RMF agreement to deliver $174M boost to WA recycling industry

The Federal and Western Australian Governments have announced $70 million in joint funding that will drive a more than $174 million recycling boom for the state.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley, Assistant Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Minister Trevor Evans, and WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced the funding under the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) program earlier this week.

According to Ley, $20 million from the RMF and $15 million from the state government will leverage investments across eight new projects processing approximately 140,000 tonnes of Western Australian plastic and tyre waste every year.

A further $15 million from the RMF and $15 million from the WA state government will go towards tackling 100,000 tonnes of waste paper and cardboard at a new $86.6 million Suez Recycling and Recovery/Auswaste pulp mill in Perth.

The plant is expected to be operational before the export ban on mixed paper comes into effect 1 July 2024, and to provide local processing capacity for all the mixed paper and cardboard waste currently exported from Western Australia.

“Government is working together with industry to turbo charge the recycling industry in WA and deliver transformational change,” Ley said.

Evans added that the RMF partnership will leverage a further $104 million dollars from industry.

“We are increasingly recognising our waste as a valuable resource that can create jobs, spark innovation, and deliver strong environmental outcomes,” he said.

“This is particularly the case when we use our waste resources to make valuable new products and close the loop on recycling by buying products that contain recycled content.

“Every Western Australian has a role to play in achieving this.”

Plastics and tyre projects announced include:

• A joint venture between Pact Group Holdings and Cleanaway that will receive over $9.5 million for a plastics reprocessing facility in eastern Perth. The facility will process plastic waste into high quality flakes that can be used to make food grade and non food grade recycled resin. The facility will process 17,000 tonnes of waste plastic each year.

• Chairay Sustainable Plastic Company will receive over $5.6 million for the construction of a new 15,000 tonne per year plastics reprocessing plant and 6000 tonne per year sorting line in the Perth metropolitan region to recycle polyolefin and polyester plastics.

• D&M Waste Management will receive over $800,000 to recover HDPE and PET waste plastics in Kwinana and HDPE in Karratha. The HDPE will be used to manufacture corrugated HDPE drainage pipes. The new facilities will process between 1500 and 2500 tonnes of waste plastics per year.

• A joint venture between Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation and Tyrecycle based in Port Hedland will receive over $6.9 million to recycle mining tyres in the Pilbara Region. The plant will process at least 27,000 tonnes of waste tyres each year.

• Tyrecycle will receive almost $5.2 million to invest in equipment that has the capacity to produce 42,000 tonnes of tyre shred and 3000 tonnes of tyre crumb each year in the Perth metropolitan region.

• Complete Tyre Solutions, a Western Australian owned corporation, will receive $3.5 million to establish a turnkey tyre recycling plant to process waste tyres including car, truck, construction and off the road tyres, into 3mm crumb rubber for use in local road building. The annual processing capacity of the project is more than 9000 tonnes.

• Another Western Australian-owned business 4M Waste will receive more than $2.9 million to expand its operations at a new site to allow recycling of up to 12,000 tonnes of used tyres annually as a crumb rubber product for road construction.

• $357,867 will be provided to Elan Energy Matrix for a high-capacity shredder to use in a process line to turn tyres into products such as oil, carbon char and milled steel using thermal processing technology. The Welshpool facility proposes to increase recycled waste tyres by 40 per cent, raising the existing recycling capacity from 5000 to a total of 7000 waste tyres per day.

Funding for these projects is subject to satisfactory financial due diligence and entering into a funding agreement.

Dawson congratulated innovative local businesses for seizing a “transformational opportunity” for Western Australia.

“It’s fantastic to see industry stepping up to the challenges of processing and recovering valuable products from the wastes we produce,” he said.

“These initiatives are just the start of more and more Western Australian businesses embracing waste as a resource instead of a problem.”

Dawson added that the Western Australian Government remains committed to awarding $5 million in industrial zoned land in the future.

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