Welcome to the final WMAA E-NEWS for 2017, which I am handing over to our fantastic State Branches, who have worked incredibly hard to promote and represent our essential industry. I believe these reports truly represent the breadth, depth and effectiveness of WMAA.

I think that we would all agree that 2017 has been an interesting year for the industry as a whole with increased media attention. However it is only by working with each other and the broader community will we solve many of these issues raised, and to be honest nothing new has been highlighted.

At WMAA we are looking forward to 2018 and the opportunities that it will bring. Thank you to everyone that has participated and engaged with WMAA in 2017, we look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in 2018.

From all of the team I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Gayle Sloan

The WMAA NSW Branch started 2017 with an objective to be more proactive, to set the agenda by push forward on issues that matter to the members, rather than only responding to external pressures.

Top of WMAA’s list in NSW is planning reform, so that much needed infrastructure can be delivered in a more timely fashion.

While 2017 turned out to be a very tough year to get on the front foot, given the unprecedented media and public attention around our sector, the NSW Young Professionals Working Group has led the charge in developing a thoughtful policy paper around planning reform. Rolling into 2018, we will be finalising this paper and seeking to use it as the basis for detailed discussions with key stakeholders.

Another highlight for 2017 was the submission developed by the Resource & Energy Recovery Working Group for the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Energy from Waste. The process of developing this submission demonstrates the strength of WMAA; drawing on the skills, experience and passion of the RER members to inform the technical aspects, and drawing on head office to ensure the information was packaged into a professional report.

Throughout 2017 the NSW Branch also produced papers on:

  • Draft MRF Protocol for the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in NSW
  • Submission to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into EfW Technology
  • NSW Litter Prevention Strategy 2017–2020 Consultation Draft
  • NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy 2017–20 Consultation Draft
  • Scrap Metal Sector Standards
  • Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Strategy 2017 - 2021

With submissions for Managing Construction Waste in NSW and EPA use of unmanned aircraft being provided this month.

The roll out of a Container Deposit Scheme has been a major undertaking for NSW in 2017, and will no doubt continue to be front and centre in the public discourse as the systems are bedded down in 2018.

In terms of events, the Waste Conference at Coffs Harbour was the biggest meeting point for the year, with record delegates. While not attracting the same number of delegates, the WMAA Landfill Conference in March was very well attended and provided a deep dive into various technical aspects associated with best practice in landfill design and operation. NSW also held a Women of Waste Leadership Breakfast in October, which was well attended by some of the current and upcoming leaders of our sector. More attendees attended the NSW end of year event in November, and anecdotally it seems that attendance and activity was up at various working group meetings throughout the year.

Looking forward into 2018, WMAA in NSW will continue to seek to be on the front foot, with a proactive approach to representing the interests of members, including in relation to planning reform and sustainable procurement. Our objective is to better explain and to continuously improve the value that we as a sector provide to our local communities, and we will be seeking to leverage the new-found public interest in what we do in order to help achieve this outcome.

I wish you all the best for the coming year and a very Merry Christmas.

Garth Lamb
NSW Branch President

It has been another very busy year for your SA WMAA branch!

We have been very active with submissions and representation to Government on a range of Waste and Resource Recovery matters including:

  • SA EPA Waste Reform
  • SA EPA Mass Balance Reporting
  • SA EPA Landfill Guideline Discussion
  • GISA SA Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan
  • SA Government Disaster Waste Management Project
  • WMAA SA Policy Position and met with Government and Opposition to discuss
  • Co-Chaired with GISA the China Recyclables Ban Round table
  • Participation in the EPA High Level Advisory Group and WMAA/EPA Reference Group

We have enjoyed having a great turn out for a number of WMAA events for 2017 including:

  • When is a Waste a Waste?
  • Low Carbon Waste Forum
  • Green is the New Black: Benefits of a Circular Economy for South Australia
  • KESAB’s 2017 Breakfast with the Minister
  • Energy from Waste
  • WMAA SA 2017 Golf Day

The South Australian Working Groups have been very busy again this year. The Waste Educators have continued to see strong support for their regular meetings where they’ve hosted a number of great presentations and undertaken some excellent recycling facility tours including Electronic Recycling Australia & the new Materials Recovery Facility at NAWMA. Thanks to KESAB for generously hosting many of the meetings in their Boardroom.

The SA Young Professionals have also been very active again this year with a number of casual meetings. Highlights for the YP’s was a tour of SA Water’s Anaerobic Digestion Plant and organising the ‘Caffineability’ a forum for café’s to network with the waste industry and share ideas on Sustainability.

Finally, the SA Landfill group have been very active at a National level providing input into a number of important discussions that affect Landfill including the PFOS and PFOA issues that have been a hot topic of discussion.

Your committee has worked hard again this year to provide a range of perspectives and input across a broad range of issues and opportunities facing our sector, which I am very grateful for, well supported by Brian Johnston as our branch secretary.

