Waste management a growing concern

THE provision of non-landfill or 'alternative' waste management is a growth business in Western Australia, as population centres expand and infrastructure reaches capacity.

Tom Rudas, managing director of Anaeco, one of the relatively few players in the local alternative waste management industry, said while the small size of the industry provided opportunities, competition was strong and the technology sophisticated.

"The constraints and the opportunity in the industry are that it's a relatively new field and as such it doesn't have many industry standards," Mr Rudas said.

"People who are working with new and difficult technology are effectively the ones trying to bring in those standards.

"And another constraint is that there are a lot of people out there trying new things."

Perth waste management facilities in Canning Vale, Joondalup and Stirling use a range of technologies including sorting, digestive composting and pasteurisation.

Mr Rudas wants to be an established leader among the providers of waste management, and believes his DiCOM facility, which breaks down waste using a combination of anaerobic and aerobic processes, puts Anaeco on track to achieve that.

"Our goal is to roll-out the technology as quickly as we can," he said.

"Being the most effective isn't necessarily the only thing if other people have the same technology.

"Our goal is to get as many facilities on the ground and put ourselves on the map as the preferred provider."

The lack of standards was problematic, he said, as companies and authorities had no precedents for doing business.

"In all aspects of business, doing contracts with councils, getting licences, it's harder to get things done because nobody has done them before," Mr Rudas told WA Business News.

There are also delays in obtaining a licence following the Department of Conservation's issuing of strict compliance standards, mainly concerning odour control.

Problems with the South East Metropolitan Regional Council's Canning Vale waste treatment centre have caused the department to be extremely cautious about odour management.

"We had to satisfy them on a number of levels that we could effectively manage any odours in the facility," Mr Rudas said.

After obtaining its licence to operate in January, Anaeco will finish wet commissioning of its first facility in Osborne Park in mid-April.


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