Joint media release: Recycling to become a boom industry in Queensland

13 July 2021

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Steven Miles MP, Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
The Hon Meaghan Scanlon MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Hon Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management


Queensland is set to scale up its waste recycling infrastructure with an $80 million combined investment that will scale up, transform, and grow the state’s waste and recycling industries.

The Australian and Queensland Governments will each invest $20 million in the $40 million Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF). Queensland industries will match this funding, delivering a total of $80 million in new investment for Queensland.

The Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said that the projects funded will help protect the environment, boost the economy and create jobs in Queensland.

“The Recycling Modernisation Fund is the centrepiece of the Australian Government’s one-billion-dollar transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling industries, which will ensure that Australia has sufficient recycling infrastructure in place to reprocess our valuable waste resources,” said Minister Ley.

“Today’s investment will lead to more unprocessed waste materials now being recycled every year in Queensland and made into new products, following our ban on exporting waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres overseas.” 

Queensland Deputy-Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund was open for applications till 7 September 2021. 

“This Fund will invest in projects including new high-tech equipment to sort, process and remanufacture mixed plastic, paper and cardboard, glass and tyres,” Mr Miles said.

“This investment is part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to expanding industry’s footprint and creating new jobs through our $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund. 

“We want to continue to sustainably grow the resource recovery industry through this new Fund and increase capacity to process additional waste, deliver environmental and community benefits and create new jobs, particularly in regional areas.

“This investment is part of Queensland’s economic recovery plan. We want to make Queensland a world leader in recovery and recycling projects.” 

The Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction, Trevor Evans, said that as Queensland’s population continues to grow, there is a pressing need for modern, state-of-the-art recycling solutions, and recycling stands to become a boom industry for the state.

“This new funding means that Queensland can take advantage of the most recent technological innovations in the recycling space. The result will be that we recycle more, better protect the environment and support new jobs,” said Assistant Minister Evans. 

“Our waste is a valuable product, not a problem that needs to be solved or put into landfill and forgotten.  We must use it to create jobs, spark innovation, and deliver strong environmental outcomes.” 

Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the Fund will make an invaluable contribution towards Queensland becoming a zero-waste society while also creating jobs as part of the state’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19.

“It adds to the record $1.4 billion the Queensland Government is investing to protect our environment, reduce waste and create jobs at a time when we need them most,” Minister Scanlon said. 

“For every job that you have in traditional landfill industries, recycling creates three times that number – making this an exciting opportunity when it comes to new jobs for Queenslanders. 

“This shared investment embeds the principles of a circular economy in the state, ensuring valuable recyclable materials can be processed and reused in Australia.

“The recycling and resource recovery sector is keen to grow, and this funding will help them become more productive, efficient and drive greater and more inclusive job creation.” 

The $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund investment, and associated measures to support Australia’s National Waste Policy Action Plan, will create approximately 10,000 new jobs across Australia over the next ten years. Additionally, it will divert 10 million tonnes of waste each year which will no longer go to landfill.

For further information see https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/how-we-manage-waste/recycling-modernisation-fund and https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/qrmf