A shift in business practices would support a significant increase in procurement of recyclables, writes Matt Genever, Director Resource Recovery at Sustainability Victoria.
Sustainability Victoria has opened applications for Research, Development and Demonstration Grants of up to $200,000 for projects that can increase the quality of recycled products sold in Victoria.
Businesses, local governments and researchers can apply for grants between $50,000 and $200,000 to help stimulate markets for products made from recovered resources.
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Projects that investigate one or more materials which have specific supply or demand side barriers which could be overcome with support from the government are encouraged to apply.
Concrete and brick, electronic waste, glass, organic material, paper and cardboard, plastics, rubber and textiles have all been identified as targeted materials for the grant.
The grants have been designed to support the industry in commercialising new products and processing approaches and to increase the end market uptake and demand for the targeted materials.
Successful applicants will have their projects matched dollar for dollar by the state government.
Previous research projects included alternative uses for glass fines and flexible plastics in construction and manufactured products, such as railway sleepers, plastics in concrete footpaths, glass in non-load bearing concrete and roof tiles made from glass waste.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said the grants would increase job creation, develop quality products for end markets and increase investment in products made from recovered resources.
“Recent shifts in the current international recycling in gives Victoria greater impetus to develop local markets for the products we can recycle,” Mr Krpan said.
“It is crucial such markets are developed so the value of recovered resources is realised.
“This funding provides industry the opportunity to develop and trial new or existing products and specifications that use significant and reliable quantities of targeted materials,” he said.
The program will also inform the industry of the possible opportunities to use recovered materials in manufacturing to support using products made from recycled content.
“Recycling is an increasingly important community issue, and we are committed to maximising the opportunities to support new markets that use significant and reliable volumes of priority materials,” Mr Krpan said.
“It’s also an opportunity for universities and industry to work together to develop practical solutions to an important, and costly, community issue, which will benefit us all.
For more information about applying for the grant, click here.