Economic Development Update

Economic Update October 2017

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PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH RECYCLING Australia's only licensed mercury processing and recycling facility, CMA Ecocycle is working hard to educate the community on the importance of recycling. Mercury is present in many common items, such as fluorescent lighting, and often ends up in landfill, leaching into the soil and water. CMA Ecocycle's process distils the mercury and recycles it into new products. The CMA Ecocycle facility contains state-of-the-art equipment which safely recovers mercury from: - Lighting - Mining waste and oil & gas catalysts - E-Waste - Batteries - Dental Amalgam - Contaminated soils. Business Development Manager, Daryl Moyle speaks of the process of their most commonly recycled product, fluorescent lights. "We have crushing facilities in several Australian states to increase efficiency. The fluorescent lights are crushed, separated, and then travel by road to Melbourne where we distil the mercury. We are the only facility to be fully licensed to handle this whole process of recovering mercury from waste," said Daryl. The site was developed in 1996 as a silver recovery factory, working mainly with photographic waste including x-rays. When digital technology took over, the company began researching what the Australian waste management industry needed most. The conclusion: diverting mercury from landfill. "Our management team travelled the world to research methods and machinery and settled on Swedish hi-tech equipment for the treatment and recycling of mercury. We maintain a high level of contact with our Swedish partners to avail ourselves of all the latest developments in mercury recycling," said Daryl. The facility now employs over 10 full-time staff to operate the machinery, develop technology and manage waste logistics. The passion is apparent in the work carried out at CMA Ecocycle, where sustainable wellbeing is a cornerstone. Lack of awareness and collection services is the largest boundary for safe recycling of mercury containing materials. CMA Ecocycle is liaising with several Councils and groups to increase accessibility to specialised recycling services. "There's huge room for growth in consumer education, including consumers who just have one or two lights to dispose of. Most just throw them out due to the lack of awareness and direction," said Daryl. "It's a huge job to capture all of the materials which can be recycled. Whilst several states have implemented or are working on bans to landfill, there remains a great amount of work to be done from the regulatory side. Whilst CMA Ecocycle has recycled many thousands of tonnes of fluorescent lights we are still only capturing a small percentage of what's available in Australia,"said Daryl. Implementing a solution to safely and efficiently recycle mercury is an international problem. Developing these services to maintain a sustainable environment is the motivation behind the Minamata Convention. Minamata is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning identified during the mid-nineties, where a large chemical company discharged mercury waste into the bay of Minamata, Japan. "Awareness is growing about mercury waste worldwide, gradually building thanks to the Minamata Convention. Whilst Australia is a signatory we are yet to ratify, but word has it that this will take place in the coming months. There are 74 countries who are parties to the Convention as of August 2017. Australia's participation in the Convention will lead to a greater awareness, understanding and environmentally sound management of mercury in our country," said Daryl. CMA Ecocycle currently has partnerships with New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island nations to ship materials into the Melbourne facility for treatment. These relationships have developed over the last 18 months, to provide state-of-the-art services to countries with fewer recycling resources. The Campbellfield location is perfect for this reason, giving the company direct access to freight logistics. "The Hume location in Campbellfield is perfect for us – with easy freight access to several nearby freeways. With several processing facilities in other states efficient transport to the distillation process in Melbourne is a must. We also partner with other waste/recycling companies which streamlines access to further materials,"said Daryl. At the end of the recycling process, refined liquid mercury is available for responsible reuse. "Our team here is incredibly passionate about the environment. We realise that mercury is one of the most toxic materials around, so we're driven by that desire to keep this material out of the environment. This drives us to educate others, to spread the importance of what we do." – Daryl Moyle, Business Development Manager CMA Ecocycle. ECONOMIC UPDATE OCTOBER 2017 14

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