Programs and initiatives

HazWaste Fund recipients

The HazWaste Fund offered financial assistance for companies to implement hazardous waste avoidance and reduction opportunities. The Fund supported a number of research, development and demonstration projects, infrastructure and implementation projects, and knowledge and capacity-building projects. The following tables provide information on HazWaste Fund recipients and the projects supported.

Research and development projects

Through research and development, these projects sought to investigate alternative environmental solutions to increase the current knowledge of context and technologies, and proposed alternatives that would exceed industry best-practice benchmarks.

Some general examples of types of research and development projects involved:

  • researching a new material for reuse in a product
  • conducting testing to obtain new information on a sustainable solution.
Organisation Amount committed Status Description
Akzo Nobel $43,000 Completed This paints, coatings and chemicals manufacturer tested innovative equipment to process waste powder coating residue for reuse. The project was completed in December 2010 and whilst it did not find a successful reuse option, Akzo Nobel continues to work with its international partners to further their learning towards a long-term solution.
Australian Sustainable Industry Research Centre (ASIRC) $890,935 Completed This project worked with major waste treatment facilities to identify opportunities for waste reduction, and new market development from waste products. It led to the Chemsal paint in concrete project, as well as applications from other waste treaters.
Carpet Institute of Australia $40,000 Completed This project demonstrated a cost-effective method for segregating latex wastes containing water and fibres, to recover latex for potential reuse in the carpet manufacturing process. The recovered latex may also have potential reuse within other industries that use latex. The technology was demonstrated through industrial-scale trials conducted at Victoria Carpets in Dandenong.
Cardno Lane Piper $17,500 Completed Cardno Lane Piper trialled the use of chemical oxidation (with and without surfactants) to remediate soil contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), to reduce the hazard level from category A, B or C to fill material standard. The field trials were unable to replicate the success at bench scale, and the project was concluded early.
Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR) $45,750 Completed The project developed and validated a selective extraction method (bioremediation screening tool) that is able to predict the endpoint of bioremediation. The tool can assist in determining whether bioremediation is a suitable remediation technology for PAH-contaminated soil.
Chemsal $65,000 Completed This project trialled and evaluated the reuse of the water-based component of waste paint as a water replacement in concrete in a real-scale environment. A concrete car park was constructed and extensive integrity testing was undertaken. The trial was able to verify that the structural integrity of the concrete was maintained.
CSIRO $543,722 Completed The project set out to replace wet painting technology by powdercoating technology for non-metallic surfaces, which would avoid the generation of paint waste by increasing the transfer efficiency of paint to the substrate. CSIRO investigated a range of potential primers and assessed this process for practical application in the typical paint shop.
CSIRO $350,000 Completed Paint sludge wastes are a significant problem for the automotive manufacturing sector. This is mainly due to low transfer rates (30–35%) of wet paint being applied to plastic components. This project modified existing powdercoating technologies used for metallic components surface finishing for application to plastics components. This technology yields a high transfer rate (98–99%) of dry paint applied to plastic components. The trial was successful and has also led to the adaption of the technology to non-metallic surfaces (outlined above).
FMP Group $31,072 Completed This project investigated current and alternative options for stabilising baghouse dust to reduce hazard category. Two alternative treatment technologies were identified for further investigation.
Geelong Galvanizing $50,000 Completed Geelong Galvanizing undertook a project to investigate the possibility of using an acid extender in its process. The trial demonstrated a reduction in the disposal of the spent pickle liquor by up to 30%, as well as reduced cost per tonne of production.
GB Galvanising Service $579,549 Completed This project investigated the separation and removal of contaminant metals from spent pickle liquor solution generated in the galvanising process. Whilst the process was technically successful, the commercial viability could not be proven.
Howe Leather $2,400 Completed This project included an analysis of total petroleum hydrocarbons in filter cake, to determine if Category B is a false reading due to animal fat residuals. The project was completed in 2008 and diverted up to 400 tonnes of waste.
La Trobe University, Bendigo $103,000 Completed The Heller Process – a patented acid extraction technology – has been developed for the removal of heavy metals (Lead, Zinc, Cadmium, Copper, Arsenic and Mercury) and organic contaminants from biosolids (sewage sludge). This project trialled and developed the technology for use on soil matrices, successfully extracting metals from the soil at lab scale.
Melbourne Water Corporation $113,153 Completed.

