In the days before CDS, containers made up half of the volume of most Australian kerbside bins. Post-CDS, yellow top bins are not as full anymore.
That creates opportunities for new products to go into the yellow bin system. Mike Ritchie discusses our options for increasing recycling.
The Queensland Government recently opened the Regional Recycling Transport Assistance Package (RRTAP) grants program offering up to $250,000 in funding for businesses and local government organisations to help fund the costs of transporting recyclable material from regional Queensland to facilities (within QLD or interstate), where it can be recovered or processed and turned into new products.
Green Industries SA recently opened the Recycling Infrastructure grants program offering up to $500,000 in funding for industry and local government organisations to install infrastructure and provide innovative approaches to increase the recovery of resources and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill each year.
MRA's Mike Ritchie has welcomed the recently released NSW ALP War on Waste policy to invest waste levy funds back into the circular economy.
The Recycling and War on Waste policy released by Michael Daley
and Penny Sharpe is an important step towards creating the circular economy and
achieving a more sustainable balance between the economy and the environment”
It has now been over a year since China introduced its National Sword policy to restrict the importation of kerbside recyclable materials from the rest of the world. The purpose of the policy was to increase the recovery of domestically generated recyclables within China and further boost its own manufacturing. The new rule is a 0.5% contamination rate in Australian exported material. Few Australian Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) were built for that level of purity.
With landfill levies in NSW at $140.20/t you would think that sorting of commercial waste would be more common than it is. Less than 5% of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) waste in NSW is put through a processing plant to recover the valuable materials. In other words, less than 120,000t of the 5.5 MT that is generated is put through a processing plant. There are no dedicated C&I sorting facilities in other States (and landfill levies are lower).
According to the 2016 National Waste Report, Commercial and Industrial waste (C&I) represents 20 MT of the 53 MT of waste generated in Australia (or 40% of generation). It also represents 34% of all waste sent to landfill (or 7.2MT out of 21MT) and achieves a 64% recovery rate compared to C&D (64%) and MSW (51%).
Not bad in the scheme of things.
The goal of Halve Waste is to reduce the waste to landfill by 50% by 2020. A major step in achieving this is the target to reduce waste landfilled at AWMC to 75,000 tonnes per year by 2018 financial year end. We’re at the half-way point and this looks like being achieved.
If you haven’t heard it already, the household recycling industry is in all sorts of trouble. 2018 is going to be a troubled year for most MRFs (Materials Recovery Facilities) and therefore their council clients.
The Chinese National Sword policy has bitten and bitten hard. National Sword is the Chinese government’s mechanism to restrict import licences for recycled product and limit contamination rates of those recyclables to less than 0.5%.
The Albury Waste Management Centre (AWMC) includes the fourth largest landfill in NSW, and now the centrepiece of Halve Waste, the most successful waste reduction program in Australia. The Halve Waste Initiative has recently been awarded the best organics recovery program in NSW and the best local government initiative in sustainability.