Glass waste recycled for kitchen counters

glass recycling

The West Nowra Waste and Recycling Depot will be the first of its kind in Australia to recycle glass waste and textiles into green ceramics.

A $1 million Microfactorie at the depot is being supported through the national Recycling Modernisation Fund.

Sussan Ley, Federal Minister for the Environment said the Microfactorie will be the first local government facility of its kind in Australia to recycle waste such as mattresses and glass into green ceramics in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra.

“Shoalhaven City Council has bolstered its reputation as an early adopter of innovative and scalable waste solutions in its decision to partner with the University of NSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Centre (SMaRT Centre),” Ley said.

“This innovative project will use science-based waste solutions to manage local waste.The learnings from the Microfactorie will be shared with other local councils around Australia through the government’s National Environmental Science Program’s Waste Hub.”

The green ceramics produced here will be used as kitchen benches, tabletops, tiles, furnishings and other applications in council construction projects around the region.

Jim Molan, Senator for New South Wales, said Shoalhaven City Council will also re-manufacture 42 tonnes of plastics into products such as filament for 3D printing purposes and keep 968 tonnes of glass and waste textiles including mattresses out of landfill every year.

“This innovative project is not just good for the environment, it will be good for local jobs, and it will be good for the local economy,” Molan said.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at UNSW which developed the Microfactorie technology, said recovering materials from waste has a big role to play in a sustainable.

Construction of the microfactories is expected to start in early 2022.

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