The Monthly Waste Management News Roundup - January

31 January 2020

Here's our waste management news roundup for January 2020

City of Melbourne installs floating waste bins

The City of Melbourne has installed floating waste bins to stop litter washing into the Yarra River at Docklands. Lord Mayor Sally Capp said five Seabins have been installed at Yarra's Edge Marina, following a successful trial earlier this year. "Unfortunately an estimated 1.4 billion pieces of rubbish flow into Port Phillip Bay from the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers each year," Ms Capp said. "Using Seabins we can collect up to 200 kilograms of rubbish a day."

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SA recycles 110,000 plastic bags for infrastructure project

South Australia is using 100 per cent recyclable materials to seal parts of its $354 million Regency to Pym Street project. Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll said over 110,000 plastic bags, 324 kilograms of recycled canola oil, 2500 printer cartridges and 207 tonnes of recycled asphalt were used to seal the project's construction office car park. “The project will also be supporting a trial of the addition of plastic to the asphalt mix on a section of road pavement, and will be exploring further opportunities to use recyclable materials on other aspects of the works,” he said.

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Woolworths partners with Sydney Zoo to rescue food waste

Animals at Sydney Zoo will soon be feeding on surplus fresh food rescued from Woolworths, after the zoo joined Woolworth’s Stock Feed for Farmers program. According to a Woolworths statement, Sydney Zoo joins over 750 farmers and community groups that access surplus fresh food from the supermarket. “Last year more than 32,000 tonnes of surplus food no longer suitable for sale or human consumption went to feed animals both on farms and in zoos,” the statement reads.

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Customers can now recycle both Glad wrap and snap lock bag products

In what will be welcomed news to consumers mindful of their environmental impact, Glad has now become more sustainable. The brand have partnered with soft plastic recycling program REDcycle, run in Coles and Woolworths stores, where customers can now recycle both Glad wrap and snap lock bag products. Neither product contains PVC, allowing for it to be recycled. 

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VIC EPA approves Laverton WtE plant

The Victorian EPA has granted a works approval for a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Laverton North. The facility, to be developed by Recovered Energy Australia, will process 200,000 tonnes of source-separated residual municipal solid waste each year. According to an EPA statement, Recovered Energy Australia propose to deliver approximately 15 mega watts of electricity to the grid annually.

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Simply Cups reaches 10 million milestone

Simply Cups, a coffee cup recycling program, has officially collected 10 million cups, with Assistant Waste Reduction Minister Trevor Evans depositing the milestone cup at an event in Sydney. According to Mr Evans, the recycling scheme, founded by Closed Loop, collects almost one million cups every month, with nearly 1000 collection points at 7-Eleven stores, cafes, hotels, hospitals and universities across Australia.

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National program launched to give valuable waste materials second life

A national program has been launched to identify valuable products from waste streams, which will then be transformed into useful resources. The program, TRANSFORM, is an initiative under the fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) that will develop processes and technology that can cost-effectively transform the waste materials. University of Queensland (UQ) chemical engineering researcher and TRANSFORM lead, Dr Paul Luckman, said there is more that could be done with organics and food waste.

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Researchers have found waste glass can be used to improve the strength and durability of concrete

James Cook University scientists have proposed a solution to Australia’s growing, unwanted stockpile of waste glass, as a ban on exporting the glass overseas looms. The researchers have found the material can instead be used to improve the strength and durability of concrete. Associate Professor Rabin Tuladhar from JCU’s College of Science and Engineering said Australia will start banning the export of waste glass for processing overseas by July this year.

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