Regional Waste & Resource Recovery

Procure Recycled: Paving the Way (Rubber)

Building on the successful Paving the Way (Glass) procurement, the next phase seeks to establish the true net present value of asphalt with crumb rubber, including improved performance, extended asset life, increased material efficiency, and carbon emissions reduction, while driving a local end market for end-of-life car and truck tyres.

Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has committed to the project, which will be the largest local government-led trial of its kind in Australia. Project deliverables include:

·         Technical review of information provided by suppliers on available crumb rubber asphalt product;

·         Definition of trial mixes and trial framework using crumb rubber derived from both truck tyres and, for the first time, passenger car tyres;

·         Monitoring and reporting of the performance of trial mixes.

Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) and Food Organics (FO) 

SSROC’s comprehensive feasibility study (2021) into the collection and processing of FOGO and food-only services assessed that implementing services deemed ‘best practice’ will exceed current budgets at first, but level out over time. The study included basic implementation, processing pathways, costs to set up and operationalise FOGO/FO education, market analysis, overseas and domestic case studies, procurement and risk analysis, and joint contracting approaches.  The study in general will prepare councils in planning for bin collection configurations, procurement opportunities, and to apply for grant funding. 

The organics analysis continued with a separate study investigating the risks and benefits of onsite organics processing technologies (2022), including rapid dehydrator units, rapid decomposer units, vermiculture (worms) and black soldier fly farming. A brochure and apartment suitability guide was developed for councils to use in decision making.

The analysis concluded (2023) with social research studying residential apartment building management teams’ perspectives on FOGO and FO services in councils where services or trials are underway. The control group included cleaners, strata and owners’ groups, building managers, concierge and community champions.

See the CAPTURING MUD PERSPECTIVES ABOUT FOGO AND FO SERVICES: Stakeholder Surveys report for more information.

Textiles Action Plan for Sydney

In 2020- 2021, Sydney ROCs and their member councils collaborated on a Textiles Action Plan for Sydney councils which outlines focus areas and targets to work towards to reduce textile waste in council operations and community services. 

SSROC is continuing to work on textiles initiatives with Sydney councils, ROCs and the NSW EPA including:

  • Improving data on textiles collected in council managed collections as well as improving the categorisation of textiles in SSROC’s regional waste audits of kerbside bins. 
  • Coordinating a 12 month Uniform Recycling Trial on behalf of eight Sydney councils. The objective of this project is to determine the costs, logistics, barriers and benefits of recycling council uniforms and the potential volumes of uniforms each council could recover.
  • Proving input into the developing product stewardship scheme for clothing coordinated by the Australian Fashion Council.

Building on the Textiles Recovery Action Plan for Sydney councils, SSROC in partnership with other Sydney sought information from organisations participating in this sector, such as charities, commercial used clothing collectors, clothing recyclers and re-processers, fashion brands offering takeback schemes in Sydney, and research organisations.  This will help councils to understand and share with the community information about the quality needed for clothing donations and understand what recycling and reprocessing opportunities there are for used textiles in Sydney.

SSROC continues to advocate to the EPA and other key stakeholders for forward-thinking policies, product stewardship, and takeback schemes to reduce the impact of textile waste.

View the Textiles Action Plan here.

Embedding Sustainable Procurement

This project developed and distributed to member councils, tools and other resources to integrate in existing training programs to embed sustainability in procurement. These tools and resources include: e-learning modules, sustainable procurement checklist, training sessions and case studies. 

See links below:

Case studies of international and domestic examples of sustainable procurement

Sustainable Procurement Checklist

Sustainable Procurement Resources

This project developed and distributed to member councils, tools and other resources to integrate in existing training programs to embed sustainability in procurement. These tools and resources include: e-learning modules, sustainable procurement checklist, guide to sustainability criteria, clauses and metrics in procurement, case studies, and a list of other available resources. 

Kerbside and Bulky Waste Audits

SSROC has been coordinating waste audits of kerbside services for its member councils since 1999, with seven audits completed since then providing our region with one of the best longitudinal household waste data sets in NSW, possibly Australia. 

The audits provide councils with an analysis of waste streams, providing very valuable information for a range of council operational and service planning purposes.  Waste audits cover regular residual, recycling and green waste streams, with options for dedicated high rise and council facility audits.  The 2023 audit will also include bulky clean up waste for the second time.

The data from previous audits has provided valuable insights that assist regional advocacy, including volumes of organic waste that could be captured through a FOGO service, other recyclable materials, hazardous waste in the residual waste bin, and non-recyclable materials that can only be processed through energy from waste to avoid landfill.

Woodlawn EcoPrecinct Waste Facility

On behalf of (then) 8 member councils, SSROC managed the procurement of a residual waste processing service which resulted in the delivery of the waste treatment facility at Woodlawn EcoPrecinct and a supporting transfer station at Banksmeadow providing a rail link between Sydney and Crisps Creek, south of Goulburn.

In 2008, the councils started out with a vision for a better way managing residual waste than landfill.  It took almost 10 years of work by SSROC and the councils, and then by the preferred supplier, Veolia Environmental Services, to overcome many challenges.  Banksmeadow Transfer Station and Woodlawn treatment facility began operations in 2018.

Although subsequently affected by the revocation of the resource recovery order and exemption that regulated the use of the compost-like material from the facility, Veolia continues to adapt to the changing regulatory requirements.  The Woodlawn Organic Output (WOO) is being used in a trial as rehabilitation material for a former tailings dam on the site, and the facility itself has been adapted to accommodate food and garden organics to produce compost.