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Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management

Mr Phil Carbins
Chair
Australian Landfill Owners Association

Dear Mr Carbins

Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management

On 6 March 2019 the Legislative Council resolved that the Environment and Planning Committee inquire into, consider and provide an urgent interim report, as the committee deems necessary, on the current circumstances in municipal and industrial recycling and waste management, and provide a final report, by Tuesday, 13 August 2019, on the crisis in Victoria’s recycling and waste management system, partly resulting from the China waste importation ban, including, but not limited to:

  1. the responsibility of the Victorian government to establish and maintain a coherent, efficient and environmentally responsible approach to solid waste management across the state, including assistance to local councils;
  2. whether the China National Sword policy was anticipated and responded to properly;
  3. identifying short and long-term solutions to the recycling and waste management system crisis, taking into account:
    1. the need to avoid dangerous stockpiling and ensure recyclable waste is actually being recycle
    2. the cleaning and sorting capabilities and the processing capabilities in Victoria and the potential to expand the local recycling industry
    3. how to better enable the use of recycled materials in local manufacturing;
    4. the existing business model and economic challenges facing the existing industry;
    5. the quantifiable benefits, including job creation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, of pursuing elements of a circular economy in Victoria;\
    6. the existing Sustainability Fund and how it can be used to fund solutions to the waste crisis;
  4. strategies to reduce waste generation and better manage all waste such as soft plastics, compostable paper and pulp, and commercial waste, including, but not limited to:
    1. product stewardship;
    2. container deposit schemes;
    3. banning single-use plastics;
    4. government procurement policies
  5. relevant reviews, inquiries and reports into the waste and recycling industry in other Australian jurisdictions and internationally;
  6. any other related matters.

The Committee has identified your organisation as a key stakeholder in the inquiry and invites you to express views on any aspects of this Inquiry in a submission. All submissions are treated as public documents unless confidentiality is requested and granted by the Committee. Should you wish to give evidence in a public hearing, please indicate so in your submission for the Committee’s consideration.

Submissions should be sent to: recyclinginquiry@parliament.vic.gov.au.  Submissions close on Friday, 10 May 2019 and can address any aspect of the Terms of Reference that you consider appropriate.

For further information, including a copy of the guidelines for making a written submission, please check the Committee’s website: www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc, or contact the Secretary on (03) 8682 2817 or at michael.baker@parliament.vic.gov.au.

Yours sincerely

MICHAEL BAKER
SECRETARY

Chairman’s Address

PCWelcome to the eighth Annual General Meeting of the Australian Landfill Owners Association (ALOA).

ALOA was incorporated in December 2008 and has currently has 36 members who own and operate landfills ranging from 50,000 tonnes to in excess of one million tonnes per annum.

Landfills operated by our members accept around three quarters of the waste landfilled in Australia. Member landfills provide safe disposal services to the general public, local government, industry, mining and agriculture.

Modern landfills are an essential element in today’s integrated waste management infrastructure as they:

  • Offer cost effective and reliable disposal for general waste and recycling and processing residues;
  • Manage greenhouse gas emissions through methane collection and combustion systems;
  • Provide a source of continuous ‘base-load’ renewable energy;
  • Have the flexibility to accept variable waste types and volumes; and
  • Can be rapidly expanded should the need arise for the acceptance of large volumes of ‘disaster’ waste.

Over the last 12 months we have seen further rationalisation of the industry with a number of members closing their sites and others being purchased by larger operators.

In response to these changes it is proposed to lower the eligibility qualifying volume for members from 50,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes per annum. This requires a constitutional change and this will be taken to the AGM today. Once this is in place we will initiate a campaign to seek new members, particularly from the local government sector.

Unfortunately, Cleanaway decided mid-year to withdraw from the association, however we have maintained ongoing discussions in an attempt to have them re-join and ensure ALOA can continue to promote the landfill sector on behalf of the whole industry.

Following Cleanaway’s withdrawal from ALOA effective 31 March 2016, Louis Sparks resigned from the Board. I wish to thank Louis for his support over the previous two years.

Following a call for nominations in October 2016, I am pleased to announce that the following directors have been re-elected and will continue to serve on the ALOA Board:

  • Phil Carbins (SUEZ)
  • Chris Alexander (Veolia)
  • Daniel Fyfe (Hanson)
  • Richard Taylor (Ti Tree Bioenergy)

I am also pleased to be able to welcome the following new directors to the ALOA Board:

  • Mark Taylor (Veolia)
  • John Jones (SUEZ)

Both Tom Wetherill and Elisa de Wit were re-appointed to the Board in February 2016 and continue to serve as skill based directors.

During the year ALOA has made representations to the Federal government on numerous national issues including:

  • The voluntary Waste Industry Protocol audit requirements
  • Safeguard Mechanism
  • Landfill bans, including E-Waste, and
  • Environmental legislation

The State Chapters in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have undertaken projects to represent members’ views on state based issues.  My thanks go to our current and former State Chapter Chairs:

  • NSW – Eric Le Provost and Justin Houghton
  • Queensland – Chris Alexander
  • WA – Louis Sparks and Rod Beaman
  • SA – Simon Jenner and Mark Hindmarsh
  • Victoria – Daniel Fyfe

State Chapters have engaged with their respective governments and regulatory bodies on key issues including:

  • Waste levies
  • Waste Reform
  • Waste Policy
  • Licensing
  • Transport of regulated waste
  • Landfill disposal bans

On behalf of all ALOA members I would like to thank my fellow Directors and our CEO Max Spedding, who have served ALOA during the 2015/16 financial year.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to chair ALOA over the last year, the challenges that we have collectively encountered and I look forward to the continued success of the Australian Landfill Owners Association.

Phil Carbins
Chair
Australian Landfill Owners Association

Thank you