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Grants of $7m available to NSW businesses and councils for waste innovations

More than $7 million in grants has been made available to businesses, councils and not-for-profits to support innovation in the waste industry.

The NSW EPA announced the funding in June, which EPA executive director of waste operations and programs, Carmen Dwyer, said would help reshape the waste and recycling industry in the state.

“Previous grant recipients have diverted thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill and are continuing to take major strides forward in reshaping the way we deal with waste.

“We’re seeing crushed glass used to make roads, industrial plastic wrap made into park benches, and broken and discarded furniture made into new office furniture. These grants help to ensure NSW can continue to achieve strong results when it comes to reducing waste, reusing materials and recycling,” Dwyer said.

The funding is available under the Product Improvement Program and Circulate grant programs.

Under the Product Improvement Program, a total of $6.3m is available, through grants of up to $1m each, to fund innovative projects to provide new recycling solutions via infrastructure or research and development.

In 2018, Unilever received $500,000 under the Product Improvement Program to install new infrastructure at its North Rocks Factory that could include a minimum of 25 per cent recycled material in its personal and home care range.

In the Riverina region, Lockhart Shire Council received $221,850 to use crushed glass from its recycling facility to blend with gravel and create local roads.

Circulate grants are awarded to projects that prolong the life of resources or give materials a second life, keeping them out of landfill by scouting out opportunities for these materials to be reused in industrial or construction processes. $1.2m is available under this program until 2021, with individual grants of up to $150,000 available.

Under the Circulate program, Cross Connections Consulting received $150,000 to reprocess soft-plastic waste from local businesses into park benches, garden beds, and fencing.

The Winya Indigenous Furniture project received a $75,000 Circulate grant to transform broken and tossed out furniture into new office pieces.

“Investing in recycling is a no-brainer – it will stimulate local remanufacturing capacity and generate new industries and jobs,” Dwyer said.