Media and News

China to Stop Taking Foreign Garbage

This year China announced to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it planned to urgently ban foreign garbage imports. This could signify a major shift in the international movement of waste. Last year China imported 7.3 million tonnes of waste plastics alone, which accounts for 56 percent of world imports; it’s a billion-dollar industry and China is the world number 1 customer.

China has found that the solid wastes they import have a high percentage of dirty or hazardous contaminants polluting what could otherwise be used as raw materials. This is causing serious pollution to their environment, and risk to their workers. In response China is seeking to urgently adjust its solid waste import list. Among the imports to be banned are waste plastics, paper, steel-making slag, wool, ash, cotton and yarn.

It isn’t something we frequently consider, but waste products can be valuable. One of the topics to be covered in the upcoming National Sustainability in Business Conference 2018 is ‘Waste as a resource’. It will be interesting to see how China stepping back could change such a huge industry. Here’s to hoping it will encourage us to take a second look at how we process our waste resources.

Position Description – Treasurer

The AGDF is looking for a new treasurer.

Click here to see the position description for details.

AGDF Welcomes as a Corporate Member: Built Environment Collective

We’re proud to welcome Built Environment Collective to our corporate sponsor list.

BE Collective is an award-winning, Australian-based design consultancy offering Structural, Civil, Hydraulic, ESD, and Project Management services. The company is acutely aware of the adverse impact that current development paradigms have on triple bottom line sustainability. The BEC team believe that ESD must be embraced at the planning phase of a project to enable efficient and economical incorporation.

As corporate members, BE Collective is entitled to members only resources online, access to free advice and information on sustainable development, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, heavily discounted rates to all AGDF events including free GSLF tickets.

Interested in becoming a member, or a corporate member?

World’s Tallest Engineered Timber Office Building Opens in Sydney

International House Sydney is Australia’s first engineered timber office building, and the world’s tallest. Legendary architectural practitioners Tzannes are behind the technically and aesthetically impressive project, which opened in May this year.

The design relies on Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) to form six of the above ground levels, which rest on a conventional concrete structure at ground level. The internal CLT structural elements are left fully exposed, resulting in a strikingly forest-like feel. CLT has a very small carbon footprint as opposed to other construction materials, largely because it’s production process generates no waste at all.

“The architecture of International House Sydney reflects a new form of beauty. Beyond shape and surface, it is ‘deep design’, renewing architecture’s role to serve the greater social purpose of lowering carbon emissions.” Says Tzannes director Alex Tzannes.

Brisbane is set to receive a wooden-wonder of it’s own soon. Lend Lease and Bates Smart are planning a ten storey development which will boast the largest gross floor area for an engineered timber building in the world.

Queensland Housing Strategy Released

The Palaszczuk Government has announced their affordable housing strategy, allocating $1.8 billion to build over 5,000 social and affordable housing options in Australia.


“Housing is fundamentally about people and our $1.8 billion investment puts people first,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.


Ms Palaszczuk believes the strategy will provide a launch pad for opportunity and aspiration, and also a predictable program of work the industry can rely on over the 10 year construction program.



The Queensland Housing Strategy will:

  • build 4,522 new social homes and 1,034 affordable homes
  • support 450 full-time construction jobs a year
  • introduce inclusionary requirements for new dwellings on state land (5-25% for social and affordable)
  • invest $20 million to construct new Youth Foyers in Townsville and on the Gold Coast and expand the existing Foyer in Logan
  • commit $75 million to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander home ownership
  • invest $30 million to reform the housing system
  • create housing and homelessness hubs to improve service delivery
  • strengthen consumer protections for retired people.

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