The investment will help bridge the gap between metropolitan and regional recycling rates and provide regional Australia with the infrastructure to deal with certain types of waste that have been banned for export.
Under the Recycling Waste and Reduction Act 2020, the export of waste including plastics, glass, paper and tyres will be progressively banned over the next four years, coming into full effect on 1st July 2024. Instead, the waste will be processed for recovery and recycling onshore, supporting our local recycling industry and providing more green jobs.
The investment is part of the Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) and will be provided in addition to another 23 projects that have already been identified in regional and remote Australia for joint funding with state governments. The RMF aims to equip Australia’s waste and recycling industry for the additional 645,000 tonnes of waste that will require processing onshore each year when the export bans come into full effect.
A lack of infrastructure and logistical challenges make waste management and recycling in regional and remote parts of Australia difficult. According to a 2018 report by the Department of the Environment and Energy, approximately five per cent of Australian households do not have access to a kerbside garbage collection service and nine per cent do not have access to kerbside recycling.
“Regional and remote communities often face unique challenges but that doesn’t make recycling any less important, and it doesn’t change the fact that people want the chance to do the right thing for the environment,” Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said in a statement.
“We are prepared to invest in that opportunity through projects that provide local solutions to local problems, that increase local employment, provide economic benefit, and solve transport logistics complexities.”
The Australian Government is also working with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) to explore and develop waste collection partnerships in regional and remote areas, including potentially collaborating with product stewardship schemes.
Find out more about the Government's Recycling Modernisation Fund.