The new Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) announced by the Federal Government will support recycling infrastructure for sorting, processing and remanufacturing materials.
Australia’s full waste export ban will be in place from mid-2024, which requires an additional 650,000 tonnes of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres to be recycled.
The RMF aims to combat this by futureproofing Australia’s waste and recycling industry, encouraging a circular economy by diverting recycling materials such as glass and plastic into road aggregates.
The Federal Government will invest $190 million into the RMF, with funding also being provided by state and territory governments.
It is expected that more than 10,000 jobs will emerge through the RMF, with over 10 million tonnes of waste to be diverted from landfill.
State and territory governments will be responsible for directed the funding to specific projects.
The Victorian Government is expecting the RMF to double the domestic glass recycling capacity in Victoria while creating 350 jobs.
A total of $8.1 million will be offered in first-round funding for seven glass and plastics projects that have been announced.
This includes a metropolitan processing plant that will accept 140,000 tonnes of glass per year and equipment to produce a patented system for concrete slab foundations using recycled plastic.
The Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the infrastructure and sorting technology upgrades provided will boost the state’s recycling capacity.
“Not only will these seven projects announced today create jobs, but they’ll redirect 205,000 tonnes of glass and 23,000 tonnes of plastic out of landfill every year – it’s a massive gamechanger,” she said.
“It means more jars, bottles and fibreglass made of recycled glass and plastic, which will also be used to build new roads and footpaths throughout Victoria.”
The Federal and Tasmanian Governments have announced an $11 million joint funding agreement for the state’s recycling industry.
The Federal Government will provide $5.5 million in grants through the fund.
The investment will utilise new technology to enable a circular economy through recycled materials.
A total of $16 million will be injected into Tasmania’s resource recovery industry through the NPA, according to Tasmanian Minister for Environment and Parks Roger Jaensch.
“This is a substantial investment in recycling in Tasmania that will help to grow the resource recovery sector and create a circular economy in Tasmania,” he said.
“Over the next four years the Tasmanian Government will provide up to $5.5 million in grants, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Australian Government through its $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund.”
The Federal Government will direct $20 million in funding to Western Australia, which is required to be matched or exceeded by industry investment, with combined total investment expected to be more than $60 million.
A total of $15 million will be attributed to local processing of tyres and plastics that are collected across the state, while $5 million to contribute to processing infrastructure.
“This commitment from the McGowan Government is not only good for the environment, it is good for WA jobs,” Acting Environment Minister Francis Logan said. “We know we can deliver three times more jobs when we recycle better.
“Analysis from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that in WA approximately 12,500 tonnes of plastics and 7000 tonnes of tyres would be captured as result of the export ban on certain wastes. This represents a huge opportunity for industry in WA.”
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The ACT’s Material Recovery Facility will receive a major upgrade through a $21 million partnership between the Federal and ACT Governments.
Upgrades include improved separation and processing of recycled materials, reduced contamination and better quality material sold to the market.
“When Canberrans put material in their yellow bin they should trust that it is sorted and processed locally so that it has as much value as possible for re-use and re-manufacturing,” ACT Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel said.
“These upgrades to our Materials Recovery Facility will deliver better separation of recycling streams such as paper, glass and plastic, reducing contamination rates and providing better quality recycled material.
“This is the local waste processing infrastructure that our region needs to be ready for the waste export ban, and so that we can effectively eliminate mixed plastics as a waste stream in the ACT.”