Innovative hub for advanced recycling proposed for Fyshwick

CRS has proposed the comprehensive solution to significantly increase recycling, reduce landfill and produce renewable energy to power Canberra homes. The project includes the construction of a freight rail terminal to take trucks off roads.

The $200 million factory will process Canberra’s waste streams – particularly unprocessed municipal solid waste and commercial industrial waste currently going to Mugga Lane landfill – to divert more than 90% of the waste that is currently going to landfill, significantly increasing ACT’s recycling, while also generating electricity from waste.

The waste-to-energy plant would be a joint venture with electricity retailer ActewAGL and would seek a feed-in tariff from the government for the electricity produced.

According to the project director Ewen McKenzie, the government’s recognised the landfill issue in Canberra and has been working hard over the last 10 years to try and identify alternative solutions to their landfill problems.

“We saw an opportunity to take the European experience and looking at other ways to handle our waste streams,” McKenzie said.

“There’s a lot of landfill diversion initiatives going on in Europe that have been successful for some time, so we are taking up a proven model from Europe and applying it to the ACT circumstance.

“We’ve identified a big site in Fishwick that we want to connect to the rail system to allow us to move recyclables, because currently there aren’t a lot of reprocessing plants in Canberra.

“Connection to the rail system is very difficult in Canberra and there really isn’t one at the moment for container handling, so we are looking at incorporating that in the proposal.”

The concept is a response to the ACT government’s call for innovative and sustainable proposals on how best to improve recycling and reduce landfill in the ACT, as the Mugga Lane tip has limited space available in future.

CRS has put a scoping document to the government and is now preparing an environmental impact assessment, including a health impact study, which McKenzie hopes to have released for public comment within a couple of months.

The project would divert trucks carrying rubbish to Mugga Lane to Fyshwick instead, where they would enter via Ipswich Stree, dump their loads indoors, with negative pressure to minimise smell, and leave via the back of Lithgow Street.

Rubbish would be sorted to extract recyclables, before being used to fuel the waste-to-energy plant.

Mugga Lane currently accepts about 300,000 tonnes of rubbish a year, and McKenzie said 90% of that could be diverted to Fyshwick. Of the 270,000 tonnes a year that comes in, he expected about 20% would be recyclable, leaving more than 200,000 tonnes to be burned for energy.

It would produce up to 30MW a year, sufficient to power 28,000 homes and is being touted as a green solution that would put Canberra at the forefront of waste management.

Four percent of the amount going into the plant would be left as residue and returned to landfill. Read more

Inside Waste (Aug): From journo to president

Now, Re.Group’s business development manager, former Inside Waste journalist and editor, and former Hyder Consulting (now Arcadis) consultant is the Waste Management Association of Australia’s (WMAA) new president – and quite possibly the association’s youngest president as well.

Inside Waste (IW) caught up with Lamb in the August issue, now ready for download, to find out how his first few weeks as president had gone and what some of the challenges and opportunities were for WMAA. Read more

Increasing landfill efficiency

The Dulverton Landfill manages 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of waste a year and it is also home to the state’s largest composting facility, processing around 30,000 tonnes of organic waste per year. It’s a relatively small operation compared to its interstate counterparts, but one which follows prudent environmental management.

Mat Greskie, Dulverton Landfill CEO, says its landfill operation undergoes rigorous environmental testing. He explains that every aspect of the company’s landfill operation is aimed at optimising airspace, which helps extends the life of the landfill and reduces the carbon footprint.

“Unlike many sites that only cap their landfills at the end of the cell life, we use a different capping methodology which is to cap two or three times throughout the year to keep leachate generation to a minimum,” Greskie said. Read more

Bulk bag dischargers, a big help in the rubber crumbing process

Flexicon Corporation, which designs and manufactures bulk handling equipment and custom-engineered and integrated plant-wide systems, is in the business of helping recyclers improve their efficiency post-crumbing, through its bulk bag dischargers.

The company’s Bulk-Out Bulk Bag Discharger system promises to change the way bulk material is stored and shipped, and says the system overcomes limitations of outdated designs, ultimately improving safety, cleanliness, and convenience for the recycler.

There are three models in Flexicon’s Bulk-Out Bulk Bag Discharger range – the BFF Series dischargers with a bag lifting frame for forklift loading and unloading of bulk bags, the BFC Series dischargers with a cantilevered I-beam, electric hoist and trolley for loading and unloading of bulk bags without the use of a forklift, and the Half Frame series, which requires operators to load bags. The first two, the company says, are the most popular options. 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

Heads of EPA discuss national approaches

At a Waste Management Association of Australian (WMAA) NSW industry update earlier this month, NSW EPA director waste and resource recovery Steve Beaman said HEPA – an informal organisation – decided to form this waste working group as discussions within COAG tended to focus on issues such as container deposit schemes and plastic bag bans, and there is “a bit missing where there’s a need for regulatory policy and for the states to get together to harmonise.”

Beaman told attendees the working group would meet “fairly frequently” and as a start, would be principle-based although the intent is to get into the details “fairly quickly” Read more

Uncovering the issues that waste managers face

Speaking at Waste 2017 in Coffs Harbour in April, former Local Government NSW (LGNSW) senior policy officer, Mark McKenzie – he left LGNSW shortly after the conference and is now a City of Canterbury Bankstown councillor – offered insights into waste management and planning, and discussed the issues faced by councils in NSW.

McKenzie noted that one of the biggest issues that councils face during the planning process is being caught in the middle and having to deal with competing stakeholders.

“Council might have a wonderful strategy mapped out to the nth degree – its future growth, the types of businesses involved, how many residences, all of those sorts of things – but you still have all of the impositions put on you on all of the aspects of the waste management and planning,” McKenzie said. Read more

Driving the drone economy

Speaking exclusively to Inside Waste (IW)  Terra Drone founder and CEO Toru Tokushige, who will also be presenting at the 2017 World of Drones Congress at the end of August, detailed what the company has to offer and why its chosen Australia as its Asia Pacific base.

IW: Tell us more about Terra Drone – what sets the company and its equipment apart? Read more

Investing in sustainable energy - the case for power to gas

Investing in sustainable energy – the case for power to gas

Just cast your eye to Victoria where not only has the state government launched a $2 million program to support the development of EfW technologies, some regional councils are investigating the viability of EfW including the City of Bendigo, while the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and Hepburn Shire Council are in the midst of an EfW trial, and a business plan has been developed to expand this trial to 70 EfW, micropower stations across six regional shires. Then there’s Dial A Dump Industries’ proposal to build the $700 million The Next Generation facility in Eastern Creek, 35km west of Sydney. Read more