The Western Australian (State) and Australian governments are working together to transform Western Australia’s waste and recycling industry through the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF). The RMF aims to build the capacity, capability and resilience of WA’s resource recovery system and support businesses to respond to the national export ban on waste materials.
We, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (department), are administering the program for WA projects.
Our department administers the RMF via competitive grant funding rounds, through two funding streams known as:
- RMF Plastics Technology
- RMF General ‒ plastics, tyres, paper and cardboard.
Further information about the RMF, the funding streams, eligibility criteria, objectives, application process and funding guidelines can be found below.
In March 2020, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to 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.
The COAG waste export bans have commenced for the following waste products:
- glass from 1 January 2021
- mixed plastics which are not of a single resin/polymer type and/or which require further sorting, cleaning and processing before use in remanufacturing from 1 July 2021
- tyres that have not been shredded or further processed from 1 December 2021
- single resin/polymer plastics which have not been reprocessed (e.g. cleaned and baled PET bottles) from 1 July 2022
- mixed paper and cardboard from 1 July 2024.
The State and Australian governments are partnering to invest a total of $70 million in WA recycling projects through the Australian Government’s RMF. The funding will be distributed by our department.
The State Government is providing $30 million dollars in grant funding and has also allocated access to industrial zoned land valued at up to $5 million for processing infrastructure.
State Government funds will be matched by the Australian Government.
RMF General stream – plastics, tyres, paper and cardboard – Round 2 (open)Show more
The RMF General stream provides grant funding support to build, expand or upgrade plastics, tyre and paper and cardboard waste processing infrastructure. This aims to address gaps in WA’s waste recycling, reprocessing and remanufacturing capacity to handle the COAG waste export bans.
The objective of the program is to improve recycling outcomes by addressing critical infrastructure gaps in WA’s waste management and resource recovery system.
We are now seeking additional plastics, tyres, and paper and cardboard waste recycling infrastructure projects through a second funding round. Grant funding worth up to $30 million, plus up to $5 million of industrial land, is available for allocation. Funding will be invested in projects that create or improve domestic recovery, sorting, processing, reuse, recycling or remanufacturing of plastic, tyres, and paper and cardboard.
Program outcomes will facilitate greater resource recovery by:
- increasing the supply of quality recycled materials available for use
- increasing the capacity for domestic sorting, processing and manufacturing of materials affected by the COAG waste export bans.
Projects that focus on delivering the following waste processing infrastructure will be prioritised for funding:
- commercial film plastics (including linear low-density polyethylene [LLDPE]) collection and processing
- commercial-scale pilots for an advanced recycling facility that can process industry and/or consumer soft plastics
- regional tyre processing
- paper and cardboard
- secondary paper and cardboard sorting (to upgrade fibre quality)
- logistics considerations
- investments that improve the long-term logistics for material collection and separation to facilitate improved economics or options for recovery.
The State and Australian governments will jointly contribute a maximum of two-thirds of project costs. Applicants will be required to fund at least one third of project costs. Applicants that provide more than the minimum proportion of project funding may be considered more competitive.
All projects must be completed and operational by 30 June 2026
One-stage application process
Application form submitted through our SmartyGrants portal – closing 13 October 2023
Applicants apply to us through our SmartyGrants online portal. Applicants will complete an application form and include a detailed project plan, project budget and cost benefit analysis.
After the closing date, we will convene a panel of technical representatives who will review and assess applications against the assessment criteria detailed in the funding guidelines. Recommendations to fund proposals will be made by the panel to the Western Australian Minister for Environment for consideration and final decision.
RMF Plastics Technology stream (Expressions of Interest now closed)Show more
The Australian Government has committed $60 million nationally to support advanced and innovative technologies targeting hard-to-recycle plastics.
The RMF Plastics Technology stream intends to deliver national solutions that drive significant increases in Australia’s recycling and recovery rates for hard-to-recycle plastics and increase collaboration across supply chains to promote a safe circular economy.
