$111 million boost for South Australian recycling industry

South Australia’s recycling industry will receive its biggest ever investment, with eight new projects worth $111 million announced to build and modernise key infrastructure.

The projects include a $12 million paper and cardboard recycling plant in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, a $24 million material resource facility in the southern suburbs, and a new $19 million glass processing plant just outside of Gawler.

According to Environment Minister Sussan Ley, the projects will divert over 205,000 tonnes of waste resources back into the manufacturing, thanks to $35.3 million of joint state and Federal Government funding under the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF).

“These kinds of high-tech projects build the infrastructure that will power the circular economy in Australia, improving our ability to process our own waste and creating local jobs,” she said.

South Australian Environment Minister David Speirs joined Federal Assistant Waste Reduction Minister Trevor Evans at the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA) to announce the eight South Australian projects.

The new $12 million paper and cardboard recycling plant at NAWMA will process 40,000 tonnes of mixed waste paper and cardboard each year – a third more than the 30,000 tonnes South Australia currently exports each year for disposal overseas.

“The new $12 million processing plant here at NAWMA will guarantee waste which was originally destined for export can be converted to into new products, which is not only good for the environment but good for the economy,” Speirs said.

Evans added that the investment is a “great example” of collaboration between State and Federal Governments.

“A key aim of the RMF is to ensure that we have new recycling infrastructure operational in time for when the export bans are fully phased in by mid-2024, and I am delighted to say that South Australia will meet this goal,” Evans said.

“Recycling requires large and expensive facilities, however, there are significant benefits beyond creating new jobs. For example, recycled paper uses up to 90 per cent less water and 50 per cent less energy than making new paper from virgin materials.”

The announcement builds on $4.6 million in previous RMF co-investments by the South Australian Government and industry for seven recycling infrastructure projects recognised by the Federal Government through the RMF, bringing the total investment in South Australia to $115.6 million.

Full list of projects co-funded by Federal and South Australian Governments:

Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority: $7,920,000 for a paper and cardboard beneficiation plant that will be able to process more than 40,000 tonnes of fibre from paper and cardboard a year. Total project value: $12,000,000.

Orora Group: $8,000,000 to establish a glass beneficiation plant to recycle and produce high quality glass containers like wine bottles. Total project value: $18,816,000.

Advanced Plastics Recycling: $1,222,000 to increase the manufacturing capacity of recycling common waste plastic into durable materials like long-life decking, bollards and outdoor furniture. Total project value: $4,125,000.

Recycling Plastics Australia: $8,888,000 to improve their site and equipment at Kilburn to maximise mixed plastics sorting, grinding, washing and pelletising. Total project value: $25,000,000.

Southern Region Waste Resource Authority: $3,140,000 to equip state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility equipment at Seaford Heights to process kerbside recyclables from households in Adelaide’s Southern councils. Total project value: $24,378,083.

• Central Adelaide Waste and Recycling Authority: $4,110,000 to equip state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility equipment at Seaford Heights to process kerbside recyclables from households in Adelaide’s central metropolitan councils. Total project value: $23,199,551.

ResourceCo: $1,078,000 to build a plant to recover and produce glass fines used in the building industry. Total project value: $1,838,774.

TyreCycle: $962,000 to improve their tyre recycling plant in Lonsdale to deliver export quality products that comply with waste export bans on unprocessed tyres coming into effect in December this year. Total project value: $1,624,000.

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