Australians currently produce some 50 million tonnes of waste each year, prompting increasing demand for specialised waste collection technology in the heavy vehicle space.
Australia’s waste is mounting. Recent statistics show that garbage generation rose 170 per cent between 1996 and 2015, while the nation’s population only increased 28 per cent to 24 million – making for a disproportionately high waste growth rate, according to environmental consultancy firm, MRA.
Around a third* of that waste is classified as municipal waste, such as the household trash picked up from neighbourhood wheelie bins every week – meaning there is an ever-growing mountain of garbage to be moved from ‘the kerb to the grave’, to be buried at a landfill.
And that’s just the beginning. Australia is not only producing more waste than ever before, but also different types of it. In an effort to reduce the waste heading to landfills, for example, state and territory governments have introduced so-called ‘diversion plans’ aimed to encourage recycling – generally in the form of charging landfill levies. According to MRA, the concept is working well, with 58 per cent of waste currently being recycled.
But, while the growth of recycling plays a crucial part in reforming what has been dubbed a “throw away society” in mainstream media, it has also presented those tasked with transporting our waste with a range of new logistical challenges – from local collection and compaction through to final storage.
One response to the resulting freight task could be the use of highly specialised dual control waste trucks, where the essential driver controls are replicated on both sides of the cab – effectively allowing the operator to be close to the bin lifting action when driving slowly in residential areas, or sit on the ‘right’ side of the vehicle when traveling at highway speed.
Inspired by the waste sector’s impressive growth performance, the dual control market has been especially busy in 2016, with many an OEM trying to tap into what could be one of the last genuine growth pockets in an otherwise lacklustre post-election business environment.
The full story has appeared in the August edition of Prime Mover. To get your copy, click here.