Next year is shaping up well to be another busy one for the sector. There will be the beginning of implementation of the SA EPA waste reform, further input into Energy from Waste policy, a WMAA SA Waste and Resource Recovery Conference slated for November as well as a range of WMAA breakfast and other events.

This is with the backdrop of a state election with hopefully all sides of politics understanding the opportunities that our waste and resource recovery sector can deliver in terms of circular economic growth, jobs and remanufacturing outcomes.

I would personally like to thank our active and large committee for their ongoing contributions through WMAA to waste and resource outcomes in our state and the broader WMAA members for participating in our events.

Mark Rawson
SA Branch President

Improving National Waste Reporting

In August 2017 the Department of the Environment and Energy released the National Waste Report (NWR) 2016 and Hazardous Waste in Australia (HWiA) 2017. The reports collate Australian waste data from the states, territories and industry to present a national picture on waste quantities, types, sources and management. They are available here (NWR) and here (HWiA) .

Blue Environment and its project partners Ascend Waste and Environment and Randell Environmental Consulting have been commissioned to prepare the next iterations of these reports (NWR 2018 and HWiA 2019). We and the Department want the new reports to be better than the previous versions and as useful as possible. To that end, we invite your responses to six simple questions.

Please click here to participate in the survey.

The WMAA Vic Branch Committee in 2017 has been actively involved in issues related to the waste and resource recovery sector at policy and operational levels within Victoria.

Four seminars were held during the year. These were on the EPA Reforms, Women in Waste, Energy from Waste (Gippsland focus) and FOGO in Regional Centres. We are also looking forward to our Christmas Function which is a great networking session and always well attended.

During 2017 we have had representatives from EPA, Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning and Sustainability Victoria present on specific topics at Branch Committee meetings. The Branch is recognised by State Government and its agencies as an area of knowledge when developing reforms or seeking input on waste and resource recovery issues. We were actively involved providing input as EP Act reforms have been developed and are a member of the Stakeholder Reference Group on the Officers for Protection of the Local Environment Pilot Project. Formal submissions have been made on reviews of the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations, State Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan and work is proceeding on the Energy from Waste discussion, Plastic Bags and associated issues and the E-Waste Ban to be implemented from 1 July 2018.

Our most active Working Group in 2017 has been Landfill Vic with regular meetings and active consultation with EPA as well as input to national landfill issues. The Resource and Energy Recovery Working Group has also held regular meetings, with a number including site visits. The Hazardous Waste Working Group has met on a needs basis when relevant issues arise. Following a review of Working Groups it has been decided to place the Waste Educators Group in abeyance as much work it would cover is now being led by MWRRG and the C&D Group may be merged with Landfill Vic. We are looking to reinvigorate the Young Professionals Group in early 2018 in conjunction with a proposed Waste 101 Seminar.

Given the number of issues requiring timely response the decision to continue with monthly Committee meetings proved beneficial. Meetings have predominantly benn early morning, with one held over lunch. Secretariat support from National Office (Sylwia Pryzbyla to August and Francine Pavkovic since then) has assisted operation. Also many thanks to Blue Environment for providing meeting facilities.

Involvement of the State Presidents with the Board and National Office staff in the Business Plan preparation process was considered a great way to have broad input and organisation wide ownership of the resultant Business Plan.

In 2018 input will continue to the Officers for Protection of Local Environment Pilot, seminars are in planning and we will continue to work with Government and its agencies on continuous improvement in the waste and resource recovery sector.

Graeme Stewart
VIC Branch President

It’s been a big year for the Waste Industry in WA. Early in 2017, we had a change of Government which has propelled a lot of activity and the new Environment Minister is showing great interest in waste management.

Our key activity areas for 2017 included:

  • Supporting Working Groups: The C&I, Educators, Landfill, Carbon and C&D Working Groups all continue to meet and do wonders, thanks to Jill Lethlean, Geoff Atkinson, Ian Watkins, Michael Voros and Dave Markham the Chairs of those Groups.
  • Hosting successful Waste & Recycle Conference: We had a great event at The Crown Towers, thanks to all who attended and supported the Conference.
  • Influencing the development of Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Regulatory Reform process: The Department changed name half way through 2017 and as the ‘one stop shop’ for environmental regulation is progressing a range of initiatives.
  • Influencing development of Container Deposit Scheme for WA: WMAA put in a Submission on the Scheme and Gayle Sloan sits on the Stakeholder Advisory Group.
  • Workforce Development: Industry stalwart, Kevin Poynton, is leading WMAA’s engagement on this through the Industry Training Council.
  • Events and Awards: We’ve hosted a couple of great events for members and aim to do even more in 2018.
  • Rural and Remote waste management: Giles Perryman is the driving force behind this activity and has taken the fight to the politicians to get some recognition of the issues for regional and remote WA.

