03/02/2021 - 15:00

$70 million for WA recycling projects

03/02/2021 - 15:00

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More of Western Australia’s recycling will be processed locally after the state and federal governments announced they would help fund nine recycling projects across WA.

$70 million for WA recycling projects
In March 2020, the national cabinet announced bans on exporting unprocessed plastic, paper, glass, and tyre waste. Photo: Suez

More of Western Australia’s recycling will be processed locally after the state and federal governments announced they would help fund nine recycling projects across the state, including giving Suez and AusWaste Recycling $30 million to establish a pulp mill.

A combined $70 million in funding has been awarded to the nine recycling projects, expected to create $174 million in investment.

A large portion of the funding – $15 million from the federal government’s $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund, and $15 million from the state government – will go towards an $86.6 million pulp mill to process paper and cardboard, run by global waste business Suez and Queensland-based export and logistics company AusWaste.

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

In a statement, the WA government said more than 60 jobs would be created by the project.

Suez vice-president (infrastructure) Craig Barker said he was pleased to receive the funding, which would develop local recycling solutions and create jobs.   

“The funding will be used to develop a new pulp mill with capacity to process up to 100,000 tonnes of waste paper and cardboard,” he said.

“The new facility would be another tool in meeting the growing need for Australia to manage its waste locally.”

Mr Barker said a decision on the location of the facility was yet to be made.

He confirmed Suez and AusWaste Recycling were taking an equity share in the project, pending meeting investment hurdles.

“We are partnering with AusWaste who has extensive experience marketing commodities into China and South-East Asian countries,” Mr Baker said.

“The Suez/AusWaste partnership brings Suez’s extensive project development and operating experience together with AusWaste’s commodity market knowledge.”

About $20 million from the federal government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and $15 million from the state government will help fund eight projects which will process 140,000 tonnes of plastic and tyre waste each year.

WA-based companies Complete Tyre Solutions, 4M Waste, D&M Waste Management, Elan Energy Matrix and Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation received about half of the funding awarded to plastic and tyre waste projects.

Complete Tyre Solutions, which has its head office in Success, will receive $3.5 million to establish a turnkey tyre recycling plant to process 9,000t of waste tyres a year into three millimetre crumb rubber for local road building.

Malaga-based 4M Waste will expand its operations at a new site to allow recycling of up to 12,000t of used tyres annually as a crumb rubber product for road construction with $2.9 million in funding.

The state and federal governments have given WA-based hard waste collection company D&M Waste Management $800,000 to recover HDPE and PET waste plastics in Kwinana and HPDE in Karratha.

The HDPE will be used to manufacture corrugated drainage pipes.  

About $360,000 will be provided to Welshpool-based 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 company proposed the equipment would increase its processing of recycled waste tyres by 40 per cent, raising its recycling capacity from 5,000 to a total of 7,000 waste tyres per day.

Elan Energy Matrix had a factory fire in December last year at its facility in Welshpool and is in the process of obtaining a temporary site.

Kariyarra – Tyrecycle, a joint venture between native title body corporate Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation and Victorian-based tyre recycler Tyrecycle – will receive $6.9 million to recycle tyres from mining equipment in the Pilbara region and sell the recycled material overseas. The plant is expected to process a minimum of 27,000t of waste per year.

Nearly $5.2 million was awarded to Tyrecycle for equipment to produce 43,000t of tyre shred and tyre crumb in the Perth metropolitan region.

Victoria-based plastic packaging manufacturer Pact Group Holdings and waste management company Cleanaway will receive $9.5 million to establish a plastics reprocessing facility to turn plastic waste into high-quality flake that can be used to make food grade and non-food grade recycled resin.

The two companies have worked together before and are constructing a PET recycling facility together in Albury. 

The WA facility is expected to be operational in the first half of 2022.

More than $5.6 million has been awarded to Queensland-based Chairay Sustainable Plastic Company for the construction of a new 15,000 tonnes-per-year plastic reprocessing plant and 6,000tpa sorting line in the Perth metro area to recycle polyolefin and polyester plastics.

State Environment Minister Stephen Dawson congratulated local businesses for seizing a transformational opportunity for WA.

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

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

Federal Environment Minister Susan Ley said these projects would help the environment, boost the WA economy and create around 200 jobs.

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

In March 2019, the national cabinet announced bans on exporting unprocessed plastic, paper, glass, and tyre waste. 

The bans are being introduced gradually, with unprocessed glass exports banned from January 1, 2021, through to the final paper ban from July 1 2024. 

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