[ASC-media] Putting the squeeze on garbage - launch of Environmental Biotech CRC

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Thu Oct 30 14:43:36 EST 2003

Putting the squeeze on garbage
- Launch of Environmental Biotechnology CRC

Thursday, 30 October 2003


Scientists can take the pressure off Sydney's landfill sites. 


They are planning to use microscopic bacteria to extract everything of value from the waste and garbage, so the amount to be disposed of from each garbage truck will fit into a shopping bag.


This will reduce waste by 99 per cent, and at the same time create valuable products such as biodegradable plastic bags, fuel, glues and fish food.


This work is being done by the new Environmental Biotechnology CRC. 


Given that each Australian disposes of about 620 kilograms of waste each year into municipal landfills, a rate second only to the USA, this is good news for the environment and for local governments faced with scarce urban land for new landfills.


Media are invited to the launch of the new EBCRC by the Hon Mr Peter McGauran, Federal Minister for Science, at the University of New South Wales:


On -        Thursday 30 October at 9.30am 


In -         the Kensington Room at the Square House at the University of New South Wales (map and parking permits available)


Other speakers at the launch include: 

UNSW Vice Chancellor, Professor Rory Hume         

Chair of EBCRC and Clean Up Australia, Mr Ian Kiernan


The EBCRC will also be seeking to:

·        Clean up toxic industrial waste by using bacteria armour-plated in plastic

·        Replace toxic chemicals with living bacteria for longer-lasting, safer paints

·        Get 'smart' bacteria communicating more efficiently to clean up wastewater 

·        Stop bad bacteria from forming 'biofilms' or slimes in drinking water supplies 


Vision opportunities at UNSW include fluorescing bacteria under microscopes, miniature sewage treatment plants in large pumping beakers, biofilms in action, making plastics for armour plating bacteria; and more.


For interview: Dr David Garman, phone 02 9385 5008, 0408 280 135; Mr Ian Kiernan, phone 02 9692 1202


For media assistance: Ms Jenni Metcalfe, phone 0408 551 866

Jenni Metcalfe
Econnect Communication Pty Ltd
PO Box 734
South Brisbane Q 4101

Phones: 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866; 07 3254 0354 (home)
Fax: 07 3846 7144
Email: jenni at econnect.com.au
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