You need to be signed in to add your comment.

Have your say

about 1 year ago

We'd love to hear your views on waste management in the Clarence Valley, so please give us your thoughts after reading our draft Waste Strategy and appendices. 

To ensure your submission is as effective as possible it would help us if you:

  • Identify the section heading and page number to which your comment relates; and
  • Briefly explain the reason for your comment and, if appropriate, suggest other ways to address the issue.
Thank you


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Consultation has concluded

  • Geoff Little about 1 year ago
    Community feedback: ‘a value proposition for plastics and hydrocarbon feed-stock waste recycling’

    Plastics and other hydrocarbon feed-stock materials constitute a substantial mass of waste for which there is no current management strategy. Business-as-usual cradle-to-product-to-grave approach is to try and export the problem to some-where-else, thence out of sight out of mind. China until December 2017 was a recipient of this waste. In China, broadly, our waste became the hydro carbon [HC] feed-stock in a pyrolysis process for HC liquids cracked to various grades of petroleum fuels and HC gas. The reason China took our waste was because it was profitable. Australia has the capability of but unfortunately a dilettante political will with regard to taking responsibility for our own plastic waste. Thus an opportunity now presents itself to an entrepreneurial environmentalist. It is my view that there is enough proven technology and examples of sound business models to engage with a feasibility study for a pyrolysis recycling plastics facility located in the Clarence valley.
    How this proposition complies with policy:

    Solid Waste Management Strategy 2019 – 25, [page 12]; - NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery [WARR] Strategy 2014-2021 identified targets of
    • 70% recycling of municipal waste
    • 70% recycling rate for commercial industrial
    • Increase diversion rates from landfill to 75%
    In each case HC feed-stock based product, mainly plastics, arguably comprise a substantial proportion of the problem. In most cases, where a primary recycling method is impractical for reasons of technical difficulty or economics, there is a high percentage of probability that with a dedicated pyrolysis process plant that the waste plastic solids can be reverted to gaseous HC. Further fractional distillation will condense in the band of 900 liters per ton of liquid, principally aromatic HC for reprocessing in the plastics industry as feed-stock or internal combustion engine [ICE fuel.
    Further to the point:- Waste less, recycle more 2017-21 [WLRM] there is grant funding ‘ to help the State achieve the targets established under the WARR Strategy’ [page 12]
    It could be argued that the first to initiate a facility could at the very least act as the plastics waste recovery centre for the North East Waste [NEW] seven Local Government Councils. ] [page 14].
    Equally, a strategy such as this dovetails with the 5 NEW vision statements. [page 14]. I would argue that the member of NEW who took the initiative would not only meet but exceed its obligations to NEW, as well as creating a profitable enterprise with opportunities for employment and flow-on to local trades support infrastructure.
    Waste to energy
    The paper identifies a number of the hurdles to a direct waste to energy technology. [page 17 et al] What it does not do is examine the energy equation for such a facility. On a scale required to manage, for sake of argument the NEW incinerator waste, a facility might consist of furnace(s), condensing boiler(s) with preheat and economiser technology and a steam turbine generator. The net efficiency of which is arguably in the band of 30% to 35%
    Further a number of studies, not cited in this submission, suggest that the broken cycle costs and parasitic energy requirements net a relatively poor efficiency and negative operational bottom line.
    I would argue an alternative strategy for the “plastic HC based waste is a Pyrolysis plant by its inherent nature has low levels of emissions, and which emissions can be “scrubbed” at a relatively low capital and parasitic recurrent cost. Certainly the research I have undertaken suggests this.
    Commercial & technical viability: with a Development Application to Hume, in the ACT, the Foy group submitted a useful but lacking technical depth paper ‘Plastic to Fuel Market Review’ as a world review of Pyrolyis. The essence of the paper, however, is that the technology is established and the business model contingently viable. [1]
    The fact that the Foy Group DA failed [1] can be seen as failure principally of the partners and consultants to get the location right, and failure to address readily available technology for mitigation of atmospheric emissions adverse environmental impact.
    The Executive summary [2] provides a snapshot of the extent of global pyrolysis facilities in 2017; as a summary, total number of locations with environmental approvals, 87; age of earliest facility, 17 years; average tons per day, 80, technology used, pyrolysis. That interprets as 80 tons of waste per plant per day producing 72,000 litres of Diesel fuel equivalent per day.
    A useful contracted presentation on the generic process is on line from CYNAR PLC, [3] , at least sufficient to stimulate a broader research.
    Monash University is undertaking research into the process, published in their newsletter Lens, as per the article ‘Waste not, want not: a home-grown plan to turn plastic and tyres into fuel’[4]

    A role for the Clarence Valley Council?
    In addition to an entity such as the CVC thinking about the feasibility of such an enterprise, the State Member Chris Gulaptis has advised me in writing he would be interested in looking at a plastics reversion pyrolysis plant for his electorate.
    I believe a confluence of unrelated favorable circumstances and the increasing urgency for an answer to plastics waste Australia suggest it would be an acceptable initiative for the CVC to convene an Advisory Subcommittee to look at the feasibility with a view to a recommendation to CVC to take the challenge.
    Geoff Little
    17 Young St Wooloweyah, 2464

    [1] Proposed FOY Group plastic to fuel facility in Hume industrial zone –review of the Environmental Impact, 28 April 2017, [Online], _data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1058059/Final-report-Inquiry-Panel-Hume-Waste-Plastic-to-Fuel-Facility.pdf

