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Overcoming Regulatory Barriers to Growing Markets for Recycled Organics

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Recovery of diversion of organic waste materials is gaining significant momentum across the country. The organics recycling sector and composting industry has grown to meet the challenge – with organics recycling increasing from 5.15 million tonnes in 2006/07 to 8.35 million tonnes in 2020/211. Yet up to 50% by weight over the average red bin disposed to landfill is still food and garden organics. And many other organic waste streams, that contain valuable organic matter and nutrients are still lost to landfill.

In NSW, the Resource Recovery and Exemption framework was implemented in 2014 to help set out the regulatory requirements on the lawful use of waste materials in the environment, whether applied to land as a fertiliser, use in construction as fill or as a fuel. Whilst a series of general orders and exemptions have been published by the NSW EPA, a barrier to improved organics recycling is the need to apply for a Specific Resource Recovery Order and Exemption (SRRO/E) in cases where boutique or non-standard waste streams are accepted for recycling.

A recent independent review of the Resource Recovery and Exemption framework found that the system needs to be simplified to support the circular economy.

This webinar provided an outline of the key factors for success in applying for a SRRO/E, and practical examples and lessons learnt by significant composting businesses that have successfully navigated the framework. A better appreciation of the regulatory requirements for organics recycling will help grow the sector, markets and the economic benefits of organics recycling.

 Innovation and the Circular Economy –
Glass Recycling and Value-Added Manufacturing

Tuesday 28 March 2023

In Australia in 2018/19, it is estimated that 1.16 Mt or 46 kg per person of glass waste was generated, up from 1.13 Mt in 2016-17. About 90% of all glass consumed is used in packaging, such as in food and beverage packaging. Overall recycling rates for glass are at about 59%. Increasing recycling rates further have been difficult due to breakage of glass in kerbside recycling collections, and the difficulty in sorting glass into colours.

New container deposit systems being rolled out across the country, and innovation in optical sorting technology at material recover facilities and advanced manufacturing is helping to boost recycling rates closer to the Commonwealth’s target of 80% recovery by 2030.

The AIEN was pleased to host this webinar to review innovation in glass collection, sorting, processing and manufacturing to help drive progress towards a circular economy.

 Green Technology Commercialisation – Journey to nirvana or no man’s land Webinar

Tuesday 6 December 2022

As Australians, we can rightfully take some pride in our collective resourcefulness. There is a demonstrated Australian tradition of inventiveness and research endeavour. However, did you know these ‘beliefs’ can be supported by a strong body of evidence?

In many fields of endeavour including immunology, health, health research, medical/sensory aides, corporate governance, banking, astronomy, agriculture, mining, and more recently, space exploration, Australia’s skills and accomplishments are internationally recognised.

It is therefore disappointing that Australia often appears unable to demonstrate leadership in commercialising much of its inventiveness and research in the green/sustainability technology space. There are of course exceptions, but an appeal to the facts supports this general observation.

The webinar discussion included current case study feedback, explored various stakeholder perspectives and sought to identify opportunities to improve Australia’s competitiveness in the sustainability technology commercialisation space.

Innovation and the Circular Economy –
Tyre Recycling and Value-Added Manufacturing

Monday 29 August 2022

In Australia in 2018/19, it is estimated that 465,000 tonnes of tyres reached end of life. About 41% of these tyres were from passenger cars, 34% was truck tyres and 25% was off-the-road tyres*. In December 2021, the Commonwealth’s export ban came into effect, prohibiting the export of whole and baled tyres for processing and energy recovery overseas. Prior to the ban coming into effect, 56% of Australia’s end of life tyres were exported overseas.

Fortunately, domestic investment in new tyre processing and recycling infrastructure has occurred, reducing the nation’s dependence on export markets. Though there is a lot more to do to build robust domestic infrastructure and markets for tyre-derived products, to avoid the unlawful stockpiling of tyres and disposal in landfill.

This webinar explored some recent innovations in tyre recycling and markets for recovered tyre materials, to help build a local circular economy for this material. The webinar showcased new processing infrastructure, innovative market applications and whole of industry work to boost tyre recycling and markets for tyre derived products.