Funding is available for projects that target:
- plastics in waste streams where there are very low recovery and recycling rates because of difficulties in recycling
- plastic waste streams where there is currently limited infrastructure and technology solutions to support circularity in the supply chain, such as soft plastics.
In particular, WA seeks proposals using advanced technologies to deliver:
- processing of commercial film plastics (including linear low-density polyethylene [LLDPE])
- a commercial-scale pilot for an advanced recycling facility that can process industry and/or consumer soft plastic
- recovery of non-hazardous plastic through e-waste processing.
Applications for funding must include at least a 50 per cent contribution towards eligible project costs from the project proponent or, in the case of a consortium proposal, the consortium members.
All projects must be completed and operational by 30 June 2027.
Please refer to the RMF ‒ Plastics Technology Stream Funding Guidelines for further information.
Two-stage application process
Stage one: Expression of Interest ‒ closing date 14 August 2023
Proponents submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to our department through our SmartyGrants online portal. The EOI is a summary of the proposed project and is intended to provide us with an overview of your proposed project and sufficient information to ascertain the project’s eligibility. It will also give us the opportunity to ensure the project aligns with the objectives of the funding round and WA’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.
Stage two: Full Application ‒ Business Case ‒ closing date 18 September 2023
A detailed project plan, project budget, cost benefit analysis and completed application will be required.
After the closing date, we will convene a panel to review and assess applications against the assessment criteria detailed in the funding guidelines. The panel’s recommendations will be reviewed, and a shortlist submitted by our department to the Australian Government for decision. The final funding decision will be made by the federal Minister for the Environment.
RMF General stream ‒ plastics, tyres, paper and cardboard ‒ Round 1 (closed)Show more
In July 2020, the State Government called for expressions of interest for funding to support the development of sufficient new plastics and tyres processing infrastructure to manage all plastics and tyres currently collected in WA that will be restricted by the COAG waste export bans.
Joint government funding of $18.5 million has been awarded (subject to contract) to four tyre and two plastics infrastructure projects that will increase WA’s capacity to process and recycle the state’s plastics and tyres waste. The government funding will leverage $31 million of industry investment. The projects will create up to 150 new full-time jobs and provide the capacity to process 101,000 tonnes of WA plastic and tyre waste every year.
The six infrastructure projects awarded funding are:
Chairay Sustainable Plastic Company: awarded $5,640,000 to build a new 15,000 tonne per year plastics reprocessing plant and 6,000 tonne per year sorting line in the Perth metropolitan area to recycle PET, HDPE and polypropylene.
D&M Waste Management: awarded $832,000 to build a recycling facility in Kwinana to process polyolefin and polyester plastics (such as PET, HDPE and polypropylene), with a supporting shredding and grinding plant in Karratha for high-density polyethylene pipe. The annual processing capacity of the project is of up to 2,500 tonnes.
4M Waste Pty Ltd: awarded $2,966,505 to expand operations at a new site in the Perth metropolitan area to allow recycling of up to 12,000 tonnes of used tyres annually as a crumb rubber product to be used in road construction.
Complete Tyre Solutions: awarded $3,500,000 to build a tyre recycling plant to process waste tyres into crumb rubber to Main Roads WA specifications for use in the WA asphalt and spray seal industry. The annual processing capacity of the proposed project is over 9,000 tonnes.
Elan Energy Matrix Pty Ltd: awarded $357,867 to purchase a high-capacity shredder as part of process of turning tyres into products such as oil, carbon char and milled steel using thermal processing technology. The Welshpool facility proposes to increase recycled waste tyres by 40 per cent, raising the existing recycling capacity from 5,000 to a total of 7,000 waste tyres per day.
Tyrecycle Pty Ltd: awarded $5,191,383 to invest in equipment at a new site in Rockingham to produce up to 42,000 tonnes of export-approved tyre shred and 3,000 of tyre crumb annually.
In addition to the above projects, funding recommendations for a paper and card sorting facility have been approved. A joint media statement will be released in conjunction with the waste export rules for paper and cardboard once defined.