Joint media release: Big boost to regional Queensland’s recycling capacity

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
The Hon Steven Miles MP, Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development
The Hon Leanne Linard MP, Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef
Senator Nita Green, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef and Senator for Queensland

Over 68,000 tonnes of waste will be diverted from Queensland landfill every year thanks to Federal and Queensland Labor Governments together investing more than $13.3 million for 13 new recycling projects.

This investment will address gaps in Queensland’s waste recycling capabilities in regional communities, including Atherton, Moura, Mareeba and Thursday Island, in a boost for local economies.

In total, the 13 projects will support 147 construction jobs and create 83 ongoing positions.

The new infrastructure will sort, process and recycle glass, plastics, paper, tyres and cardboard into new products for use in agriculture, building and manufacturing.

Industry is playing its part and contributing an additional $39.7 million to these important projects.

The Albanese Labor Government’s $250 million Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) is turbocharging Australia’s circular economy so that when a product is no longer needed for its initial purpose, it is either reused, recycled or remanufactured.

Nationally, investments through the RMF will add over 1 million tonnes of processing capacity across the country every year, keeping valuable materials out of landfill while supporting new jobs.

Funding from the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund (QRMF) and Regional and Remote Recycling Modernisation Fund (RRRMF) improves waste processing and grows the recycling industry across Queensland.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek MP:

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to working with states and territories and industry to better manage waste in locations like regional and remote Queensland.

“We know that boosting recycling isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for jobs - for every 1 job in landfill there are three jobs in recycling.

“We also know people want to do the right thing and recycle their waste. This funding is supporting new recycling infrastructure as well as helping regional communities in Queensland recycle more of their waste.

“We want to better protect nature and reverse decline for our kids and grandkids – and that takes all levels of Government working together.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles MP:

“Together with the Australian Government, we are committed to supporting industry and local government projects that divert waste from landfill, reduce stockpiling and create jobs.

“Partnering with industry to advance sustainable recycling opportunities means these new projects are expected to create a total of 83 new recycling industry jobs once operational.

“Creating new jobs, projects and opportunities through grant funding such as this are a key focus, recently highlighted in the Queensland New Industry Development Strategy as an important industry needed to support decarbonisation.

“These projects are a great example of our move towards a circular economy, where as much valuable material as possible is diverted from landfill through reuse, recycling and remanufacturing.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard MP:

“Supporting resource recovery initiatives is crucial to sustaining the future of Queensland’s environment.

“This grant funding also boosts the state’s economy - it’s a win-win for Queensland.

“By supporting re-using, recycling and remanufacturing here in Queensland, it’ll help achieve our goal to divert 80 per cent of waste from landfill and hit 65 per cent recycling by 2030.

“It’s imperative that we find ways to avoid adding to landfill, and in turn, contribute to our net-zero emissions goals through better waste management. These new projects certainly tick these boxes.”

Quotes attributable Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Senator Nita Green:

“We recognise there are challenges making it difficult to recycle, reuse and remanufacture waste in our regional areas. Our investment will help communities to recycle more, no matter how small or isolated they may be.

“In addition to being great for the environment, these projects will support good local jobs in communities from Toowoomba to the Torres Strait.

“Our investment means more local jobs in regional Queensland, less rubbish in landfill and a healthier environment.”

For further information:

RRRMF and QRMF form part of the Queensland Resource Recovery Industries 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan and more announcements will follow.

For more information on the Recycling Modernisation Fund: Investing in Australia's waste and recycling infrastructure - DCCEEW

For more information on RRRMF: Regional and Remote Recycling Modernisation Fund | State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

For more information on QRMF: Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund | State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

Background – funded projects

Amdett Services and Plastic Recycling (D and P Papadimitriou), Horseshoe Lagoon – $102,971 for new equipment to improve the cleaning and separation process to increase the volume of plastic waste including irrigation fluming, agricultural waste as well as fertiliser bags and chemical drums. 

Banana Shire Council (and Solar Recovery Corporation), Callide – $3,372,585 to expand a new recycling precinct in Central Queensland to recover and recycle tyres, plastic and cardboard, recycle glass and other solar panel components in a region with a strong solar farm industry.

Banana Shire Council, Moura – $330,000 for a new waste transfer station at Moura which will separate and maximise recovery of primarily paper and cardboard, but also plastics and glass.

Farm Waste Recovery, Toowoomba - $1,534,650 for a plastics recycling facility that will produce saleable resin pellets and include a moulding/extrusion plant to manufacture new products from the recovered plastics. Feedstock plastics will include agriculture plastics – banana bunch bags, silage wraps and irrigation.

Global Fruit Protection, Mareeba – $1,080,195 to establish a recycling centre to clean and process waste into products used by banana growers.

Bundaberg Regional Council, Branyan - $500,000 to upgrade the existing Material Recovery Facility including the trommel system, a cardboard baler, and install a new shredder and wash plant to increase the value of processed plastics, as well as allow processing of low-grade plastics previously sent to landfill.

Carroll Engineering Services Pty Ltd - $500,000 for a new resource recovery facility that will process end-of-life tyres into rubber crumb principally used in bitumen for road construction and surfacing.

Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ), Torres Strait and Cape York - $312,500 to establish collection infrastructure to collect cardboard boxes and clear plastic pallet wrap from its stores and transport to a collection depot in Cairns for processing.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Nambour - $5,072,022 for a new Materials Recovery Facility that will increase processing capacity and recover paper and cardboard, plastics and glass.

Mackay Regional Council, Paget - $290,000 to upgrade the existing Material Recovery Facility with a new glass breaker and an upgrade to existing imploder and screens to enable the increased recovery of glass fines which are ending up as residual.

Mareeba Shire Council, Mareeba - $67,135 to upgrade the existing Mareeba transfer station with a baler, bins and pallet jack to more efficiently process recyclables collected from 10 small towns in the region.

Tablelands Regional Council, Atherton - $111,550 to upgrade the existing waste transfer station with a new cardboard/paper baler and new collection bins across other transfer stations to enable the separation of plastics.

Torres Shire Council, Thursday Island - $115,600 for a new community recycling program for the sorting of glass, paper, cardboard and plastics. Trailers will be placed at key areas to effectively enable a culture of recycling as part of everyday island life. Council will collect trailers weekly for processing at Horn and Thursday Island waste facilities and then transport to a collection depot in Cairns.