South Australia first in Australia to ban e-waste to landfill; Nystar plant to recover resources

Nystar's enlarged Port Pirie plant was expected to expand its range of e-waste recovery.

South Australia was the first Australian state to ban e-waste going to landfill. Whitegoods were banned from direct landfill disposal since 2011 and computers, televisions and fluorescent lighting from metropolitan Adelaide were banned from being disposed of directly to landfill in 2012. From 2013, those wastes and other e-waste are banned from direct landfill disposal across all of South Australia.

E-waste comprises waste electrical or electronic equipment. Televisions, computers and their peripherals (mice, keyboards), whitegoods and fluorescent lighting are all forms of e-waste. E-waste can contain hazardous materials including heavy metals and glass that, if broken or damaged, pose an environmental hazard. Around 90% of what is used to make televisions and computers can be recycled, saving valuable resources. Other e-waste can also be readily recycled.

But e-waste has been liable to be landfilled interstate of exported to countries without environmental or health and safety rules.

South Australia provided an important development for the processing Australian e-waste, with the commissioning of the $514 million transformation of Nystar’s Port Pirie smelter in 2017 that included a multi-metals processing and recovery plant. Nyrstar was expected to expand the range of electronic waste (e-waste) for processing in the state.

A global multi-metals business, Nyrstar, with plants in Europe and North America, would accept electronic products such as printed computer circuit boards, cathode ray tubes (CRT), mobile phones and related devices. The expanded plant was also expected to take  photovoltaic cells from roof solar panels, alkaline batteries and potentially other batteries such as lead acid and nickel cadmium. Treatment rates of e-waste from 2018 were expected to be 3000 tonnes a year, increasing to more than 20,000 tonnes as the plant ramped up, with a recovery of 98% of metal content.

Other related ADELAIDEAZ articles

Joseph Florey heads a Gawler Place factory producing 1000 pairs of shoes every day

Joseph Florey, the father of Howard Florey – one of Adelaide’s four Nobel Prize winners –  was manager of the Standard Shoe and Leather Company, a manufacturing and importing business with factories in Adelaide and Melbourne entering the 20th Century. Standard Shoe and Leather was part of the largest boot manufacturing operation in the southern hemisphere with 1,000 staff nationally. The Adelaide factory had nearly 300 staff and produced 1,000 pairs of footwear a day.


 

Cider also making a 21st Century return as companies learn to share their resources

Hills Cider Co., the Barossa Cider Co, Kangaroo Island Ciders and Sidewood are part of the 21st Century cider revival in South Australia. Oakbank-based wine company Ashwood Estate is increasing its Sidewood cider production including a canning line. In another example of different drink producers joining forces, Hills Cider Company is working with the Mismatch Brewery, Adelaide Hills Distillery and Ashton Valley Fresh to open the Premium Adelaide Hills Beverage Experience.

 

Australia's first mine on Osmond Gilles' land; first ore export from Wheal Gawler in 1840s

South Australia operated the first commercial metalliferous mines in Australia and produced the first Australian metalliferious exports in the 1840s. Glen Osmond silver-lead mines, in Adelaide’s south-eastern suburbs and Mount Lofty foothills, never produced big amounts but, egged on by expectation, their last remnants were active until 1889. Ore was discovered in 1838 on land owned by colonial treasurer Osmond Gilles. This became the Glen Osmond mine, starting in 1842. Another nearby discovery in 1841, claimed to be more abundant in gold, silver, lead and iron than any in British Empire colony, led to Wheal Gawler mine and the South Australian Mining Association set up with capital of £6,000. In 1841, a trial shipment from Gawler Wheal was sent to London: the first Australian export of metalliferous ore. Wheal Watkins joined the foothills mines in the 1840s but attention had switched to the discovery of copper elsewhere in the colony. Wheal Gawler was revived by a new syndicate in the late 1840s, with 20 German miners working on it. Despite attempts to convince investors of its  prospects, it was shut down in 1849, after only producing 100 tons in three years. Glen Osmond Mine, also having produced 100 tones, was closed in 1851. It was reopened in 1888 by a company inspired by high metal prices and the major silver-lead finds at Broken Hill. But hopes weren't met and it finished in 1892. Wheal Watkins went through the same dented optimism but was revived in 1888. It produced about 130 tons for smelters in England and Port Adelaide before being doomed by metal prices in 1889.
 

