Photograph Werribee RDF sml

Our Expertise

Waste & Resource Recovery

Russell Kennedy’s waste and resource recovery practice draws on a broad cross section of skills and a large resource base to meet the total range of legal needs for the industry and government (local and state).

Our practice services established waste and resource recovery infrastructure providing critical and in some instances essential services across Victoria, including landfills, transfer stations, materials recycling facilities, organic processors, composting facilities, prescribed industrial waste storage and treatment, organic biodigestors, waste to energy plants, wastewater management facilities (biosolids) and rendering plants. 

An increasing area of the practice is the investment in advanced waste and resource recovery infrastructure, including opportunities in regional Victoria with direct integration into agriculture (land application of soil improvers, composts, mulches and fertilisers) and realisation of ongoing waste and resource recovery use of rehabilitated landfills and other contaminated land.

Our services

We provide services and representation throughout the life of the project from procurement, approvals (planning and environmental), construction, operation (EPA licensing and contracting), strategic planning (identification, recognition and protection from encroachment of incompatible development and use), closure, rehabilitation, aftercare and end use realisation (potentially ongoing resource recovery use).

We are a major provider of legal services to local government (whether acting alone or as part of a joint procurement), having worked for more than 50 councils in the last 3 years. We understand the key factors that drive successful outcomes and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.

Russell Kennedy provides the full range of governance, procurement, contracting, planning, environmental, corporate and related services to the waste and resource recovery sector. 

We have accredited specialists, including environmental law, planning, local government, property, workplace relations and employment.

We are members and partners with leading industry bodies and associations including the Victorian Waste Management Association, Australian Organic Recyclers Association, Institute of Public Works Engineers and the Australia Water Association. We believe the keys to quality legal services for waste and resource recovery / local government sector are:

  • an understanding of the culture and dynamics of local government and regional waste and resource recovery groups;
  • early access to the right people;
  • quality advice that answers concisely the questions asked;
  • prompt turnaround times; and
  • competitive fees, plus early and clear fee estimates.

China ‘National Sword’ crisis

The widespread disruption to the waste and resource recovery industry brought on by China’s “National Sword” policy has had profound impact on the industry.

In the last 6 months alone we have advised 8 councils on their response to the China “National Sword” policy and more than 10 on their waste collection and disposal contracts. We are also currently advising multiple councils on new tenders for waste management services.

In the last 6 months we have negotiated directly with all the major service providers on behalf of our local government clients in relation to market disruptions caused by the China ‘National Sword” policy.

Russell Kennedy has hosted the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group and Sustainability Victoria to seminars and presentations at our offices to discuss the current issues facing the industry.

Russell Kennedy presented at the 2018 Victorian Waste Management Association State Conference on current developments in municipal waste management contracts.

We have published widely on contracting and other issues facing the industry and have contributed to various publications on this important topic.

We understand that tendering requires a practical and commercial approach, combining an understanding of the operations of local government and regional waste and resource recovery groups, the financial and administrative requirements of the legislation and the commercial market place.  Russell Kennedy has that mix of skills.

In addition, Russell Kennedy understands the unique contract and procurement requirements of councils arising from statutory and governance obligations and has the skills to provide services to address those requirements as an overlay to general commercial capabilities.

Climate Change

Our team’s sustainability and climate change experience covers commercial advice in carbon trading licensing issues, energy efficiency/emissions reduction projects, fuel credits and Government grants, excise and GST, governance and climate change obligations, recycling and waste processing contracts.

We advise public and private sector clients on how to deal with climate change impacts from the outset.

We also advise on energy efficiency standards, green lease negotiations, carbon sequestration and Forestry Rights Act 1996 (Vic) advice, water recycling, methane capture, energy production and governance.