NSW EPA boosts circular economy with $7 million in grants

Monday, 17 June, 2019

NSW EPA boosts circular economy with $7 million in grants

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has pledged over $7 million in grants to boost NSW recycling rates and encourage innovation in the waste industry.

EPA Executive Director of Waste Operations and Programs Carmen Dwyer said, “These grants can help reshape our waste and recycling industry in NSW, which is undergoing significant change. Already, previous grant recipients have diverted thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill and are continuing to take major strides forward in reshaping the way we deal with waste. We’re seeing crushed glass used to make roads, industrial plastic wrap made into park benches, and broken and discarded furniture made into new office furniture,” she said.

Funded through the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative and run by the NSW EPA, the Product Improvement Program and Circulate grants are in place to stimulate local remanufacturing capacity and generate new industries and jobs.

Under the Product Improvement Program, a total of $6.3 million is available via grants of up to $1 million each. This funding aims to fund innovative new recycling solutions via infrastructure or research and development. In 2018, Unilever received $500,000 under the program to install new infrastructure at its North Rocks Factory, allowing a minimum of 25% recycled material to be included in its personal and home care range. In the Riverina region, Lockhart Shire Council has received $221,850 to use crushed glass from its recycling facility in a gravel mix to create local roads.

Circulate grants are awarded to projects that prolong the life of resources or give materials a second life, keeping them out of landfill by their re-use in industrial or construction processes. $1.2 million is available under this program until 2021, with individual grants of up to $150,000 available. Under this program, Cross Connections Consulting received $150,000 to reprocess soft plastic waste from local businesses into park benches, garden beds and fencing. The Winya Indigenous Furniture project received a $75,000 Circulate grant to transform broken and tossed out furniture into new office pieces.

The Product Improvement Program and Circulate grant programs are currently open to applications from businesses, councils and not-for-profit organisations. Click here for more information or to apply.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Ghen

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