    [2] ], Mark Terrell, Ricardo Energy & Environment, Plastic to Fuel Market Review, Private and Confidential, Report for FOY Group Ltd, 17th March 2017, [Online], https://www.planning

    [3] Powerpoint, +Cynar+Technology &aqs=chrome..69i57.3037j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    [4] newsletter, Waste not, want not: a home-grown plan to turn plastic and tyres into fuel, Lens, 5th June 2018,[Online],
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • Davemackey01 about 1 year ago
    Could you then please inform me as to why there are bales of plastic bundles at the Grafton transfer station which have been sitting there for a long time. On my last trip there and I go there all the time, I was informed by the staff that no one wants to take the plastic and it has nowhere to go. Also I noticed that the Council no longer exchanged plastic bottles there either. So how seriously are we taking this plastic issue ? The rhetoric around it is becoming tedious. Its time to actually show some leadership.
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • blw88 about 1 year ago
    Great to see the positives and negatives of annual kerb side.
    I think the bulky kerb side collection is the way to go. Effort in advertising and compliance with only collecting these items will help to change what residents leave out. Great re-use of items from the community. And less in land fill. Also giving all residents the opportunity to participate at no direct cost.
    Hide reply (1)
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    • Admin Commented Suz050** about 1 year ago
      Yes there are definitely pros and cons with the annual bulky waste service. So far our survey results suggest more support for the annual collection than other methods for all the reasons you have suggested.
      Our towns and villages would be much tidier during this time if folk heeded the messaging that this is a bulky waste service - and as such, is for things that won't fit in a wheely bin, including mattresses, white goods and broken furniture. Smaller items should be placed in the appropriate bin or donated to charity where possible.
      Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • Davemackey01 about 1 year ago
    We need to be serious about recycling plastic, not just sending it to Queensland where we all know it is being buried in landfill. Its all very well to have the plastic bottle machines to return and earn 10 cents but it still goes into landfill. Grafton needs to stand up and build a plant that shreds plastic into pellets and use it in road base. You could make it commercially viable by selling the shredded product to asphalt suppliers to put in their mix. There is no need to send this plastic rubbish overseas. Recycle it here and give locals a job. Promote Grafton or the Clarence Valley as the recycling capital of Australia. We have no other real jobs here except the Government ones that add no value and produce nothing. Instead of declaring a national emergency on climate change, actually do something that is achievable and recycle plastics here in the Clarence Valley. You might even be seen as visionary..
    Hide reply (1)
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    • Admin Commented Suz050** about 1 year ago
      Thanks for your comments Dave. Council is always looking for opportunities for local or regional innovations to deal with recyclable material. There are many challenges, but the landscape is changing as funding becomes more available and technology improves.
      We wouldn't consider sending our recyclables to Queensland to be buried in landfill. We value the effort our community is making to continue to sort their recyclables and to reduce their reliance on plastics and plastic packaging.
      Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • Tyson123 about 1 year ago
    I was interested to read the Council's Waste Management Strategy. It gave me a better understanding of the issue in our area.
    A couple of comments -
    P16 -The Container Deposit Scheme is a positive but the facility does not take wine bottles or other glass containers e.g. used condiment or olive oil bottles. This glass still goes into the yellow bin collection.
    P18 Domestic Waste Trends - I know a number of people who are sceptical that recycling does happen. The media has fuelled scepticism especially over the situation with China now refusing to take our waste. Publicity /education is needed to get people back on board.
    P20 - A regular council inspection of bins put out for collection would be useful. Maybe giving cautions to households that contaminate the recycling and green bins.
    P23 - The Annual Kerbside Bulky Waste Clean Up needs revision. For example the Northern Beaches Council in Sydney allows each household to have 2 free kerbside collections of their bulky items each year. This stops the build up of unsightly street rubbish as in a mass collection and also reduces scavenging.
    P25 Public Event Waste Services. Could Council put more stipulations on public events - for instance rule that no plastic cups be issued by caterers. Guidelines such as this might reduce the rubbish from events.
    I hope my comments are useful.
    Hide reply (1)
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    • Admin Commented Suz050** about 1 year ago
      Thanks for taking the time to read the strategy, and yes your comments are really useful, Tyson.
      Keep in mind the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is actually an anti-litter campaign. Based on the results of Clean Up Australia surveys and others, these items - glass beer bottles, plastic drink bottles and liquid paper board, are deemed to be the regular offenders, so giving them a value is keeping them out of our parks and off our roadsides. The other bonus is that they are recycled. Unfortunately Council can't take the credit for this as it is a NSW State government initiative.
      Hopefully our Recycle Right campaign is restoring some faith in recycling and our residents are getting the message that contaminated recycling may end up in landfill. The message is Keep it clean, keep it simple and keep it coming 'round.
      Our lift the lid bin audits are scheduled for September-October this year and enable us to sample and revisit the same properties to see if residents are heeding our advice. Bins are given a report card and suggestions for improvement, where necessary.
      The Annual Bulky Waste pick-up is in need of revision which is why we have asked for feedback. At this stage there is an overwhelming response in favour of keeping the service and it is clear residents aren't willing to pay more for a personal service.
      Our Market policy discourages the use of any single use plastic, including cups, cutlery, straws and bags. It is refreshing to see many stallholders making the shift to compostable packaging and encouraging clients to bring their own cups, straws and bags. The policy only applies to Council managed land however, so, at other events, it is up to the event manager to control.
      Thanks again for your feedback.
      Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link