The Future of Waste & Recycling

DAY 1: 23 October 2019

Plenary Stream

Chairperson: Dr Joe Pickin, Director, Blue Environment


9:30        Victorian Ministerial Keynote

The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Minister for Solar Homes, Government of Victoria

9:50        From Landfill to WtE: EU’s Mistakes and How Not to Repeat Them

This educational insight looks at the evolution of waste management practices in Europe from the 1950’s to today. It evaluates 60 years of waste management practices against their capacity, costs, complexity, people’s dependency and success:

·         1950’s: Landfills

·         1960’s: Incineration Technology

·         1980’s: Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT)

·         1990’s: Source Segregation

The need for Alternative Waste Treatment (AWT) technology has seen a surge in the last decade. This is driven by increasing costs of waste disposal, pressure to improve sustainable outcomes and diminishing space for landfill. We provide an insight into the new technologies available for recovering more resources from waste streams, converting waste into energy or useful by-products, and minimising environmental impacts at the same time.

Michal Paca, Development Director, Bioelektra Group

10:20     Panel: Strategies for Innovating and Increasing the Sustainability of Australia’s WtE Sector

This session aims to provide high-level thought leadership on some of the pressing issues surrounding Australia’s waste-to-energy (WtE) sector: Is WtE a viable alternative to landfill? Should governments invest in WtE and how would they manage the high amount of cost? What is the best business case for developing WtE and why is the technology not widely deployed? Do not miss the opportunity to hear from industry experts as they discuss some of the factors for consideration when speaking about the country’s WtE.

Ian Guss, Director, Recovered Energy Australia

Shahana McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Bioenergy Australia

Niels Jakobsen, Senior Project Manager, Ramboll Australia

Demian Natakhan, Director, Enhar

Jeff Snyder, Senior Vice President Business Development, Aries Clean Energy

11:10     Gasification 101

Explore the difference between gasification and pyrolysis, and find out what is the most suitable feedstock for each technology. This presentation will also look at the gasification of municipal solid waste (MSW) and waste in general, discussing project examples as well as products of biomass and waste gasification.

Jeff Snyder, Senior Vice President Business Development, Aries Clean Energy

11:40     Firing Up a WtE Plant: Case Studies from Australia and Beyond

The firing up of a WtE (Waste to Energy) plant involves five phases: Planning, permitting, constructing, commissioning and managing the real fire of daily operations. We will check in, fire up the engine room and check out with local and international examples demonstrating the credibility and potential of WtE, and understand how it may be rolled out across Australia.

Dr Marc Stammbach, Managing Director, Hitachi Zosen Inova Australia

12:10     Creating a More Sustainable and Resilient Resource Recovery Industry

Education, markets, levies, regulations, standards, product stewardship, incentives and bans are all important policy drivers and levers that have helped develop the resource recovery industry in Australia. This presentation will explore the current state of waste avoidance and resource recovery nationally: What policy drivers and levers have worked and where they are failing; what we need to adjust to put Australia’s resource recovery industry back on track to ensure better use of our resources; less pollution and carbon emission; more jobs and business opportunities.

Rose Read, Chief Executive Officer, National Waste and Recycling Industry Council

12:40     Best Practice Resource Recovery: Towards 100% Diversion from Landfill

BINGO’s vision is a waste-free Australia. Our principal strategic intent is the diversion of waste from landfill through: a recycling-led solution; investment in technology, and; continuous innovation to enhance sustainability outcomes and maximise returns. This presentation will cover BINGO’s best practice approach to resource recovery, profile the company’s new resource recovery facility in West Melbourne, and outline its plans to create a unique Recycling Ecology Park at Eastern Creek in New South Wales.

Geoff Hill, Chief Operating Officer, Bingo Industries

1:10        Lunch

Chairperson: Mark Smith, Executive Officer, Victorian Waste Management Association

1:50        Market Development Strategies for Closing the Resource Loop

Sustainability Victoria (SV) has been a leading player in developing new markets for recovered resources for more than a decade. In response to recent import restrictions which limit the market for plastic, paper, cardboard and glass, SV has been reorienting its market development activities to unlock opportunities for these materials, ensuring that they perform on an even playing field and that the market can supply these products at scale.

