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Kerbside recyclables initiative

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New initiative for Cities of Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide Enfield to process their kerbside recyclables

The Cities of Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide Enfield are establishing a local government owned Material Recovery Facility (MRF) to process its kerbside recyclables.

The move to establish the MRF will enable the two Councils to take control of management of the processing and disposal of their recyclable material, while adding value to the circular economy.

Located on land at Mill Court in Kilburn, which is currently owned by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, the MRF has an estimated cost of $12.8 million to build, with costs shared equally between the two councils.

The new state-of-the-art MRF facility will be completed in early 2021, and will provide a continuous, affordable, stable and sustainable service for residents of the Cities of Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide Enfield.

In a combined report that was presented at the Council meetings held by the City of Charles Sturt on Monday 26 August and the City of Port Adelaide Enfield on Tuesday 27 August, both Councils voted unanimously to establish the MRF.

The MRF will be jointly owned by both Councils and operated through a Local Government Regional Subsidiary, established for this purpose.

The two Councils will also explore grant opportunities to offset the construction of the MRF, which is expected to not only create local jobs during the building phase, but also provide up to 20 ongoing jobs to operate the facility once it is completed.

Currently both Councils outsource their recyclables processing to the private sector. This has limited how each Council manages their waste, and how they can respond effectively and timely to the significant fluctuations and uncertainty in this market sector.

This has been especially impacted by the introduction of the Chinese National Sword Policy, which has had a direct effect on how recyclables are currently sorted, processed, and sold into the commodities market, particularly in India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The recently announced increase to the Solid Waste Levy by the State Government has also contributed to increasing costs to the sector, and resulted in significant cost increases to Councils.

The commercial failure of SKM Recycling has also had an effect on public confidence in the recycling sector. On reaching their decision, the Councils undertook a detailed assessment of the proposed MRF option, and this was carefully weighed against the alternative of continuing to rely on the private sector to process recyclable material.

Work on detailed design, planning and environmental approvals will commence shortly.

Both Councils will be exploring opportunities to work with local recycling businesses, to grow the circular economy through turning waste into usable commodities.

Comments attributable to Mayor Angela Evans, City of Charles Sturt

"This new MRF will enable both Councils to directly demonstrate to our ratepayers how we process and sell our recyclable materials, so we can be more accountable to them about how their rates are spent, and where their recycling goes.

"The MRF will also have a direct impact on the local economy, as we have the opportunity to partner with local businesses to buy locally made recycled products, which in turn promotes the circular economy.

"With so much focus on the impact we all have on the future of the planet, being able to lead the charge in recycling, is so important for our communities.

"We are sending an important message to our residents today; that we are serious about providing leadership in waste management and ensuring their waste is being recycled as it should be."

Comments attributable to Mayor Claire Boan, City of Port Adelaide Enfield

"Kerbside recycling is our most visible and valued service to our communities. There are significant reputational, environmental and economic benefits through managing our recycling in our local area.

"Both our Councils have a commitment to being more sustainable and accountable with our recycling, so the MRF facility will enable us to sort and process our recyclable waste such as plastic bags into asphalt for roads.

"This collaborative project between two neighbouring Councils is part of our commitment to work together to find the best solutions to make improvements for our communities.

"This facility will have a significant impact on our future, and I look forward to the day when I can show my children the results of this great recycling initiative."

For further media enquiries please contact Kristie Johnson (CCS) on 0437 812 580 or Chris Crago (PAE) on 0407 711 816.