Stop! Look! Wave! – Keeping Aussie Kids Safe

Toxfree, in partnership with Volvo Trucks rolled out the classroom safety campaign – Stop! Look! Wave! earlier this year. An initiative targeting Australia’s most vulnerable pedestrians, to help keep Aussie kids safe in their home towns. Since its launch, the interactive road safety campaign has fast became a global success with over 100,000 children learning how to interact safely with commercial vehicles in traffic.
It’s particularly difficult for truck drivers to see a quick-moving small person, this was a key reason for rolling out this free education campaign to teach Aussie kids to STOP on the side of the road, LOOK both ways, and WAVE at the truck driver before they cross. We don’t want children to be afraid of traffic but their attention is limited, so we need to teach them this simple tip for crossing safely.

The Stop! Look! Wave! campaign is important to Toxfree as, like Volvo Trucks, one of our core values is Safety.
Our mantra is safe.reliable.sustainable with no harm to people or the environment. Toxfree has committed the resources of our own company with Toxfree trucks visiting schools across the nation to give students a look at the view from behind-the-wheel and to understand safety around trucks.

There are thousands of waste and recycling trucks on the streets every day; a lot of them are out in the morning when children are heading off to school. As safety is a top priority for our drivers, they will enjoy being part of this children’s safety initiative that is new and fresh. Our drivers are always conscious of their surroundings and we want them to let the children know that they have gained their attention by waving back to them.

We are proud to be sharing this initiative as a global partner of Volvo Trucks in Australia and thank them for their leadership in children’s safety.

 
Further details can be found on our website here: http://www.toxfree.com.au/ABOUT-US/Stop,-Look,-Wave

 

GET INVOLVED!  If you’d like Toxfree to deliver the Stop! Look! Wave! truck safety campaign at your local primary school, contact the marketing team at marketing@toxfree.com.au

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Toxfree’s innovative solution to Australia’s e-waste problem

Recycling your e-waste is just as important as recycling any other waste material. Toxfree is a true end-of-life recycler of electronic waste. Our business model, technologies and processes ensure that maximum e-waste recycling and recovery processing takes place in Australia and that we do not export the problem.

What is e-waste?

e-waste comes in many forms, including computers, photocopies, printer, fax machines, batteries and mobile phones.

Why is it a problem?

e-waste contains non-renewable but potentially toxic materials such as mercury and lead, that make it both an environmental hazard and a renewable resource.

What can I do?

Ensure that your e-waste is disposed of at a reliable, ethical recycling plant.

When handled correctly, at least 90% to 95% of e-waste components can be recycled, greatly reducing the environmental impact of landfill dumping, sourcing new materials, pollution and contamination.

What does Toxfree do with e-waste?

Toxfree delivers a true end-of-life solution for your e-waste. End-of-life means nothing is re-used; everything is destroyed as part of the recycling process.

Our processes ensure the e-waste is useless in terms of information retrieval or re-use. Should you require a greater level of security, such as individual hard drive destruction, talk to us about a tailored secure e-waste solution.

Our aim is to become the leading e-waste recycler in Australia and set a benchmark for all others to aspire to.

BluBox recycling plant

Toxfree’s BluBox is a Swiss designed processing technology packed in a 40ft container. It is designed for next generation e-waste such as flat panel displays, smart phones, tablets and laptops however can also process a wider variety of domestic e-waste such as toasters and hair dryers.

The BluBox process is designed to extract mercury from the LCD backlighting tubes utilising a sophisticated aspiration system to collect the mercury vapour and phosphor contaminated mercury. The process provides a fully automated solution to handle a wide variety of e-waste items from desktop computers and laptops, to toasters and hair-dryers.

CRT recycling

Toxfree developed, in-house, Australia’s first semi-automated CRT recycling system. The system which incorporates; crushing, density and x-ray sorting technologies, separates the TVs and monitors into their major recyclable components creating value added commodities. The process includes Australia’s only x-ray sorting system, an automated system to separate the lead funnel glass and lead free panel glass found in CRT TVs and monitors.