My thanks to the outstanding WA Branch Committee and for the ongoing commitment of all WMAA members to growing our industry, it’s been fantastic working with you. Thanks also to the WMAA Team in the National Office, your ongoing support has been Looking forward to an even bigger 2018 for the waste industry in WA, with the Review of the State Waste Strategy, development of the Container Deposit Scheme, Plastic Bag Ban and a host of waste related regulatory reform!

These submissions and the working group structure that WMAA has, are a great example of what we do and why members should get involved.

In order to confirm working group membership and enable member participation in important issues affecting the sector, WMAA will shortly survey all financial members on which working groups they would like to participate in.

Rebecca Brown
WA Branch President

WMAA Career Centre

Queensland and the QLD Branch has eventful year, of importance for the branch was the development of the QLD WMAA branch priorities. These priorities were a key focus of the WMAA submission to bath major parties, prior to the recent QLD election. The branch are looking forward to working with the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) and other industry groups in 2018, to achieve some of these priority areas.

Another key focus area for the branch in 2017 was to ensure ongoing WMAA representation on EHP working groups and within consultation for upcoming department initiatives. The QLD Branch also revisited the current QLD working groups and great interest was shown for the introduction of a Resource and Energy Recovery group.

Mackay hosted the bi-annual Waste Q event which was a great success. Over 140 delegates attended the two day conference and the line-up of speakers showed great variety and covered a range of interesting and inspiring topics.

The QLD WMAA Branch are hoping to kick off 2018 with planning a varied and engaging events calendar. The events will include some ideas already successfully undertaken in other states, such as breakfast with the Minister, a Women in Industry seminar and Young Professionals/New Members social evening.

Other event ideas brainstormed by the branch committee include networking events and speaker presentations, with potential topics to include; the Container Refund Scheme and Single Use Plastic Bag Bans, the outcomes of the Interstate Transport of Waste Review, Energy from Waste, applications of biofuels, the review of the waste related ERAs and the Regulated Waste Review, Council initiatives such as Food Organics Garden Organics and Love Food Hate Waste.

An important objective for the QLD events calendar of 2018 will be to try and coincide QLD WMAA Branch events, particularly speaker events, with other relevant industry meetings. The objective of this is to assist with cross over between relevant waste management organisations and provide members, not located within the SE QLD region, access to presentations and knowledge sharing.

We hope to reach out and provide connection for members joining from across the state, access to meetings and knowledge sharing events. The QLD WMAA Branch are also hoping these events can assist with connecting members and re-energising working groups.

We hope 2018 is a great year and we would like to thank WMAA head office and the National President for their ongoing support.

Melanie Kempton - QLD Branch President &
Matthew McCarthy - QLD Branch Vice President

At the beginning of 2017 the Executive of the WMAA’s Tasmanian (Tas) Branch changed with Brad Mashman Managing Director at Recovery (Tas) Pty Ltd elected as Secretary, Christine Bell, Southern Waste Solutions CEO elected as Vice President and John Chrispijn, Environmental Officer Veolia elected as President.

This new executive has engaged with the Tasmanian EPA discuss how the State Government has been active in addressing issues in the waste sector and in waste policy as well as continuing to advocate for a state-wide solid waste levy.

The Tas Branch has actively promoted the development of an Innovation Fund for investment into resource recovery infrastructure, employment and education initiatives that can create a positive feedback loop leading to further diversion from landfill. Funding models for this could be government grants or a state-wide waste levy etc.

Also the Tasmanian EPA is developing a Tasmanian Waste and Resource Management Strategy . The Tas Branch has conveyed its willingness to assist with the development of a new waste action plan. We have long-term experience in the waste management, both in private industry as well as government and believe that we can work with the EPA towards a new plan that will improve waste management in Tasmania.

On the 29th September the Tasmanian Branch of WMAA held its annual forum titled Waste Management Infrastructure Requirements at the Old Woolstore Hotel in Hobart.

Veolia and JustWaste were sponsors of the event which featured a range of presentations on innovative recovery/processing options for different waste streams in Tasmania. Presentations included:

  • Construction and Demolition Waste
  • Food Organics and Garden Organics Recycling
  • Best Practice Landfill Operations
  • Direction from the Regional Waste Authorities
  • Education aimed at Improving Resource Recovery

The event had a great turnout with nearly sixty people at the event, including local government, private industry, the Tasmanian EPA and consultants from throughout the State and was one of the best attended WMMA forums in recent years.

There will be a State election held in the first quarter of 2018. The Tas Branch will engage all major parties to see what their policy direction is on waste management for Tasmania.

For 2018 we plan to further engage with Local Government Association of Tasmania and regional waste groups in the State to foster working relations with local government on waste management issues.

John Crispijn
TAS Branch President

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