The NSW Government today announced new efforts to reduce waste going to landfill, announcing the first round of two new grants to support business recycling across NSW.
Environment Minister Robyn Parker called for applications to access over $15 million in grants during a visit to the Sydney Fish Market where she saw firsthand the benefits of onsite business recycling.
“Each year close to 1.6 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste is sent to landfill in Sydney alone. It is estimated that around 70 per cent of that waste including food, paper, wood, and plastics could have been reused or recycled,” Ms Parker said.
“By engaging in recycling networks or implementing recycling practices onsite, businesses can save waste from ending up in landfill – as seen at Sydney Fish Market where the installation of an expanded polystyrene (EPS) recycling machine, with support from the EPA in 2012, has diverted 74 tonnes of EPS from landfill over the past 13 months.
“The recycled plastic material has instead been manufactured into products such as stationary items or coat hangers, which is a great recycling achievement and one that the NSW Government hopes to replicate across the state with these new Waste Less, Recycle More grants that are now open.”
The two grant programs are:
$11.5 million Business Advisory Services Grants – will be used to set up a Business Advisory Service to provide free assessments to individual businesses to identify and capitalise on recycling opportunities.
“The program will support thousands of small to medium businesses across NSW over the next four years and will be complemented with a $9.45 million rebates program later this year to help participating businesses cover the cost of recommended equipment or infrastructure upgrades.
$3.6 million Industrial Ecology Business Support Grants – will be available to set up six Industrial Ecology Business Support Networks across the Sydney, Hunter, South East, North Coast, Inland NSW and the Murray to help small and medium businesses identify wastes within their business community that can be re-used and recycled, instead of landfilled.
This could include turning waste polystyrene into insulation for pre-fabricated buildings, or recycling old steel from discarded white goods and cars into reinforced building structures for high rise developments.
Sydney Fish Market General Manager Bryan Skepper said that installing the EPS recycling machine was part of a wider waste management plan devised in partnership with waste management specialists Resource Environmental Solutions, to help SFM reach its environmental sustainability goals.
“We believe that it is our responsibility as a business to identify the waste that we produce and look for ways that we can recycle to reduce our overall environmental footprint.
“Over 120,000 polystyrene boxes will be recycled at Sydney Fish Market every year using this machine which laid end-to-end in a straight line would reach from SFM to Katoomba, and we think that’s a great result.”
Applications for the Business Advisory Services Grants of between $50,000 and $250,000 each are open to councils, private industry, consultants or not-for-profit organisations until Thursday, 3 April 2014.
The Industrial Ecology Business Support Grants of between $100,000 and $500,000 each are open to specialist businesses and not-for-profit organisations with experience in resource recovery.Applications are open until Thursday 21 March 2014.
The EPA’s Waste Less Recycle More is a five year $465.7 million initiative to transform waste and recycling in NSW. It includes funding for business recycling, market development, managing problem wastes, new waste infrastructure, local councils and programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter.