The Western Australian and Australian Governments are working together to transform Western Australia’s waste and recycling industry through the Recycling Modernisation Fund.
Joint funding of $30 million dollars has been awarded subject to contract to SUEZ in partnership with AusWaste Recycling to build a 100,000 tonne per annum pulping mill in Kwinana — an initiative that will provide local processing capacity for the 80,000 tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard waste currently exported from Western Australia.
The plant, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2023, has been designed to accept a wide range of feedstock from residential mixed papers to commercial cardboard and paper. The pulping mill will process the waste paper and cardboard into clean and dry pulp boards suitable for feedstock for paper mills around the world, particularly Asia.
Government funding will leverage over $55 million dollars of industry investment meaning that total combined investment in local processing is likely to be more than $85 million.
The project is expected to create at least 60 new ongoing full-time jobs and significant employment during the construction phase
In March 2020, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed a timetable to phase out exports of certain waste materials.
The COAG decision followed increasing community concern about the impact of exported Australian waste on developing countries and changes to the local recycling industry resulting from various countries’ restrictions on imported waste.
Mixed paper and cardboard will be subject to a national export ban commencing 1 July 2024, with exemptions for paper and cardboard that is:
- sorted to a single type, with low contamination levels
- processed into pulp, or
- processed with other materials into a product ready for final consumption (e.g. manufactured to a specific size and specification and in a form ready for direct use as a fuel in a cement kiln).
The Australian and Western Australian governments are partnering to invest a total of $30 million in the Western Australian mixed paper and cardboard recycling project through the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund. The funding will be distributed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
$15 million dollars in grant funding is being provided by the State and will be matched by $15 million from the Australian Government.
In June 2020 the Government of Western Australia called for expressions of interest for funding to support the development of sufficient new mixed paper and cardboard processing infrastructure to manage all of the paper and cardboard currently collected in Western Australia that will be restricted by the COAG waste export bans. This closed on 27 July 2020 and proponents were shortlisted for more detailed evaluation which concluded in December 2020.