Matt Genever, Director Resource Recovery, Sustainability Victoria

2:20        Turning Barriers into Enablers of Regional Waste Management: Case Studies from West Coast Council & Snowy Valley Council

In Australia, 71% of the population reside in urban areas. Naturally, waste management funds, projects and markets are centred here. The other 27% live regionally. Here, waste services can vary from an unnamed 24-hour one-stop shop with a free-for-all dump, to random well managed landfills with small-scale recycling plants employing the local community, and turning waste into usable materials and an income generating business.

In looking for regional waste management solution, we must consider the enabling characteristics of perceived barriers and adapt a locally sustainable process. To achieve well managed regional waste services, the key is to first put waste on the agenda and empower stakeholders to drive innovative paths for improvement.

This presentation will use regional case studies to highlight how change is brought about to areas with low population and low resource density to increase the local recovery rates.

Isabel Axiö, Waste Consultant, Just Waste Consulting

2:50        Yarra City: Holistic Kerbside Waste Management Pilot

In June 2019, Yarra City Council commenced a pilot project which aimed to separate kerbside waste materials across 1,400 households into four streams: General waste, food and garden organics (FOGO), glass, and other recyclables including paper, cardboard and plastic.

Council has partnered with a range of stakeholders for the trial including the Yarra Community, Victorian Government, Sustainability Victoria, Australian Paper Recovery, Alex Fraser, Four Seasons Waste, Owens – Illinois, CUB Rubbish Removal Melbourne and RMIT University.

The trial will deliver a number of outcomes including:

  • Proof of concept and a replicable methodology for holistic waste collection;
  • Development of a circular economy using glass and organics as a resource
  • Improved quality of recycling materials
  • Data and evidence for implementation in a range of settings including inner city and urban single & multi-unit dwellings
  • Logistics modelling
  • Infrastructure modelling (bins/containers)
  • Development of local markets for organics and glass
  • Development of local markets for other kerbside recyclable materials (paper and cardboard)
  • Community engagement methodology

Joe Agostino, Project Officer, City Works, Yarra City Council

3:20        E-Waste Panel: A Roadmap for Improving Australia’s E-Waste Management System

This session takes an in-depth look at Australia’s e-waste problem, the challenges faced by the industry, and explores policies and strategies for managing the nation’s existing and future e-waste.

Warren Overton, Chief Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform Limited (ANZRP)

Rob Millard, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group

James Coghill, Director, Total Green Recycling

4:00        Advocating for Wider Organics Resource Recovery and Beneficial Reuse

  • A comprehensive update on the national and international organics recycling industry
  • How AORA is leading cultural change to champion the optimisation of recycled organics
  • Case study: Sacyr’s $65 million South Eastern Organics Processing Facility in Victoria

Michael Wood, Company Secretary, Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA)

4:30        Campaspe Community Collaborates to “Give a Scrap”

In designing the opt-in FOGO Program, Campaspe Shire Council engaged the community using elements of co-design. Experiences from councils across Australia were explored to identify the best solutions for the community.  Surveys, focus groups and socially inclusive partnerships were utilised to assist in program implementation.

Sheri Doyle, Environmental Project Officer – Organics, Campaspe Shire Council

12:10      Lunch

Chairperson: Merrill Gray, Executive Director, Wolf Advisory

1:00        A Circular Built Environment

This session will analyse the opportunities and challenges which we face at a micro and macro scale, providing a deeper understanding of what Arup recognises to be the principles of best practice.

Joyanne Manning, Principal, Australasia Resource and Waste Management Leader, ARUP

1:30        Ensuring Compliance to Circularity in the Construction Industry

Increasing connectivity is providing consumers (the government, individuals and industries) with more information to influence their procurement decisions. This has increased consumer demand for compliance to environmental standards, codes and regulations, prompting greater recovery and repurposing of natural resources.

