Speaker Series

The 2018 Speaker Series, in partnership with NSW EPA, hosts renowned industry leaders covering the most talked about topics in Australia's waste and recycling industry at such a critical time.

The NSW EPA Speaker Series Stage offers arguably the best value in the industry with over 10 hours of free, practical education led by industry experts. Seats in the Speaker Series are reserved on a first in, best dressed basis and bookings are strongly recommended.

NSW EPA Speaker Series Stage

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Wednesday 29 August

In response to the National China Sword Policy the NSW Government and the EPA committed to helping local government, industry and the community work together to find an effective solution.

On behalf of NSW EPA, Stella will discuss work that NSW EPA commissioned by the Institute for Sustainable Futures , UTS (ISF) and Ricardo consultants to research international best practice which could be used to inform the development of a Circular Economy approach for NSW.

Over 56 international best practice case studies have been collated and analysed in the areas of:
- innovation
- procurement,
- recycling system,
- organics,
- product stewardship
- packaging,
- reuse and repair, and
- product re-design

From this work the NSW Government is progressing work to define a circular economy for NSW, mapping out focus areas and developing a roadmap for circularity for the State to get the ball rolling.

The international best practice work has also helped identify what the current level of activity and achievement is in circular economy activity in NSW already. NSW EPA are also joining up the dots between the circular economy activities that many stakeholders may already be doing, which will enable a future circular economy strategy and action plan to be developed.


Dr John Williams is back in 2018 answering the question “What is the role of Plastics in a Circular Economy.” With so many changes in the world of plastics over the last 12 months John will be discussing the New Generation of Smart Plastics and their integration into our current waste and recycling programs. Bringing his years of expertise and insight John will discuss how Smart Plastics meets the needs of the consumer, supply chain and future generations.


The impacts of China’s restrictions on the Australian recycling industry are being felt across the country. Many industry leaders view China’s decision as a unique opportunity to achieve significant and sustainable change across the recycling sector. What are some of the problems with recycling? What are the short term and longer term solutions?


What it means to be truly innovative in any industry is hard to define – but how is the waste and recycling industry driving innovation in a time of progress and development in Australia? What does it mean to be innovative and how can innovation drive better business and the way we become a market leader in resource recovery in this country?

Our panel of experts will discuss the notion of innovation in waste and how the influence and evolution of areas like technology, smart solutions and social change is demanding how we as an industry re-think our approach to doing business and how the waste, recycling and resource recovery sector can be a leader of change and driving the true meaning of innovation.


Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), in collaboration with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and the City of Sydney, released a new standard for Waste Collection Services in New South Wales.

The standard has been developed in order to recognise best practice, create positive change and address key concerns in the waste and built environment industries. Come along and learn more, hear from expert panel speakers and see how you too can get involved.


Thursday 30 August

In the last twenty years, Australia has strived to increase its recycling capacity to meet the increases in waste generation. The most important waste streams, namely organic material, paper and plastics, have all experienced promising increases in landfill diversion.

However, stakeholders are now facing a changing environment. China’s National Sword creates challenges for MRF operators and local councils to readjust their contracts, processing capacities and quality standards. At the same time, industry players in NSW are hoping to take advantage of new state revenue from the “Return and Earn” scheme (CDS), whilst the Queensland Government will focus on the implementation of the recently announced landfill levy.

This panel will address these topics and issues, facilitating a discussion around available local government and stakeholder options, industry challenges and waste market opportunities.


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. These programs are an important start to better managing electronics sustainability, but they’re also close to the bottom of the waste and resource-use hierarchy.

The need to narrow and slow the consumption cycle of electronic goods is part of how we can achieve greater electronics circularity, and this requires greater attention to product durability, reuse, repair and remanufacturing. The growing momentum behind the iFixit movement and the US Repair Coalition signals a new wave of activity that empowers consumers and the public to extend product life and improve reparability. It’s about the shift recycling with a view to waste avoidance and closed loops.

Panellists will share their insights and experiences on how reuse, remanufacturing and repair can be effective elements of circular action on electronics.


Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) CEO, Brooke Donnelly will lead a discussion that focusses on how through true collaboration there is the opportunity to drive positive change. The Panel will address:

- APCO’s collaborative approach with industry, government and strategic project partners to find the best possible solutions to packaging efficiency and sustainability in Australia.
- Set the scene for discussions around APCO innovative projects (what steps were taken in the journey, consumer engagement, challenges and who needed to be involved to drive success).
- Recognise the importance of collaboration, partnership and leadership to learn from panellists’ successful stories and achieve positive outcomes (lessons learned, area of improvements and future goals)


In this invitation-only session Food Service Magazine, Fine Food Australia and AWRE presents 'managing and reducing food waste in the commercial kitchen', an insightful presentation designed to support the restaurateur, chef or manager of a food outlet to look at new and inventive ways of reducing their waste footprint.


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