Aerial view of Newcastle, NSW

The City of Newcastle’s proposed Material Recovery Facility (MRF) has received overwhelming endorsement from the local community, with 98 per cent of surveyed residents indicating their support for the project.

Council is now preparing to release a tender for the  design, construction and operation of the MRF, which will allow plastics, paper, cardboard, glass and metals collected from kerbside recycling bins to be sorted at the Summerhill site.

A separate tender will also be called for the collection of the City’s kerbside recyclable materials.

The MRF project received $5 million from the Federal and New South Wales Governments in August 2021, and is included in Council’s adopted 2022/23 Budget as one of four city-shaping projects that will deliver key outcomes for the community.

Concept designs prepared by Council ensure the MRF is scalable to process up to 85,000t of recyclables per annum, creating a regional solution for recyclable materials from across the Hunter.

Recyclables collected from Newcastle households have been transported to the Central Coast since 2020 when the only MRF in the Hunter closed, affecting the City of Newcastle and several other Hunter councils.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said the Council was committed to increasing its capabilities in recycling and reuse of materials.

“The Summerhill Waste Management Centre will play a key role in the region’s ability to address future NSW and Federal government targets on waste diversion and recycling,” Mayor Nelmes said.

“Our Sustainable Waste Strategy, which is expected to be placed on public exhibition in coming months, focusses on increased diversion, circular economy and the co-location of waste assets in the Summerhill precinct, which will allow the contents of Newcastle’s red, yellow and green bins to be processed at the one location.

“The community has told us very clearly that they support measures to sustainably divert waste from landfill.

“Construction of the MRF at Summerhill, in addition to the planned garden and food organics facility, meets the expectations of our community and will help achieve our vision for a circular economy where recyclables can be processed and remanufactured into new products locally.

“As we move forward, the views of the community will continue to inform our approach for these important projects and our broader Sustainable Waste Strategy.”

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