In response, new business models of material and energy production have been designed to drive consumer-centric outcomes that are more socially and environmentally responsible.

Find out how businesses can best recover waste at various stages of a product lifecycle and supply chain to facilitate a circular economy in the construction industry.

Peter Mulherin, Researcher, RMIT University

2:00        Pulling Products not Pushing Waste: Repurposing in Action

The choke point in the circular economy is the lack of viable, alternative methods for taking recycled products to the market. In this session, Jim will share real life examples of where the loop has been effectively closed, discuss some of the hurdles that we have faced and overcome, and consider what the Government and Industry could do to enable increased activity.

Jim Appleby, General Manager – Reconomy, Transport and Infrastructure, Downer

2:30        Paving the Way to Greener Roads

  • Innovative approaches to C&D waste and glass recycling
  •  Advancing resource recovery to improve the sustainability of built materials for the construction industry
  • Increasing recycled contents in pavements to divert waste concrete, brick, asphalt and glass from landfill

Peter Murphy, Managing Director, Alex Fraser

3:00        Afternoon Break

3:30        Plastic Roads: Pioneering the Journey to a Circular Economy

Soft plastics and glass pose major waste issues to Australia and, indeed, the world today. While both are valuable to a planet that is depleting its natural resources at a rapid rate, they are merely left to pollute our environment on land and sea.

This presentation focuses on the circular economy and the collaboration required to capture and recover such resources in a way that is commercially viable, and reintroduce them into the market in the form of innovate products that are superior to their current standards.

Peter Tamblyn, Sales and Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific, Close the Loop

4:00        Australian-First C&D Washing Plant

George Hatzimanolis, Founder and CEO of Repurpose It, will share the capabilities of the organisation’s new washing facility. He will also discuss how the Epping business is transforming the construction and demolition waste sector through best practice technology, the importance of innovation, and what 2020 looks like with the support of Sustainability Victoria.

George Hatzimanolis, Chief Executive Officer, Repurpose it

4:30        Converting Chemical Waste into Sustainable Energy

The prescribed waste disposal industry in Victoria has changed significantly over the past six (6) month period following the identification of operators who were incorrectly storing and handling hazardous wastes, transporting these wastes without the appropriate documentation and consignment approvals and/or not holding the appropriate regulatory approvals for their waste disposal facilities. As we know, this has led the EPA to enforce mandatory electronic tracking of prescribed waste transport and disposal. This new requirement will put more onuses on waste producers to complete their due diligence and ensure their waste is managed responsibly.

Blending prescribed and hazardous wastes into an alternative fuel is key to solving the current situation that is challenging the industry and through a strict pre delivery waste approval process. Cement Kiln technology offers industry a total waste destruction option that converts waste to energy, reducing the industries reliance on coal and enables generators and consolidators a truly sustainable waste transformation option.

Mary Kanellos, Geocycle Operations Manager, Cement Australia


Day 2: 24 October 2019

Plenary Stream

Chairperson: David Cocks, Manager – Victoria and Tasmania, MRA Consulting Group

9:00        Victoria’s New Environment Laws: A New Approach

Dr Cathy Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer of EPA Victoria, will speak about the organisation’s regulatory approach to waste and how this is changing in response to Victoria’s new environment laws, which will commence on 1 July 2020. The new laws place an overwhelming focus on the prevention of environmental harm.

Dr Cathy Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer, EPA Victoria

9:20        A Long-Term Waste Strategy for NSW

The Strategy will set a 20-year vision for reducing waste, driving sustainable recycling markets, and identifying and improving the state and regional waste infrastructure network. This presentation will cover the following:

  • Development of a long-term vision and roadmap
  • Process update
  • Next steps

Dr Kar Mei Tang, A/Executive Director, Waste Strategy and Policy, NSW EPA

9:40        Regulatory Reform with the South Australian Waste and Recycling Sector: Where to Next

South Australia (SA) has experienced a number of significant changes and challenges in the area of waste and circular economy. It is not exempted from the dynamics of Australia’s urgency to reform waste management and recourse recovery, and the barriers related to regulation, community education, infrastructure and technology & innovation.