Melbourne Water undertook a research and development trial for managing heavy metal-contaminated Category C sediment waste derived from Melbourne Water’s stormwater basins. Investigations are continuing.

Metallic Waste Solutions (Metsol) $400,000 Completed The trial demonstrated the Metsol process for electric arc furnace (EAF) dust selectively extracts zinc as high purity zinc oxide, leaving behind iron rich residue that can be recycled back into the furnace. This process achieved a 90% mass reduction of the waste sent to landfill.
OTEK Australia $40,000 Completed OTEK Australia successfully demonstrated on small scale that maggots can be used to remove remnants of organic material from scallop shell waste. If successful on a large scale, it could help fisheries divert up to 1000 tonnes of putrescible waste from landfill.
Pinegro $150,000 Completed The project aimed to identify and trial commercial composting technologies to recycle and reuse approximately 4,500tonnes per annum of green liquor dregs. This Category A waste is generated by the Australian Paper Maryvale Mill. The trials were inconclusive, preventing a large scale implementation of the technology.
RMIT University $110,000 Completed This project developed an ‘omics-tool based bioremediation model’, which predicts, monitors and sustains bioremediation of soil contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other organic compounds.
Rosedale Leather $47,000 Completed This project investigated the composting potential of Rosedale Leather’s waste. The program was proven highly successful, with the results of the composting trials indicating that both the chrome-containing and chrome-free prescribed waste could be effectively managed through composting.
Syntek Environmental $50,000 Completed This project trialled the effectiveness of the ‘Ecosynergy bioconversion process’ in treating category A and B PIW containing total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and heavy metals at two industrial sites. The bioconversion technology uses selected bacteria strains and nutrients that will respond to a specific waste stream. It is added to the waste to enhance the conventional biological degradation process. The bacteria degrade the hydrocarbons and ‘lock up’ the heavy metals within the bacteria cells. The bioconversion process has shown a volume reduction of approximately 50% and a reduction of hazard from Category A or B, to C.
University of Melbourne $11,364 Completed This project tested the efficiency of plant covers and conventional straw covers in reducing volatilisation. It also examined the role of plants in reducing the actual toxicity of the soil itself. The plants proved to reduce the hazardous effects of PAHs on the soil.
Virotec Global Solutions $41,524 Terminated Virotec Global Solutions conducted a trial to determine the effectiveness of treating organic and inorganic co-contaminated soils using ViroBind™, commercially available oxidants and ozone and to assess the potential to lower the hazard classification of the treated soils. EPA was not satisfied that the trial had produced results which were conclusive as to the success of the trial.
Ziltek $100,000 Completed This project tested and validated a hand held Infrared instrument (RemScan) developed by Ziltek and CSIRO. RemScan is used for real time measurement of the presence of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in soil. RemScan can be used to more rapidly delineate contaminated from clean soil, avoiding unnecessary removal and potential cross contamination. Remscan is now commercially available. 
Ziltek $36,364 Completed Ziltek investigated various technologies to recycle starchy ink waste generated by Amcor, aiming to provide an alternative to landfill disposal. Technologies investigated include bioremediation and bio-leaching, with bioremediation affording the best results. Amcor decided not implement this particular technology.  

Demonstration projects

Projects in this category demonstrated a potential solution and were either small scale, short term or on a trial basis.

Demonstration projects were often undertaken in conjunction with knowledge and capacity-building projects and research and development projects.

