24-25 Jul 2024

Day one a hotbed of waste solutions and strategies for long-term sustainability

Aug 29, 2018

Record crowds and a buzzing show floor dominated day one of Sydney’s only waste and recycling industry event, the Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE). The first two hours saw over double the number of visitors through the door than the previous event in 2016.

From a world-first plastic-clearing robot to forums on crucial industry actions and insights, here are some of the highlights from day one.

Industry rockstars dominated the Speaker Series

It was standing-room only at the free-to-attend Speaker Series, presented in partnership with NSW EPA. Today’s trending topics covered the future of recycling, innovation in waste, e-Waste, sustainability, and more:

  • One of the drawcards was Dr John Williams, the UK’s leading plastics expert and Director at Aquapak Polymers, who unleashed the latest on sustainable end-of-life options including the global trial of new highly-functional packaging, Hydropol, touted to make smart plastics scalable and ultimately affordable. He regaled the crowds with the latest smart plastic, the ‘polymer’, which is helping to address the world’s current 350 billion tonnes of waste consumption. As he stated: “We can no longer burn it or bury it – Polymers are biodegradable, soluble, sortable and recyclable.”
  • Anissa Levy, Acting Chair & CEO at NSW EPA opened the free-to-attend Seminar Series throwing down the gauntlet to find urgent solutions.
  • Tony Khoury, Executive Director at Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA) talked about how the the impacts of China’s restrictions on the Australian recycling industry are being felt across the country, calling out for both short and long-term solutions.

Showcasing the latest products and processes

Doors opened to huge queues this morning and kicked off a big buzz on the show floor that lasted all day. From the most powerful vehicles and compacting machinery to the latest waste management software, AWRE exhibitors treated visitors to the industry’s greatest showcase of products and solutions to collect, process, recover and recycle waste.

Both visitors and exhibitors reported dialogue, deals and demos from both sides – here are a few comments:

  • Peter Cruvvs, owner of waste diversion specialists, Source Separation Systems: “We’ve been exhibiting for eight years now at AWRE. It’s not only the quantity of people coming through, it’s the quality. These are the people we need to be talking to. It’s also a very well organised event.”
  • Mark Gardner, marketing and business development manager of specialist hook loaders, Palfinger: “It’s the only waste show we attend. It’s a fantastic event – we’ve been four years. We find the clientele are the key people involved in purchasing. We get new business in the following six months and we have great discussion on the show floor.”
  • Michel de Bruin, international business manager for sustainable cleaning solutions, Green Speed Australia: “This is our second year here. It’s great brand awareness. We do heaps of demos and talk to heaps of people about our unique products.”

Day two tomorrow is set to be just as thought provocking with the following line up of industry leaders.

More crowds are set to line up for tomorrow’s speakers:

  • End of life electronics – old, unwanted and obsolete electronics have been under scrutiny in Australia in recent years, and the primary focus has been on end-of-life collection and recycling programs for televisions, computers and mobile phones. Panellists Rose Read (MRI) and John Gertsakis (EWaste Watch Institute) will share their insights and experiences on how reuse, remanufacturing and repair can be effective elements of circular action on electronics.
  • Zero-waste heroes – invite-only insight into how leading players are engaging new and inventive ways of reducing their waste footprint in commercial kitchens. Eco warrior Joost Bakker (The New York Times’ poster boy of zero-waste) and local foodie and founder of Yume Food, Katy Barfield, who leads a revolutionary movement inter connecting surplus or excess produce will feature on the panel of this discussion on Thursday 30 August @2.15pm.

News on the show floor is to stay tuned to hear about Joost’s stop press news – an Australian first – to be announced tomorrow!

ICC Sydney venue tours

See the inner workings of this sustainable venue by joining one of the free, guided behind-the-scenes tours of the ICC Sydney to get an insight into its pioneering waste management operations. Sign up for tours at the expo entrance when you arrive.

More about AWRE and the ICC

The event industry is notorious for generating huge amounts of waste. At the Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE), we are demonstrating how we are leading the way in sustainable event management best practice with an ambitious target – to send just 5% of our two-day event waste to landfill.  .

You can download the case study to find out more about the partnership at the forefront of event sustainability.

AWRE 2018: AWRESOME opportunities not to be wasted!

To attend AWRE 2018, register free at:

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