Tech travels to rural NSW to transform attitudes to waste

Monday, 25 February, 2019

Tech travels to rural NSW to transform attitudes to waste

UNSW Sydney Professor Veena Sahajwalla is taking vital new recycling technology to rural NSW cities next week, stating that attitudes to waste need a shake-up. “Recycling is not just about getting rid of plastic bags or bottles,” Professor Sahajwalla said. “We need to rethink attitudes to all of the materials we discard and start to see them as resources, renewable resources, if we want to reduce mining of finite resources and extraction impacts. Micro-recycling can achieve all this by creating ongoing value from waste products.”

Professor Sahajwalla will join experts for workshops in Dubbo and Orange on 27 and 28 February to showcase waste technology developed at UNSW Sydney to local business leaders in a bid to enhance local manufacturing capability, reduce waste and build better economies and communities. The technology enables waste items such as glass and clothing to be reformed into building products and converts electronic waste such as phones into valuable metal alloys and plastic filament.

“As regional centres, Dubbo and Orange are vibrant with population growth. This, along with the desire to be at the forefront of resource recycling, makes them well suited to take a leadership role,” Professor Sahajwalla commented.

Organised by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) and hosted by AMGC NSW Director Michael Sharpe, the workshops strive to boost regional manufacturing capability to enhance economic and social outcomes.

Sharpe commented, “To resist tough globalised competition, we need to look at upgrading factory equipment with high-tech machines and developing the best customer experiences from products and services. Manufacturers need to accept changes and be ever vigilant to stay at the front of the pack. That is why we are doing these workshops in conjunction with the Industry Capability Network and other industry experts; to present options for local businesses to be more sustainable through the 2020s, how to integrate new technologies into manufacturing and enhance operations and deliver greater customer value.”

For further information on the Industry Capability Connect Workshops, visit

Image credit: © Kucera

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