Recycling plans set to progress with strong community support

City of Newcastle

City of Newcastle’s plans to build a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre have been overwhelmingly endorsed by the community.

Ninety-eight per cent of residents surveyed indicated their support for the project during the first stage of community consultation.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle (CN) is committed to increasing its capabilities in recycling and reuse of materials.

“The Summerhill Waste Management Centre will play a key role in the region’s ability to address future NSW and Federal government targets on waste diversion and recycling,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Our Sustainable Waste Strategy, which is expected to be placed on public exhibition in coming months, focusses on increased diversion, circular economy and the co-location of waste assets in the Summerhill precinct, which will allow the contents of Newcastle’s red, yellow and green bins to be processed at the one location.

“The community has told us very clearly that they support measures to sustainably divert waste from landfill.

“Construction of the MRF at Summerhill, in addition to the planned garden and food organics facility, meets the expectations of our community and will help achieve our vision for a circular economy where recyclables can be processed and remanufactured into new products locally.

“As we move forward, the views of the community will continue to inform our approach for these important projects and our broader Sustainable Waste Strategy.”

CN is now preparing to call for tenders to design, construct and operate the MRF, which will allow plastics, paper, cardboard, glass and metals collected from kerbside recycling bins to be sorted at the Summerhill site. A separate tender will also be called for the collection of the city’s kerbside recyclable materials.

The MRF project received $5 million from the Federal and NSW Governments in August last year and is included in the adopted 2022/23 Budget as one of four city-shaping projects that will deliver key outcomes for the community.

Concept designs prepared by CN ensure the MRF is scalable to process up to 85,000 tonnes of recyclables per annum, creating a regional solution for recyclable materials from across the Hunter.

Recyclables collected from Newcastle households have been transported to the Central Coast since 2020 when the only MRF in the Hunter closed, affecting City of Newcastle and several other Hunter councils.

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