$111 million boost for SA recycling industry

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management

The Hon. David Speirs MP, South Australian Minister for Environment and Water

South Australia's recycling industry will receive its biggest ever investment with eight new projects worth $111 million announced today to build and modernise key infrastructure. The projects will create hundreds of jobs, thanks to $35.3 million of joint state and Australian Government funding under the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF).

This dramatically 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 cardboard 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 eight new projects are expected to create more than 500 jobs and will divert over 205,000 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," Minister 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 eight 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.

"The Marshall Liberal Government is proud to be working closely with the Morrison Government to deliver the most significant investment in South Australia's recycling industry ever seen to build key infrastructure projects creating up to 500 jobs across the state," Minister Speirs said.

"The eight projects which are worth $111 million will transform waste management in South Australia and improve our ability to process plastic, glass, paper, cardboard and tyres within the state. They will reinforce South Australia's position as a national leader when it comes to waste management.

"The new $12 million processing plant here at NAWMA will guarantee waste which was originally destined for export can be converted to into new products which is not only good for the environment but good for the economy."

Federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said the record investment is a great example of the Morrison Government working constructively with the Marshall Liberal Government to deliver for South Australians, their economy and the environment.

"A key aim of the Recycling Modernisation Fund is to ensure that we have new recycling infrastructure operational in time for when the export bans are fully phased in by mid-2024 and I am delighted to say that SA will meet this goal," Assistant Minister Evans said.

"Recycling requires large and expensive facilities however there are significant benefits beyond creating new jobs. For example, recycled paper uses up to 90% less water and 50 per cent less energy than making new paper from virgin materials.

"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."

Today's announcement is on top of $4.6 million in previous RMF co-investments by the South Australian Government and industry for seven other recycling infrastructure projects recognised by the Australian Government through the Recycling Modernisation Fund, bringing the total investment in South Australia to $115.6 million.

The Australian Government's $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund investment, and measures to support Australia's National Waste Policy Action Plan, will create approximately 10,000 new jobs all around Australia over the next ten years.

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