Recycling boom generates jobs, transforms road infrastructure

Victoria’s domestic glass recycling capacity is expected to double while plastic recycling will increase by 40 per cent following major government investments.

This move is expected to create 350 jobs.

Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, represented by Senator for Victoria Jane Hume, and Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, recently announced $8.1 million in first round funding for seven glass and plastics projects under a joint $46 million recycling infrastructure initiative.

“The projects are the first tranche of a $46 million co-investment between the two governments under the Morrison Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund,” said Ley.

“The Morrison Government is transforming Australia’s waste and recycling industry and I congratulate Victoria for its role in what will be a $1 billion transformation of Australia’s recycling industry.

“We are stimulating the economy by co-investing with states and with industry as we phase in bans on the export of waste plastics, paper, glass and tyres to protect the environment.”

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the new infrastructure and sorting technology will massively increase Victoria’s recycling capacity.

These seven projects, according to D’Ambrosio, will redirect 205,000 tonnes of glass and 23,000 tonnes of plastic out of landfill every year.

“It means more jars, bottles and fibreglass made of recycled glass and plastic, which will also be used to build new roads and footpaths throughout Victoria,” she said.

“Our investment in this new infrastructure is a big step in the right direction, generating more local jobs and new value from what would otherwise be waste.”

Senator for Victoria, Jane Hume, said that the projects would support both metropolitan and regional Victoria.

“This is an important partnership between the Commonwealth, States and the private sector, and one that will deliver a welcomed and significant boost to the Victorian economy,” said Hume.

The projects include a new metropolitan processing plant that will accept 140,000 tonnes of glass each year, a regional facility to separate glass kerbside co-mingled material and equipment to produce a new patented system for concrete slab foundations made from 100 per cent recycled plastic (processing 1,655 tonnes of plastic each year).

A further $38 million of RMF co-funding with Victoria will be available through a new round under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund (RVIF) which will open for applications on 22 March 2021 and close on 7 May 2021.

The Recycling Modernisation Fund is part of the Australian Government’s $1 billion transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling industries.

The Victorian Government will distribute the funding through the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, a key initiative of the Victorian Government’s ground-breaking $380 million Recycling Victoria policy, which is expanding Victoria’s capacity to recover quality materials for reuse.

The $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund investment, and measures to support Australia’s National Waste Policy Action Plan, will reportedly create approximately 10,000 new jobs all around Australia over the next ten years. Additionally, 10 million tonnes of waste will no longer go to landfill.