To align with the SA Government’s vision for a new era of waste reduction and resource sustainment, the EPA continues to work through a significant waste reform agenda to maintain SA’s strong performance that underpins a “new” circular economy.

Steven Sergi, Manager, Regulatory Reform Projects, SA EPA

10:00     Stream Welcome

James Holmes, Branch Manager, CSE Crosscom

10:10     NSW Return and Earn: Towards 3 Billion Collections

In just 19 months, the people of NSW have returned more than 2 billion drink containers through the NSW “Return and Earn” Container Deposit Scheme (“CDS”). TOMRA Cleanaway is the Network Operator of the NSW Scheme, which is the largest of its type in Australia. In his presentation, TOMRA Cleanaway CEO James Dorney will provide insights regarding the significant development and investment undertaken, an overview of the achievements to date, as well as further opportunities for improvement and optimisation. James will also discuss key learnings since commencement of the scheme in December of 2017.

James Dorney, Chief Executive Officer, TOMRA Cleanaway

10:40    Learnings and Considerations for New Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) in Australia

  • Understanding core drives for CDS globally and identifying critical factors for scheme success in Australia
  • Important design elements to incorporate into new schemes and how to overcome or compensate for design constraints
  • A high-level comparison of scheme outcomes across Australian jurisdictions

Markus Fraval, Director, Strategy & Business Development, TOMRA Collection


11:10     Collaborating with the Grocery Industry to Develop a Circular Economy

The resource recovery and food & grocery industries have a lot in common: Both are highly regulated to protect the health and wellbeing of individuals, both are capital intensive industries with large manufacturing and processing facilities, and both are reliant on efficient transport systems. Now, both have become highly impacted by the implementation of the China Sword Policy.

With over 30 years’ experience in both industries, Barry will discuss the changing face of the food & grocery landscape, how it is leading waste diversion in manufacturing, and companies’ respective commitments to the Ellen McArthur Foundation targets as well as APCO’s packaging standards. We will look at organisations’ investment efforts in recycling innovations, and how the food & grocery and resource recovery industries are collaborating to increase the supply of fit-for-purpose recycled packaging materials to stimulate the demand for a packaging circular economy.

Barry Cosier, Director Sustainability, Australian Food and Grocery Council

11:40     Providing Free Compostable Produce Bags in Supermarkets to Increase Kerbside Food Efficiency Rate

In March 2018, the City of Holdfast Bay implemented a 12-month trial in partnership with two local Foodland Supermarkets, where plastic bags for fruit and vegetable purchases were replaced with a compostable version. Funded by Green Industries SA, the project has successfully increased the availability of compostable bags which are compatible with kitchen organic baskets, and are then used by the community to dispose their food waste into kerbside organic bins.

Shani Wood, Environmental officer, City of Holdfast Bay

12:10 LUNCH

Chairperson: Toli Papadopoulos, Managing Editor, Waste Management Review

12:40        Partnership Panel: Towards a Circular Economy

A circular economy does not occur in isolation. According to the National Waste Policy, a circular economy is founded on the following principles: Avoidance of waste, improved resource recovery and use of recycled materials, increased material flows, and improved information enabling innovation, investment and informed customer decisions. Governments, industries and communities must work cooperatively to embed these considerations into decision making, influencing policies and outcomes, and driving the transition into a circular economy.

Angela Hoefnagels, Manager, Waste and Resource Recovery, Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Brendan Lee, Circular Economy Manager, Closed Loop

Cameron McKenzie, Managing Director, ASPIRE

Sabina Wills, Chief Executive Officer, Keep Victoria Beautiful

Rhys Pirie, PhD Candidate, University of Queensland

1:30        Challenges and Opportunities for Resource Recovery in Australia: Operators’ Perspective

  • If Australian resource recovery was an animal, what would it be and why? An overview of current policy and market issues.
  • What does a new Federal Government and its recycling promises mean for the broader sector?
  • Current international outlook and how does it impact Australian resource recovery?
  • If I had a magic wand, what are the three things I would do to improve the economic, social and environmental results of Australian resource recovery, and which would you support?

