Waste 2021

Conference Wrap-Up

by Simon Kalinowski

Following a very different 2020, it was great to once again attend an event in person and catch up with a number of familiar faces. In real terms – the satisfaction that comes with helping your success is a lot of what provides satisfaction for us – so it was great to connect with our customers.

Some themes that stood out during the event:

There is an increase in the use of data to educate and inform communication with the community around waste production and minimisation. 

Kerry Dalton from Bundaberg Regional Council identified their need to include Community and Retirement Housing in their waste voucher program. The inclusion of this group gives them complete transparency of costs, use and audibility, plus the data gathered informs much wider decisions and strategy.

Across all states, residents and businesses in regional areas continue to experience issues with access to services and facilities. 

Dr Keith Halford shared a case study from Banana Shire Council detailing how they are using technology to improve access to their unmanned transfer stations. Problems including unauthorised site access, illegal dumping and the inability to capture and report on data prompted their shift towards securing their unmanned sites. 

The importance of building a flexible waste system that can change in the face of natural events such as those we have seen in recent times will be important to manage Australia’s growing resource recovery industry. In addition, it was highlighted that legislation updated to accommodate and promote waste avoidance is needed.

As technology and smart devices become more accessible, their use to solve common waste problems will become more mainstream. Plus, moving waste systems online will coincide with other aspects of council systems that are doing the same.

Andrea Baldwin shared Albury City Councils journey to a targeted waste voucher program. Transitioning from their existing hard waste collection to trackable paper vouchers and the soon to be released self-service platform where residents will be able to access and manage their own waste vouchers online. 

Illegal dumping continues to cause problems with several issues, projects and initiatives presented. The NSW Government has identified this as a key priority for them.

The introduction of technology will continue to replace historical management process, ensuring more accurate data collection, more targeted communication and decision making.

When: 4-5 May, 2021
Where: Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour NSW
Simon Kalinowski and Brendon Horswell attending waste2021

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