26 September 2023

New recycling plan for food and old materials

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Canberrans keen on composting and recycling are to have more opportunities to do so with a new large-scale composting facility and another recycling facility to be built in the Territory.

Announced by the Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, and Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, the large-scale Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) facility and new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) are to be co-funded by the ACT and Commonwealth Governments.

Mr Steel said the FOGO facility would provide capacity to process 50,000 tonnes of organic material per year, equivalent to the weight of 30,000 cars.

“This new facility is a central part of our plans to build our circular economy – turning food waste into valuable compost that can be used to improve the soils of our whole region,” Mr Steel said.

“Large scale composting infrastructure is essential to enable FOGO collections to be expanded to every household in the ACT,” he said.

“Once built, Canberran’s food and garden waste will be collected in their green bin and recycled into nutrient-rich compost, cutting waste emissions by up to 30 per cent.”

Mr Steel said a new MRF would be built at Hume instead of upgrading the existing facility.

“Building a brand new modern MRF facility, adjacent to the old facility, will ensure the ACT has an entirely new state of the art recycling infrastructure as our region grows,” the Minister said.

“It will improve safety and avoid the need to close the existing MRF during construction,” he said.

“New technology at the new plant will deliver the capacity to sort, separate, and process materials for the whole Canberra region, creating higher quality resources with higher value uses including remanufacturing.”

Mr Steel said the ACT would seek industry partners to design, construct, maintain and operate the new FOGO and MRF facilities with the first approach to market set for later this year.

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