$4.7 million to boost food and garden waste recycling and research in NSW.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Director Circular Economy Programs Kathy Giunta said the latest boost comes on top of the tens of millions of dollars already invested by the state government.
Thousands more NSW households will be able to recycle their food and garden waste at the kerbside and more support is being provided to commercial waste operators for R & D into alternative waste treatments.
NSW is leading the way in avoiding and recycling food waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with $3.67 million being awarded to 9 projects to support new collections and increased processing capacity,” Ms Giunta said.
Grants include $1 million to Veolia to upgrade its Woodlawn Facility to process 30,000 tonnes of source-separated food and garden waste, and trials for food-only collections in residential units in Parramatta and Wollongong.
New or expanded kerbside collection services for food and garden organics – FOGO – will also be rolled out in the Randwick, Tamworth, Hay, Murray River, Cootamundra and Federation council areas. These new services will divert organics waste from landfill and reduce methane emissions. They also enable a valuable resource to be professionally processed into compost to provide further benefits by boosting local soil.”
Ms Giunta said building on the $105.5 million food and garden waste program funded through the Waste Less Recycle More (WLRM) program over the past seven years, these grants mean 50 councils in NSW have now been supported to divert almost 200,000 tonnes of organics waste from landfill each year, reducing an estimated 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e).
The funding is part of a $24 million Alternative Waste Technology (AWT) Transition Package, announced in March 2020 to support AWT processors and local councils transition from mixed waste recycling to source separated organics. It also includes a remaining $3.5 million from the WLRM Organics Infrastructure Fund. The grants are administered by the NSW Environmental Trust in partnership with the Environment Protection Authority.
Ms Giunta said these new kerbside services and additional processing capacity support the NSW commitment under the Net Zero Plan Stage 1 for net zero emissions from organics waste in landfill by 2030.
Three companies have been awarded a total of $1.04 million to conduct five projects under the AWT Research & Development program to invest in creating alternative products from the waste stream.
The three companies – Suez Recycling, Veolia Environmental Services and Global Renewables Eastern Creek will work on projects to scale up prototype equipment, trial materials in brick creation, trial the replacement of virgin mine rehabilitation products and conduct a feasibility study into food and garden organics processing,” Ms Giunta said.