H2AUS: Hydrogen Energy Online Forum (x 5 sessions)

Transitioning from Fossil Fuels

July – August 2022

The H2AUS Forum aims to provide a platform for all interested parties and industries to discuss the development and vast potential for a new industry in hydrogen, building on Australia’s geographical advantages, export capabilities and strong relationships with key local and international energy markets, as well as creating a platform to view and share best practice techniques from around the world.

 Green Hydrogen from Waste in a Circular Economy 

Producing low-cost hydrogen with a negative CO2 footprint from minimally prepared waste or biomass

Wednesday 13 April 2022

In this presentation, Marc Bacon, President and COO of OMNI Conversion Technologies will describe a new approach to making green hydrogen today at less than half the cost of electrolysis, all with a low or negative CO2 footprint.

This is done by converting minimally prepared MSW, RDF, biomass, ICI, or C&D waste to a clean syngas tailored to end use, then using proven industrial processes to produce renewable hydrogen from the syngas.  The negative carbon footprint results from avoiding the anaerobic decomposition of waste in landfills.  Electricity consumption is about 1/6 that of electrolysis.

The OMNI process is supported by data from over a decade of demonstration at a commercial scale.  Delivery is de-risked by delivery in 200 tpd integrated shop assembled modular units with sufficient redundancy for high availability.

Development of a Business Case for Government Infrastructure Funding – Strategies and Funding Opportunities

Tuesday 8 March 2022

The States and the Commonwealth Government are currently investing record levels of funding to assist industry bring forward important waste sorting, processing, value-added manufacturing and energy recovery projects. In no time in Australia’s history has there been this level of funding to build the recycling infrastructure Australia needs now and into the future.

To help reach the 80% national recycling target by 2030 and drive progress towards a Circular Economy, all levels of government are dependent on efficient and effective infrastructure investments, largely led by the private sector and local government.

However, funding is limited, competitive and is dependent on applicants preparing a compelling business case that demonstrates a sound understanding of feedstock supply and end markets, waste supply and off-taker agreements, mature technology, a detailed understand of the project’s capital and operating funding requirements, planning and regulatory approvals and appropriate management of risk.

In this webinar, we have invited speakers from the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian and the Commonwealth Government to discuss current and future infrastructure programs, and what is needed to make a compelling business case that will help secure funding.

Emerging technologies are contributing to the energy transition

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Brian Higgins, Director of Advanced Technologies for energy company Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), will discuss B&W’s BrightLoop chemical looping technology, which is a fuel-flexible advanced technology process to produce hydrogen or steam.

BrightLoop also produces a pure stream of CO2 which can be sequestered or utilized without being emitted to the environment. By using a waste or biomass feedstock, the production of hydrogen can be carbon negative.

Additionally, he will introduce B&W’s waste-to-energy technologies that have been installed globally to convert municipal solid waste to electricity. In the facilitated discussion, project financing and methods to monetize these decarbonisation technologies will be discussed, followed by a Q&A session.

Is Composting the Only Option for FOGO?
New Technologies driving economic value

Tuesday 23 November 2021

The recovery of co-collected food and garden organics (FOGO) is becoming a widespread trend across Australia, gaining significant momentum with the public and councils.

To meet this demand, the recycled organics sector and the composting industry have grown exponentially, with organics recycling increasing from 5.15 million tonnes in 2006/07 to almost 7 million tonnes in 2018/19. Despite this shift, by weight, up to halfof the average red bin disposed to landfill is still food and garden organics.

To help drive improvements in recycling rates for municipal and commercial / industrial wastes, recovery of FOGO is considered critical. By 2030, the NSW State Government will implement compulsory FOGO collections by all councils, with other states and territories following suit by rapidly employing various FOGO collection and recycling programs.

As FOGO implementation escalates across the nation, the AIEN sets out to explore opportunities and technologies beyond the well demonstrated options of windrow and in-vessel composting.

BioPlastics: Separating fact and fiction

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Across the country, there is momentum at the local, state and national level to tackle the issue of plastic litter in the environment and to make consumer packaging more recyclable. To achieve the various targets set, bioplastics, or plastics made from natural biodegradable material, will play an important role in society. Question being, how do we manage these materials, so they don’t impact the existing collection systems and infrastructure the country has for conventional plastic recycling? Will bioplastics deliver the environmental benefits that governments are seeking to achieve?