Category Archives: Waste Management

ERoad – Latest figures – US expansion

Eroad – September 2017 numbers.


Integrated technology, and services provider EROAD Limited says it has enjoyed record sales growth in both its foundation New Zealand market and its growing North American market.

Highlights for 6 months to September 2017 and business update

  • Revenue at $20.9 million up by 35% over same period last year
  • EBITDA of $4.0 million during the period underpinned by EBITDA of the New Zealand/Australia business which reached $11.1 million during the period
  • Net Loss before tax $3.7 million, driven by investment in US sales activity
  • Total Contracted Units in New Zealand/Australia 49,802 up by 31% since September 2016
  • Total Contracted Units in North America 9,736 up by over 84% since September 2016
  • Q1 and Q2 of FY18 were both record sales quarters for the New Zealand and North American markets
  • Customer Retention Rate remains strong at 98%
  • Future Contracted Income grew to $75 million during the period up $17m or 29% in 6 months
  • Secured new credit facility from the BNZ totaling $33.4 million for initial term of 12 months with initial drawdown in July 2017. Post September 2017, EROAD has subsequently signed a credit approved facility letter with the BNZ to further extend its facilities by approximately $16 million, to further support expected growth
  • Strong momentum has continued in the business with total contracted units increasing in October 2017 by 1,133 units for the New Zealand/Australia business and 1,166 units for the North American business
  • As part of EROAD’s continuing focus on growth in the US, EROAD has engaged First NZ Capital to undertake a strategic review of its North American business. The review is focused on evaluating options to further capture the compelling growth opportunity in North America.

Operational summary

New Zealand & Australia

EROAD’s New Zealand business enjoyed two record sales quarters during the six months to September 2017, and finished the period with a strong pipeline of demand for the second half of FY18.

Chief Executive Steven Newman said health and safety services, such as driver behaviour, are now as strong a driver of sales as electronic Road User Charges (eRUC) services, which continue to grow well. The company continues to engage with an ever more diverse range of large and small customers as fleet owners and managers begin to appreciate the positive business outcomes that can be achieved by ensuring safety within their businesses.

Mr Newman said, ‘Our customers are improving health and safety thanks to services that support safer driver behaviour. And road planners and policy makers now have high quality network data from the activity of around 50,000 vehicles on our platform. Road transport accounts for around 15% of fuel used in New Zealand, and our customers are achieving, on average, fuel savings of around six per cent, representing a significant cost saving and carbon saving to the economy.’

Mr Newman said he was particularly pleased that two of New Zealand’s leading companies, Fulton Hogan and Waste Management, had invested in new, sophisticated EROAD in-vehicle technology, with ~4,500 Ehubo2 units being installed in their transport fleets to further improve their management of health and safety.

In 2009 EROAD introduced the world’s first nationwide electronic road user charging (eRUC) system in New Zealand. Currently half of all heavy transport RUC is collected electronically, representing a rapid transition to e-commerce on a voluntary, industry-led basis, due to the cost-savings and benefits to customers.

Smart Waste collection utilising sensors gaining traction – IoT ANZ

Although the smart waste collection technology industry is still in an early phase, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled smart bins and sensors are slowly gaining traction in ANZ and globally.

According to a recent report by US research company Navigant, the market is expected to grow from US$57.6 million (A$77 million) in 2016 to more than US$223 million (A$300 million) in 2025, with a 16.3 per cent compound annual growth rate.

“Currently, most municipal waste collection operations focus on emptying containers according to predefined schedules,” explains Christina Jung, a Research Associate with Navigant. “This is inevitably inefficient, with half-full bins being emptied, poor use of city assets and unnecessary fleet fuel consumption.”

Jung says the smart waste collection solutions of the future will be able to track waste levels and provide route optimisation as well as operational analytics – providing new opportunities to optimise waste management: “More and more municipalities and waste service managers are realising that
these solutions can help them meet sustainability goals, improve services for residents and reduce operational costs [at the same time].”

She adds, “There is a growing awareness among city leaders of the potential benefits of multi-application approaches to the deployment of smart city infrastructure. At the heart of this transformation is IoT technology that connects a range of intelligent sensors and devices to monitor and automate city operations. Areas where technology is having the greatest impact include street lighting, public safety, traffic systems and waste collection.”

Jung’s observation comes on the back of TDC, Denmark’s largest telecoms company, and Cisco forming a partnership agreement in June 2016 to deploy a digital IoT city platform in Denmark. As part of the initiative, Dublin company SmartBin deployed its sensors to a range of waste and recycling containers that were integrated with the city’s digital platform. In addition, lamp posts and traffic lights were equipped with sensors that are able to send data to a control console at the town hall and allow real time monitoring of waste production.

A similar project took place locally in Australia 2015, when the Sunshine Coast Council partnered with Cisco and Telstra to develop the so-called Smart City Framework, a portfolio of 13 municipal service areas including waste management. Here, Enevo headed by Greg Howard and its Brisbane-based partner, Smarter Technology Solutions, saw the successful initial deployment of Enevo’s smart fill- level sensors.

