Two North West businesses have formed a winning partnership, converting pyrethrum waste into clean biofuel briquettes as a substitute for coal, and taking home the prestigious EPA Sustainability Award at this year’s Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards.
Greenham Tasmania of Smithton and Botanical Resources Australia (BRA) of Ulverstone won the EPA Sustainability Award for their ‘Pyrethrum Marc Briquettes – Biofuel for Boilers from Waste Product’ from a strong field of entrants this year.
They were amongst four finalists showcased at the Community Achievement Awards presentation evening at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart on Saturday 5 November. The event, celebrating its tenth year, was attended by 360 guests including the Honourable Matthew Groom MP, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage. It culminated a tremendously successful year with 180 nominations received across nine separate Award categories, one of these being the EPA Sustainability Award.
Mr Warren Jones, Chair of the EPA Board, presented the EPA Sustainability Award to the joint applicants, Greenham’s Robert Cox and BRA’s Ray Howe. He said that it had been a difficult task for the judges this year, firstly to select the finalists from an inspiring array of applicants, and secondly to choose the winner of these.
“Although we felt that several of the initiatives were worthy entrants, there could only be one winner of the Award,” said Mr Jones.
“We selected the joint regional project by Greenham and BRA because of the companies demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability,” he said.
“The project involves the direct conversion of a waste product into clean biofuel energy, delivering a cheaper energy source, lower emissions and reduced transport and trucking in the area.
“It provides clean and carbon neutral air-emissions with significant benefits for the environment but there are also clear flow-on benefits for the local community and regional industry, and this is what ‘sustainable development’ is all about.
“BRA is a global leader in the production of the 100 per cent natural insecticide active, pyrethrins, extracted from Australian grown pyrethrum daisies, while HW Greenham and Sons is a meat processing business, whose Smithton plant produces some of the world's best grassfed beef under the Cape Grim label.
"After extensive Research and Development plant modification and capital investment by both companies, the waste flower material from the BRA pyrethrum process is now converted into biofuel briquettes, which have replaced the use of coal in Greenham’s boiler," he said.
“Greenham now solely burns the pyrethrum briquettes and has reduced air emissions by more than 75 per cent and a reduction of carbon intensity of above 90 per cent,” he said.
“The result is revenue from waste and a source of clean, carbon neutral energy,” Mr Jones said.
Whilst congratulating Greenham and BRA as the winner of the EPA Sustainability Award, Mr Jones also acknowledged the other three finalists. These were Bell Bay Aluminium for its dross recycling furnace, the University of Tasmania for its transport strategy and Andrew Walter Constructions for its Bunnings Mornington project. The EPA and commends the worthy projects submitted by the other finalists (outlined below), as well as acknowledging all the entrants this year.
Bell Bay Aluminium established a partnership with Inalco in 2015 to build, commission and operate a dross recycling furnace. The new plant has allowed the smelter to recover additional metal from a waste product that was previously diverted to interstate metal recyclers. In the first six months, the project has successfully ceased the transportation of 1,500 tonnes of aluminium dross, and 750 tonnes of aluminium metal has been recovered. Bell Bay Aluminium is committed to actively seeking solutions to the waste and by-products produced to improve environmental outcomes.
University of Tasmania’s Sustainable Transport Strategy has been developed to minimise environmental transport impacts, whilst contributing to positive health outcomes. Projects include transport movement counts, behaviour surveys, carbon emission inventories and bike infrastructure design and construction. The award winning initiative has increased parked bikes by 80 per cent, decreased single occupant vehicle use and increased student and staff public transport use. Upgrading to hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles has reduced emissions by 10 per cent. The strategy has led to fundamental shifts in institutional and community transport approaches.
Andrew Walter Constructions (AWC) of Granton is undertaking the demolition, civil and stormwater works for the Bunnings Mornington project. Committed to reducing their environmental footprint, they have crushed and reused 4,000 tonnes of concrete, reclaimed 500 tonnes of steel and generated 1,500 square metres of mulch. Extensive stormwater treatments are installed to minimise pollutant run off to downstream eco-systems. AWC are also developing a waste recycling station to crush concrete waste for production of pavement material. They received the CCF Earth Award in both 2012 and 2015.