The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to invest in 23 new or expanded recycling factories by 2025 to meet the state’s needs and ensure high recycling rates.
More than 70 officers will join Victoria’s new Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate to reduce waste crime. It is the largest recruitment of specialists in the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) history.
It’s taken 10 months of public consultation, referral to other agencies, technical assessment of the application and research for Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) to grant a Works Approval (WA) for the construction of a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling plant in Hazelwood North.
A bold plan to recycle more reusable material from metal recycling is behind the $50 million investment in the first of 11 global resource renewal facilities to be built in Campbellfield Victoria, by Sims Resource Renewal, a division of Sims Limited.
Victorian infrastructure projects which use recycled materials and create local jobs are being boosted by $2.6 million Sustainable Infrastructure Fund grants. Local Victorian governments are expected to spend more than $8 billion on infrastructure projects over the next three years, presenting a significant opportunity to increase their use of recycled materials.
Grants of up to $300,000 are now open to local councils and alpine resort management boards to use recycled materials such as glass, paper, cardboard, plastics and rubber to build new infrastructure including roads, footpaths, outdoor park equipment, drainages and cycleways.
The grants are supported by the Government’s previous $4.5 million investment in the development and use of new recycled products through the Research, Development and Demonstration program – increasing the uptake of recycled products, improving market confidence and demand, and supporting innovation.
The Sustainable Infrastructure Fund supports the Victorian Government’s circular economy policy and 10-year action plan, Recycling Victoria.
Recycling Victoria will invest more than $300 million to:
- transform its recycling sector
- reduce waste
- create thousands of jobs
- set Victoria up for a more sustainable future
Grants in action
When the minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio launched the fund, she cited a $200,000 Research, Development and Demonstration Grant which had been awarded in October 2018. The project was a partnership between the Government, Boral, City of Whitehorse and RMIT University which developed an environmentally friendly concrete mix by utilising recycled plastics and crumb rubber.
As a result, the concrete mix will be used for a new footpath in Ailsa Street, Box Hill South in late August.
Grant applications for this round of funding close 3 pm, 8 October 2020.
This is the first of three funding rounds. Round 2 is planned for an October release and round 3 in January 2021.
Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) and community groups have urged the Victorian government to immediately revoke its delay of the state’s Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018, due to come into force on July 1 this year, but placed on hold potentially until December 2021.
A joint venture between Pact Group Holdings, Cleanaway Waste Management and Asahi Beverages, badged Circular Plastics Australia (PET) is set to build a recycling facility in Albury/Wodonga. It will create dozens of direct jobs when construction starts in coming months.
The 1,000th McDonald’s fast food restaurant will open in Melton South in Victoria at the end of the year using recycled material throughout the building including infrastructure and furnishings.
McDonald’s Australia senior director of development Josh Bannister, said it was the company’s first local sustainability flagship.
“The Melton South restaurant will play a vital role in allowing us to continue to test, evaluate and implement industry-leading sustainable innovations,” he said.
There will also be 100 per cent renewable energy used in the restaurant thanks to solar energy panel installed on the roof. The restaurant will include a waste sorting bin for greater recycling and diversion from landfill.
Cutlery offered to customers will all be fibre based including stirrers and straws following its commitment earlier this year to help reduce plastic use and waste.
The franchisee of the 1,000th restaurant, Ben Westover, has been an operator of McDonald’s restaurants for more than a decade and said he was excited to open the new store.
Sustainability Victoria has launched its new online directory, Buy Recycled, which features local Victorian products containing recycled content.
The tool is designed to provide government buyers with easy access to suppliers and recycled material options when considering products for purchasing and infrastructure projects.
Products listed in the directory include:
- piping and irrigation
- road base
According to Sustainability Victoria, it’s increasingly important for government to consider the environmental impact of purchasing and infrastructure activities. Buy Recycled aims to provide buyers with options to achieve positive environmental outcomes and support organisational sustainability goals.
The Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework requires government buyers to consider opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes in every procurement activity. Where appropriate, this includes sustainable material choices and buying products made from recycled content.
This directory is designed to state and local governments to consider environmental sustainability principles when making decisions about purchasing goods for public construction and infrastructure.
As COVID medical waste emerges as a growing issue, a Victorian manufacturer has risen to the challenge of making personal protective equipment (PPE), which until now was only available from overseas.