Waste and recycling management company Remondis Australia aims to fill a critical recycling gap and lifting recycling capabilities in the Hunter Valley with a $22 million investment for the Tomago Resource Recovery Facility.
The investment will see nearly double the amount of waste handled in the Hunter – from about 55,000 tonnes to nearly 100,000 tonnes per week.
Located within Tomago’s industrial precinct, the facility will have multiple sections across two warehouses receiving a vast array of waste for processing and recycling. This includes paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, metals, wood, concrete, out-of-spec packaged food products, garden organics, electronic goods, muds, hydrocarbons, and liquids such as waste oil and oily water.
The waste will come from homes, businesses, construction and mining sites across the Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast, with up to 93 per cent of received matter to be processed for recycling.
Operations are well removed from residential areas and enclosed to ensure there are no impacts on neighbouring properties or the environment.
According to Scott Smith, Remondis Hunter and Western Region NSW manager, the facility will ensure the Hunter takes big strides forward when it comes to recycling.
“We’re talking about a whole lot of waste that will be captured, processed and recycled, as opposed to ending up in holes in the ground,” Smith said.
“The Hunter recycling rate sits at about 40 per cent, whereas NSW has statewide targets of 80 per cent and beyond. We’re confident this facility will narrow that gap.
“Our experience in the Hunter, nationally and globally tells us that people want more recycling, and for that to happen you need facilities such as this.”
Smith said the facility was a one-of-a-kind given that it could handle so many types of waste.
“Some recycling sites tend to specialise, but the Tomago facility will be a one-stop hub that can deal with waste and recycling material from across the spectrum,” Smith added.
Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW executive director Tony Khoury said the facility was a waste management milestone for the Hunter region.
“The aim of modern waste management is to do what’s possible to stop unrecyclable waste going into the ground,” explained Khoury.
“On that front, this project ticks all the boxes, making it a big win for the environment and the broader community.”
Remondis’ smaller existing waste handling site at Thornton will gradually be wound back, with all operations folded in the new Tomago site without disruption to services.
The Tomago site will exploy 76 people, with eight new jobs to be created.
Subject to final EPA approvals, Remondis will commence operations at the Tomago site by December and progress to full operations early next year.