The Federal Government is investing $14.9 million into nine recycling projects worth more than $40 million under Round 10 of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative.
Advanced Circular Polymers has been awarded $2 million to develop and commercialise an AI-enabled autonomous sorting system for plastic recycling, which could increase Australia’s recycling capacity by 42,000 tonnes each year.
Additional recipients include Bioelektra Australia, which has developed a novel MSW processing solution that aims to transform waste biomass into hydrogen fuel and char/inorganic ash for potential exploitation by Cement Australia and the Ash Development Association of Australia in construction.
According to Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews, the projects will deliver significant benefits by improving Australia’s waste management capabilities, while also growing Australia’s capacity to generate high value recycled commodities.
“By strategically investing in our waste management and recycling sector, we’re supporting Australian manufacturers to develop and commercialise cutting-edge technology that creates opportunities for new jobs and exports,” she said.
“We know strong collaboration between industry and researchers is key to creating a resilient, competitive and highly skilled manufacturing sector and that’s exactly what these CRC-P grants are going to do.”
Environment Minister Sussan Ley said that with the passing of the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, there has never been a more important time to support innovation in recycling technology and infrastructure.
“The first ever national waste and recycling legislation, and the development of new technologies will take us a step further to realising the full value of our waste, rather than losing that value to landfill,” she said.
Ley added that cutting-edge recycling technology is critical to building the waste and recycling industry’s capacity and creating new markets for recycled materials.
“This CRC support for remanufacturing and product innovation, along with our investments in new infrastructure through the Recycling Modernisation Fund, are key to reaching our national target of an 80 per cent recovery rate across all waste streams by 2030,” she said.
This round of funded projects will leverage a further $25.2 million of cash and in-kind contributions from 46 project partners.
The projects involve 32 Australian companies, including 27 small and medium businesses. Of the companies, approximately 20 per cent are located in regional areas.