Leading The Path to Sustainable Waste Recycling; Meet Vik Bansal
Cleanaway has become an entire success story in waste recycling and management since Vik Bansal took the helm. Australia’s largest waste management company was struggling before his tenure with a $2.1 billion debt and unsatisfied investors. Today the company is leading in the efforts to grow the country’s waste recycling infrastructure. Recently it announced the construction of a new facility in Albury/ Wodonga with a capacity to process more than 25,000 tonnes of plastic annually. The plant built in partnership with the government of NSW will recycle materials into food and beverage packaging.
Vik Bansal talks passionately about the importance of having waste recycling in the country. He points out that the recent development in China, where the government implemented a ban on the importation of waste, exposed the unpreparedness to deal with waste. He opines that Australia must invest heavily in its recycling infrastructure before 2024 when its total ban on waste export comes into effect. The Australian government implemented the 2024 ban as part of the National Waste Policy Action Plan, which sought to gradually reduce waste import from the country and instead increase recycling in the country.
However, Vik sees one problem that, if not addressed, could complicate or even stifle the recycling efforts. He points out that the potential demand for recycled waste products remains a challenge in the country. Without a circular economy, he opines that companies such as Cleanaway find it unsustainable to operate. Vik states that Australia’s national framework carried the potential to build a sustainable industry with substantial social and economic benefits. With the emphasis on reducing carbon footprint, he believes focusing on reuse, recycling, and product recovery can create thousands of environmentally friendly jobs.
Vik Bansal’s Cleanaway is at the forefront of promoting an alternative view of waste. He states that the company is dedicated to transforming waste into commodities with value. Vik, who hold an MBA and is an Electrical Engineering graduate, has worked in executive positions for over 20 years. He is a founder member of NWRIC and a Fellow of Engineers Australia. He previously worked in Eaton Corporation, Valmont Industries Inc., and One Steel Limited.