Sydney Water's biosolids generating energy and helping NSW farmers

Sydney Water’s biosolids generating energy and helping NSW farmers

The process of digestion used to generate biosolids produces electricity to help power Sydney Water’s treatment plants. In 2015-16 Sydney Water produced around 21% of its total energy requirements through the treatment of biosolids. In 2016-17 around 60GWh of renewable energy came from biosolids treatment. Sydney Water also exported around 4GWh to the electricity grid over the year.

Through this process, Sydney Water is producing onsite energy to power the equivalent of over 11,000 homes each year, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 70,000 tonnes a year. Read more

Gold Coast's water services implement TaKaDu to boost network efficiency

Gold Coast’s water services implement TaKaDu to boost network efficiency

TaKaDu is being integrated as part of a strategic move by Gold Coast to invest in its water distribution network, including increasing the number of district metered areas (DMA) and the introduction of a new SCADA system. Gold Coast is the third utility in Queensland deploying TaKaDu.

TaKaDu offers a proven IoT solution for the water industry that helps to optimise operational efficiency and improves water management across the board. They offer the most comprehensive integrated event management platform, which is based on big data analytics and sophisticated algorithms. Read more

Hot-wiring microbial communities to boost biogas production

Hot-wiring microbial communities to boost biogas production

Mike Manefield from the University of New South Wales has developed and demonstrated how he can re-wire electron transfer processes in naturally occurring communities of microorganisms. His discovery has been demonstrated in the field to enhance gas yields from coal seams by an order of magnitude.

In explaining the process, Manefield says liberating gas from an organic feedstock – which can be either non-renewable like coal or renewable like algae or food waste – requires digestion by a complex community of different microorganisms. This process all boils down to electron transfer. Read more

Replas: recycled plastic manufacturer or sustainability educators?

Replas: recycled plastic manufacturer or sustainability educators?

Despite this – and almost three decades of experience in the recycling industry – Replas is only operating at around a third of their total capacity.

According to Replas territory manager (Victoria), Kelvin Agg, the absence of a circular economy severely limits the growth potential of the company.

“Unless we have a circular economy set up where we can take in the plastic, go through our whole process with [an end] product that can be purchased… then we sort of run into a dead-end unless that loop is closed off.” Read more

Saving a billion litres of water with IoT-based services

Saving a billion litres of water with IoT-based services

The key to the new service, Leak Insurance, is that WaterGroup is able to use Sigfox-based smart water meters to identify a leak on a customer site effectively as soon as it occurs, which enables customers to take the appropriate action to avoid further loss of water, eliminate the risk of damage to their property and deliver large savings in water costs.

WaterGroup managing director Guenter Hauber-Davidson said once an organisation contacts WaterGroup, the first step is to establish if the organisation is eligible for this service. Read more

Better use of aquifers is the key in Broken Hill, not a new pipeline

Better use of aquifers is the key in Broken Hill, not a new pipeline

The groundwater experts say that the NSW government has so far appeared to ignore published scientific evidence on the Darling River floodplain resource by calling for tenders for the costly 270km long pipeline from the Murray.

The large fresh groundwater resources in the River Darling floodplain close to Menindee were reported publicly in 2013 as a sustainable, good quality water supply for Broken Hill after a three-year scientific study, the Broken Hill Managed Aquifer Recharge (BHMAR) project, led by Geoscience Australia with input from CSIRO. Read more

Contact lenses and blister packs now recyclable in Australia

Contact lenses and blister packs now recyclable in Australia

The Bausch + Lomb Recycling Programme has just launched in the country and it offers Australians the opportunity to recycle any brand of used contact lenses and blister packs for free.

Having already run a successful contact lenses recycling program with Bausch + Lomb in the US, TerraCycle Australian & New Zealand PR & marketing manager Gemma Kaczerepa says they were contacted by the local operations to implement something similar in Australia. Read more

New tech aims to close the carbon loop on CO2 emissions

Mineral Carbonation International (MCI) unveiled their cutting-edge technology and research program at a public event at the University of Newcastle’s (UON) Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) facility.

Following six years of R&D undertaken by the UON, GreenMag Group and industry partner Orica Limited, Australia is leading the development of a novel method for permanently and safely disposing of carbon from the emissions of fossil fuel electricity generators and other industrial processes, effectively closing the loop on carbon and preventing it accumulating in the atmosphere.

The mineral carbonation technology mimics and accelerates the Earth’s own carbon sink mechanism by combining CO2 with low grade minerals to make inert carbonates, which are similar to common baking soda. The solid products can be used in various applications including building materials like bricks and pavers. Read more

Outboard emissions standards laws edge closer

Currently, emissions from these engines are not regulated in Australia, leaving the country as a dumping ground for less efficient products that cannot be sold in other countries.

The standards will be phased in over two years and reduce noxious air pollution from petrol-powered outdoor equipment and marine outboards that release high amounts of harmful air pollutants.

For example, a two-stroke leaf blower can produce the same number of hydrocarbons as 150 cars, while on summer weekends in cities where the use of garden equipment is high, small petrol engines can contribute up to 10% of air pollution. Read more

Officeworks’ strong focus on sustainable operations and products

In order to achieve this, Officeworks has created their Positive Difference plan, which encompasses three pillars of focus – environment, responsible sourcing and people. Through this, Officeworks carefully explores ways for their products and operations to have a better environmental impact, such as ethically sourcing sustainable materials for all of its products.

Head of merchandise, marketing & supply chain at Officeworks Phil Bishop says they look for holistic solutions and have a number of sustainability initiatives around their operations and the lifecycle of their products.

Officeworks understands that their environmental responsibilities extend beyond the time a product leaves their stores, so they continue to support the circular economy through their many recycling programs. Read more