ACT finally gets funding for new recycling centre

Tara Cheyne

The ACT government is building a new recycling facility, 18 months after the previous one was destroyed by a suspected lithium-ion battery fire in 2022.

A contract is expected to be awarded in the coming months for the facility, which the government says will have new technology to boost resource recovery and create higher quality recycled products.

The facility is being funded via a joint investment of $26 million from the ACT and federal governments.

The resource recovery centre will be built in Hume on the fire damaged site and the adjoining block where glass, plastic, paper and cardboard will be sorted and processed.

FOGO pilot expanded

Meanwhile, the ACT’s FOGO pilot, currently servicing 5,300 households in Belconnen, Bruce, Cook and Macquarie, will be expanded with the addition of 1,150 units to investigate how households in different types of multi-unit developments engage with this service.

City Services Minister Tara Cheyne said the planned new recycling facility follows an extended period of time without critical recycling infrastructure in the city.

FOGO pilot had also proved very popular with households involved, she said.

“With the FOGO pilot proving very popular, and the numbers and types of multi-unit developments growing since its inception, it is timely for us to expand the pilot by more than 20 per cent to learn more insights from these household types.”

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has welcomed the commitments but says the disruption to recycling in the ACT over the last year and a half goes well beyond the capital cost of rebuilding a new MRF.

“This funding commitment to a new Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for the ACT is welcome news for green jobs and for the environment, increasing collection and sorting of valuable packaging materials for use in remanufacturing,” WMRR Chief Executive Officer Gayle Sloan said.

WMRR also welcomed the funding to expand the trial of FOGO to unit blocks taking the total number of participating households to 6,450 across the ACT, she said.

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