E-waste drop-off events

Toxfree are experts in tailoring e-waste drop-off events for both business and communities. Whatever your e-waste recycling needs, Toxfree has the solution.

For more information read our brochure – rtp-final-e-waste-brochure-2016

Toxfrees’ technology and employee recognised by Refrigerant Reclaim Australia

Plascon

Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA) is the voluntary product stewardship organisation for the Australian refrigerants industry. RRA is a not-for-profit organisation created to work nationally with industry to share the responsibility for, and costs of, recovering, reclaiming and destroying surplus and unwanted refrigerants.

RRA’s charter is to improve the industry’s environmental performance by reducing the level of emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and greenhouse gases (GHG) through its take-back program. Since being established in 1993, RRA has become integral in the management of used and unwanted refrigerants, and the reduction in emissions of ozone depleting and synthetic greenhouse gas refrigerants.

Created by industry, for industry, RRA has achieved global recognition for its work in preventing emissions, and has to date been responsible for the collection and destruction of over 5000 tonnes of gases that otherwise would have contributed to ozone depletion and global warming.

Toxfrees’ Involvement

Toxfree assisted RRA by utilising a unique Plascon® technology. Plascon® is a world leading technology for the environmentally responsible destruction of complicated and hazardous waste streams.

The Plascon® process is a system utilising the extremely high temperatures present in a plasma arc to completely decompose the molecules present in a waste stream. Plascon® is designed to treat concentrated hazardous wastes such as ODS and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s) that others either can’t destroy or would rather avoid. The technology has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in Australia, Japan, England, Mexico and the USA and is currently being used in a number of applications in Australia, Mexico and the USA.

Toxfree currently operates two Plascon® systems. One in our Narangba facility which is used for the destruction of POP’s such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s), scheduled pesticides and other chlorinated liquids, and the other is located at the Laverton North facility where it destroys ODS, refrigerant gas and other greenhouse gases such as SF6.

Toxfree employee, Plant Manager, Michael Girgis talks about what it was like to be involved in the first ‘Plascon® Process’.

Michael

The first Plascon® process to destroy ODS and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG) substance was conducted in February 1997 at the first National Halon Bank in Tottenham, Victoria. The National Halon Bank was established by the Australian Government in 1993 to store decommissioned halon for destruction or reclamation, to meet essential uses until an alternative was found for all current uses. Halons are firefighting agents that were introduced into Australia in the early 1970s. They quickly replaced many previously accepted firefighting products because of their superior firefighting characteristics and ease of use.

Halons are fully halogenated chemicals that have relatively long lifetimes in the atmosphere. They are broken down in the stratosphere releasing reactive bromine that is extremely damaging to ozone. Reactions involving bromine are estimated to be responsible for 25 per cent of the chemical destruction of ozone over Antarctica and 50 per cent over the Arctic. The ozone depleting potential of halons is 10 times greater than that of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). As such, halons are a very aggressive ozone depleting chemical. One kilogram of halon 1211 can destroy 50 tonnes of ozone.

Australia continues to be a world leader in the phasing out of ozone depleting substances and has made significant advances in the responsible management and phasing out of halon in Australia.

Since ceasing the import of halons at the end of 1992 and with new halon no longer available inside the country, Australia’s success with halon phase out resulted in stocks of halon rapidly accumulating within government, business and the community from the decommissioning of halon firefighting systems and portable equipment.

At the time of this first process, Michael Girgis was completing six months of industry training with SRL Plasma (a division of Siddons Ramset Limited Plasma) for his chemical engineering course at Swinburne University. He was fortunate enough to be part of the team on the day, employed as a process engineer, later to become a full time employee after graduation. In the first few years hundreds of tonnes of halons were destroyed, mainly Halon 1211 and some 1301 for the Department of Environment. One of Michael’s proudest moments was being a part of the team when SRL Plasma were awarded the Society of Chemical Industry, Plant Of The Year Award for the Plascon® process in 1998. It was quite an achievement to destroy that amount of halons in the first few years as halon was banned for use in 1995, after the Ozone Protection Act came in place in 1989.

