In the face of supply chain disruptions, Waste Management Review explores how onshore processing and local manufacturing will play an increasing role in building a resilient waste sector.
The Federal Government is calling on small and medium businesses to develop innovative solutions for Australia’s environmental challenges, with $12 million in funding available through the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII).
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.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews have visited Downer and CDEnviro’s processing facility and asphalt plant.
During the visit, the Federal Government announced it would commit $20 million to grow Australia’s domestic recycling industry.
Downer Reconomy General Manager Jim Appleby said while visiting the facility, Mr Morrison highlighted the government’s support for recycling infrastructure, research and development and positive purchasing.
“It’s amazing to hear the government talking about turbocharging the recycling sector,” Mr Appleby said.
“We are really proud of this facility and how it’s transforming the way Australia sees waste, so it was great to demonstrate this to our Prime Minister and our Industry, Science and Technology Minister.”
Mr Appleby said Mr Morrison highlighted Downer’s sustainable Reconophalt asphalt product as innovative recycling.
“The Reconomy facility in Rosehill Sydney features state-of-the-art street sweeping recycling technology from waste management solutions company CDEnviro,” Mr Appleby said.
“There’s recycling and then there’s revolutionary recycling, and we want to demonstrate that revolutionary recycling is what the world needs.”
The facility annually diverts more than 21,000 tonnes of waste from Sydney road construction projects.
“This material is then used in road construction and applied as asphalt to the road networks from where the material originated,” Mr Appleby said.
“Reconomy and CDEnviro share a purpose in championing sustainability and zero waste.”
The Federal Government has committed $20 million to innovative projects designed to grow Australia’s domestic recycling industry.
Funds are available through round eight of the Cooperative Research Centre grants program, which opened 13 August.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding was part of government’s commitment to work with the states and establish a timetable to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres.
“We are committed to protecting our nation’s environment while also building our capacity to turn recycling into products that people want and need,” Mr Morrison said.
“By engaging industry and researchers, we can make sure we’re seeing these changes introduced in a way that cuts costs for businesses and ultimately even creates jobs.”
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the funding would help create Australian jobs, while also reducing global plastic pollution.
According to Ms Andrews, recent figures suggest only 12 per cent of the 103 kilograms of plastic waste generated per person in Australia is recycled each year.
“This funding will strengthen Australia’s recycling industry and help us achieve higher recycling rates,” Ms Andrews said.
“Boosting our onshore plastic recycling industry has the potential to create over three times as many jobs as exporting our plastic waste, ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future.”
Applications close 24 September 2019.