“Another example of an integrated smart waste collection solutions are solar-powered waste bins equipped with Wi-Fi units,” Jung says. “While many smart city initiatives propose to provide public Wi-Fi hotspots, it can be expensive to lease areas to host the equipment. However, with Wi-Fi- enabled smart bins, cities can run access points by using the solar energy already collected by the bins.”

Leon Hayes from Solar Bins Australia has been instrumental in rolling out more BigBelly solar powered compacting bins across Australia. Melbourne has an impressive amount of bins with general waste bins sat next to recycling ones.

“Yet, despite the successful [early] deployments, there is still limited demand for smart waste collection solutions due to the lack of awareness about cost [recovery] and the effectiveness of the technology.”

Data Integration

The next phase will see sensor data pulled from dozens of different sensor manufacturers via API* into established telematics systems like that of Telogis which is a global leader in providing actionable data to waste fleet operators across the markets it operates in.

There is a huge amount of cost savings to be made through fleet optimisation and route planning. With more accurate data fleet operators can make decisions to improve efficiencies and still meet performance targets for their end clients.

Low Power Wide Area Networks

The other disruptor and ultimate enabler  will be the rollout of LPWAN connectivity across the region with Sigfox firmly leading the way in the Australian and NZ market.

LPWAN connected sensors like LoRa , Sigfox and NB-IoT allow sensors to operate on batteries for much longer periods and communicate over longer distances than traditional 3G powered devices.

Enevo has yet to transition to a LPWAN version of its sensor but companies like Solar Bins Australia and PiP IoT in Christchurch have developed versions which can then push data into 3rd party systems .

Glossary Term

*APIapplication-programming interface is a set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.

Sources and References

Enevo Oy – Finnish based Cleantech business using IoT Devices

Pip IoT – NZ based LPWAN sensor manufacturer of IoT devices

Solar Bins Australia – Australia based distributor of BigBelly and LPWAN Sensors.

Telogis – Market leading telematics provider

Waste Management Review – parts of article originally appeared earlier in 2017.

Fighting Food Insecurity, Waste, and Unsustainable Food Systems

The Good Kitchen, launched last year as Europe’s first accelerator program for social startup businesses tackling food insecurity and food poverty issues, has selected its first five enterprises from an initial intake of more than 100 applicants.

The program offers low-interest loans up to a maximum of €75,000 ($84,000) per business, alongside social investment, business support, access to key markets and mentorship.

London-based The Good Kitchen selected its first five ‘winners’ on the basis that they each offer “highly scalable and sustainable solutions that can reshape our food system and help everyone, everywhere, eat an adequate, healthy and sustainable diet.”

The successful five startups are Bump Mark, a Uk startup developing food freshness checker; Cultivando Futuro, a Colombian agro-commerce platform for smallholder farmers; Entocycle, a UK animal feed developer growing insects with ‘up-cycled’ food waste; Fazla Gida, a Turkish online platform that gives supermarkets a quick, easy and profitable way to offer unsold products online to food banks and humanitarian organisations; and Make Kit, a UK project that provides people with affordable and conveniently distributed recipe kits.

Core funding for Good Kitchen is provided by the UK charity, KellyDeli Foundation. The foundation receives 1% of the profits generated by the KellyDeli business, which is a handmade sushi kiosk business in Europe. Other individuals and businesses, including some from the food sector, who believe in the need to tackle food security and food poverty concerns, have also contributed to the program.

The program’s total first-year investment is estimated to be €250,000, made up of individual loans ranging from €30,000 to €60,000, plus the provision of zero-fee support to the successful applicants. A second program call is scheduled for early next year, although it could take place sooner if sufficient additional funding becomes available.

Loans, advanced on a ‘patient capital’ basis, typically charge 1% APR with repayment to be made over no more than five years. In the positive case of a supported business advancing to its own Series A funding round, it would be expected that the program loan would be repaid immediately.

“We won’t be taking an equity stake in any of the businesses attached to the program,” Joseph Gridley, head of the KellyDeli Foundation, told AgFunderNews. “Because this is a development where social impact comes first, we believe that ideas are the best way to change the world, not organizations. In that context, we also believe it’s important to allow ideas to spread as rapidly as possible, reasoning that if we had an equity stake in these businesses we might, in some way, slow down their rate of growth.”

Good Kitchen opened its first call for applications in February this year, reducing the 100 responses it received to a short-list of 19 real contenders before putting each applicant through a venture capital-style assessment. These survivors were also subjected to detailed examination by a ‘jury’ of 15 specialists, including investment bankers and food sector executives.

“In assessing all the main contenders, we were looking for organizations that had objective proof their solution was capable of delivering social impact related to food security or food poverty,” said Gridley.

