Western Sydney’s recycling innovation

Media release

27 September 2019

Australia’s historic infrastructure boom and a range of exciting new technologies hold important keys to the future of our recycling economy.

Today I had the opportunity to visit two innovative and very different recycling businesses in western Sydney as the Morrison Government continues to work with industry leaders to reduce waste and create jobs by growing our recycling and remanufacturing capacity.

Cleanaway ResourceCo in Wetherill Park is playing an important role in developing Australia’s circular economy. It uses dry, non-recyclable waste from Australia’s construction sites, previously destined for landfill, to produce energy, while at the same time repurposing waste aggregate to fuel Australia’s infrastructure boom.

The Morrison Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has played a key role in supporting the technology, with the plant having processed more than 100,000 tonnes of waste otherwise destined for landfill.

Importantly, the plant is providing raw materials that can help support the nation’s infrastructure agenda.

It will be critical to growing our recycling capacity that we also grow more and more markets for high level recycled products.

One shining example is a world-first product made from hard-to-recycle and contaminated plastics that can replace coking coal in steel making.

Villawood Electronic Waste company TES is using technology developed at UNSW’s Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre, which I visited yesterday, to turn contaminated plastic waste such as old toner cartridges and spent toner into revolutionary ‘Vitakets’ that are being trialled within the furnaces of Newcastle-based global steel manufacturer Moly-Cop.

Minister for the Environment