In order to cater for the safe disposal of halon, the Commonwealth committed resources in 1992 to establish a purpose built facility, the National Halon Bank, to collect and store surplus halons and then safely dispose of them using the Plascon® process. The bank was established in a Government Business Enterprise named the Department of Administrative Services Centre for Environmental Management (DASCEM). Following a decision to dispose of Government Business enterprises in 1997, the National Halon Bank was incorporated into the Department of Finance and Administration. DASCEM was taken over in a management buyout and continued to manage the facility under contract to the Commonwealth. The National Halon Bank was transferred to the Department of the Environment and Heritage in 1999.

By 1999, there were four Plascon® processes nation-wide, one at Tottenham Victoria treating ODS and SGG, two at Nufarm in Laverton to treat waste chlorophenols from their 2,4-D herbicide manufacturing process and the fourth at BCD Technologies in Narangba treating POP’s such as PCB oils and Organo-Chlorine Pesticides (OCP’s).

In June 2000 Siddons Ramset was bought out by Illinois Tool Works and consequently SRL Plasma was sold to one of its customers; BCD Technologies, Narangba QLD.

Michael continued working for BCD Technologies at the National Halon Bank in Tottenham, treating mainly SGG gases (CFC) for Refrigerant Reclaim Australia. By this time Michael was the only employee left to run and manage the plant and continued to do so for a few years. During that time a few changes took place; Dolomatrix bought out BCD technologies and then were acquired by Toxfree in 2012.

In 2013 the National Halon Bank at Tottenham closed down and the Plascon® operations were moved to Toxfree Laverton.

Through his years involved with the Plascon® Process, Michael saw the Australian technology improve and the Plascon® technology was sold to America, Mexico, Britain and Japan.

Toxfree continue to make a difference to the environment by destroying CFC through the running of the Plascon® technology. RRA recently celebrated the recovery and destruction of 5,000 tonnes of ozone depleting and synthetic greenhouse gas refrigerants, saving 10 million tonnes of ozone. That was another proud moment for Michael and quite an achievement for Toxfree and RRA.

E-waste – Upgrade to a better outcome

Computer Parts

There is no doubt that we are replacing our electronic goods faster then ever before, therefore it wont come as a surprise that 15.7 million computers reached their ‘end of life’ in Australia in 2007-2008. However only 1.5 million were recycled – that’s less than 10%.

E-waste is made up of electronic items requiring disposal. This could include, but is not limited to, refrigerators, radios, CD/DVD players, telephones, computers, televisions, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.

Electronic Waste can contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated fire retardants that are hazardous, difficult to dispose of and potentially damaging to the environment. Electronic waste is responsible for 70% of the toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury found in landfill. E-waste that ends up at landfill could cause hazardous leachate liquid and if not controlled correctly, there is a risk that this can contaminate nearby groundwater, waterways or dams, potentially creating adverse environmental outcomes.

75% of the 3 million computers bought in Australia every year will end up in landfill.

Wires

What can you and your business do?

Valuable raw materials such as gold, copper, iron, nickel and silicon can be extracted from electronic components and re-used. Did you know that the average computer monitor contains up to 2kg of lead?

E-waste can be segregated from your normal waste streams and be recycled, as opposed to ending up at landfill. Toxfree has the ability to collect and recycle e-waste nationally to remove toxic materials from landfill and reuse various components.

Toxfree Solutions Ltd is one of Australia’s leading integrated waste management and industrial service provider. Our core values, “Safe, Reliable and Sustainable”, underpin our commitment to offer our customers the safest, most reliable and sustainable waste management solution we can.

Partner with Toxfree for ecological sustainability. Call us today on 1300 869 373.

Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Greenpeace—the e-waste program, E-waste 2010, Sustainability Matters, Planet Green Recycling, Recycle at Work, Mobile Muster and Zero Waste WA.

