Unique splicing solutions offer greater availability

Unique splicing solutions offer greater availability

Minet Lacing Technology (MLT) has in the past, predominantly serviced the mining sector but it sees “great potential” in the waste and resource recovery space and wants to offer operators greater availability when it comes to the repair of their conveyor belts.

At present, MLT Asia Pacific boasts a number of major end users, from Visy to Sims Metal Recycling, and it is easy to see why these companies have turned to MLT Asia Pacific. Read more

Back to basics until "Fourth Industrial Revolution"

Back to basics until “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

Accepting their award at a small gathering in the Sydney APCO office, HP sustainability manager Lynn Loh attributed hard work and going back to basics to their win.

“There are always marketing spins around sustainability that you can adopt, but really going back to the basics is just a lot of hard work. We go back to our core focus areas to design packaging solutions that use less material, optimise shipping densities, and contain more recycled and recyclable content,” Loh told Inside Waste. Read more

Creating a profitable circular economy

Creating a profitable circular economy

We may, for the most part, have a successful kerbside collection system but French company 3Wayste has a vision to simplify household waste sorting and has a plant in France that is capable of sorting and recycling municipal solid waste from a single collection while ensuring 90% diversion from landfill. Currently this system complements a two-bin system, recyclables and waste.

In July, the 3Wayste team flew from their bases in France and Canada to meet with the Australian sector about their patented 3Wayste system, saying the conditions here were ripe. Read more

Best practice landfill management

Best practice landfill management

To answer these questions, Inside Waste turned to Select Civil, an established landfill services provider that operates a number of sites across Australia, including Cleanaway’s Melbourne Regional Landfill and SUEZ’s Hallam Road site, both in Victoria.

In order to meet the demands of these large landfills, Select Civil operates a fleet of waste handling bulldozers, waste compactors, articulated dump trucks as well as a range of track loaders, trucks and excavators. However, in addition to its fleet, the company has also not shied away from using technology, specifically Cat’s computer aided earthmoving systems (CAES) to ensure best practice operations and to meet its clients’ demands. And according to Cat, Select Civil has been the “best implementer” in the region. Read more

Mapping the world's waste

Mapping the world’s waste

And Australia’s very own Kat Heinrich, senior consultant at SA-based Rawtec, is heading up the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Young Professionals Group, which is currently mapping the world’s biggest waste challenges, a project that will be launched at the 2017 ISWA World Congress in Baltimore in September.

Heinrich gave Inside Waste a sneak peek into the project, saying the team has so far received 1200 responses from waste experts and professionals across 91 countries to identify the world’s biggest waste challenges. Read more

Killing two birds with one stone

Killing two birds with one stone

NAWMA has partnered with South Australian companies Joule Energy and LMS Energy to deliver Australia’s first combined landfill gas-to-energy and solar facility.

NAWMA is a local government regional subsidiary of the cities of Salisbury and Playford and the town of Gawler. The authority has been running a balefill landfill Uleybury, north of Adelaide, since 2005. Read more

AWRE 2017: shiny bits of kit

Inside Waste will fill you in on what went down at this year’s event both here and in the October issue of the magazine. But first, here are some of the big, bold, new and novel equipment that were on display at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The beast

Focus Enviro took the opportunity to showcase its EDGE MC1400 material classifier.

Released commercially earlier this year, there are three machines currently operating in Australia. Read more

Highlights of the National Waste Report 2016

The report provides national, state and territory data on waste quantities, sources, and management for 2014-15. In addition, it presents the most reliable trend data on waste quantities that has been compiled in Australia, extending back to 2006-07. It also includes international comparisons, an account of current and emerging waste issues, and contributions from key industry associations the Waste Management Association of Australia, the Australian Landfill Owners Association, the Australian Council of Recycling, and the Australian Organics Recycling Association.

The data was mostly supplied by the states and territories with additional input from industry and national government sources. States and territories entered their data into a custom Excel workbook using an agreed framework that transparently converts and supplements their data to a nationally consistent presentation. A similar compilation method was applied to data from five other financial years to generate the trend. The 2014-15 workbook, including the trend data, was released simultaneously with the National Waste Report 2016 and is available at the same web address.

The report and workbook were prepared by Blue Environment and Randell Environmental Consulting under contract to the Department of the Environment and Energy.

