Up to $2m grants on offer for organics processing infrastructure
HUNTER councils and businesses could be eligible for up to $2 million in NSW government funding to help the war on waste.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has opened the latest round of the Organics Infrastructure grants program, which over previous rounds has allocated more than $46 million to 100 projects across NSW.
Individual grants of between $25,000 and $2 million are available for projects that increase processing capacity for food and garden waste.
Eligible projects must build, upgrade or expand organics processing infrastructure for source separated organics, such as facilities that will process kerbside food and garden organics into compost, or convert food-only waste into animal feed or energy.
Newcastle council received a $1.5 million grant in 2017 to help fund its planned organics recycling facility at Summerhill, while Cooranbong's Australian Native Landscapes was awarded $480,360 in 2018.
EPA organics manager Amanda Kane said decomposing waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and keeping organic waste out of landfill helped reduce emissions.
"In NSW, more than a third of the waste we send to landfill each year is food," she said.
"That's almost two million tonnes of food and garden waste every year.
"Rotting food and garden waste generates methane in landfill, which is a powerful greenhouse gas. But processing infrastructure can turn this organic waste into a valuable resource, such as compost or animal feed."
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A total funding pool of $6.25 million is available through the Environmental Trust, as part of the government's Waste Less Recycle More initiative.
This grant round includes $2.75 million from the Alternative Waste Treatment Transition package to help industry switch from mixed-waste processing to source separated.
The grants support the NSW government's commitments to halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill and reach net zero emissions from organic waste in landfill by 2030.
Previous grantees have processed organics into quality compost for use in landscaping, agriculture, native vegetation and horticulture.
Applications are open to local councils and business until 5pm, Thursday October 21.