The hidden issue of Australia’s growing waste management requirements is felt through every level of government. The Australian Federal Government together with their State and City counterparts are continually writing policies and underwriting funding initiatives to reduce waste being dumped at landfill. Sydney in particular is struggling to manage its limited landfill spaces, and as a consequence, has the most expensive landfill levies in the country.
In Sydney, where a growing number of waste collection points strain under the weight of its fast growing population, an emerging Australian company, Relivit is pioneering the recycling of Absorbent Hygienic Waste. Items such as disposable nappies, female hygiene products and adult incontinence aids will be processed and the wood-fibre and plastics effectively recovered for making new products.
Managing Director, and co-Founder of Relivit, Gareth Williamson is quietly confident about the prospects of his company, but understands the main challenge ahead is the task of education.
“Recycling is firmly imprinted into the global consciousness. It’s completely natural for people to recycle paper, glass, cans, even plastics. Anything that can be diverted away from landfill for reuse should be. But the commercial motivation behind recycling is the ability to recover resources from waste to create revenue that is operationally sustainable.
“We have developed a niche in Absorbent Hygienic Waste (AHW) where we have developed systems for its retrieval, collection, recycling and subsequent sale of all the outputs”.
This concept hits the right notes for government looking for new waste management solutions. Sydney councils and state government agencies have expressed an interest in household collections of AHW, and Relivit is in the process of creating a working group of councils to trial various systems.
Major corporate clients in the aged care sector also see the benefits as their waste costs increase year-on-year. “I am happy to announce that Relivit has just signed its first major contract with aged care provider Southern Cross Care “, said Mr Williamson. “The benefit is not all ours though as we estimate our service can save Sydney’s aged care sector up to $2M in the first three years”, he continued.
It is this commercial motivation that has Relivit expecting to sign an agreement for AHW recycling with a major washroom management provider who has been collecting this waste for years but has only landfill as a disposal option. “The contracts that we are currently negotiating include waste volumes over 2,000 tonnes per year and this represents a significant stride towards our breakeven point, providing a springboard for sales into other providers”.
Relivit is also on schedule to commission its initial recycling plant in 2014. To contribute to the build cost, the project is eligible to apply to the NSW government for grants from its $466M funding package for investing in waste infrastructure and increasing recycling.
All these milestones are proving their value as Relivit’s cornerstone investor, Wastech Engineering, is converting its investment to equity providing a vote of confidence from early backers. This, in addition to receiving commitments for the full allocation of its $400,000 capital raising as featured on Wholesale Investor, ensures Relivit is fast becoming an emerging player in waste management.