With an expected $8 billion to be spent on infrastructure projects by Victoria’s 79 local councils in the next three years, the Victorian Government has announced its Sustainable Infrastructure Fund grant.
The $2.6 million fund will provide grants worth up to $300,000 for local councils to use recycled materials in local infrastructure projects.
The grant aims to drive up the utilisation of recycled materials including glass, paper, cardboard, plastics and rubber. These can be used for several infrastructure projects such as the construction of roads, footpaths, outdoor park equipment, drainages and cycleways.
“We’re supporting councils to build innovative infrastructure and make the most out of recycled materials as we continue to build a strong circular economy for Victoria,” Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.
“Victoria is leading the way in giving new life to old rubbish – transforming plastic into roads and glass into footpaths.”
Alex Fraser managing director Peter Murphy told greenroads the grant will boost industry and local government investment in a circular economy for the state.
“Recycling only works when there is access to market for recycled products,” he said. “If this Sustainability Infrastructure Grants program helps more local governments to make greener choices it can only be a good thing.”
The state government previously supplied $4.5 million to develop and use recycled products through its Research, Development and Demonstration program.
In 2018, a $200,000 grant under this program led to the development of an environmentally friendly concrete using recycled plastics and crumb rubber. The project involved Boral, the Victorian Government, the City of Whitehorse and RMIT University.
The recycled concrete mix is ready to be used on a new footpath in Ailsa Street, Box Hill South this month.
“This new local footpath demonstrates the role local ingenuity will play as we transition to a circular economy,” Member for Burwood Will Fowles said. “Our local community has demanded action on recycling and the Victorian Government is delivering.”
Alpine resort management boards have long been encouraged to recycle aggregates for infrastructure projects rather than trucking in virgin materials from quarries up to hundreds of kilometres away. In 2013, Quarry visited the Mount Hotham Alpine National Park to see a car park blasted and the recycled aggregate later used for a pipeline replacement project and to expand and resurface the same car park for the ski season.