The Federal Government has injected $190 million into a Recycling Modernisation Fund to stimulate the economy by repurposing materials.
The Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) is expected to provide $600 million of recycling investment, with the Federal Government expecting it to “drive a billion dollar transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling capacity.”
It will support investments toward new sorting, processing and remanufacturing infrastructure for recyclable materials including mixed plastic, paper, tyres and glass. More than 10,000 jobs are expected to be created through the RMF, which is estimated to divertmore than 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill.
“As we cease shipping our waste overseas, the waste and recycling transformation will reshape our domestic waste industry, driving job creation and putting valuable materials back into the economy,” the Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said.
“Australians need to have faith that the items they place in their kerbside recycling bins will be re-used in roads, carpet, building materials and a range of other essential items. At the same time, we need to stop throwing away tonnes of electronic waste and batteries each year and develop new ways to recycle valuable resources.
“As we pursue National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, we need manufacturers and industry to take a genuine stewardship role that helps create a sustainable circular economy. This is a once in a generation opportunity to remodel waste management, reduce pressure on our environment and create economic opportunity.”
The Federal Government also stated its funding is “contingent on co-funding from industry, states and territories.”
This investment forms part of Australia’s plan to reach a national resource recovery target of 80 per cent by 2030.
According to governmentnews.com.au, Local Government New South Wales and the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRRA) have criticised the package.
“For example, who can apply and what are the requirements for this funding?” Local Government NSW President Linda Scott asked. “These are essential issues for local councils and recycling facility operators, who are facing increasing pressure to deal with mounting waste and decreasing landfill space.
“We also support calls for this investment to be accompanied by a commitment to create greater demand for recycled materials through government procurement targets.”
WMRRA chief executive officer Gayle Sloan said the package did not include an extension of producer responsibility for packaging and called for the Federal Government to mandate the use of recycled material in government infrastructure projects.
The global recycled concrete aggregates market is expected to pass 6.2 million tonnes by the end of 2027, according to Coherent Market Insights.