PLASCON® and the destruction of 2,4-D

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In May-2013 the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) published a report, informing of their intention to cancel the registration for manufacturing and selling of 24 products containing high volatile ester forms of 2,4-D.

2,4-D is a herbicide and secondarily a plant growth regulator. Agent Orange, the herbicide widely used during the Vietnam war contained 2,4-D. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified it as a Class II ‘moderately hazardous’ pesticide. This places it in the same class as endosulfan, lindane, paraquat and toxaphene. 2,4-D is a herbicide used to control weeds in crops, commercial and industrial areas, turf, forestry and waterways. There are now 220 registered 2,4-D products in Australia

In 1995 the APVMA began a review of 2,4-D because of concerns over its potential risk to public health, occupational health and safety, and the environment (including impacts on waterways, non-target animals and plants).

As a waste generator, it is your responsibility to know the types of waste you produce, and to ensure it ends up at a waste facility that knows how to effectively treat it! This is irrespective of whether your waste is disposed, treated, recycled or applied to land.

So, if you have 2,4-D, what can you do about it?

To assist in the treatment of these types of waste, Toxfree has state-of-the-art “hazardous chemical” destruction technology, known as the PLASCON®,

The PLASCON® process produces a high temperature plasma arc by ionizing argon gas in a 150 kW DC discharge between a separate cathode and anode. A mixture of waste and oxygen is injected radially into the plasma at a specially designed injection manifold. This process is known as pyrolysis. Unlike incineration, dioxin formation is avoided by the use of pyrolising conditions and rapid quenching. PLASCON® can achieve Destruction Efficiencies (DE) in excess of 99.999999%.

PLASCON® waste destruction eliminates a wide variety of concentrated organic waste types including PCBs, pesticides, ozone depleting substances such as CFCs, HCFCs, as well as other greenhouse gases, refrigerants and halons. Waste treatment can be either in-process or from a stockpiled feedstock, with a throughput of up to 3 tonnes of waste per day.

Apart from 2,4-D Plascon can destroy many other pesticides including DDT, DDE, Dieldrin, Aldrin, Lindane, Malathion, Heptachlor, Ethion, 2,4,5-T, Carbaryl, Dichlorovos, Chlorpyrifos.

For more facts about 2,4-D please refer to the APVMA website (click here).

Jonathan Fisher, Business Manager – Technical & Environmental Services

Sources: Australian Pesticide & Veterinaty Medicine Authority(APVMA)

60 million fluorescent tubes

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Did you know that Australians dispose of around 50-60 million fluorescent tubes and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps each year?

Currently it is estimated that only 5% of mercury-containing lamps are recycling around Australia. The average fluorescent tube contains approximately 15mg of mercury. This equates to approximately 10,000 tonnes of mercury contaminated waste being contained within Australian landfills.

Mercury is one of the most hazardous metals due to its high toxicity to humans and the environment. Mercury converts to the toxic and volatile gas methylmercury that can spread through the wider environment and can create adverse biodiversity effects. The largest source of mercury contamination in landfills is lighting products.

This is a major ecological hazard.

Toxfree has the capability to take mercury containing lighting products and convert them into their three core elements; aluminium, mercury and glass. The process involves the crushing, separating and cleaning of the lighting products, resulting in the elements being recycling and reused, instead of reaching landfill.

What can you and your business do?

As a waste generator, it is your responsibility to know the types of waste you produce, and to ensure it ends up at a waste facility that knows how to effectively treat it! This is irrespective of whether your waste is disposed, treated, recycled or applied to land.

Through our national recycling efforts, Toxfree has the ability to recycle Fluorescent Tubes, Lamps and Globes. We are also a foundation signatory to the joint industry and Government initiative “Fluorocycle”.

Jesse Brown, Business Manager – Technical & Environmental Services

Sources: Fluorocycle, Globe Jockeys, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities, NSW EPA & Highlands Regional Waste Management Group.