Waste Management Review will be running a four-part series throughout April on conquering waste industry challenges amid COVID-19 and possible future opportunities. In this first part, we highlight a summary of support packages available to the sector across each jurisdiction and what industry groups are hoping to see going forward.
The NSW Government is calling on councils and industry groups to apply for more than $1 million in grants to tackle litter in their local area.
A total of $1.17 million – comprising $670,000 for round six of the Community Litter Grants and $500,000 for the inaugural Cigarette Butt Litter Prevention Grants – is available to councils, businesses and organisations.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said more than 200 projects have been funded under the program, with some recording up to 80 per cent litter reduction in their targeted hotspot.
“Cigarettes butts are consistently the most littered item in NSW every year. I look forward to seeing innovative projects to help reduce the millions of butts littered each year and by doing so, cleaning up our environment,” he said.
According to Mr Kean, the community grants can be used to fund a number of litter initiatives including community education and engagement, clean-ups, new bins, promoting programs aimed at addressing littering, and strengthening the capacity of environmental groups working in the sector.
“Our community groups and councils are fantastic partners to assist with tackling litter. It is local communities who know their litter hotspots and can develop practical and effective solutions,” he said.
Sustainability Victoria is offering grants of up to $50,000 to support organisations in Victoria to reduce packaging waste disposed in landfill.
According to a Sustainability Victoria statement, significant policy shifts in key markets for Victoria’s packaging waste have had a considerable, negative impact on the markets for these materials, primarily impacting plastics, paper and cardboard.
“The Investment Support Grants – Packaging will support small to medium sized enterprises, not-for-profits and social enterprises to overcome financial barriers associated with investing in projects that lead to packaging waste reduction, recovery and reuse,” the statement reads.
“To reduce the amount of packaging materials disposed of in landfill, we are supporting generators, recyclers and those that reuse packaging waste in Victoria to reduce waste generation, increase the quality and quantity of materials recovered and to grow demand for reuse.”
Eligible projects must be completed within 12 months, with a financial contribution ratio of 1:1.
The Federal Government has invested almost $20 million in a series of waste reduction and resource recovery projects, as part of round eight of the Cooperative Research Centre grants program.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the projects highlight the economic opportunities inherent in waste and recycling.
“Not only are these projects helping to ensure Australia has a more sustainable and prosperous future by reducing the impact of plastics on our environment, they are also opening further opportunities for new jobs,” she said.
“This funding will support Australian businesses and researchers as they forge new markets to limit the use of plastics and create recycled products.”
Among the grants is $2.9 million to develop a plant in Victoria that transforms plastic waste from the rectification work of hazardous building cladding into recycled shoes and prefabricated building elements.
“Once they reach the end of their life, the shoes and building products can again be recycled, showing the circular economy of waste and recycling,” Ms Andrews said.
“This project demonstrates an enormous opportunity from using the waste materials as a result of replacing hazardous building cladding.”
According to Environment Minister Sussan Ley, the grants underline the Federal Government’s commitment to growing Australia’s recycling capacity and ending problematic waste exports.
“We know from working with industry that there are some amazing ideas to build on, and these CRC-P grants help foster Australian innovation in what is a key area for our environment and our economy,” she said.
Other successful recipients include:
$3 million to create green micro-factories to turn recycled waste plastics into engineered products.
$2.7 million to transform plastic waste into lightweight prefabricated building products.
$2.5 million to develop a mobile plastic recycling container facility for remote and Indigenous communities.
$2.4 million to further test and develop a recycled plastic construction solution to be exported to global markets.
$1.9 million to grow the production of diesel from landfill waste.
$2 million to further develop technology that converts waste contaminated plastic into feedstock for remanufacturing plastic.
$1.8 million to scale-up patented bio-polymer technology, enabling the recycling of commingled and contaminated waste plastics without the need to sort the waste stream.
$650,000 to increase the re-use of HDPE plastic.
Applications for round nine of the CRC-P grants will open 13 February and close 19 March.
The City of Melbourne is offering grants worth $100,000 to projects aimed at waste reduction and growth in recycling capacity.
According to Lord Mayor Sally Capp, the City of Melbourne has this week reached an agreement to resume the processing of household recycling.
