City of Newcastle moves forward with recycling plans

11 Mar 2022

City of Newcastle (CN) will invite expressions of interest for the collection and processing of its recyclable waste as it continues to plan towards the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Summerhill Waste Management Facility.

Recycling from Newcastle residents' yellow-lid bins is currently collected by Solo Waste Pty Ltd and taken to the Summerhill site before being transferred to iQ Renew's processing facility on the Central Coast.

With both contracts due to expire in November, CN will open an EOI for the services on 12 March ahead of a selective tender process mid-year. The EOI includes a range of options for CN to consider for the processing of recyclables at the Summerhill Waste Management Facility.

CN is conscious about the need to cater for additional growth in the recyclables markets into the future and the EOI will ensure all processing options are given due consideration.

CN is seeking to ensure facilitation, development and support of the local circular economy along with the maximising economic benefit from recyclable materials. The EOI seeks to provide options to consider the processing of recyclable waste from not only the Newcastle community but from across the Hunter and also includes a separable portion allocated to the design, construction and operation of a new MRF facility at Summerhill as well as kerbside recycling services to process the yellow bin.

The project received a $5 million boost from the Federal and NSW Governments in August last year and CN has prepared concept designs in conjunction with site master planning to ensure the optimal location of the facility alongside other waste diversion projects, such as the organics facility. The MRF is planned to be scalable, designed in a manner which allows for flexibility to cater to changes in the way we recycle, and the growth in recycling efforts.

City of Newcastle is committed to increasing our capabilities for the recycling and reuse of waste products under its new Sustainable Waste Strategy, which is currently being drafted, with the Summerhill Waste Management Facility to play a key role in the region’s move towards a circular economy and its ability to address future NSW and Federal government targets on waste diversion and recycling.

The Sustainable Waste Strategy focusses on increased diversion, circular economy and co-location of waste assets in the Summerhill precinct, localising the supply chain, reducing transport costs, but also ensuring the site offers a place to process recyclables after the current recycling contracts almost failed in 2020, resulting in Council having to step in and vary the recyclables processing arrangements.

Construction of the MRF, in addition to the planned advanced organics recycling facility, would allow Newcastle's red, yellow and green-bin domestic waste to be processed at the one location.