Lightburn's washing machine factory in Camden Park turns out Adelaide's own Zeta car

The Zeta, made from 1963 to 1965 by Lightburn and Co at its factory in the Adelaide suburb of Camden Park, became an instant car collector’s item because of its odd features and rarity. Car enthusiast Harold Lightburn, the company's owner and founder, was convinced that many Australians wanted the convenience of a small second car. Lightburn, who normally made cement mixers and washing machines, introduced the Zeta in 1963, priced £595, but sold fewer than 400. Zeta models were a sedan, sedan deluxe, utility and sports model.The Zeta Sedan (or Runabout) and utility were powered by a 324cc Villiers engine and were front wheel drive with independent rear trailing arms.The sedan had no rear hatch so the front seats had to be removed to access the cargo area. The chassis was steel, with a fibreglass body enclosing a large but sparse interior. Windows were perspex except for the front laminated glass windscreen. The doors were steel with sliding perspex windows.The four-speed, dog clutch Villiers gearbox had no reverse so the engine had to be switched off and started backwards to provide four reverse gears. Fuel came by gravity feed from a tank behind the dashboard. The fuel gauge was a plastic pipe running from top to bottom of the tank with a graduated glass tube section on the dashboard. The utility was the rarest Zeta with only eight produced. Some were bought by Sydney City Council for its Hyde Park fleet. The two-seater Zeta Sports was introduced in 1964. Like the Goggomobil Dart, it lacked doors and bumper bars. Only 28 were sold.

Herbert Hughes' tinned meat from Booyoolee in South Australia possible origin for "bully beef"

South Australia has its contender to solve the origins of “bully beef”. Could it derive from Booyoolee, a 19th Century sheep station, in South Australia’s mid north, where Herbert Bristow Hughes set up a canning factory to export tinned meat to England in the 1870s? His canned meat didn’t sell well in England and Hughes's tinned beef export industry hopes were finally dashed by refrigeration being invented in 1882 for meat shipping. But the tinned-meat concept didn’t die. It was a way of feeding troops on the European western front in World War I. This has led to theories such as “bully beef” being adapted from the French “beouf bouilli” (boiled beer). Herbert Hughes, who arrived in South Australia from Liverpool in 1843, and his brother Bristow started Booyoolee station on the Rocky River near Gladstone (and a government town called Booyoolie in 1875). Hughes’ wife Laura gave her name to another nearby town. Booyoolee sheep were bred from stock from Bundaleer station, started by older brother John, and from Anlaby station, with rams from Germany. This produced a lighter-fleece animal, better suited to dry country. Herbert Hughes, who took over Booyoolee when brother Bristow returned to England, came up with the tinned meat idea after setting up boiling-down works to make tallow for candles, using his glut of sheep in the 1870s. His canning factory was later sold to Dean and Laughton and moved to Port Adelaide. Booyoolee eventually switched to wheat farming. Hughes later moved to live at Athelney in the Adelaide suburb St Peters. He also owned paddocks in Netley near Adelaide Airport.

Grow Free flourishes from Fleurieu Peninsula as a way for gardeners to share organic food

Grow Free is a concept, started by Andrew Barker on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, that has spread interstate with an early foothold overseas. The grassroots community movement is built around placing share carts on streets where locals fill them with excess organic food produce from their gardens. People are free to take as much or little as they need from the carts. The location of carts on a map is shared via the Grow Free Facebook group. Grow Free also offers seedlings for heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers. Grow Free founder Andrew Barker developed a taste for gardening when he moved onto a farm at Meadows on the Fleurieu Peninsula. But his epiphany came at a local supermarket where he was surprised by what people were buying and eating and passing these habits to their children. He realised even middle-class families weren’t able to afford organic food. Barker started what became Grow Free by giving away seeds and seedlings from his home. This grew into people wanting to help and be involved. Grow Free was soon helping people set up gardens, organising sharing carts, attending sharing markets, cooking at a meals program, and promoting good health in the community. Beginning in Victor Harbor and other Fleurieu towns Goolwa, Yankalilla and Strathalbyn, Grow Free carts have grown past 100, including appearing of the streets of Melbourne and Perth, as the “Take what you need and give what you can” philosophy spreads. Its excess produce is also donated to charities. Grow Free has attracted interest from the Netherlands, Iceland and the USA. 

Contact Us

We welcome positive constructive feedback