Some general examples of types of demonstration projects included:

  • building a display set to demonstrate sustainable building practices
  • building a prototype machine to prove out a theoretical sustainable solution.
Organisation Amount committed  Status  Description
Environmental Remediation Resources $37,795 Completed A pilot trial seeking to demonstrate the effectiveness of enhanced bioremediation, using commercial surfactants, to the market. The project demonstrated that one of the surfactants trialled was effective in treating soils contaminated with PAHs and Benzo(a)pyrene.
Environmental Remediation Resources $137,293 Completed This project involves the introduction of a pilot scale C3 Refrigerated Condensation Unit to Victoria. This system condenses extracted contaminants for subsequent recycling or reuse. The unit is mobile and particularly useful for sites contaminated with high concentrations of organic contaminants such as hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents. ERR successfully demonstrated the Pilot Scale C3 Refrigeration Unit at one site in 2013, but were unable to secure a second demonstration site.

Infrastructure and implementation projects

Projects in this category implemented an evidence-based solution to a key environmental concern.

  • Infrastructure – refers to a tangible product or piece of technology through capital investments.
  • Implementation – can include implementing systems, process, policy and procedural changes.

Organisation Amount committed Status Description
Australasian Institute of Surface Finishing (AISF) $75,947 Completed This project involved the installation of previously trialled technology at electroplating shops in Victoria. Phase 1 complete. The remaining parts of the project were discontinued due to lower-than-expected take-up of capital funding by eligible businesses.
Geocycle SBF $600,000 Completed This project supported the installation of an auger to shred metal drums containing solid and sludge wastes. The wastes containing high calorific value were recovered and converted into an alternative fuel for the cement kiln. The machinery also recovers the metal for recycling.
Geocycle SBF and Cement Australia Holdings $200,000 Completed This project will allow Geocycle to increase its waste handling capabilities for converting flammable and hazardous wastes into alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR). Geocycle will install a parallel feed system which will allow them to process large volume prescribed industrial wastes collected in large skip bins, which cannot currently be accepted.
Enviropacific Services P/L $130,000 Completed The project involves Enviropacific Services establishing and demonstrating a Centre for Site Remediation. Soils will be treated using Direct Fired Thermal Desorption (DFTD) with Innova’s patented rapid quench cooling technology. Enviropacific was only able to partially complete the funded Activity prior to closure of the HazWaste Fund.
National Resource Recovery $250,000 Completed The funding assisted NRR in improving and developing greater capacity to treat used oil filters, and recover the waste oil and metal for recycling.
OneSteel Wire $600,000 Completed OneSteel Wire replaced its existing lead heat treatment and pickling baths with a state-of-the-art fluidised sand bed furnace and pickling line, eliminating the use of lead in the system. Installation of the equipment has avoided the generation of prescribed waste.
PQ Australia $600,000 Completed PQ Australia has installed baghouse technology which has totally eliminated water from the waste stream, enabling the capture and reuse of the dry glass fine waste stream. Every tonne of prescribed waste diverted has resulted in one tonne of raw material recycled and has also significantly decreased water and gas usage.
Regain Services $1,000,000 Completed The HazWaste Fund supported Regain Services to double its current processing capability. Regain processes Alcoa’s spent pot linings (SPL). SPL is a Category A PIW generated when the aluminium smelting pot reaches end of life.
Renex $831,818 Completed This project involves the establishment of an integrated waste treatment facility, which will utilise an ‘indirect heated rotary kiln’ to desorb organic contaminants, and mercury, from contaminated soil. The facility will have the capacity to treat 70,000 tonnes of contaminated soil per annum.
Robert Bosch P/L $78,550 Completed

The project involved the implementation of electrowinning technology at Bosch’s Clayton site, which captures copper from liquid waste generated by the diode production process. The technology diverts 100 per cent (about 65 tonnes a year) of copper-bearing category A PIW from landfill. It is anticipated that about 1.2 tonnes of copper will be recovered in the process each year.





