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REMONDIS’ efforts to drive sustainability are making good progress in Australia as well. The country was the first to suffer the consequences of the world’s careless attitude towards the environment when holes appeared in the ozone layer above their heads. Since then, Australia has been focusing on protecting the environment and preventing climate change. Is there a more obvious way of doing this than combining recycling and solar energy? There is certainly enough sunshine there.
For over 10 years now, REMONDIS’ branch in Port Macquarie, a region on the Gold Coast situated between Sydney and Brisbane, has built up a reputation among agricultural, commercial and horticultural businesses as well as local authorities as being a reliable supplier of high quality compost. Besides producing this popular material, REMONDIS’ Australian subsidiary also provides good value services, collecting and recycling commercial waste from around the region.
At the end of 2014, REMONDIS announced that it had succeeded in extending its contract to operate and manage the tunnel composting facility in Port Macquarie for a further 10-year period. A number of improvements are being made to the facility including the implementation of the SCADA system (supervisory control and data acquisition) which gathers and analyses real time technical data – providing important information for optimising plant operations.
One of the highlights of the upgraded plant is the new solar system on the roof of the building. A total of 176 solar panels (each 250 watts) were installed there to generate climate friendly energy. This bespoke system was specially designed, engineered and installed by Harelec Services, a local company specialising in solar PV design and installation. Capable of generating around 67,500 kWh of electricity from the sun’s rays every year, this new system will cut carbon emissions by a good 60 tonnes. This combined solar and recycling facility is one of the largest on the continent and is setting an example for the whole of the country showing what measures can be undertaken to prevent climate change. The Mayor of Port Macquarie, Peter Besseling, praised REMONDIS’ work during the official opening of the facility. The operation of the REMONDIS composting facility had, he said, been a great success for the local community. Almost half a million tonnes of material have been processed since 2001, mostly organic material into compost but also the stabilisation of general waste prior to landfilling. Commenting on the new solar system, the mayor said: “It is an exciting addition to the facility and shows the continued improvement in efficiency of operations.”
Combining recycling and solar energy is one of the ways Australia can create a climate friendly future.
For REMONDIS, the plant is a further milestone along its path to set up even more sustainable recycling systems in Australia – especially in the area of organic material. By extending the facility, REMONDIS is supporting the local economy, collaborating closely with Port Macquarie Hastings Council and helping to create more jobs in the region.
REMONDIS has also succeeded in beating its competitors and winning contracts in the Greater Sydney region as well as in other areas in Australia. The company has been awarded a contract to collect, transport and recycle all domestic waste, recyclable waste and green waste in Wollongong and Shellharbour, approx. 80km south of Sydney. The Shellharbour contract also includes servicing public place bins. Wollongong is the ninth-largest city in Australia with a population approaching 200,000; neighbouring Shellharbour is home to 65,000 people. Moreover, REMONDIS was also awarded a contract to collect municipal waste in the Sunshine Coast, one of the largest districts in the country.
REMONDIS is now responsible for waste management in the Sunshine Coast.
No matter what services it provides, REMONDIS’ goal is to be one of the main driving forces in Australia – helping to grow sustainability in the country’s waste management sector in order to protect the environment and prevent climate change.