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Reducing Waste Through Recycling Innovation And Design

06 October 2021

The Victorian Government is reducing waste by the design and development of new ways to use recycled materials in everyday products.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced more than $2.1 million in grants for projects that develop new uses for recycled materials.

Ten research institutes will share $2.1 million in funding from Recycling Victoria Research and Development Fund to create new products that can use recycled materials including plastic, paper, glass, cardboard and tyres.

Collectively the projects will fund nine new dedicated research roles and partially fund six existing positions, enabling industry to work with researchers to develop new ways to use recycled materials in products and infrastructure such as roads and residential housing.

Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology was awarded $300,000 to develop ways to turn recycled plastic into components for the construction of tram stops, in partnership with Yarra Trams, Integrated Recycling and Advanced Circular Polymer.

Swinburne University of Technology and industry partners Polyfoam and Frubber have been awarded $200,000 to develop a new process to use recycled expanded polystyrene and tyres in residential housing construction.  

Minister D’Ambrosio also announced $750,000 is now available through the Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund to support projects that will minimise waste in the production process, with grants of up to $250,000 available.

Grants will support projects that design out waste in the production, distribution and use phase of a resource’s lifecycle, for example by re-designing a product to be more durable, repairable and recyclable.

These investments are part of the Government’s $515 million investment to transform the waste and recycling sector and create jobs while building a more sustainable economy.

For more information on projects funded and grants available visit sustainability.vic.gov.au/grants-funding-and-investment/grants-and-funding.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“We’re proud to support new research and development that helps Victoria lead the way in cutting waste and reducing our impact on the environment.”

“The projects funded by these grants will reduce waste through design innovation and create more value from our resources, supporting a more sustainable future for Victoria.”

“Facilitating innovation projects like these will help build our circular economy and reach Victoria’s goal of reducing 80 per cent of waste sent to landfill by 2030.”

List of Recycling Victoria Research and Development Fund recipients

Monash University, Institute of Railway Technology – $300,000 – Partnered with Yarra Trams, Integrated Recycling, and Advanced Circular Polymer to develop modular parts for tram stop platforms made of reinforced recycled plastic.

RMIT University – $91,168 – Partnered with Intrax Consulting Engineers and Citywide to investigate using recycled cardboard in trusses for residential housing.

Swinburne University of Technology – $300,000 – Partnered with GT Recycling and Robovoid to explore ways to use recycled plastics in bedding, including frames and mattresses

RMIT University – $200,000 – Partnered with Sustainable Structural Products Australia and Bendigo City Council to create items for use in construction from recycled plastics, tyre and timber.

RMIT University – $200,000 – Partnered with Enviromesh (Fibrecon) and Citywide to develop low-carbon concrete that uses pre-treated cardboard waste for use in constructing walls for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings.

Swinburne University of Technology – $200,000 – Partnered with Polyfoam and Frubber to develop a new process for recycling polystyrene by using tyre crumbs to manufacture waffle pod spacers and reinforced residential housing slabs.

ARRB Group Ltd – $81,000 – Partnered with Omni Grip to investigate using an aggregate blend that includes recycled glass.

CSIRO – $300,000 – Partnered with Think Fencing Pty Ltd, Vinyl Council of Australia, and National Waste Recycling Industry Council working with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compounders and manufacturers.

Deakin University – $255,000 – Partnered with Gale Pacific Limited, GT Recycling, and Lyondell Basell to maximise the amount of recycled polypropylene (PP) that can be added to Gale Pacific’s polyfabric product, Landmark

Victoria University – $220,000 – Partnered with Ground Science Pty Ltd and Greater Western Water to investigate using blends of recycled glass, plastic, tyre, as well as construction and demolition wastes, as backfill material for sewer infrastructure to help minimise the potential for subsidence.

Reviewed 07 October 2021

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