Mindhive Activity

What is happening in this Category

>

Lloyd Taylor commented on the Challenge Sustainable waste management

Scale and cost of entry remain an issue. Connections to the grid are possible however there needs to be an off take agreement in place and a certainty of regular supply. 

There may be scope for a scaled plant size to form part of a master planned industrial complex so that the grid etc is spared the additional load/demand. 

Its worthy to note that the generation mix in many European countries who implement innovative technologies contains a significant amount of ‘base load nuclear’ ( no emissions etc) which we don’t have. 

>

Jodie Mehrtens (nee Haig) commented on the Challenge Sustainable waste management

  • What are your thoughts on the future of waste management in Australia? 

It would be good to see more partnerships formed with diverse sectors to deal with what is a complex and wicked problem. We should look at removing the barriers for the design / manufacture side of the circular economy - why are we NOT producing longer life goods. Waste to Energy centres may need to be small scale to be economically viable, so we could provide regional centers with information and stimulus support to initiate local circular economies. Lots of examples of small scale viable recycling centres. E.g. plastic in small plants to provide 3D printer materials to local schools/libraries. 

  • How can we change the social norm of recycling in Australia?

Look to the approaches used for mass shifts from other social norms. Humans are fairly predictable creatures on mass. Understand the psychology. 

  • Is enough being done to make recycling easy, and what could be improved?

For some of us, we've lost faith in the recycling. We're not sure if we're sorting land fill or actually recycling. The abundance of negative press around what happens to our recycling (stock piled, sent overseas) makes people despondent.The lack of visible product (and connection) from our recycling bins to recycled products we can see is not obvious. Consumers and average householders are unsure what happens to their recyclables after the bin leaves. Also people won't care unless they have a good reason. Give people some sound reasons to recycle, or up-cycle. What social / economic / environmental benefits do they receive from recycling? Saying it's good for the environment is not a good enough for lots of people - they want to know how it is good for them. 

  • Are there international examples you would like to see implemented in the Australian context?

A move away from mass consumerism of very cheap and temporary (because they're poorly made) goods. Most of these nasty cheap throw-away products are made in appalling conditions overseas so we are having a global social impact by investing in these as well. Some European countries have better access to upcycling and repair workshops and are not socially obsessed with cheap and throw away products. What lessons can we learn from the countries that have done this successfully? what is it about their society that encourages sustainable living choices?

>

Jodie Mehrtens (nee Haig) is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Katrin Forslund is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

MindHive commented on the Challenge Sustainable waste management

Thank you for taking the time to share your input Amanda Reeves , Alison Bailey and  Lloyd Taylor. As you all pointed out, education, knowledge and the building of awareness is indeed key. 

Amanda Reeves, thanks you for sharing that information on the initiatives and links. "Rather than focus on recycling single use items, it may be more impactful to change our practices so they are not required" - This is very true. 

Alison Bailey, more incentives to encourage container participation and the re-use models would indeed be great to see. Could Australia introduce/reintroduce something like the German deposit systems with reverse vending machines in supermarkets and voucher-based returns?

Lloyd Taylor, thank you for your thoughts and for pointing out the challenges.  Sweden is indeed much smaller than Australia, only about half the size of NSW. However, the energy sourced from waste-to-energy plants is just an addition to the renewable energy (52%) and nuclear energy sources the country uses. Storage of the energy is indeed an issue, and most of the energy produced by the waste-to-energy plants goes into the local grid while the rest of the power is used to run the plant facility.

In Australia, is there an opportunity to make waste-to-energy solutions state-based initiatives? For example, could waste be 'imported' from other states and in return the produced energy be put into the local/regional grid of where a plant is built?

>

Craig Miller is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

John Gregg is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Lyndal Scobell is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Mark Pascoe is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Lloyd Taylor commented on the Challenge Sustainable waste management

Mirroring some of the debates surrounding energy and carbon capture and storage, the technology exists but how to get it implemented?  Should Government provide incentives for the uptake of the technology, effectively picking a winner when from a policy perspective the outcome should be technology neutral? 

It is also wrong to compare countries because the context is different, Sweden doesn't have the land mass that Australia does, nor does it have other abundant resources to produce energy for domestic consumption or to provide energy security.

Ultimately which way recycling goes in Australia will inevitably be the result of trade offs between costs and benefits and then that argument will be influenced by which ever side is proposing the change.  If the general population is going to be required to pay for the costs of full recycling (without government incentives/subsidies) it would require a very courageous government to make the policy call.  Similarly the commercialisation and scalability of some of the waste recycling programs make then uneconomical.

To inculcate recycling into the Australian psyche, policy makers need to mount the "why" argument successfully.  Many would argue that Australians favour recycling if it is convenient and cost effective.  Perhaps we should identify what role government is expected to play in this space and then at what cost to other programmes equally worthy of investment.

Until vested interests, or the issue is so dire that the public see 'not' recycling as a public crisis, perhaps the best we can do is look at education.

>

Lloyd Taylor is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Kartik Madhira is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Alison Bailey commented on the Challenge Sustainable waste management

My mum always laughs at the idea that 'reduce, reuse, recycle and re-purpose' are new ideas. The time 'before plastic' is still in living memory, but we are hooked on the convenience and ease of modern, disposable plastics. So, what can change behaviour?