“The short-term arrangement to process household recycling was reached while Kordamentha seeks to finalise the sale of SKM,” Ms Capp said.
“We urge the community to continue separating their waste and recycling. It’s vital that general waste not be mixed in with recycling to ensure recycling services are sustainable and viable.”
To aid the transition, grants are available to groups located in the City of Melbourne that help reuse, recycle and divert waste from landfill.
“We’re looking for projects that could help reduce food waste, prevent litter or deliver local solutions to household waste,” Ms Capp said.
Grants up to $5000 are available for community groups, schools and non-profit organisations, while social enterprise startups and university researchers can accesses grants up to $25,000.
City of Melbourne Environment portfolio Chair Cathy Oke said it was important for council to support residents and community groups that are trying to avoid waste.
“Residents and businesses are overwhelmingly telling us they want reduce their environmental impact, and we want to respond to their goodwill,” Ms Oke said.
“Whether it’s home composting and using worm farms to reduce organic waste, or coming up with a solution for glass recycling, we can all have an impact.”
Applications close 16 October 2019.
The Western Australian government has announced a further $1.17 million in funding for projects that will support the state’s waste and recycling sector.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the latest round of funding supports the continued development of waste and recycling infrastructure in Western Australia, and reinforces government’s commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable environment.
“Waste is a priority issue for the state government, and we are committed to funding initiatives through the Community and Industry Engagement program,” Mr Dawson said.
“This program gives industry and community groups financial backing for projects that contribute to Western Australia becoming a sustainable, low-waste, circular economy.”
Projects to improve the recovery and reuse of glass, construction and demolition materials, food organics and garden organics, as well as those that encourage behaviour change, are encouraged to apply for a funding grant.
“I encourage the community to access this funding for initiatives that help reduce waste generation, divert waste from landfill and help educate the community and industry,” Mr Dawson said.
Past successful recipients include Green Machines Lab for a plastic reprocessing plant and Good Samaritan Industries for a cardboard recycler system that converts scrap cardboard into packaging material.
Grants are provided as part of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030, and will be made available through the Community and Industry Engagement program administered by the Waste Authority.
Applications 23 September.
EPA grants worth $22.3 million are now available to NSW councils, private industry and not-for-profit organisations to support the construction of new large scale recycling infrastructure.
Environment Department Acting Resource Recovery Director Amanda Kane said the Major Resource Recovery Infrastructure grants are part of the NSW EPA’s $802 million Waste Less Recycle More initiative.
“The funding is aimed at accelerating and stimulating investment in waste and recycling infrastructure, to help NSW reach its target of 75 per cent diversion of all waste from landfill by 2021,” Ms Kane said.
“The capital costs of major infrastructure can be a significant barrier to the construction of new recycling facilities. This grant seeks to attract investment in major resource recovery infrastructure by reducing the pay-back period on new facilities.”
Ms Kane said earlier program rounds had already provided $51 million to projects to receive and recycle a range of resources including timber, plastics, aggregates, rubber, glass and metals.
“This includes $5 million to ResourceCo for a new facility at Wetherill Park, to recover metals and timber to produce refuse-derived fuel for use in energy generation,” Ms Kane said.
“Boral Cement successfully secured a $4 million grant from the EPA to upgrade its plant at Berrima, and replace up to 20 per cent of the coal it uses to generate energy with refuse-derived fuel, including from ResourceCo, reducing coal use and emissions.”
According to Ms Kane, five facilities supported through the program are already increasing the state’s processing capacity by 340,000 tonnes a year.
“More than 500,000 tonnes of additional processing capacity is expected to come on line over the next two years as further projects are completed,” Ms Kane said.
Environmental Trust Director Grants Tina Bidese said the grants are funded by the Environmental Trust and delivered through a partnership between the trust and the NSW EPA.
“Working together, the trust and the EPA are offering a major opportunity for co-funded investment in infrastructure to recover more household and business waste,” Ms Bidese said.
“In doing so, we’re reducing the environmental impacts of waste in landfill, making the most of valuable resources and creating new jobs for the people of NSW.”
The EPA is hosting an information session in August 2019 to assist potential applicants.
Applications close 27 August 2019.
A total of $13.3 million in grants is now available to councils, waste companies and not-for-profit organisations to divert food and garden waste from landfill.