Total waste quantities

In 2014-15, Australia produced about 64 million tonnes of waste, the equivalent of 2.7 tonnes per capita. The proportion recycled was 58%. Excluding fly ash, the total was about 53 million tonnes, or 2.2 tonnes per capita, with 61% recycled (Figure 1).

The figures for energy recovery are higher than those reported by the states and territories because the Australian government method considers the production of energy from landfill gas a type of recovery. The estimated quantities of waste that generated this energy are included under ‘energy recovery’, rather than disposal.

Figure 2 presents national quantity trends between 2006-07 and 2014-15, the upper chart including fly ash and the lower excluding it. In both figures, the overall quantity of waste increased and there is a trend towards more recycling and more energy recovery. However, energy recovery declined in the last year of the series due to a fall in the quantity of landfill gas collected. Including fly ash, the annual quantity of waste per capita declined slightly but excluding fly ash, waste per capita increased by an average of 0.8% per year.

The rates of increase shown differ significantly from some previous analyses. The ABS 2016 Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts estimate that waste quantities increased by an average of 7.7% per year between 1996-97 and 2013-14. We understand this estimate relied on sectoral estimates of ‘waste intensity’ per unit value added. The data in the National Waste Report 2016 covers a shorter period but is collected directly and is likely to be more accurate.

Waste quantities by source stream

Figure 3 shows that in 2014-15 Australia produced the equivalent of 565kg per capita of municipal waste, 831kg of construction and demolition waste, 459kg of fly ash, and 849kg of other commercial and industrial waste. The recovered proportion was more than half for MSW and almost two-thirds for C&D and C&I waste (excluding fly ash).

Figure 4 shows the trends in waste generation and fate by source stream. Generation of MSW changed little over the nine years despite increasing population. Generation of C&I and C&D waste increased on a total and per capita basis. The recovery rate rose across all three streams, albeit only marginally for C&D waste. The fall in MSW per capita is linked to a decline in use of glass packaging, lighter plastic packaging and falling newspaper circulations.

Waste quantities by material

Figure 5 shows waste generation and fate by material in 2014-15. Masonry material, organic wastes and fly ash were the largest waste streams, representing nearly two thirds of waste generated. The highest recovery rates were of metals, masonry materials and paper and cardboard. The lowest rates were for plastics, ‘other’ and fly ash. Trend analysis presented in the National Waste Report 2016 shows that some significant material streams – paper and cardboard, glass and fly ash – are declining. Waste metals, organics and plastics also appear to be reducing, at least on a per capita basis. Masonry materials from demolitions, on the other hand, are increasing.

Establishing the national waste data system

A robust system for collating waste data nationally has been sought since the 1990s. Various ‘one-off’ national collations were produced during the 2000s, but coverage and their compilation methods were not wholly consistent. In 2010, the Department of the Environment and Energy established a framework compilation method in consultation with the states and territories. This was transparently applied to generate the data for the original National Waste Report 2013, based on 2010-11 data. Afterwards, to improve transparency and consistency, the Department developed the workbook used for this new iteration of the report. This workbook was also applied to previous data sets back to 2006-07, again with the cooperation of the states and territories. As a result, for the first time, Australia now has:

  • an agreed compilation method for national waste data that can readily be reused;
  • a reasonable waste data trend extending back nine years; and
  • the ability to maintain the data trend should methods or assumptions need to change in future.

Dr Joe Pickin is a director of the consultancy company Blue Environment. He co-authored and was primary data analyst for the National Waste Report 2016. Contact: joe.pickin@blueenvironment.com.au or 0403 562 621.

This article was originally published in the August issue of Inside Waste and the National Waste Report 2016, which can be found here, was released on August 11.

A resourceful inquiry

In April 2017, the NSW Parliament’s Planning and Environment Committee established an inquiry to examine the waste industry, with particular reference to energy from waste technology. The inquiry is looking at the provision of waste disposal and recycling services, the impact of waste levies and the capacity to address the ongoing disposal needs for our state’s waste needs.

What has struck me about the Inquiry is the level of engagement and the contribution of private industry players, local governments, industry associations and consulting firms. While the inquiry has some way to go, there appears to be a level of consensus from initial submissions. 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