Through The Circular Ballarat Framework, the City of Ballarat is aiming to create a circular waste system that reduces waste while creating raw materials from rubbish that can then be used in manufacturing, as opposed to a linear ‘take-make-waste’ system.
European research shows circular economies can increase economic growth by between 0.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent annually, translating to a possible annual Gross Regional Product in Ballarat of $57-$100 million and an extra 380-680 jobs.
The Circular Ballarat Framework is also boosted by three new initiatives aimed at helping businesses of all sizes through difficult COVID-19 times.
These initiatives include:
The CSIRO’s ASPIRE (Advisory Stream for Process Innovation and Resource Exchange) Program
ASPIRE isan online marketplace for businesses to both sell and buy waste. This diverts materials from landfill, provides cost savings and potentially creates new revenue streams.
The City of Ballarat has taken out a 12-month subscription to ASPIRE, which is now active. This will allow any Ballarat-based business with less than 100 employees to use the platform for free until July 2022.
The City of Ballarat will also access ASPIRE data to better understand local waste streams and help attract circular economy businesses.
Circular Economy Ready, Set, Grow Business Growth Program
The Circular Economy Ready, Set, Grow Business Growth Program will help 20 participant businesses examine their operations through a circular lens. This will be launched 9 September and will run between October and December 2021. The program will be mainly subsidised by the City of Ballarat, with a $300 participants’ co-contribution. Runway Ballarat has been appointed to deliver the program.
Circular Ballarat: Detail Materials Flow Analysis and End Market Opportunities
The City of Ballarat is undertaking a detailed regional material flows analysis to better understand what resources are used in their economy, where resources are sourced, what they are used to do, where they are consumed and how businesses manage their waste.
This analysis will be undertaken between September 2021 and February 2022.
This project is supported by the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund, delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.
In round one, 26 projects were successful and will share in more than $1.7 million in grants.
City of Ballarat will also partner with Grampians Central West Waste Resource and Recovery Group.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney, said recent community consultation highlighted that sustainability and the environment is of strong importance to the Ballarat community.
“Transitioning to a circular economy will also increase the profitability of local businesses and result in a healthier place for our community,” Cr Moloney said.
“A circular economy allows us to decrease our dependence on resources such as raw materials, water and energy. It helps protect our environment, reduce waste and the emissions of greenhouse gases, and changes mindsets in relation to recycling and reuse.”
For more information on Circular Ballarat or these projects, go to ballarat.vic.gov.au/business/circular-ballarat