Recycling in southern Adelaide received a massive boost late last month, following a $5.35 million federal government funding announcement for a Seaford Heights recycling facility.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement during a visit to the site, which is a joint initiative of the Southern Region Waste Resource Authority (SRWRA)—a subsidiary of Onkaparinga, Marion and Holdfast Bay councils—and Re.Group (an Australian recycling and resource recovery specialist).
The Southern Materials Recovery Facility (SMRF) will process at least 31,000 tonnes annually of ‘yellow bin’ recyclables and, thanks to Australian Government funding, it has the capacity to handle more than 60,000 tonnes.
This will allow the facility to service other regional councils and commercial businesses from the surrounding area, helping to create a more resilient recycling sector for all of South Australia.
It will also meet the Australian Government’s commitment to build the nation’s recycling capacity and stop the international export of low-value material.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson called the announcement a huge win for the community and the environment.
“We’ve taken another big step forward in the transition from recycling to a circular economy,” she said.
“This state-of-the-art facility will not only deliver benefits for our ratepayers and local economy, it’ll respond to the impacts of climate change, joining the renewable energy hub being built next door at SRWRA’s emission-neutral landfill site.
“Big issues demand innovative solutions and collaboration, and I’m thrilled to see our councils, SRWRA, Re.Group and the federal government join forces to deliver this much needed project for southern Adelaide.
SRWRA Chair Mark Booth agreed the project was only possible thanks to the collaboration and partnership between local government and private enterprise.
“The strategic need for a recycling facility south of the city, and for increased recycling capacity across the state of South Australia, has been understood for years,” he said.
“We’re thrilled the Morrison Government is supporting our efforts to invest in growing the Australian recycling industry and building local markets for recycled products.”
It’s anticipated the SMRF will employ 18 people on a full-time basis for the next 20 years. These jobs require advanced manufacturing skills and will see staff using cutting-edge technology to process the region’s recyclables.
Re.Group Managing Director, David Singh said these jobs were vital in a market recovering from COVID-19.
“There’s a strong history of manufacturing and technology in the state and we’re really looking forward to tapping into the talent and capabilities of South Australians to improve recycling rates and resource recovery in the region,” he said.
Equipment for the SMRF is being sourced from RDT Engineering— a leading Australian recycling specialist, committed to maximising local fabrication of non-specialist items.
The facility’s design includes the latest in sorting and screening technology, and has the capacity to convert recycled glass into sand for use by local councils in civil and road construction works.
It’s expected to be operational by the end of June 2021.