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Collaboration drives waste management agenda

Collaboration drives waste management agenda

Date Published: 27-May-16

ChemCentre, alongside co-host Toxfree, welcomed over 50 people to the Sustainable Waste Futures industry forum on 29 April 2016. 
The invitation-only, full day event held at ChemCentre’s facility aimed to open dialogue between industry, regulators and policy makers to address issues in a smart, sustainable, and financially-viable manner while also appropriately managing the quesiton of risk.

ChemCentre CEO Peter Millington said the forum ticked all the boxes for ChemCentre’s mandate to mitigate chemistry-related risk for the state.

“The forum showed how ChemCentre, working with others, is a key contributor to finding solutions for the future,” he said.

“The event was an opportunity to engage with stakeholders, including Government regulators, policy makers and industry, and to discuss how to better deal with past, present and future waste problems, particularly in the area of industrial, hazardous or prescribed wastes.”

Seven relevant speakers presented at the event, including Marcus Geisler, Waste Authority of WA; Mark Tazewell, Fortescue Metals Group; Silvia Black, ChemCentre; Felicia Lee, Alcoa Australia; Erin James, Department of Mines and Petroleum; and Matthew Martella, Managing Director, Anergy. Two Q&A sessions during the day were facilitated by ChemCentre's Director of Scientific Services, Peter McCafferty.

Nigel West, ChemCentre's Organic Chemistry Manager and event MC, said the forum successfully met its objective to discuss and plan how to deal with existing and future problem wastes.

“Of the industry speakers, one described how they had turned their waste from a million dollar annual liability and are working towards reducing it below $100,000 by the end of next year,” Nigel said.

“Another described how, after a downturn in the gold mining industry, they followed an R&D initiative and now have products that can be used in multiple applications and are successfully exporting into the European market.

“Some industry bodies acknowledged the need to be more proactive and approach government with solutions and plans, rather than waiting for government to draw up legislation and guidelines.

“It was also highlighted that it was easier to get new technologies and innovations into other countries and other Australian states than it is in WA, where only existing technologies are now being evaluated.”

A follow-up meeting held in mid-May discussed the forum's outcomes and attendee feedback, which confirmed a desire to continue the discussion in this format. Both ChemCentre and Toxfree representatives will meet in coming months to determine the issues and themes to be addressed, with a likely date in November. 

For more information on ChemCentre's services in this area, contact Nigel West on 08 9422 9936 or nwest@chemcentre.wa.gov.au / enquiries@chemcentre.wa.gov.au. 


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