“We wanted to find enterprises with a sustainable and strong business model, with traction either in terms of revenue or predicted sales, driven by a great team in which we could place our trust. It was also important that the market opportunity for each selected project, product or service was big enough for it to make a big impact on the food security and food poverty issues on which we are focused.”

Commenting that 30 of the original applications were ‘terrible,’ followed by 30 that could be termed ‘good,’ Gridley said selecting a winning five from about 40 ‘very good’ projects and ideas, was a tough task. Even at the end of the process, at least five potentially supportable enterprises had to be turned away.

“We decided to start small in our first year with the aim of discovering how best to help social businesses achieve their potential,” he said. “Maybe in the future we’ll be able to work with an increased number each year.”

Gridley is very positive about the chosen five. Here are some of his comments on each:

Bump Mark (UK): “The information we use to decide when to throw food away is inaccurate. Conservative expiry dates cost retailers tremendous amounts as they throw away up to 16% of their stock on short-life products. Bump Mark is a food freshness checker that reacts to the environment around it, just like fresh food does and updates itself. The label is checked by touch; when it’s smooth – your food is fresh. If you feel bumps – then it’s time to bin. The label only goes ‘bad’ when your food does too.”

Cultivando Futuro (Colombia): “The team behind Cultivando Futuro traveled thousands of miles across Colombia listening to the stories of farmers, and learning about where the industry isn’t working in their favor. This led them to create the first agro-commerce platform, which improves the efficiency of the food supply chain by connecting all the key actors, opens up new channels for direct trading to farmers so that they can gain access to better market opportunities, and guides the industry through big data analysis and open data visualization.”

Entocycle (UK): “The current farming system is heavily reliant on protein from dwindling fish stocks and land intensive soya to produce the animals we humans eat. Entocycle is harnessing 150 million years of nature’s research and development to produce a solution to feeding the world. They believe that insect protein is the future of farming and are using the Black Soldier Fly to ‘up-cycle’ organic food waste into a sustainable protein feed alternative for aquaculture and livestock, and simultaneously surpassing current waste processing alternatives.”

Fazla Gida (Turkey): “Food waste is a cost not only for producers but also for warehouses, logistics operators and food waste solution providers. To prevent catastrophic levels of food waste, the Turkish government offers a 100% tax deduction incentive to companies donating surplus foods. Through its donation platform, Fazla Gida takes into account the economic, ethical and environmental issues around food waste, and provides professionals in the food industry with the opportunity to offer their unsold but safe-to-eat products online to food banks. Its process also helps food companies to claim their 100% tax deductions, with 50% of the value gained being passed back to Fazla Gida.”

Make Kit (UK): “In the UK, approximately a third of children are obese or overweight by the time they leave primary school. The problem worsens for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Make Kit creates recipe kits, which are partly subsidized, making them affordable for people on a tight budget. They are also building on recipes created for and by the local community and sold at accessible locations such as community centers, doctor surgeries, nurseries, community cooking events, and in areas with high levels of obesity and health inequality.”

Thinxtra expands Sigfox IoT LPWA into Hong Kong

Thinxtra has invested further  to build the LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) network into Asia and boost the IoT ecosystem across the region.

Thinxtra is expanding into Hong Kong to empower organisations to use IoT to improve business processes and people’s lives. With Hong Kong as its first Asian market outside of Australia ans New Zealand.

Use cases for the Sigfox IoT protocol in Hong Kong will include water meters , waste management applications and sensing devices for temperature , vibration and other environmental conditions.

Murray Hankinson is responsible for Thinxtra’s Asian expansion. He is orchestrating the market entry, deployment, and benefits of the Thinxtra IoT ecosystem to governments, enterprises and smart city initiatives across Asia.



NSW targets litter reduction , more infrastructure , better resource recovery and halt illegal dumping


The NSW Government has committed to invest $337 million from 2017 to 2021 in litter reduction and waste management projects across the state under the Waste Less, Recycle More program.

NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman announced the funding to continue the initiative on 14 October. This forms part of the government’s preparations to deal with the forecasted 159% increase in waste and litter generated by a population of 9.9 million by 2036.

The first phase of Waste Less, Recycle More funding and programs will finish on 30 June next year, and the second phase starting on 1 July 2017, with funding and grants available until 2021. More than 800 projects have been supported by the fund to date.

The 2017-2021 funding includes:
– $30 million for litter reduction programs
– $35.5 million for organics infrastructure and resource recovery projects
– $88.5 million for resource recovery infrastructure
– $57 million for household problem waste programs, including $37 million for community recycling centre collections and processing
– $70 million for councils’ waste and resource recovery projects
– $65 million to combat illegal dumping.


LPWAN Bin Sensor Opportunity

Would be good to see the development of LPWAN sensors into the NSW Litter infrastructure as part of the rollout of the Sigfox network by Thinxtra.

Several companies have done pilots using 3G sensors but with the addition of the new network this is a perfect opportunity for a local vendor to engage with the councils in NSW.

See full article – Waste Management Review