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Resource recovery

The Queensland Government has developed a comprehensive Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy which aims to promote more sustainable waste management practices that reduce the amount of waste produced by business, industry and households.

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.

Queensland is moving toward a circular economy and the Queensland Government is committed to working with the resource recovery industry to harness the potential value of resources traditionally discarded and improve sustainability.

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

Recent achievements

  • Supported delivery of 29 projects under the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program
  • Supported  projects  to expand recycling and reuse capacities, like Downer and Kriaris Recyclables
  • Reviewed the Queensland Government Waste Levy, set to invest $1.1 billion over 10 years through the Recycling and Jobs Fund
  • Supported BlockTexx to set up a first-of-its-kind multi-fibre textile recycling plant in Woodridge
  • Supported ResourceCo BRRF Pty Ltd with $8 million to establish a $41 million resource recycling facility.

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. Included are a number of funds:

Previous funding programs

  • Resource Recovery Industry Development Program (RRIDP) - funded projects and initiatives that divert waste from landfill, reduce stockpiling and create jobs.
  • The 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. The program is now closed to new applications. It replaced and built on the success of the RRIDP.
  • The 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.

Outcomes

Queensland generated 11.4 million tonnes of waste in 2018 – 2019, with 52% going to landfill. Since the launch of the RRIDP in September 2018, 29 businesses and local government projects have received funding diverting 1.3 million tonnes of waste per annum from landfill, delivering an additional $193.8 million in capital investment and creating more than 360 jobs across Queensland.

Read more about RRIDP success stories, under the 'Resource recovery' category. Successful projects from the QRMF and RRRMF 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.

Last updated: 23 Jan 2023