Victorian state budget handed down – NWRIC responds
The Victorian budget was handed down on Tuesday with a focus on ‘skills, jobs, confidence and investment’, which NWRIC says the waste and resource recovery industry is positioned to deliver.
NWRIC CEO Rose Read said the budget saw the announcement of several new funds that the waste and resource recovery industry can potentially be involved in and called for more transparency on the use of landfill levy funds which increase from 1 July 2021.
For more details on NWRIC’s budget response click here.
That’s a wrap – success for AWRE held online for first time
The premier event for the waste and resource recovery industry, the Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo (AWRE), has concluded and been hailed a great success.
The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) was a supporting partner, facilitating four sessions all of which were held online.
The NWRIC facilitated sessions included:
“Waste to Energy”, with Marc Stammbach (HZI), Justin Koek (NSW DPIE) and Richard Kirkman (CEO & MD Veolia). The following issues were discussed – community engagement, a call for all states to adopt EU regulations, the importance of applying the waste hierarchy to optimise material recovery prior to energy recovery, sustainability benefits and the need to develop local waste to energy facilities so that current RMF/PEFs being exported can be used here in Australia.
“Recycling Modernisation Fund with Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP and Vik Bansal (CEO & MD Cleanaway). The Minister provided an update on the Recycling Modernisation Fund including progress in finalising agreements with states on the roll out of these funds to increase plastic, glass and tyre processing capacity and the Commonwealth’s expression of interest on expanding paper processing capacity nationally. Vik Bansal reiterated the importance of cleaning up inputs to MRFs by ensuring a consistent national four bin system and a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in every state.
“National State of Waste” with Kristin Tilley (DAWE), Vik Bansal (CEO & MD Cleanaway), Asst Minister Waste Reduction, the Hon. Trevor Evans MP & Mike Ritchie (MRA Consultation). Minister Evans provided an update on the federal government’s product stewardship initiatives funding and recently established centre of excellence. The key issues discussed included the impact of delays due to COVID-19, recycling contamination, the large contribution food waste makes to landfill and how that can be addressed, the importance of ‘turbo charging’ product stewardship through the new Centre of Excellence, and the need for both incentives and regulatory oversight when looking at product stewardship.
“Container Deposit Scheme Harmonisation” session with Alex Young (NSW EPA), Karl Shanley (DLEWP) and Mark Biddulph (Cleanaway). Some of the key points of discussion in this panel session included a review of how NSW implemented its CDS, what Victoria was focused on as it develops its own CDS, how targets and incentives to drive participation are considered, issues around harmonisation and how consistency of material returned can lead to cleaner systems.
NWRIC’s NSW State Affiliate WCRA also facilitated two sessions on Day 1 of the AWRE including the opening session by the Minister for Energy and the Environment the Hon. Matthew Kean MP and The COVID effect on the waste industry with Cr Linda Scott (Local Government NSW), Jim Perry (Veolia) and Mike Ritchie (MRA Consulting Group).
The Minister made four interesting statements, firstly that NSW was not going to hit its 2021 target of diverting 75% of waste from landfill, secondly that NSW does not have the recycling capacity to process the 240,000 tonnes of waste exported annually, thirdly that landfill space is expected to reach capacity the next 10 to 15 years in NSW and finally a draft of the 20 year waste strategy will be released in early 2021 and finalised in June and will include a plastics ban.
These sessions were recorded so keep an eye on the website https://awre.com.au/ for when they become available.
Australian first: WRIQ launches intern program for waste, recycling and circular economy sector
NWRIC’s Queensland state affiliate Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland (WRIQ) has established Australia’s first dedicated waste, resource recovery and circular economy Intern Program.
Interns can be used for a range of projects and activities to support business operations, explore new ventures, transfer skills or be a recruit group for quality candidates being progressed into employment opportunities a business.
Students, who must engage in industry placements, are in turn provided an opportunity to see and experience the important work the sector does.
The program has partnered with major universities across Queensland and Australia and WRIQ is also in the process of engaging with Queensland TAFE.
A number of NWRIC state affiliates propose to roll out this initiative in their states in the new year.