Rosebank Engineering $25,000 Completed This project supported Rosebank to redesign and upgrade its existing onsite waste water treatment plant. This has enabled Rosebank to recover cadmium and silver from the waste stream for reuse and has reduced the hazard category of the residual waste stream.
Sims Aluminium $773,000 Completed This project converted a key step of the aluminium recovery process to ‘salt-free technology’. With the new technology, salt is removed from the aluminium recovery process, avoiding the generation of prescribed waste.
Syntek Environmental P/L $286,500 Completed The purpose of the funding was to support the construction of a pilot-scale bioconversion plant and to then demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology in reducing the volume and hazard of category A and B sludge and filter cake waste. The trial successfully reduced the volume of hazardous waste. However, the results did not permit conclusions to be drawn about the ability of the technology to reduce the hazard category.
Transpacific Industries Group Ltd $885,343 Phase 1 completed; Phase 2 discontinued; Phase 3 discontinued This three-phase project aimed to significantly reduce prescribed waste disposed to landfill. Phase 1 was improving segregation and immobilisation. Phase 2 was a thermal desorption unit to treat filter cake generated from the treatment plant. Phase 3 was a trial into recovering metal from metal-bearing wastes. Due to a change in market conditions and other developments, phases 2 and 3 were terminated due to Transpacific re-evaluating the viability of the projects.
Veolia sustainability covenant $1,575,000 Completed In 2007, Veolia Environmental Services (VES) and EPA partnered through a sustainability covenant to reduce the volume and hazard level of waste sent to landfill. This project was one of the first major projects approved that reinvests significant money associated with the increased levies received. The project resulted in a 37,000 tonne reduction between 2007 and 2010.
Veolia Environmental Services $4,000,000 Comleted This project involved the installation of an indirect thermal desorption (evaporation) unit to treat 15,000 – 20,000 tonnes per year of sludge and filter cake generated from Veolia’s Liquid Treatment Plant in Brooklyn. The project unit recovers all components for reuse or recycling and eliminates disposal of organic contaminated Category B waste from this facility.
Waste 2 Water Technologies $50,000 Completed  This project supported installation of new equipment to recover the solid waste from wastewater. This waste is now suitable for energy recovery.

Knowledge and capacity-building projects

Projects addressed these criteria by building knowledge on key issues to empower industry, communities and government to effectively respond to environmental concerns. Some general examples of types of knowledge and capacity building projects included:

  • surveys
  • audits
  • feasibility studies.

Note: these projects could be across individual companies, sectors and waste streams.

