Gear up for 2020 because the wheels are in motion
By Gayle Sloan, WMRR CEO
As we wrap up 2019, staring down the barrel of an unprecedented bushfire season, impending export bans, and the ongoing waste “crisis”, I’m more optimistic and energised than at any time in the past few years about our essential industry’s future.
Now, more than ever, the task is clearly laid out for the upper echelon of government. We need to build our economy and produce solutions that work for society by reducing our reliance on the global market, virgin materials and mindless consumerism, all while continuing to preserve our environment and protect human health.
Our economy in Australia today is founded largely on digging virgin materials out of a hole; repurchasing them as value-added finished products; and throwing them away. It continues to be a very linear system, one that I hope will not last very much longer in Australia…And I truly believe that as a nation, we are ready to make a fundamental shift.
Why? Well, it has no doubt been a challenging year in Australia as we continue to grapple with not just the issues that exist, but the pace at which solutions are rolled out. Sure, there has been some progress, albeit at a painfully slow pace, but this year, our industry has really put in the hard yards, worked (and fought) tirelessly to rebuild a solid groundwork after the turmoil and uncertainty, continued to invest and innovate in spite of the turmoil and uncertainty, and we’ve spent considerable time and effort communicating with and educating governments and community. It seems the penny is finally dropping. Continue reading.
The WMRR Board meeting was held ahead of the Victorian Branch end-of-year event, a great evening to come together and celebrate the year that was. It is also the night where one of our sector’s premier awards is announced – the Women in the Environment award. A big congratulations to this year’s winner, Narelle Anderson of Envirobank, who has contributed a huge amount to highlighting the positive opportunities within our sector.
We’re rolling into 2020 with a busy agenda and facing another year of disruptive change for our sector. The role of WMRR has never been more important, representing the experience and market knowledge of members, to help inform some big decisions that are going to have wide ranging impacts throughout the new decade ahead.
The WMRR Board is pleased to announce we have retained our energetic CEO Gayle Sloan to represent the sector for another three (3) years. This will help to maintain the momentum we have gathered and ensure consistency of approach. Given the volume of requests to participate in workshops, consultations and meetings as various stakeholder groups seek to refine their thinking and approach around waste and recycling, it is important that there is a degree of consistency in the messages being delivered.
PSA: Disposing of batteries safely over the holidays
As we head into the festive season, the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has prepared a circular for councils to publish and promote to their residents to ensure the safe disposal of batteries.
WMRR is asking all councils in Australia to advise residents that no batteries should go in the kerbside bin and to help residents to identify alternatives. Further details around materials that can go into the yellow recycling bin, including links to state/territory-specific information can be found here.
WMRR's updated and refreshed website now contains more information about our essential industry, including fact sheets, reports, and more. Check it out here.
WMRR's battery disposal circular for communities can be downloaded here.
A night to remember - championing our sector at the 2019 WARR Awards
On 14 November, the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) and Inside Waste magazine crowned the winners of the 2019 Waste and Resource Recovery (WARR) awards at the annual gala dinner, where the efforts and success of our essential industry were championed and celebrated.
Held at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, more than 180 people came together to hear about the achievements of our finalists and waited with bated breath for the winners to be announced.
Now in its second year, the 2019 WARR Awards, this time a joint collaboration between WMRR and Inside Waste, proved a hit, with more than 30 independent judges reviewing a whopping 88 nominations across ten (10) categories.
“It has no doubt been a challenging year as we continue to grapple with not just the issues that exist, but the pace at which solutions are rolled out. The road ahead is still a long and tough one, which is why it’s all the more important that as an industry, we come together at events like these to celebrate our achievements and success – of which there are many, even if they are not always immediately visible,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.
“Doing so encourages industry to strive on, it gives us the fortitude to continue to innovate and also educate and engage through the stories that we tell about the winners and finalists – whether this is to the media, to government stakeholders, to our clients and community, or even over dinner with friends.”
WMRR congratulates all winners and applauds all nominees – what they have accomplished is impressive. We also thank our judges for their time and hard work in reviewing the nominations and providing invaluable feedback, and our sponsors – Re.Group, TOMRA Collection Solutions, Arcadis, A Prince Consulting (APC), Bingo Industries, and Veolia Australia and New Zealand – for their support.
