The Queensland Government is investing nearly $27 million into recycling projects through the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program.
According to State Treasurer Cameron Dick, the funding will see more than 957,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill each year, and result in $126 million in additional capital investment from industry.
“By reusing materials, the resource recovery industry directly contributes at least $830 million to the Queensland economy – turning rubbish into economic prosperity and jobs,” Dick said.
“This funding will support the creation of 303 new jobs in Queensland – and that’s just the start of the economic benefit.”
Dick made the announcement at Enviro Sand, a Wacol-based glass recycler that will create 11 new jobs while turning nearly 45,000 tonnes of glass that would otherwise have gone to landfill into environmentally-friendly sand products for the construction industry.
The state government has awarded Enviro Sand $1.2 million through the program.
Enviro Sand Chairman Jim McKnoulty said more than 60 per cent of the world’s glass waste ends up in landfill, representing one of the waste industry’s biggest unsolved problems.
“Our recycled glass sands can be used in road surfacing, pool filtration systems, countertops and furniture,” he said.
McKnoulty added that using glass sand instead of quarry sand reduces the workplace risk of Silicosis by 90 per cent.
“This new $3.4 million project will allow us to increase our production capacity to meet the demand for this product,” he said.
State Development Minister Kate Jones said investing resource recovery initiatives makes sense economically and environmentally.
“Each year, our investment in the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program diverts 1.3 million tonnes of waste from landfill, creating over 360 jobs and reducing total landfill by 11 per cent,” she said.
“We have a real opportunity to push this industry forward and seize the employment opportunities associated with the resource recovery industry as we unite and recover.”
Additional funding recipients include ResourceCo, which received $8 million, Downer EDI Works, which received $2.5 million and Veolia Environmental Service Australia, which received $500,000.