The Federal and ACT Government’s will deliver a $21 million upgrade to the ACT material recovery facility under the $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the upgrade would facilitate better separation and processing of paper, glass and plastic, and in turn, create higher quality recycled products.
“Our Recycling Modernisation Fund is turning waste into a product of value – no longer are we going to see rubbish as a problem that needs to be solved or put into the ground – but as an important resource,” she said.
According to Ley, the upgraded facility will have the capacity to improve the quality and marketability of 23,000 tonnes of paper and mixed cardboard, 1800 tonnes of mixed plastics and 14,000 tonnes of glass from the ACT and five regional NSW councils annually.
“Today’s announcement will also see the creation of around 100 direct and indirect jobs for the ACT and surrounding regions, which will deliver an economic lifeline to local economies,” she added.
Facility upgrades will include optical scanning equipment to identify and separate different types of plastics, better screening technology to reduce contamination in paper and cardboard recycling, and glass washing facilities to provide better quality crushed glass sand products.
Plastic washing and flaking facilities will also be developed to break washed plastic into small pieces and provide a clean product ready for local markets.
ACT Recycling and Waste Reduction Minister Chris Steel said both government’s were stepping up to take responsibility for waste and its impact on the environment, with investment in the latest technology to generate cleaner recycling in the ACT and Canberra region.
“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 remanufacturing,” he 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.”
Work is expected to begin later this year, with the upgrades conducted in stages and completion largely achieved in 2021–22.