Plastic bag with grocery items

Over the past 12-18 months, there have been a significant number of small changes in the environmental and waste management industries.

With growing consumer awareness in relation to both the sourcing of products and services and the environmental and waste management industries, consumers are changing their habits as they see how specific behaviours affect other people, the environment and the economy.

These changes are evident in the current social and political landscape which can be seen by:

  • The push for the removal of plastic bags
  • A strong interest in the War on Waste program
  • An ongoing interest in solar projects
  • Increased adoption of composting

However, despite the push from consumers, businesses have been slow to get on board. Coles has faced significant backlash after fumbling the removal of plastic bags from their stores, and state-run utilities have a focus on fiscal, short-term milestones that make sustainable energy production less appealing than older, cheaper technologies.

While local and state governments look towards sustainable solutions, proof of concept is difficult to establish. With new or emerging techniques and procedures, it is difficult to ascertain the effectiveness and longevity of many modern, and sustainably focused, service providers.

This push towards sustainability from both consumers and from a state and federal angle means that service providers are also beginning to move towards environmentally friendly services. Though this swing is only just beginning, the successes of these environmentally focused businesses is significant both socially and economically.

Harbak and UTL Utilities have recently worked alongside local governments and private businesses in providing sustainable solutions including:

  • Reassessing waste infrastructure, and scaling up recycling processes
  • Examining procedures for mining operations at the end of their operation, which can lower environmental impact and financial involvement
  • Re-use of green waste on sites

Both Harbak and UTL Utilities always ensure they consider the social, environmental and sustainability implications when investigating options for future infrastructure and waste services. If you would like some more information on this, please contact me.

Keiran Travers is a Director of Harbak and newly formed waste management company, UTL Utilities. UTL Utilities provides infrastructure strategy, procurement, economic modelling and business operational advices in the fields of waste management primarily for the local government sector. Contact Keiran at