A new recycling plant at Caboolture is producing building materials from waste products and creating more jobs for the region. 

The plant, jointly backed by a $175,000 investment from the Queensland and Federal Governments through the Recycling Modernisation Fund, is also set to begin producing masonry blocks from waste aggregate in 2025, removing quarried materials from the manufacturing process.  

The operation is delivered by Casafico, and the initial stages will divert 653t of waste from landfill while creating products for the building industry and delivering 12 jobs.  

The Queensland Government said that recycling innovation is at the centre of its plans for Queensland to recover 80 per cent of all waste and achieve 65 per cent recycling rates across all waste types by 2030.  

The new mixed recycling plant is producing Vetro Uno, a rendering product made from 66 per cent recycled glass, which replaces virgin sand.  

By the end of July, the plant will start turning polystyrene into a levelling coat which finishes a building surface before rendering.  

By mid-2025, Casafico will also be producing their Tecoblock masonry building blocks from mixed waste.  

The Queensland Government is further encouraging innovation in the recycling and resource recovery industries through the Queensland Recycling and Jobs Fund.  

Under the Recycling and Jobs Fund, $45 million in state funding continues to be available for large scale projects tackling waste in three key areas: commercial and industrial waste, renewable energy technologies, and electrical and electronic products and batteries.  

Applicants can apply for financial assistance of up to $10 million (excluding GST), to a maximum of 50 per cent of the total eligible project cost. 

The industry program is open until funding is exhausted.  

The Federal Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund is designed to accelerate Australia’s circular economy so that when a product is no longer required for its initial purpose, it is either reused, recycled or remanufactured.  

On completion, projects announced under the Recycling Modernisation Fund are expected to add 1.3 million tonnes of processing capacity every year, diverting valuable materials from landfill for reuse, and supporting new jobs.  

When combined with co-investment from all states and industry, the Recycling Modernisation Fund is expected give a $1 billion boost to Australian recycling.  

Federal Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Grace Grace, said the government has a vision for Queensland to become a zero-waste society, where waste is avoided, reused, recycled and remanufactured to the greatest extent possible. 

“We have heard industry’s concerns that achieving some of Queensland’s 2030 waste diversion targets continues to be a significant challenge and that’s why this $45 million in funding will go towards projects tackling waste in three key areas: commercial and industrial waste, renewable energy technologies, and electrical and electronic products and batteries,” Minister Grace said.  

“This funding will provide critical assistance to industry to grow its reprocessing and recycling capacity and prevent solar panels and other materials ending up in landfill.  

“It also has the potential to address big issues such as solar panel waste – a growing problem in Queensland, which leads the country in rooftop solar panel adoption.”  

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Senator for Queensland, Anthony Chisholm, said that Queenslanders want to do their part to reduce landfill waste and recycle household products and that the Recycling Modernisation Fund will help them and their local communities to do just that.  

“This is great news for the environment, but it’s also great news for the economy. For every job in landfill, there are three jobs in recycling,” Senator Chisholm said.  

“We’re backing 24 proposed recycling projects across Queensland, which will create 740 jobs and process an extra 364,000 tonnes of waste. This project is just one of the more than 30 projects completed so far through our $250 million fund.  

“Queensland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We want to protect the state’s future for the generations to come and that takes all levels of government working together to develop solutions like this project.”  

Casafico Queensland Managing Director, Riccardo Mucci, said that the company is thrilled to have been able to establish its mixed recycling plant thanks to the Federal and State Governments’ investment towards a sustainable future. 

“Our Vetro Uno product is suitable for use in both commercial and residential buildings, and this facility’s front wall is made from it,” Mr Mucci said.  

“We’re glad our facility is not only diverting waste from landfill, but also helping create jobs and boost the Queensland economy.”  

Image: Belish/shutterstock.com 

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