation of landfill levies and will provide a strong incentive to reduce and recycle waste and drive innovation in new waste technologies.

 

Vic government invests $2 million in funding to strengthen e-waste sector

Up to $2 million is being made available in the latest round of Sustainability Victoria’s (SV) E-waste Infrastructure Grants by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio. This is part of the $16.5m funding from the state government. This fund will increase Victoria’s ability to manage e-waste and continue to expand public access to e-waste disposal points.

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