15 November 2023

Federal and NT government funding to divert more remote community waste to recycling

| Andrew McLaughlin
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recycling material

The Federal Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund will add an extra 1.3 million tonnes of processing capacity each year. Photo: File.

A joint $1.24 million investment by the Federal and Northern Territory governments will see four new waste recycling projects divert some 5700 tonnes of waste from landfill to recycling every year.

Apart from new jobs to be created during the construction and operation phases, the new facilities will process waste that once went to landfill including plastics, tyres, paper and cardboard, and glass, and turn them into new commodities such as irrigation pipe and rigid plastic produce bins.

The projects will address gaps in the Territory’s waste recycling capabilities including in the remote communities of Lajamanu, Laramba and Engawala, and are partly funded through the Federal Government’s wider Recycling Modernisation Fund.

The government says the Recycling Modernisation Fund will add an extra 1.3 million tonnes of processing capacity each year, will create more than 3000 jobs, and will add $1 billion to Australian recycling.

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Federal Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek said the federal government was committed to working with states and territories and industry to better manage waste in locations like regional and remote Northern Territory.

“We recognise there are challenges making it difficult to recycle, reuse and remanufacture waste in smaller and isolated communities, which have dispersed populations and where kerbside collection is not feasible,” she said.

“This investment in new and upgraded infrastructure is driving improved waste processing including in the remote communities of Lajamanu, Laramba and Engawala.

“Today’s announcement builds on recycling projects we’ve already funded in Yuelamu, Nyirripi, Willowra and Atitjere in the Central Desert region.”

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Territory Minister for Industry Nicole Manison said the NT was building a bigger and better circular economy across the Territory.

“We want to stop valuable material becoming landfill and instead reuse, recycle and remanufacture where it can be done,” she said.

“By working closely with industry and the Australian Government, the Territory Government is improving environmental outcomes and creating more green jobs by realising economic opportunities of a circular economy for the benefit of all Territorians.

“Supporting resource recovery initiatives like this create local jobs and new industries right across the Territory, all while benefitting the environment.”

Member for Solomon Luke Gosling added: “Our environment is our lifeline, and its health will determine our future. Our economies, our food production, our enjoyment of everyday life – all of this is dependent on what we do now.

“There’s nothing square about the circular economy and this investment is a win-win, keeping 5.7 tonnes out of landfill each year while contributing to innovation, growth and job creation in the Northern Territory.”

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