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Resource recovery

The Queensland Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy sets ambitious targets to increase diversion of waste from landfill and increase recycling and our Queensland Resource Recovery Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan (PDF icon1.8 MB) provides a framework to accelerate this transition and develop our state's resource recovery industries.

Our vision is for sustainable resource recovery industries to provide measurable economic and environmental benefits to the economy by 2029.

Resource recovery aims to divert useful waste and end-of-life materials away from landfill so they can be used to create new products.  The resource recovery industry includes local governments and businesses involved along the entire supply chain – from designing waste management systems to collection, transfer, sorting and remanufacturing.

The Queensland Government recognises that supporting resource recovery industries helps attract new business and investment to Queensland, bringing economic growth, supply chain benefits and jobs across a range of sectors and regions.  Waste is a valuable resource whose value should be kept in the Queensland economy, and we are committed to supporting capital investment that significantly increases Queensland’s recycling rates.

Recent achievements

  • Amdett Services and Plastic Recycling - for new equipment to improve the cleaning and separation process to increase the volume of plastic waste including irrigation fluming, agricultural waste as well as fertiliser bags and chemical drums.
  • Banana Shire Council (and Solar Recovery Corporation) - to expand a new recycling precinct in Central Queensland to recover and recycle tyres, plastic and cardboard, recycle glass and other solar panel components in a region with a strong solar farm industry.
  • Farm Waste Recovery - for a plastics recycling facility that will produce saleable resin pellets and include a moulding/extrusion plant to manufacture new products from the recovered plastics. Feedstock plastics will include agriculture plastics – banana bunch bags, silage wraps and irrigation.
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council - for a new Materials Recovery Facility that will increase processing capacity and recover paper and cardboard, plastics and glass.

Recycling Enterprise Precincts

As a key action under our Queensland Resource Recovery Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan ( 1.8 MB) and in response to clear messages from industry, we have developed the Recycling Enterprise Precinct Guideline ( 2.0 MB) and Location Strategy ( 3.3 MB) to increase economic opportunities and help facilitate industrial land growth. By encouraging the co-location of complementary and sometimes hard-to-locate facilities we can:

  • achieve economies of scale
  • provide opportunities for access to markets
  • enhance sustainability outcomes.

Previous funding programs

  • Resource Recovery Industry Development Program (RRIDP) - funded projects and initiatives that divert waste from landfill, reduce stockpiling and create jobs.
  • Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund (QRMF) - delivered in partnership with the Australian Government, this program funded projects that improve the sorting, processing, recycling and remanufacturing of waste materials subject to the federal export bans. QRMF replaced and built on the success of RRIDP.
  • Regional and Remote Recycling Modernisation Fund (RRRMF) – delivered in partnership with the Australian Government, this program funded projects that support local governments and their industry partners to improve the viability of sorting, processing, recycling or remanufacturing of waste subject to the federal export bans in regional and remote Queensland.
  • Recycling Modernisation Fund - Plastics Technology stream – delivered in partnership with the Australian Government, this program aims to accelerate projects that make a significant difference on plastics recovery and recycling in Queensland and nationally and operate at a viable commercial scale.

Outcomes

Queensland generated 11.4 million tonnes of waste in 2018 – 2019, with 52% going to landfill. Since the launch of the roadmap in August 2019, 46 business and local government projects have received funding diverting 1.41 million tonnes of waste per annum from landfill, delivering an additional $255 million in capital investment and creating more than 468 jobs across Queensland.

Read more about RRIDP success stories, under the 'Resource recovery' category. More successful projects from the QRMF will be announced soon.

National waste export ban

In late 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that Australia should ban the export of unprocessed waste plastic, paper and cardboard, glass and tyres while building Australia's capacity to generate high value recycled commodities and associated demand.

The National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019 (NWPAP), agreed to by all Australian Governments, created seven targets and actions to guide investment nationally.  To support the waste export ban and the other NWPAP targets, the Australian Government is providing $190 million through the Recycling Modernisation Fund, with capital investment jointly provided by the Australian, State and Territory governments.

In May 2021, the Queensland and Australian Governments signed a National Partnership Agreement on Recycling Infrastructure.  The agreement commits to $40 million in co-investment to fund a new program to boost Queensland’s recycling industry.  It also supports legislation introduced by the Australian Government banning the export of waste glass, plastic, paper and tyres.

As part of this commitment, a National Partnership Agreement has been signed between the Australian Government and Queensland Government.  In accordance with the National Partnership Agreement, Queensland will receive over $20 million from the Australian Government, which will be matched with co-funding of over $20 million from the Queensland Government.

With over $40 million now jointly invested by the Queensland Government and the Australian Government under QRMF and RRRMF, Queensland’s recycling industry is supported to effectively manage the impacts of the waste export bans, as well as continue to deliver against our waste diversion targets.

Last updated: 12 Sep 2023