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Federal recycling overhaul to benefit ACT

The ACT Government is hopeful recent recycling funding commitments from the Federal Government will generate local jobs and build waste management infrastructure in the Territory.

The Federal Government announced the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) on Monday, which includes a commitment of $190 million for new recycling infrastructure nationally.

The initiative also requires $190 million in funding committed collectively from the States and Territories.

ACT Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction, Chris Steel, said the ACT Government was still in discussion with the Commonwealth Government about ACT-specific initiatives.

“We have identified the need for investment in new infrastructure to improve sorting, processing and remanufacturing of materials such as mixed plastics, paper, tyres and glass,” Mr Steel said.

An additional $59.6 million was committed by the Federal Government, with $35 million funding commitments made under the National Waste Policy Action Plan, and $24.6 million spent on improving national waste data to determine recycling targets are met.

The initiative is estimated to divert 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill and create 10,000 jobs.

Mr Steel said it was still unclear how many of those jobs would be created locally.

“This will support improved recycling outcomes, encourage local businesses to use recycled materials, provide local job opportunities and support the generation of thriving regional industries,” he said.

“The ACT Government is in discussion with the Commonwealth Government about opportunities for ACT-specific initiatives. Opportunities for job creation form part of these discussions.”

The ACT Government had previously submitted a proposal for specific recycling infrastructure upgrades earlier this year, calling for Federal Government funding.

The proposal includes a call for $21 million worth of investment into the Materials Recovery Facility in Hume, and consideration into additional regional recovery facilities.

The RMF aims to generate $600 million in private investment, forming a billion-dollar transformation to the Australian recycling industry.

Mr Steel said he hoped the RMF announcement would lead to an upgrade of the ACT’s existing infrastructure and increase its recycling outcomes.   

“We would like to see upgrades to infrastructure that would lead to ensure better separation of recycling streams such as paper, glass and plastic, thereby reducing contamination rates and providing better quality recycled material to sell to market,” he said.

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