Pete Shmigel, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR)

2:30        Eliminating Single-Use Plastics at Darebin City Council

Find out about the development of Council’s Single-Use Plastic Free Event Policy, including their motivation to eliminate single-use plastics. Learnings and challenges from Darebin’s experience will be shared, as well as tips on how you can take action to avoid single-use plastics in your community.

Kelly Barnes, Environment Officer Waste & Litter, Darebin City Council

Sam Green, Environmental Education and Promotions Officer, Darebin City Council

2:50        Better Practice Guide for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-Unit Developments

Sustainability Victoria recently published the Better Practice Guide for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments. The Guide has been developed to assist those involved in designing, planning, developing, building and managing multi-unit developments (MUDs) to incorporate better practice waste management and recycling into all stages of a development’s life. It outlines essential points to consider when designing a waste management system for medium or high-density residential, mixed-use and precinct-scale developments. Guidance is provided for the sustainable management of organics, e-waste, recyclables, hard waste and residual (garbage).

In addition to the publication of the Better Practice Guide, Sustainability Victoria has also developed an online waste and recycling generation calculator. The calculator is recommended for estimating the number of garbage and recycling bins and storage areas required for multi-unit developments and mixed use developments.

Sam Trowse, Project Lead (Land Use Planning), Sustainability Victoria

3:00        Understanding the Challenges Facing Modern Landfill

Whilst landfill is at the bottom of the waste hierarchy, most industry participants recognize the ongoing importance of having a steady supply of airspace for materials that cannot be dealt with further up the hierarchy. This presentation will provide a summary of some key challenges facing landfills in current times. The challenges include PFAS management, buffer constraints, community engagement and political correctness.

Daniel Fyfe, Director, Australian Landfill Owners Association

3:30        Paving the Weigh: How Albury City Council Is Leading the Way in Resource Recovery

In 2009, after recognizing that the Albury Waste Management Centre had only 16 years’ life left, AlburyCity Council decided to embark on a comprehensive infrastructure program to encourage recycling. The results have been astounding. Through landfill innovation and a highly effective education campaign titled “Halve Waste”, Council has successfully achieved 48% recovery at the landfill facility.

Andrea Baldwin, Team Leader Waste Management, Albury City Council

4:00        Best Practice Landfill Management

  • Cleanaway owns and operates the largest landfill in Victoria; the Melbourne Regional Landfill (MRL) located in Ravenhall, west of Melbourne.  In the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (SWRRIP), MRL is listed as a site of key state significance – a hub of state importance.
  • MRL is a best- in- class operated - landfill featuring highly engineered cell construction, leading technologies in landfill gas management systems and new data capturing software enabling real time tracking of operations.
  • Managing the receipt and waste placement of over 1 million tonnes per annum, the site requires a dedicated team through Operations, Safety, Environment, Sales and Community Engagement.  It is necessary for MRL to ensure the site is performing at its optimal best 24 hours, 7 days per week and that it operates best practice compliance and solutions for waste management.

Meldina Klehic, Regional Manager Victoria Post Collections, Cleanaway

4:50        End of Summit

Chairperson: Merrill Gray, Executive Director, Wolf Advisory

1:00        Minimising Waste to Landfill through Organics Depackaging

  • Food organics contained in packaging is a valuable resource that can be separated with Cleanaway's new food depackaging unit.
  • Located in Dandenong, the unit is capable of separating liquids and solid food waste from numerous types of packaging and containers releasing the contents for organics recycling and diversion from landfill. Ideal for out of spec, out of date, quarantine or mislabelled products.
  • Cleanaway’s investment in a depackaging unit is an important part of our Footprint 2025 strategy – maximising resource recovery for a sustainable future.

