Mike Ritchie, Director of MRA Consulting will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference being held in Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.
Speaker Introduction: Mike Ritchie is the Director of MRA consulting where his 20 years experience in environmental policy and business development has facilitated the company’s growth in waste, resource recovery and carbon management.
Prior to launching MRA, he was National General Manager – Business Development and Marketing with SITA, General Manager of Services at Waste Service NSW and State Manager of VISY. He has worked in local government as senior advisor to the Mayor of Brisbane and as a Director of Liverpool City Council.
He was National Vice President of the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA), past President of WMAA NSW, Chair of the Carbon Division of WMAA, and is current Chair of the AWT Division.
He was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Waste and Resource Recovery Governance Reform appointed by the Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change. He was a contributor to the national “Climate Change Risks to Australia’s Coast” Assessment Report.
Mike works with governments and businesses across Australia to develop innovative and cost effective waste and recycling strategies, technologies and services.
Presentation Title: Waste Trends and Regionalisation
Overview: Australia generates 46.8 MT of waste. Despite steady increases in the rate of recovery (av. 52%), the waste generated between 2002/03 and 2008/09 grew by 40%, while population increased by only 10% (SoE Report NSW, 2013). There are more of us but we are consuming proportionally more each year per person.
Waste generation has been growing at a historic average of 4-7% per year and still is. That means the amount of waste the industry has to process is doubling every ten to eighteen years. Generally, recycling is not growing at a rate fast enough to reduce waste to landfill by much.
Overall, pricing landfills, driving recycling initiatives and diverting waste back to the productive economy is neither easy nor cheap. Ultimately, it is the role of Government to decide the extent and speed of the transition from landfill to resource recovery, or not. It is the function of government to weigh the competing interests of resources, sustainability and cost. The industry is there to assist and invest where it can, once the direction is set.
One method to improve resource recovery is to consolidate regional landfills via conversion into transfer stations. Significant cost savings and environmental benefit can be realised through this process. Consolidation of these landfill assets is an easy win in terms of cost reduction and environmental improvement, including higher resource recovery rates.
The rationalisation of regional landfills can also benefit from assistance under Waste Less, Recycle More. The NSW EPA put aside $7 million to fund consolidation, closure and environmental improvements of landfills under the program.
Rationalisation of small landfill assets may also avoid the additional cost of licencing facilities under the updated NSW POEO Waste Regulations 2014, effective from November 1, 2014. Under the updated Regulations sites which accept more than 12,000 tonnes of material a year or have on site at any time more than 2,500 tonnes or 2,500 cubic metres of material will require a licence.
Beyond the cost, environmental and legal benefits of rural landfill consolidation, this rationalisation process will also centralise material volumes at larger sites. This also provides an opportunity to build new recovery infrastructure or improve the costs effectiveness of existing infrastructure via economies of scale.
About the Conference
The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. The 2015 theme is “Redefining the Future of Regional Australia”, it will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.
Concurrent streams will focus on the following topics:
- Sustainability / Renewables
- Population Movements
- Community Development
- Government Policy
- Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
- Free Trade Agreements
- Transport and Logistics
- NBN / Broadband Communication
- Banking / Finance
To view and/or download the Conference program, please click here. For information on registration or to book your delegate pass, visit the website here.