Disused tyres once bound for export or landfill are creating jobs, playgrounds, consumer products and new roads in Western Sydney thanks to the Morrison Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley visited Erskine Park today for the official opening of a $10 million Tyrecycle plant with capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes of rubber crumb each year for use in road construction and 40,000 tonnes of Tyre Derived Fuel.
Minister Ley said the Morrison Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund was bringing together State, Territory and industry investment to transform domestic recycling capacity and was on track to drive more than $800 million new recycling infrastructure investment.
“The Morrison Government’s $190 million commitment is being matched by states and territories, and business is backing it in with unprecedented spending,” Minister Ley said.
“Australians are doing their bit through domestic recycling, but as a nation we need to create more opportunity for recycled content and better ways of processing.
“Tyrecycle’s new plant will process some of the 56 million tyres that reach their end of life on Australian roads each year, turning them into a crumbed rubber product that can be used to build roads and other manufactured rubber-based products such as athletic tracks, sporting fields and playgrounds.
“The Morrison Government is sending a clear signal for change with the third tranche of our waste export ban last week closing the door on the shipping of seven million baled tyres each year.
“As we have done with glass and mixed plastic, we are ensuring that we take responsibility for the recycling of our waste, and that we begin to capture the economic opportunity.”
Over 56 million tyres reach end of life in Australia annually but only 68 per cent are recycled and repurposed. Tyres are also highly combustible, difficult to extinguish, and when burnt produce harmful chemical toxins and pollutants.
“We now have new road standards that promote the use of crumbed rubber in roads and pavement which means less tyres are stockpiled and more are recycled, which is a great win for the environment,” Minister Ley added.
“The rubber used to make tyres is strong, durable and has many uses after the tyres themselves are no longer fit to hit the road. This project by itself will divert more than 2,500 tonnes of tyre waste per year away from on-site disposal or landfill, or overseas exports.
“And this is not the only Tyrecycle plant to be upgraded under the RMF. Because the ban on tyres overseas for disposal comes into effect on December 1, Tyrecycle has also been granted a further $13 million for three other new tyre processing plants, one in South Australia and two in Western Australia.
“This will take the number of Tyrecycle dedicated tyre processing plants operating across Australia to nine, as part of a national solution to domestic tyre recycling,” Minister Ley said.
The Australian and NSW Governments have co-invested $2.9 million into the Erskine Park facility through the Recycling Modernisation Fund and Remanufacture NSW.
The upgrade will be complete next July and will support 20 new jobs during construction and a further six during operations. After the upgrades, the plant will be able to process 50,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres every year.