At one time, product design considering by engineers were limited to functionality and cost. Over time this expanded to cradle-to-grave considerations, also known as life-cycle assessments, that took into account the environmental impacts of the product from its raw material extraction all the way through to its final disposal. Later a greater understanding of toxic waste and non-renewable raw materials drove the cradle-to-cradle design which further took into consideration the impact of future generations. A related concept is Product Stewardship where all those involved in the life-cycle of a product takes accountability for its environmental, health and safety impacts. Australia’s national product stewardship legislation put some of these ideas into law in 2011.
The term Circular Economy is has become popular more recently and encompasses the cradle-to-cradle and product stewardship principles as well as other principles in an attempt to decouple economic growth from unsustainable practices. The European Union has committed to presenting its Circular Economy strategy this year.
This session will look one of the difficulties in the transition to the circular economy, which is how to manage waste materials that were not designed according to the circular economy principles.
Veolia is a world leader in waste management and has invested in high quality, innovative waste treatment facilities for Victoria. In this presentation you will get an overview of Veolia's most recent infrastructure project which succeeds in closing the loop on a range of waste materials. Late last year, to the west of the city, Veolia completed commissioning of a state-of-the-art prescribed industrial waste treatment facility which has the ability to convert potentially harmful waste into inert, reusable products. The process, Indirect Thermal Desorption, utilises vacuum distillation and condensation to liberate water and hydrocarbons from contaminated soil, industrial sludges and filter cakes. This facility, which is supported by the Victorian Hazardous Waste Fund, underscores Veolia's commitment to long term, sustainable landfill.
Sustainability Victoria's statutory objective is to facilitate and promote environmental sustainability in the use of resources. Established under the Sustainability Victoria Act 2005, SV is a statutory authority with a board appointed by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. SV has obligations under the Environment Protection Act 1970 for statewide waste management strategy and planning, as well as managing the Sustainability Fund.
Andrew Race, Engineering Manager, Resource Recovery Vic, Veolia.
Andrew is a Mechanical Engineer with 14 years experience in the waste management and recycling industry in Europe and Australia, in both the pubic and private sectors. Andrew provides technical expertise to Veolia’s Victorian Resource Recovery business unit and has an in depth knowledge of all facets of the industry including composting processes, prescribed industrial waste treatment and alternative waste management technologies.
Jade Barnaby, Product Stewardship Project Adviser at Sustainability Victoria.
Jade Barnaby is Project Stewardship Advisor at Sustainability Victoria where she works on supporting and progressing national stewardship to an ever extending list of priority products including, but not limited to, waste paint, end-of-life handheld batteries, refrigerants and air conditioners, and electronic waste. Her current speciality is managing the Victorian Government’s household battery recycling program, Batteryback, and acting as Secretariat to the National Paint Stewardship Working Group that seeks to develop the world’s first national product stewardship scheme for waste architectural and decorative (A&D) paint.