Melinda Lizza, Business Development Manager, Cleanaway

1:30        Converting Waste to Products and Profits

Chief Executive Mike Hart will discuss the benefits of waste conversion technologies that are in line with the 2015 Paris climate accord pledge to reduce the United States’ GHG emissions by 1.4 billion tons per year by 2025. He will share the latest waste conversion systems and innovations and discuss how they are effectively converting waste to products and profits across all industries.

Mike Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Energy

2:00        Understanding Buyer Behaviour to Encourage Purchase of Waste-Derived Products

Waste-derived products often compete with products made out of traditional raw material, whether they are sold in industrial or consumer markets. The need for customised strategies for marketing of waste-derived products, therefore is a necessity to induce demand and to initiate purchasing of waste-derived products. The project we have started investigates buyer behaviour in purchasing waste-derived products targeting industrial and local-government buyers specifically. The project identifies the product attributes that an industrial buyer considers and values in purchasing waste-derived product compared to a traditional product. It also maps how different buying centre members in an organisation contributes to collective buying decisions. The contribution of the project is to understand how industrial buying decisions can be influenced to promote waste-derived product purchasing.

Dr Mayuri Wijayasundara, Lecturer – Engineering Management, Deakin University

2:30        Communicating the Impact of Waste Reduction to Improve Waste Management in the Healthcare Industry

To embed sustainability in a business strategy, healthcare organisations need a long-term approach to manage their environmental and social risks and impacts. As such, by strategically integrating sustainability into organisational goals, companies can anticipate and understand the longstanding trends and effects of resource use, allowing them to better address stakeholder needs and expectations.

This presentation will explore the process and challenges of building sustainability through a waste program, using the Department of Health and Human Services’ “Waste Education in Healthcare” project as a case study. The initiative is a collaborative program which uses widely accepted education and behaviour change strategies to deliver interventions to clinical, management and support staff to minimise clinical waste generation and improve resource recovery.

This session will detail the project implementation, methodology used to identify interventions, demonstrated outcomes, key learnings and future directions. It will also discuss the business case for kick-starting a program that seems like an “unchartered territory” for healthcare organisations and their stakeholders.

Rachel McConville, Waste Education Officer, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Kaushik Sridhar, National Sustainability Manager, Regis Healthcare

3:00        Afternoon Break

3:30        Exploring Opportunities for Solving Manufacturing Energy and Waste Problems

Energy-from-Waste (EfW) is more than a large-scale combustion, it generates more than electricity, and is more than a solution for municipal solid waste (MSW). Using proven technologies and the right feedstocks, EfW can achieve a variety of end solutions on a range of scale.

The costs of retail gas and electricity have significantly risen in the last five years. At the same time, the manufacturing sector continues to use approximately 390PJ of gas each year, an equivalent of the volume of electricity used by 16 million Australian households.

To tackle this, we must start to take advantage of the growing opportunity to provide Australian manufacturing and waste industries with improved solutions through EfW.

Henry Anning, Chief Executive Officer, ResourceCo Energy Systems

4:00        Utilising Optical Sorting Innovation to Create New Avenues for Recycled Materials

As plastic continues to transform the day-to-day operations of industries such as packaging, transport, medical, aerospace and electronics, Satake is committed to serving these industries by working closely with the world’s top brands to continually improve their product quality and increase its value. Such improvements are made achievable by Stake’s high-resolution, precision optical sorting technologies.

Sid Jain, Technical Sales Engineer, Satake Australia

4:30        Destructive Distillation: A World First Technology for Achieving Cleanly Recycled Tyres

20 million old tyres are disposed of each year in Australia alone, posing a major environmental threat due to pollution and extreme fire danger. This presentation will analyse the existing and projected positions of tyre recycling in Australia, and discuss the opportunities for effectively and profitably reprocessing end-of-life car and truck tyres (ELTs) into saleable commodities.

Trevor Bayley, Chief Operating Officer, Green Distillation Technologies

5:00        End of Summit