Battery recycling plant gets green light

It’s taken 10 months of public consultation, referral to other agencies, technical assessment of the application and research for Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) to grant a Works Approval (WA) for the construction of a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling plant in Hazelwood North.
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How Sustainability Victoria is tackling priority recycled waste

Victorian infrastructure projects which use recycled materials and create local jobs are being boosted by $2.6 million Sustainable Infrastructure Fund grants. Local Victorian governments are expected to spend more than $8 billion on infrastructure projects over the next three years, presenting a significant opportunity to increase their use of recycled materials.

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Macca’s makes local history with recycled restaurant

The 1,000th McDonald’s fast food restaurant will open in Melton South in Victoria at the end of the year using recycled material throughout the building including infrastructure and furnishings.

McDonald’s Australia senior director of development Josh Bannister, said it was the company’s first local sustainability flagship.

“The Melton South restaurant will play a vital role in allowing us to continue to test, evaluate and implement industry-leading sustainable innovations,” he said.

There will also be 100 per cent renewable energy used in the restaurant thanks to solar energy panel installed on the roof. The restaurant will include a waste sorting bin for greater recycling and diversion from landfill.

Cutlery offered to customers will all be fibre based including stirrers and straws following its commitment earlier this year to help reduce plastic use and waste.

The franchisee of the 1,000th restaurant, Ben Westover, has been an operator of McDonald’s restaurants for more than a decade and said he was excited to open the new store.

 

Victoria’s Buy Recycled tool prompts buyers to consider options

Sustainability Victoria has launched its new online directory, Buy Recycled, which features local Victorian products containing recycled content.

The tool is designed to provide government buyers with easy access to suppliers and recycled material options when considering products for purchasing and infrastructure projects.

Products listed in the directory include:

  • fencing
  • furniture
  • pavement
  • piping and irrigation
  • playgrounds
  • road base

According to Sustainability Victoria, it’s increasingly important for government to consider the environmental impact of purchasing and infrastructure activities. Buy Recycled aims to provide buyers with options to achieve positive environmental outcomes and support organisational sustainability goals.

The Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework requires government buyers to consider opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes in every procurement activity. Where appropriate, this includes sustainable material choices and buying products made from recycled content.

This directory is designed to state and local governments to consider environmental sustainability principles when making decisions about purchasing goods for public construction and infrastructure.

 

Victoria gets on with the weeding despite COVID

A small army of Victorians will clean up litter, remove weeds and help make local rivers and creeks more beautiful as part of the Victorian Government’s plan to keep Victorians working through the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 110 people will take on roles cleaning and protecting Melbourne’s suburban waterways through the Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria fund.

Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville said that the fund will create employment for people who have lost their jobs due to the impacts of coronavirus, while delivering valuable community services. The program has placed almost 7,000 workers since its launch in April.

More than 90 employees will remove rubbish, undertake invasive weed management and improve vegetation along the Yarra, Maribyrnong and Werribee rivers, as well as throughout the Dandenong and Bayside region.

The improvement works will be delivered in collaboration with the Yarra River Keeper Association, along with community groups and local councils along urban waterways.

A recent series of litter clean-up ‘blitz’ events along the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers saw almost 40 tonnes of rubbish cleaned out, improving the health of the waterways and making them more enjoyable for Victorians getting out for essential exercise during coronavirus restrictions.

In addition, more than 20 new employees will work in administration roles for Melbourne Water, supporting the waterway health blitz and other important projects in the greater Melbourne catchment area.

The initiative builds on the $48 million for shovel ready water projects announced recently under the Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works program. These projects will modernise irrigation, secure water supplies through recycling and stormwater use and assist with bushfire recovery.

People looking for work and businesses searching for staff can register with Working for Victoria at vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria.