WMAA E-News

Enviro18

WMAA hosted the ENVIRO’18 Convention from the 13-14 June 2018 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. WMAA had started thinking about the need for such an event at the end of 2016, arguably with the knowledge that a continued reliance on trading commodities globally as opposed to utilising and growing Australia’s recycled manufacturing industry was not going to be sustainable long term.

Enviro18
It was with this in mind that WMAA gathered the foremost experts in Circular Economy and how to transition to it, such as Caroline Lambert and Dr Marcus Gover (pictured).

Caroline and Marcus were able to impart knowledge on how the United Nations and United Kingdom, respectably, are able to meet the challenges of finite resources and grasp the opportunities that Circular Economy present.
Enviro18
More than 200 people gathered from around Australia to not only hear from our impressive list of speakers but to network and exchange information and knowledge on their own moves to sustainable procurement, recycling and the Circular Economy.

WMAA has received nothing but positive feedback about the event and look forward to holding the next ENVIRO Convention.
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There is plenty going on in NSW, with strong representation from WMAA and its members into various processes that will shape the future of our sector. In an interesting twist, the announcement of Queensland’s reintroduction of a landfill levy has implications for NSW operators (particularly those in WMAA’s C&D and Landfill Working Groups) that are now gearing up for some 1 million tonnes of waste that is expected to come back to local markets, once the economic incentives for long distance transport are removed.

A NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Energy from Waste (which actually ended up considered and reporting on all things waste) recently wrapped up, producing a wide range of recommendations. This ranged from structural reform of key NSW agencies and the creation of a new body to support improved infrastructure planning and development outcomes, through to recommendations around the use of levy funds and concepts for increased resource recovery. On the original topic, the report was generally supportive of the important role EfW can play in the waste management hierarchy, although not supportive of specific project applications considered. The NSW RER Group is leading the charge in collating a response to this wide ranging report, and seeking to build on momentum to achieve some positive reforms in the NSW market.

The impacts of China’s decisions around recycling commodities are obviously being felt around the nation (and the world), and the NSW Government has established a new group to coordinate responses to these issues. WMAA is deeply engaged in the process, and pushing for rapid progress to support the interests of members and the communities they service.

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The 2018 Tasmanian state election was held on 3 March 2018 with the incumbent Liberal government winning a second consecutive term. The Hon Elise Archer MP, Liberal Member for Denison has retained her portfolio Minister for Environment & Parks. The WMAA Tas Branch has written to her requesting a meeting to find out the government's perspective on waste management for the State and future policy settings and investment in the industry.

We are awaiting reports from the Tasmanian EPA including a new Waste Management Strategy and a consultant’s report on the model framework for a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in Tasmania.

From local government the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority (STCA), a regional organisation made up of the 12 Southern Tasmanian Councils is looking at a Regional Waste Strategy to improve the coordination of waste management activities and investment. While the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) advocated for the introduction of state-wide waste levy.

The WMAA Tas Branch will continue to lobby State and Local government for reforms in the waste sector and have been promoting a waste innovation and education fund as the direction to achieve these improvements.

And finally, on the 18 May Tas Branch Secretary Brad Mashman was keynote speaker at the IPWEA Conference.

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The Victorian Branch has continued involvement in a range of activities over recent months.

The Officers for Protection of Local Environments (OPLE) Pilot is a key program coming out of the EPA Inquiry. There have been OPLE’s appointed to assist 13 Councils dealing with issues that historically have “fallen in the cracks” between EPA and Councils. These EPA officers are located in Council officers and deal with local issues. They graduated in February and in the first month issued 75 notices. Our Branch is represented on the Stakeholder Reference Group for the pilot. More substantive data demonstrating the effectiveness of this program is expected at the mid-year review.

The Branch is also represented on the City of Melbourne Zero Nett Emissions Refresh external reference Group. At the first meeting potential climate actions were workshopped. WMAA is the only member with a focus on resource recovery and waste management. We have also participated in focussed workshops providing input to the State Government response to China Sword issues.

In March we held the Women of Waste Leadership Breakfast. It was very well attended with more than 70 people present hearing speakers, Jade Barnaby (Tyre Stewardship Australia) and Elisa De Witt (Norton Rose Fulbright) provide information on their valuable input to the industry.