NSW EPA Head of Organics Amanda Kane said the Organics Infrastructure grants fall under the EPA’s $802 million Waste Less Recycle More initiative, which aims to establish wider organics recovery infrastructure.
“The grants support the purchase of a broad range of infrastructure and equipment to recycle food and garden waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill,” Ms Kane said.
“Through the grant program, $43 million has already been provided to fund 89 projects that have made a positive impact on local communities.”
Environmental Trust Director Grants Tina Bidese said funding would be delivered through a partnership between the EPA and the NSW Environmental Trust.
“Working together, the Environmental Trust and EPA are offering a major opportunity for matched investment in infrastructure to recover more food and garden waste,” Ms Bidese said.
“In doing so, we’re reducing the environmental impacts of organics waste in landfill and making the most of a valuable resource that can be recycled into compost, where it benefits soils and helps crops grow.”
Applications for five grant streams are available:
— Organics Processing Infrastructure: up to $3 million for new organics facilities or facility upgrades to process more food and garden waste.
— Onsite Business Recycling: up to $500,000 for infrastructure and equipment for on-site processing or pre-processing of source separated food and garden waste.
— Food Donation Infrastructure: up to $500,000 to not-for-profit organisations for equipment to collect, store and redistribute quality surplus food.
— Product Quality: up to $500,000 for equipment to improve recycled organics product quality.
— Transfer Stations: up to $500,000 for infrastructure to establish new or upgrade existing transfer stations to receive food and garden waste
The EPA is hosting two webinars 17 July 2019 to assist potential applicants.
Applications close 29 August 2019.
More than $2.29 million has been allocated between 28 projects for waste avoidance and recovery in Western Australia, as part of the latest round of Community and Industry Engagement grants.
Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, who announced the recipients earlier this week, said awarded projects were selected following an independent panel assessment of 90 applications.
“The community shift to treating waste as a resource shows we are well on our way to owning our impact,” Mr Dawson said.
“In our waste strategy released earlier this year, the state government was clear that we want at least 75 per cent of waste generated to be reused or recycled by 2030.”
Selected projects were broken up into two streams, with awards for the general stream including $93,000 for the Western Australia plastic processing plant and $81,450 for a Mindarie regional council FOGO trial.
Infrastructure stream grants include $114,000 for the reuse and recycle shop baler upgrade and $310,000 for the Old Quarry Road transfer station and reuse shop.
According to Mr Dawson, funding decisions were made to improve the recovery and reuse of focus materials from the WA Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 including plastic, glass, construction and demolition and FOGO.
“A number of grant recipients have received funding to develop WA’s plastics recycling capacity, including two grants to Greenbatch for reprocessing equipment and education facilities, and a grant to Precious Plastics Margaret River for a community recycling project in the south west,” Mr Dawson said.
Business, councils and not-for profits can access more than $7 million in grants to boost NSW recycling rates and encourage innovation in the waste industry, the NSW EPA has announced.
EPA Executive Director Waste Operations Carmen Dwyer said Product Improvement Program and Circulate grant programs are both open for applications.
“These grants can help reshape our waste and recycling industry in NSW, which is undergoing significant change,” Ms Dwyer said.
“Previous grant recipients have already diverted thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill, and are continuing to take major strides forward in reshaping the way we deal with waste.”
A total of $6.3 million is available under the Product Improvement Program, through grants up to $1 million each, to fund innovative projects and provide new recycling solutions via infrastructure or research and development.
In 2018, Unilever received $500,000 under the Product Improvement Program to install new infrastructure at its North Rocks Factory and include a minimum of 25 per cent recycled material in its personal and home care range.
Circulate grants are awarded to projects that prolong or give second life to resources and material via reuse in industrial or construction processes. $1.2 million is available under this program until 2021, with individual grants of up to $150,000.
Under the Circulate program, Cross Connections Consulting received $150,000 to reprocess soft-plastic waste from local businesses into park benches, garden beds, and fencing.
“These grants help to ensure NSW can continue to achieve strong results when it comes to reducing waste, reusing materials and recycling,” Ms Dwyer said.
“Investing in recycling is a no-brainer – it will stimulate local remanufacturing capacity and generate new industries and jobs.”
Both programs are funded through the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, run by the NSW EPA.