A $6.9 million upgrade of Council's recycling facility, expected to be completed in March next year, will double the processing capacity and dramatically improve the quality of recyclable material allowing 90 percent to be diverted from landfill.
The State Government announced $3 million towards the project this morning from the Building Our Regions program. Council will fund the remaining $3.9 million.
The current Material Recovery Facility (MRF) processes about 15,000 tonne of material each year. The upgraded facility will bring this to 25,000 to 30,000 tonne, allowing Council to also provide recycling services to other Far North councils.
Importantly, through using state-of-the-art technology, the recovered glass, plastics, metals and other products will be of a very high quality. This will mean 90 per cent of the end product (up from 40 per cent) will meet the international standards for reuse.
Mayor Bob Manning said the new infrastructure would increase the facility’s viability and create an economic opportunity to decrease waste while improving recycling rates.
“We know our community takes its environmental responsibilities seriously given where we live. This much needed upgrade to the MRF will provide fantastic benefits to Cairns and the region,” Mr Manning.
“It will not only allow us to significantly increase the recovery rate of recyclables, but also as a consequence, significantly reduce the amount of waste needing to go to landfill.”
Council has put the project out to tender with construction set to start later this year with the upgraded facility to be online in March 2020.