Waste-derived products and wastes exports see strong May decline

In May, Australia exported about 312,000 tonnes of waste-derived products and wastes with a value of $198 million, representing a 22 per cent tonnage decrease and 21 per cent value decrease compared to the previous month. The exported quantity of tyres increased 44 per cent to 5,200 tonnes from 3,600 tonnes in April. Plastic waste …

Landmark recycling and waste legislation for Australia

Groundbreaking legislation, the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020, that will enable Australia take responsibility for its waste and establishes a national industry framework for recycling is being tabled in Parliament. The intent behind the Bill is the complete phase out the 645,000 tonnes of unprocessed plastic, paper, glass and tyres that Australia ships overseas each year. …

ACT transitions single-use plastic phase out

The ACT Government  will transition the phase out of certain single-use plastic following the recent tabling of the exposure draft of the Plastic Reduction Bill 2020. The Bill would also see the ACT become the first jurisdiction to declare public events single-use plastic free, with a focus on designated large-scale events, and in close consultation …

$10 million grants for NSW solar panel and battery storage

The NSW Government is investing $10 million to help improve environmental performance by diverting end-of-life solar panel systems from landfill, with the first round of grants now open.

Although current waste volumes are relatively low, this emerging waste stream is expected to rapidly increase over the next decade as installed systems reach their end-of-life.

Waste stream expected to grow

In NSW it is forecast that this waste stream could generate up to 10,000 tonnes per year by 2025 and up to 71,000 tonnes per year by 2035.

EPA Director Circular Economy Kathy Giunta said the investment in recycling through this Circular Solar grants program would help NSW meet its commitment of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

“While current amounts of waste are low, now is the time to invest in developing systems for collecting and recycling these valuable resources like scarce and rare metals, including lithium batteries.

“We want to recycle and re-use the materials in solar panels and battery systems as NSW transitions towards cleaner energy and this program is an important step in building a productive circular economy in NSW.

“It will see NSW well placed to manage waste solar systems over the coming years and will stimulate much needed job creation in the solar power and recycling sectors,” Giunta said.

The NSW Government is inviting Expressions of Interest for grants to run trial projects that increase the collection, reuse and recycling of solar panel and battery storage systems. Applications for projects that trial whole of supply chain approaches to collecting and reusing and/or recycling can be made until 17 September 2020.

$2 million is available in this funding round, with the remaining funding to be made available following evaluation of this EOI process.

For more information visit https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/infrastructure-fund/circular-solar-trials-expression-of-interest or email infrastructure.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au.