Materials Recovery Facility, Hume
Co-mingled recycling collected from household yellow bins in the ACT is sent to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located in Hume. The facility also receives commercial recycling and recycling from some of the surrounding local council areas in NSW.
In December 2022 the MRF in Hume was destroyed by fire. Since the fire, the ACT Government has been transporting the ACT’s recycling material to three materials recovery facilities in Western Sydney and one in Victoria for processing. Approximately 229 tonnes per day is being transported, which is an average of nine trucks per day. This is unsustainable in the long term.
The design, construction and operation of a new MRF, located on the same site as the existing MRF as well as utilising the adjoining block on Recycling Road in the Hume Resource Recovery Estate, is proposed. The new MRF will be delivered as a priority and designed to have an increased processing capacity of up to approximately 115,000 tonnes per year. This will provide for future growth and population increases in the ACT and surrounding region.
The key features of the new MRF are detailed below.
- A receival hall with pre-sort capability to better separate, identify, sort and segregate or bale specific marketable product streams and reduce contaminants.
- Glass crushing and washing facilities to provide better quality crushed glass that can be used in a wider range of products.
- Plastic washing and ‘flaking’ facilities – the flaking process breaks the washed plastic into small pieces, providing a clean product ready for local markets.
- Improved and expanded baling processes for Container Deposit Scheme materials.
- An upgrade to data collection, management, and analysis systems
- Wastewater capture and reuse, and stormwater management infrastructure to achieve environmental compliance.
The Government is expediting the new MRF by undertaking a single stage tender to ensure the facility is built as soon as possible. A pre-tender notice will be released next month about the MRF project to inform the market and generate interest.
Food Organics and Garden Organics Facility, Hume
In the ACT, roughly one-third of the household landfill bin is food. This means we’re sending around 26,000 tonnes of food waste to landfill each year.
A Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) pilot is now servicing around 5,000 households in Belconnen, Bruce, Cook and Macquarie to help residents recycle food scraps and garden waste. The pilot will test the FOGO service before it is rolled out to the wider Canberra community once a FOGO processing facility has been built.
The FOGO service diverts food waste from landfill and reduces harmful greenhouse gases by turning food scraps and garden waste into valuable compost for the soil. The Government is committed to building a circular economy and meeting the National Waste Action Plan targets for halving organic waste sent to landfill by 2030. At full scale operation the facility is expected to produce about 28,000 tonnes of compost each year. The compost created will go back into the parks and gardens across Canberra.
The design, construction and operation of a FOGO processing facility on John Cory Road in the Hume Resource Recovery estate is proposed. This will be a new facility as there is currently no FOGO processing facility in the ACT and FOGO material collected as part of the Belconnen pilot is currently processed at Corkhill Bros at the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre.
The key features of a FOGO facility are detailed below.
- A receival hall to pre-sort the food and garden waste.
- Composting tunnels to compost the material, providing aeration and moisture control.
- A biofilter to filter out small particles from the air which produce odour so that clean air is emitted.
- A maturation building where the composted material will further stabilise (mature) before being screened and further refined into finished compost products.
- Administration building.
The construction and operation of these facilities will support local and national jobs. The MRF is likely to generate up to 60 direct jobs and the FOGO facility is likely to generate up to 15 direct jobs, as well as additional indirect employment opportunities.
It is anticipated the new MRF will be operational in 2025, while the ACT’s first FOGO processing facility will be operational in 2026. These timeframes are subject to environmental and planning approvals along with successful procurement processes.