Adam Faulkner, CEO of the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority, took home the 2019 Doug Dean Leader of the Year Award, presented by none other than Doug Dean himself.
2020 here we come, but first...
As the year comes to a close, it’s time to take stock of our activities, progress, and areas for improvement, and we need your help.
WMRR has commenced planning for 2020 and what would assist us with this work is your feedback.
What is WMRR doing well? What should WMRR do more of? What can WMRR improve on?
We’ve prepared a survey for you to fill out and would appreciate your honest feedback. This survey, which can be found here, will close on Friday, 7 February 2019. It also includes a section for you to comment on our updated website.
Your help is much appreciated, thank you.
If you’d like to get in early and renew your 2020 membership, please contact the national office on 02 8746 5000.
- Banning exports of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres (6 December 2019)
- Updating the Authority's advice on meeting Australia's Paris Agreement commitments (22 August 2019)
- PFAS NEMP 2.0 (21 June 2019)
- Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Landfill gas) Methodology Determination Variation 2019 (26 April 2019)
- ISO/DIS 23907-2 Sharps injury protection -- Requirements and test methods -- Part 2: Reusable sharps containers (24 April 2019)
- WMRR's national five-point plan (11 April 2019)
- Aged Standards Review AS 4123 Series, Parts 1-5 (22 March 2019)
- Final draft government review of the 2019 IPCC Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories (18 March 2019)
- Planning for amenity, health and safety buffers (9 December 2019)
- Proposed regulations and environment reference standards (31 October 2019)
- A Circular Economy for Victoria: creating more value and less waste (2 August 2019)
- Advice on waste infrastructure in Victoria (28 June 2019)
- Draft landfill compliance code (4 June 2019)
- Submission to the Victorian Inquiry into recycling and waste management (3 June 2019)
- Planning Responses to DELWP on Buffers and Separation Distances – online submission (12 February 2019)
- The future of household waste and mixed waste organic outputs in NSW (28 November 2019)
- Asbestos Waste Strategy - removal of waste levy for household asbestos waste (27 November 2019)
- NSW 20-year strategy (23 September 2019)
- Standards for Managing Construction Waste in NSW (8 May 2019)
- Recovered Fines Alternative Daily Cover Specifications (11 April 2019)
- Standards for managing construction waste in NSW (11 February 2019)
- Draft Alternative Waste Treatment Facility Processing Refund Protocol (8 February 2019)
- Fire safety guideline – Fire safety in waste facilities (28 February 2019)
- Energy from Waste policy (26 August 2019)
- Draft Queensland Resource Recovery Industries 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan (14 June 2019)
- Ensuring levy readiness in Queensland (14 June 2019)
- Draft waste management and resource recovery strategy (5 April 2019)
- Financial assurances and stockpiling (21 October 2019)
- Waste levy collection at landfill (21 October 2019)
- WMRR EfW SA policy briefing note (September 2019)
- 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper (31 July 2019)
- Parliamentary inquiry into recycling (19 July 2019)
- Budget announcements in relation to the SA waste and resource recovery sector (20 June 2019)
- Turning the Tide on Single-Use Plastic Products – Discussion paper (1 March 2019)
- Improving South Australia’s Recycling Makes Cents – A scoping paper to review SA’s container deposit scheme (1 March 2019)
- Waste Data Strategy (6 September 2019)
- Waste not, want not: valuing waste as a resource (4 September 2019)
- Mandatory use of weighbridges to calculate leviable waste (24 July 2019)
- Let's not draw the short straw: reduce single-use plastics (12 July 2019)
- WA approved methods for reporting (27 May 2019)
- Joint letter to ALP Ministers re CDS Coordinator (24 April 2019)
- Draft CDS Scheme Coordinator Regulations (8 April 2019)
- Draft Waste Action Plan (4 October 2019)
View all of WMRR's submissions here.
All media releases and news coverage can be found here.
A snapshot of 2020 events and conferences:
- Breakfast briefings with Environment Ministers.
- Women of Waste 2020 in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and for the first time, Perth.
- Waste 2020: 5 -7 May, Coffs Harbour, NSW (in partnership with Impact Environmental).
- Enviro2020: June, Sydney, NSW.
- Waste & Recycle 2020: 23-24 September, Perth, WA (in partnership with WALGA).
- WasteSA Conference: October, Adelaide, SA.
- 2020 WARR Awards and gala: November, Sydney, NSW.