“My name is Adam Faulkner and I am the CEO of a local government subsidiary, so a grouping of councils that are interested in the waste and recycling sector and also sit on the national board of the waste management association, and locally here KESAB.
“We think we are a huge part of it so we are trying to move from end of pipe solutions where we are traditionally seen as the waste sector, and we are trying to move upscale and trying to hold the materials in the sector longer and create higher value as we go.
“We feel instead of being seen as the ‘waste management sector’ we should really be the ‘remanufacturing sector’, because we take these materials and we are trying to hold them longer and give them higher value. “So, we think we are part of it, actually we think we are a critical part of it.
“I first heard about the term circular economy - it actually came out of a session that Green Industries held (and that’s our State Government [Department] - used to be the iconic brand Zero Waste SA, transitioned to Green Industries, or ‘GISA’) and they started to bring in this term and that narrative.
“I started picking it up at different sessions that I was going to - and this was probably only two years ago - so 2015, around that time, I started hearing it and started understanding what it meant and then I tried to work out where our sector fit into the circular economy. So, I am a recent convert but, absolutely, I’m tried and tested now, and part of it.
“Circular economy is important to me because what I see as the end-of-pipe solution is landfill, and landfill has a place, it has a place for materials that no longer have a residual currency, it has no currency. So we see that, we see that at the coal face.
“Circular economy is important to me as a person in my profession because we understand what the end pipe looks like so we want to be part of the solution to hold the materials longer.
“I know it sounds like a bit of a holistic term but it’s real, and we can do it and we can do it in different ways. And a simple practical way of doing that is food waste. At the moment we see all of our food waste, a lot of it, ending up in landfill due to the mechanics of our curbside household bin system. That’s something that everyone I think (tactile) can touch on. If we can get our food waste in the right bin, all of a sudden we hold its value, we increase its value and it doesn’t end up in the end-of-pipe solution. So, for me it’s a no brainier and that’s why it’s important to me.
“So my vision in the short term, in the five years is really about co-located industries, and in my industry that could be composting, manufacturing and landfill, sharing resources, sharing wastes in a consistent manner.”
Adam Faulkner - General Manager, East Waste
Adam Faulkner is the CEO of East Waste, providing kerbside collection services to approximately 30% of metropolitan Adelaide, and a Board Director for KESAB Environmental Solutions, South Australia’s leading not- for-profit organisation delivering world class, community-based environmental sustainability education programs.
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