A $1million funding package is available to Victoria’s recycling industry to help it make the transition to new market conditions after China’s decision to stop imports of low-quality mixed recyclables.
The program is part of a $13million State Government package for councils and industry to support the ongoing kerbside collection of household recyclable waste.
Sustainability Victoria CEO, Stan Krpan, said grants of between $50,000 and $500,000 were available on a 1:1 funding ratio to Victorian-based projects that recover, handle and process plastics, paper and cardboard waste.
“The Recycling Industry Transition Support grants will help to fast-track development of new infrastructure that improves the quality of recovered plastics, paper and cardboard,” Mr Krpan said.
To ensure an ongoing recycling service to Victorians, funding is open to companies that recover and reprocess plastics, paper and cardboard. Work must be completed within one year of contract signing with Sustainability Victoria.
Funding will be available for:
- Infrastructure, equipment and process upgrades at Material Recovery Facilities to support greater sorting of paper and plastic
- Infrastructure and equipment upgrades to process paper, cardboard and rigid plastic (wash, granulate, pelletise) to allow material to be used by domestic manufacturers and allow for re-entry to export markets
- Storage and consolidation infrastructure (sheds/shipping containers/temporary cover) to allow for the short-term safe storage of recovered paper, cardboard and plastic while processing capacity and/or end markets is developed.
Applications for the first round of Recycling Industry Transition Support grants close 8 May 2018. Contact Sustainability Victoria for more information on 1300 363 744.
Door open for big, new, initiatives
Mr Krpan said project proposals for work costing more than $1m would also be considered as Victoria had many opportunities to expand its recycling sector.
“If there are projects that exceed the million-dollar funding envelope, we also want to hear about them.”
"China’s policy change is serious, but it gives us an opportunity to more quickly expand our reprocessing capacity and improve the quality of the end-product so it can be made into new products.
“In the 2015/16 financial year, councils collected 590,000 tonnes of recyclables and recycled 95 percent of this was recycled, but with a growing population we need to look for ways to recycle a greater range of products, not just from households, but across the wider community.”
“We can build on Victoria’s long-established recycling and re-processing sector which already provides the raw material for paper and cardboard, many types of plastic, metal and glass products, but there are many other opportunities.”
“Boardrooms and investors are also looking for commercial projects that demonstrate their sustainability credentials and reduce risks in their supply chains.”
“Despite the current market volatility, smart, responsible investment and the ongoing maturation of our resource recovery sector and emerging markets for our waste, we should look forward with confidence,” Mr Krpan said.
Businesses of all types can also access a variety of Sustainability Victoria grants to help reduce waste produced or more effectively process it by upgrading a plant or improving energy efficiency.