Organisation Amount committed Status Description
Animal Processing Industry Project (multiple partners) $75,000 Completed This project included KR Castlemaine, Baiada and MC Herd. A consultant was hired to assess available technology to process waste from this industry. Pre-feasibility studies, considering the technical and economic aspects of the various waste processing options, were provided to the waste generators at the end of the project.
Automotive Industry Project (multiple partners) $34,766 Completed This project investigated technology options to reduce paint booth and solvent waste at two large motor companies - Toyota and Ford. The results of this project informed the design and development of several later HWF projects targeting these waste streams. 
Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) $424,529 Completed This project involved the employment of an environmental officer at the CCF for three years. In its first year the project resulted in the development of guidelines, publications and other resources and services that are available to the civil contracting community.
Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) $67,160 Completed This project entailed the continuation of employment support of an environmental officer at CCF for a nine-month period. The role included provision of resources and training relating to PIW (especially contaminated soils) management to the construction industry.
EnviroPacific P/L $18,960 Completed  This project tested the hypothesis that current methods (ASLP) overestimate PAH leachability in soils. Tests undertaken by Enviropacific were unable to support this hypothesis, as the soils used in the project did not demonstrate sufficiently high leachability.
Hawker de Havilland $13,815 Completed This study identified and assessed a number of waste management and reduction options at Hawker de Havilland’s premises. A report evaluating various opportunities, and associated costs was provided to the waste generator at the end of the project.
Hi-Quality Sales Victoria P/L $110,000 Completed This project investigated the feasibility of establishing a multi-option soil treatment facility north-west of Melbourne. The study concluded that there is both a viable market and need in the Victorian contaminated market place for such a facility. 
Hyder Consulting $146,949 Completed This project involved the assessment of drycleaning waste management through a mass balance approach. The funds also supported the development of a best-practice manual for the drycleaning industry.
Machinery & Equipment Industry project (multiple partners) $105,114 Completed This project included 10 companies. A consultant was hired to identify opportunities for reducing waste generated by this industry. An options matrix – informed by the wastes hierarchy – was prepared for each participating company, to encourage implementation of PIW reduction strategies.
Mobil Refining Australia $32,250 Completed This project identified and assessed a number of waste management and reduction options at Mobil’s premises. A report evaluating various opportunities, and associated costs was provided to the waste generator at the end of the project.
Phoenix Energy Australia $40,000 Completed This feasibility study investigated the construction of a plasma gasification waste to energy plant in the Geelong area. The scope included closely examining the technical, environmental, legal and commercial aspects of a plant, as well as considering community engagement. If constructed the facility aimed to process about 75,000 tonnes of waste per year, including up to 35,000 tonnes of prescribed industrial waste. After completing the study, Phoenix Energy concluded that plasma gasification technology is applicable to energy recovery and product destruction for a range of industrial, post–manufacturing and post-consumer wastes, and PIW. However, the study concluded that a standalone plasma gasifier for processing waste to produce clean syngas was not currently commercially viable in the Greater Geelong area.
RMIT University $22,189 Completed This project assessed the toxicity of leachates containing Antimony, as part of an Honours Research thesis. The results suggest that the leachates have the potential for environmental toxicity.
RMIT University $193,484 Completed This project aims to determine natural background concentrations of seven key metals and collect data on another five ‘secondary metals’ in selected metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria soils. The project will produce data; including soil maps to portray background element concentrations grouped by parent materials, descriptive statistics and geochemical indices, where equations can be used to derive background concentrations of a metal based on associations between metals and other soil characteristics. Establishing that soils may have naturally elevated concentrations of metals rather than contamination may allow them to be excluded from disposal as Category C waste to landfill.
Rohm and Haas Australia $14,880 Completed This manufacturing company examined its processes and identified the key causes for prescribed waste generation. Producing solid data, the supplier of paint binding agents has made real links between product loss and waste generation. It is now able to focus on the main problem areas to reduce waste disposed to landfill.
Sustainable Resource Use P/L (SRU) $65,000 Completed This knowledge and capacity building project aimed to increase the diversion of PIW packaging from landfill. SRU engaged with stakeholders to map packaging recovery routes, current infrastructure and markets. It produced a market assessment and concise document to facilitate improved rates of separation and collection of contaminated packaging for reuse and recycling by waste generators and recyclers. SRU disseminated this information through industry stakeholders.
The Camperdown Compost Company $50,000 Completed This business undertook a feasibility study to investigate the construction of a biogas plant for industrial wastes in the Colac region. The project was successful, with Camperdown compost entering a partnership with Diamond Energy to construct a plant. The plant could divert up to 5000 tonnes of waste.
URS Australia $77,350 Completed The project established statistically derived and defensible background concentrations of metals in soils in the Greater Melbourne metropolitan region. The project then compared these concentrations with existing IWRG 621 soil hazard categorisation threshold values for fill material upper limits, with a view to possible reclassification of specific IWRG threshold concentrations where appropriate.
Visy Industries $43,910 Completed A balance and options assessment was carried out for the entire Visy Coolaroo site. Support was also given to analyse the theoretical residue from a proposed co-generation plant. Visy has since built a co-generation plant.

Page last updated on 10 Jul 2017