Wagga's Kurrajong Recycling will invest more than $1 million on sorting equipment improvements that will help the environment and employ more people with a disability
The not-for-profit organisation will use a combination of its own funds and new state and federal government grants to increase its processing capacity by 238 tonnes a year.
The federal and NSW governments have invested $260,405 each and Kurrajong has contributed $537,153 towards a total cost of $1,057,963 to upgrade its Return and Earn, glass and plastic sorting lines.
Kurrajong Recycling commercial enterprises general manager Michael Merrylees said the upgrades were intended to increase capacity and reduce the amount of material that the Wagga operation sends to landfill.
"There won't be any negative impact on jobs. What it allows us to do is remove more saleable product from kerbside collection and what we collect and then on-sell that and reduce what's going out to the tip," he said.
"It allows us to put people into roles that are less repetitive or less difficult. Being more efficient and having better equipment means we can redeploy people to other parts of the plant."
Kurrajong employs about 90 people at its Chaston Street recycling plant and more than half of those are people with a disability.
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Kurrajong Recycling manager Craig Salan said the economic benefits would flow back to the community.
"It's good for the community as whatever Kurrajong makes, as its a non-for-profit, goes back into the community to help support people living with disabilities," he said.
"There's not really much of the operation that we're not going to touch; we're upgrading some machinery over in the [Container Deposit Scheme] processing plant and that's to give us a cleaner material over there."
Kurrajong plans to start work on the upgrades in spring and finish by the end of next year using grants from the federal Recycling Modernisation Fund and state-level Remanufacture NSW program.
"Kurrajong does a power of work for the Wagga community and this funding will ensure it continues to play a vital part of our nation's recycling future," Riverina MP Michael McCormack said.
Wagga-based NSW MLC Wes Fang said the state government grant for innovative large-scale projects in the waste industry was a win for both the environment and the region's economy.
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