Moral/ethical/environmental messages are one way, but will mostly engage those who are already on board with reducing plastics use. We could reduce availability of plastics, but that's hard because it relies on industry playing nicely and it seems difficult to get commercial interests to change their methods of production, unless it is regulated, or taxed. Providing a viable alternative is a good start, but what's the most environmentally friendly way to do that?

So perhaps that leaves us with price signalling? Perhaps charging a larger premium on plastic bottles to encourage more participation in container deposit schemes? Or just reducing consumption of plastic due to cost.

I'd love to see a return to the 're-use' model of years gone by as well - I still clearly remember the milko coming around and picking up our glass bottles and replacing them with new ones. Even in supermarkets where there are re-useable bags at the check-out point, the fruit and veg area still has light-weight plastic bags for fresh food (or pre-packaged, plastic wrapped items on styrofoam trays). I have noticed my preferred vendor at our local fresh fruit and veg market has recently introduced the option of paper bags - I'm happily taking that up!

And it would be great to see the reality of recycling services match up to the public perception of what can be recycled. There must be innovative approaches to recycling and use of recycled materials that would make it viable to process this waste. One day we'll have no choice - petrochemicals are not an endless resource.

Fundamentally, we need to make it relatively easy for the average person to help - some well directed research into the barriers to recycling at the kerbside, in public spaces, at the industrial/waste management level and at the point of re-use, may hopefully also give insights to how these barriers can be overcome.

>

Angela Siggery is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Alison Bailey is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Chloe Mortimer is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Carmel Williams is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Adrian CV is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Urs Meier is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Ingrid Segovia is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Fiona Estella is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Amanda Reeves commented on the Challenge Sustainable waste management

The recent increase in focus on single use plastics coincides with World Overshoot Day, and could form an inroad into broader discussions of sustainble living practices.

What is World Overshoot Day?

This year, August 1 marked the day when humanity’s use of ecological resources and reliance on ecological services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year, meaning all global resources past this date exceeds what our planet can sustain.

And while Australia's population is relatively small, our way of life is resource-intensive. If the whole planet lived like Australians, we would require more than 4 Earths to sustain our lifestyle.

I'd recommend looking at intiatives outlined by the Global Footprint Network - great article recently from Daniel Christian Wahl: https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/let-us-stop-living-of-resources-stolen-from-future-generations-c831cb1906d3

Rather than focus on recycling single use items, it may be more impactful to change our practices so they are not required.

 

Some articles that might provide inspiration:

  • http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/how-to-fix-the-recycling-system-in-australia/9699408
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/14/australias-kerbside-recycling-system-in-crisis-following-china-ban
  • http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-19/queensland-council-recycling-dump-to-start-nationwide-reaction/9673370
  • http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-30/stop-hating-on-plastic-and-learn-how-to-use-it-right:expert/9710296
  • https://theconversation.com/the-future-of-plastics-reusing-the-bad-and-encouraging-the-good-87001
  • https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/korean/en/article/2017/12/15/renewable-seaweed-containers-eliminate-need-plastic
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/plastic-bag-uk-seas-seabed-waste-pollution-ocean-reduce-environment-a8288526.html
  • https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/this-caterpillar-eats-shopping-bags-may-solve-plastic-waste-problem-scientists-discover-by-chance
  • https://futurism.com/researchers-find-a-fungus-that-can-break-down-plastic-in-weeks/
>

Amanda Reeves is now contributing to a Challenge Sustainable waste management

>

Rodd Pahl is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

>

Steven Clark is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

>

Grant Shalaby is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

>

Bob Dick commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

Most regional centres are bleeding people and wealth to the coastal fringe.  Therefore, it should be possible to develop programs that are good for both the regional centres and the migrants.

An ABC report <https://ab.co/2vBvDqs> described the way in which the community of Nhill made Karen migrants welcome, for mutual benefit.  It demonstrates one effective approach, and was successful enough that other centres have followed its example.  It also suggests that there are benefits if the initiative comes from the people living in the provincial centres.

I agree with the comments that the attractiveness of regional areas is important.  In particular, access to education and health would complement other programs to encourage migrants to settle outside the large cities.

It seems to me that there is also a larger issue that impinges on this.  Current politics seem to thrive on negativity and polarisation.  A campaign to encourage Australia to be less mean-spirited would help, I imagine.

 

>

皓杰 王 is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

>

Lani Refiti commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

Great comments and very relative.  I gave a keynote today at the Smart Infrastructure Summit - http://www.smartinfrastructuresummit.com.au/ and part of the talk was policy incentives to get people into the regions, not remote towns but regions like Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast in QLD.

Agree with the other comments.  As a migrant myself, the driving factor for my parents to migrate was opportunity.  Opportunity for a better life, education for kids (there were 9 of us), to generate income that could be sent back home etc.

Infrastructure is important, jobs are important, education ie, schools universities are important.  Whatever creates opportunity.

>

Michelle DALE is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

 
Show More Category Activity ▼

The Commonwealth Department of Industry and Science recently identified Health and Environment on a list of nine top priorities. Decisions relating to these policy fields require objectives that have real longevity. In such sensitive areas, broad consultation and community participation are essential.

The growth of digital enterprises, coupled with Government initiatives to promote democracy in policymaking processes, is a phenomenon that will shape the identity of Australia as a science nation. A shift of this nature has a real ability to transform Healthcare and Environmental policy and strategy development into ‘for-the-public’ and ‘by-the-public’, empowering Australians in a way that would positively impact Australia’s population.

The major Challenges

Are you sure you want to do this?