BY JARROD MELMETH
The Summer Hill Waste Management Facility at Wallsend is set to undergo a $40 million expansion to include a recycling facility.
The federal and state governments have provided $2.5million each, while industry has contributed a further $38.5 million to the project.
Currently there is no local council-owned recycling facility in the Hunter and it’s hoped once the facility is operational it will be used by councils around the region.
The new facility will enable Newcastle Council to recycle waste glass, plastic, tyres, paper and cardboard in the local area. Currently the councils recycling is sent to the Central Coast for processing, while Lake Macquarie and Maitland both send their recycling to Sydney.
Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen says it will create a stream of income for the city and savings for rate payers.
“Not only does recycling save the council and therefore our rate payers a significant amount of money each year.
“There is a landfill tax which exists in NSW which is about $80 a tonne and so every tonne of waste that isn’t sent to landfill but instead is recycled saves rate payers that $80.
“On top of that we are able to sell the high value commodities that are separated via recycling, things like aluminum cans which come through the recycling stream are quiet valuable. That separation process means we are able to sell those into the international waste market which ensures we are able to recycle a higher portion of the waste that comes in through the council,” Cr Clausen said.
The investment from the federal and state governments is part of the $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund which is expected to generate more than $600 million in recycling infrastructure.
Patron Senator for the Hunter Hollie Hughes says it’s about easing pressure on the environment and taking responsibility for our waste by recycling more materials, creating jobs and driving economic investment.