UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 – aspirational or achievable?

By Mike Ritchie – Director, MRA Consulting Group In September 2015 in New York, the 193 members of the United Nations (UN) member states agreed to the goals and objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). The agreement outlines 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) across a range of significant global initiatives that…

NSW Council amalgamations and the waste contract pathway

By Dr Ron Wainberg – Technical Director and Kiera Crosariol – Environmental Consultant, MRA Consulting Some NSW councils are about to amalgamate; as a result, the councils affected will have to plan for eventual integration of their residential and commercial waste services. Waste management often represents the largest long term contractual commitment for a Local…

Bags not! Finding the solution for Australia’s plastic bags

The recent Ministerial Roundtable on plastics could not agree whether to ban, price or leave Single Use Plastic Bags (SUPBs) for another day. We use approximately 6 billion SUPBs each year, of which 2 percent are recycled[i]. SUPBs are being, or have been, banned in South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT, the Northern Territory and in…

MRA is Best Small Consultancy in Australia for 2016

“MRA has once again won the Best Small Consultancy in Australia Award” as determined by Inside Waste readers said Jacqueline Ong the editor of Inside Waste. “MRA received a perfect score of 3 from a possible 3, given that it won all categories in its group” she said. The annual Consultants Review survey asks industry representatives from…

2016 Insights

Published by Sustainability Matters What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your industry in the year ahead, and why? The biggest challenge for recyclers is the mixed government market price signals around recycling, waste management and carbon. Some States are pushing ahead with strategic approaches to waste management by setting targets, establishing…

National Stronger Regions Fund

The Australian Government has released its third round of National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) under the $1 billion Promoting Economic Development in Australia’s Regions program. The new grants provide a one off opportunity to local governments and incorporated not-for-profit organisations to fund priority infrastructure in local communities. The new grant funding is summarised below: Grant…

Landfill

State of Origin of Waste – NSW v QLD

Voluntary action by every individual helps to grow recycling rates; an extra milk bottle in the recycling bin; installing a home composting system, all contribute. Australia leads the world in household recycling rates. In the business sector most of the economically viable streams are already being recycled (cardboard, paper, metals and plastic) although there is…

Microbeads: we need a national ban

Plastic, in all its forms, can be a pain in the neck for waste managers. It is light, voluminous and not worth very much. But, small bits of plastic like microbeads found in common cosmetics such as face washes, exfoliants and toothpastes, have been really wreaking havoc on waterways and soil systems across the world.…

South Australia considers ‘Pay as you throw’ scheme

South Australia’s suggested waste management reforms as set out in ‘Reforming waste management – Creating certainty for an industry to grow’ discusses the concept of ‘Pay as you throw’ or ‘Save as you throw’ variable rate pricing for waste services. The basics are to provide variable pricing based on the volume of the bin or…

EPS – Ban it, recycle it or price it?

In our recent article ‘Is it time for a landfill ban on polystyrene?’, we referenced New York City’s decision to ban single-use polystyrene foam containers and packaging. The decision meant the end of polystyrene throw away coffee cups. Unexpectedly, on 22 September, Justice Margaret Chan, of the New York Supreme Court overturned the ban citing…