CONSTITUENCY QUESTION & RESPONSE | WASTE TO ROADS

Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. Since the formulation of a consultation report into waste-to-energy technology last year, I have become more aware of and concerned about the waste storage issue in Melbourne and the fact that we need a multifaceted approach to dealing with it. I was excited to see the new initiative employed by the Hume City Council in the creation of a 300-metre stretch of road. This road was created using an additive which contains plastic bags, printer cartridges and glass bottles. Melbourne recycling company Close the Loop discovered the additive, and even they are stunned by the results. Further testing will take place. My question for the minister is: how can local councils in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region get involved in this trial and form a part of the rollout, should that prove successful?

20 June 2018

 

Response:

Ms D’AMBROSIO: Major road builder Downer has successfully trialled an asphalt mix containing recycled plastic bags, printer cartridges and glass in road surfacing in Craigieburn. Downer estimates that up to 15 per cent of asphalt could contain soft plastics and that up to 10 million tonnes of recyclable waste could be diverted from landfill every year using their new approach.

The project is supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s Resource Recovery Market Development Program, which was recently boosted to $4.5 million under the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan and associated funding. Downer received $67 000 from the fund, which is managed by Sustainability Victoria and supports researchers and industry in finding new ways to use recovered resources. Sustainability Victoria also provided Close the Loop with $40 000 from the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, for equipment to develop the plastic additive used in the asphalt mix.

The Andrews Labor Government’s total investment in waste and resource recovery initiatives is now more than $100 million over four years. In comparison, the former Coalition Government allocated less than $15 million in new funding from the Sustainability Fund in their entire four years in government.

Staff at Sustainability Victoria are happy to provide more information about the Resource Recovery Market Development Program and the road surface project to interested councils. They can be contacted through their website at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au or on 1300 363 744.

27 July 2018