Latest News, News, South Australia

Adelaide councils collaborate on construction of Material Recovery Facility

The City of Charles Sturt and the City of Port Adelaide Enfield are building a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) to process its kerbside recyclables.

The move to establish the MRF will enable the two councils to take control of management of the processing and disposal of their recyclable material, while adding value to the circular economy.

Located on land at Mill Court in Kilburn, which is currently owned by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, the MRF has an estimated cost of $12.8m to build, with costs shared equally between the two councils.

The MRF facility is set to be completed in early 2021.

In a combined report that was presented at the council meetings held by the councils in late August, both councils voted unanimously to establish the MRF.

The MRF will be jointly owned by both councils and operated through a local government regional subsidiary, established for this purpose.

Currently both councils outsource their recyclables processing to the private sector, which has limited how each council manages its waste.

City of Charles Sturt mayor, Angela Evans, said the new facility will enable both councils to directly demonstrate to ratepayers how it processes and sells recyclable materials.

“We can be more accountable to them about how their rates are spent, and where their recycling goes.

“The MRF will also have a direct impact on the local economy, as we have the opportunity to partner with local businesses to buy locally made recycled products, which in turn promotes the circular economy,” Evans said.

On reaching their decision, the councils undertook a detailed assessment of the proposed MRF option, and this was carefully weighed against the alternative of continuing to rely on the private sector to process recyclable material.

Work on detailed design, planning and environmental approvals will commence shortly, with the councils exploring opportunities to work with local recycling businesses to grow the circular economy through turning waste into usable commodities.

City of Port Adelaide Enfield mayor, Claire Boan, said there are significant environmental and economic benefits through managing recycling locally.

“Both our councils have a commitment to being more sustainable and accountable with our recycling, so the MRF facility will enable us to sort and process our recyclable waste such as plastic bags into asphalt for roads.

“This collaborative project between two neighbouring councils is part of our commitment to work together to find the best solutions to make improvements for our communities,” Boan said.