$115 million boost for SA recycling industry

South Australia’s recycling industry will receive investment with nine new projects worth $115 million to build and modernise key infrastructure.

This boosts the state’s ability to process waste in the wake of the bans on the export of unprocessed waste plastic, paper and cardboard, glass and tyres.

The projects include a $12 million waste paper and carboard recycling plant in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, a $24 million material resource facility in the southern suburbs and a new $19 million glass processing plant just outside of Gawler.

Federal Minister for Environment, Sussan Ley, said the nine new projects will create more than 550 jobs and will divert over 208,000 tonnes of waste resources back into the manufacturing of valuable new Australian made products.

“These kinds of high-tech projects build the infrastructure that will power the circular economy in Australia, improving our ability to process our own waste and creating local jobs,” Ley said. “By mid-2024 when Australia’s full waste export ban comes into effect, Australia will need to recycle 378,000 tonnes of mixed waste paper and cardboard each year – the same weight as a quarter of a million cars. Taking responsibility for our waste means meeting this challenge, and that is why the Morrison Government is driving a $1 billion transformation of our waste and recycling industry, including $190 million for a Recycling Modernisation Fund that will leverage over $600 million in total investment to turbocharge our waste and recycling industry’s infrastructure.”

South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, joined Federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, at the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA) to announce the nine South Australian projects.

“The new $12 million waste paper and cardboard recycling plant at NAWMA will process 40,000 tonnes of mixed waste paper and cardboard each year. That’s a third more than the 30,000 tonnes South Australia currently exports each year for disposal overseas,” Minister Speirs said.

“Recycling requires large and expensive facilities however there are significant benefits beyond creating new jobs. For example, recycled paper uses up to 90 per cent less water and 50 per cent less energy than making new paper from virgin materials,” Evans said. “Australia was the first country in the world to ban the export of its unprocessed waste for disposal overseas and we now lead the world in taking responsibility for our own waste,” Assistant Minister Evans said.