City of Newcastle moves forward with recycling options

05 Apr 2024

City of Newcastle (CN) is investigating the development of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at its Summerhill Waste Management Centre to cater for waste collected from both its kerbside pickup service as well as from construction and demolition sites. 

The Inert MRF will significantly increase the amount of waste the region can divert from landfill, with the majority of bulk waste dropped off by the public or picked up in scheduled kerbside collections, as well as the inert Commercial & Industrial and Construction & Demolition waste streams, able to be considered for recycling. 

CN Managing Director Waste ServicesMichael Allaway said CN was continuing to explore a range of sustainable solutions for managing waste in the region. 

"We're exploring all options to deliver responsible, environmentally sustainable, and commercially feasible waste and recycling operations to manage our current and future waste streams," Mr Allaway said. 

"The establishment of an Inert MRF will divert a significant amount of waste from being disposed of in landfill at Summerhill. 

"We're also continuing to progress approvals for recyclables MRF as an option to process the recyclables from residents' yellow-lid bins at Summerhill. 

"A development application is currently being assessed by the NSW Government's Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel, who are expected to hand down their determination mid-year."  

Recycling from Newcastle residents' yellow-lid bins is currently taken to the Summerhill Waste Management Centre before being transferred to iQ Renew's processing facility on the Central Coast. 

The arrangement was established following the sudden closure of the only Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in the Hunter in 2020, which was at the time sorting recyclables for the majority of all local councils.  

Mr Allaway said it was an appropriate point in time to test the market in this space, with CN nocalling for tenders for a long-term recyclables processing contract. 

"With the current recyclables processing contract due to expire towards the end of this year, we're moving forward with a tender process," he said. 

"This will allow us to assess the potential to secure an arrangement that provides certainty around cost, resource recovery and commodity market exposures. 

"We also have the option to extend our current contract with iQ Renew for another 12 months should that prove more favourable."