The Federal and Queensland Governments have partnered with Brisbane-based national company AusWaste Recycling to build a $137 million waste paper recycling facility at Brendale.

The project is set to be one of Australia’s biggest paper recycling facilities, with plans to turn 220,000t of waste paper and cardboard from across Queensland and northern New South Wales into pulp annually for export.

The Australian Recycled Pulp and Paper Project (ARPPP) is supported by a joint investment of $40 million from the Federal and State Governments through the Recycling Modernisation Fund. Industry is also playing a key role, contributing $97 million to the total project cost.

This project will support approximately 195 construction jobs and 58 ongoing jobs.

The ARPPP will process waste including used packaging, newspaper, coffee cups, milk cartons and office paper into value-added paper pulp for paper mills.

It will elevate Australia’s position in the global waste paper and cardboard recycling market and it will contribute to the achievement of Queensland’s waste recovery and recycling targets.

Construction of the ARPPP is expected to begin in mid 2024 and be completed in mid 2025.

This funding is part of a $1 billion boost to recycling infrastructure that will add more than one million tonnes of processing capacity across the country every year, keeping valuable materials out of landfill while supporting new jobs.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said that the new facility will supercharge recycling in Queensland. 

“It means that paper and cardboard waste, like egg cartons and cereal boxes, can be sorted and processed in Queensland,” Ms Plibersek said. 

“And this is just one of 24 recycling projects that we are funding across Queensland. These projects are creating 740 jobs and will process an extra 364,000t of waste. That’s the equivalent to over 27 Story Bridges of waste being kept out of landfill every year.

“This is a win for the environment, a win for jobs and a win for Queensland.”

Queensland Acting Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said that the ARPPP is waste-paper processing and recycling on a scale never before seen in Queensland.

“By working with industry, we’re boosting local manufacturing and exports by turning waste paper into a valued resource that’s in demand globally by paper mills who rely on recycled inputs,” Mr Miles said. 

“As Queensland continues to grow, we need to keep doing more to support industry initiatives to keep waste out of landfill and channel it into new and useful products.

“AusWaste Recycling is a Premier of Queensland Export Award winning business and we’re proud to be supporting the company as it leads the way with this important recycling project that creates additional trade opportunities.

“Projects like this support the reduction of emissions and are a great example of the Queensland Government actively supporting industries highlighted in our Queensland New Industry Development Strategy.” 

Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard, said that the State Government is committed to making Queensland a zero-waste society and transitioning to a circular economy. 

“We have a long-term vision and established targets to facilitate the sustained growth of the recycling and resource recovery sector and emissions reduction. This project will contribute significantly to the achievement of those targets,” Ms Linard said. 

“By providing the capacity for waste paper processing at scale in Queensland, we’re creating a market for waste paper and recognition that it’s a valuable resource in the global circular economy.

“Supporting resource recovery initiatives in this way is crucial to sustaining the future of Queensland’s pristine environment for generations to come.”

AusWaste Recycling Director, Vincent Liang, said that AusWaste Recycling is pleased to be part of a national approach to resource recovery that recognises the opportunity to use an existing global supply chain to achieve the scale needed to create a meaningful impact on how Australia manages waste and recycling.

“Our core business is the export of commodities like processed pulp from waste paper which are sought after in foreign markets,” Mr Liang said. 

“The ARPPP will strengthen our national recycling industry, increase capabilities and create new jobs.

“Instead of baling and shipping waste paper we’ll be processing and manufacturing a higher-value product.

“We already have well-established relationships in Asia with paper mill operators who are seeking paper pulp and the ARPPP will mean we’re ideally positioned to provide it to them.

“We see South East Queensland as the ideal location for a new facility that can process waste paper supplied from across the state and into northern New South Wales.”

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