The Branch has also been working on input to the Managing Recyclable Combustible Waste and Waste SEPP on which a submission to government is due in July. In addition we have prepared information to be included in the National WMAA submission on the Product Stewardship Action Plan and are finalising similar input to the Review of the Product Stewardship Act. Landfill Vic also reviewed the new Waters of Victoria SEPP and the Branch has provided this input to Government as part of the process of development of this replacement for two previous SEPPs. Planning is in place for a Regional Seminar in Bendigo in September which will actively involve Victorian WMAA members outside the Melbourne precinct and hopefully encourage further people in the area to become members. We are also planning a Waste 101 event in October and are well advanced in preparation of representations to State Political parties on policy issues on which we seek support in the waste and resource recovery areas in the State Election due to be held in November this year.

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Following the Liberals winning government in the state election in March, WMAA has been reaching out to ensure the new government is brought quickly up to speed with the challenges facing the sector and the opportunities.

Working with the SA Government on the China Sword response package. This has recently been releases and contains a $12.4 m package focused on related infrastructure, market development and regional transport subsidies.

We had a excellent Woman in Waste Event in May. The inspiration speakers were Preet Bar from Veolia, Stephanie Bolt from Adelaide Airport Limited and Kat Heinrich from Rawtec.

We continue to plan and prepare for our WMAA WasteSA Resource Recovery Conference on 13-15 November in Adelaide, ably lead by Fraser Bell as the program chair. We hope to see you there for what will be a great conference with really interesting technical tours.

On June 26, WMAA hosted the Minister’s Release of the SA Recycling Activity Report for 16/17, where the Minister for Environment the Hon David Speirs explained that SA continues to lead the nation with a diversion to resource recovery of 83.4%. The event was well attended with some 70+ participants enjoying the open and engaging discussion with the new Minister and Green Industries Chief Executive, Vaughan Levitzke. Based on this event, it is evident that the State Government has a strong appetite to continue to work with the sector to further enhance South Australia’s leadership in the waste and resource recovery sector, and it will not be resting on its laurels.

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The WA Branch have provided feedback to the recent Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) Draft Odour Guidelines, identifying the need to ensure that the proposed approach does not create an unreasonable administrative and cost burden on facilities, particularly new and expanding ones. WMAA will continue to work with the DWER on this issue. The Branch is currently drafting feedback to the DWER’s recently released Guide to licencing, which identifies a few potential changes to current operating procedures. The WA Waste Taskforce had its second meeting on Wednesday 6 June and the next steps for WA were discussed, including establishing a working group to look at priority products and solutions.

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The Queensland waste industry is in a critical planning phase, with an key opportunity for WMAA to influence strategy and policy development to ensure the very best outcome for management and utilisation of our waste and resource streams, across industries, and state borders into the future. Earlier this month the Queensland Government released the Transforming Queensland’s Recycling and Waste Industry Discussion Paper. This paper outlines the long awaited criteria of the waste disposal levy, due for implementation in the first quarter of 2019. The discussion paper also highlighted the need for a new resource recovery, recycling and waste management strategy, recognising restrictions of the National Sword Policy, and working toward a circular economy and new performance targets for the state. This process, of which development of the landfill levy will be integral, will draw on input from the Stakeholder Advisory Group, of which WMAA have a key involvement. This is a busy time for the Queensland Branch and working groups, particularly the Landfill Working Group, who are formulating a response to this discussion paper and taking the opportunity to bring to the forefront the key issues facing the industry in Queensland.

In other state news, the plastic bag ban will be coming into effect on 1 July 2018 and Container Refund Scheme due for roll out 1 November 2018.

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Would you like to promote your company to a global waste audience? Do you want to gain an understanding of how waste is managed from a range of waste companies around the world?

The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Young Professionals (YPs) are running an exciting global campaign at the moment called What Happens To My Waste?

To ensure your company is recognised for the work you are doing across the globe, add yourself or your company to the Facebook group. Here, people from the general public from across the world are asking what happens to particular waste streams, and industry professionals are answering their questions. You can get involved by answering questions posted by the public or by posting a question yourself (asking what happens to a particular waste stream using the hashtags #whathappenstomywaste? and #whathappenstomywasteaustralia?).

Have a look at the Facebook group to see how it works and speak to Matt Allan if you would like to know more (matt.allan@rawtec.com.au or 0437 294 283). Feel free to add others to the group too!

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