Construction company NTEX is leading the way as the Northern Territory implements its first Circular Economy strategy.
NTEX has introduced a pre-demolition audit to all projects to identify waste streams and determine recycling paths and opportunities to create useable products in civil construction.
To date NTEX has averaged more than 93 per cent recyclable rate on all 18 demolition projects combined during the past two years, and most recently close to a 98 per cent recyclable rate for the Richardson Park demolition project.
The Circular Economy Strategy, released in April this year, is the Territory Government’s roadmap to protecting the environment from waste by increasing resource recovery, recycling and reuse, including phasing out and banning single use plastics by 2025 and investing and supporting businesses to develop and resource their own recycling schemes.
It includes a commitment of $1.9 million for the Northern Territory Recycling Modernisation Fund for a grants program, and $300,000 per year from 2021-22 recurring for the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security to co-ordinate delivery of the strategy.
Natasha Fyles, Chief Minister, said the government is focused on creating a sustainable environment.
“Applying circular economy principles means turning waste into a valuable resource, which keeps it out of the environment where it can cause harm, and inside the economy where it can create value, jobs and growth,” Fyles said.
“NTEX are showing Territorians exactly how a circular economy should work with their projects. Their waste has been diverted from landfill, into another useable product.”
The five-year plan to transition the Territory from a linear model of taking, using and disposing of resources into a circular economy, addresses existing challenges with waste and establishing the circular economy industry as a contributor to the Territory’s $40 billion economy by 2030.
Work has commenced on the $3.8 million recycling modernisation funding available to small business, industry and local councils on a 50:50 co-contribution basis; and the stage 1 needs analysis of the Big Rivers Material Recovery Facility in Katherine.
An independent review of the NT landfill guidelines is being carried out to deter landfilling of recyclables and ensure protection of the environment; and reforms to environmental regulation of mining are being finalised and a cost benefit analysis of implementation of waste levies is in train.
Lauren Moss, Minister for Environment, said the Recycling Modernisation Fund is a great initiative to assist local business and organisations to adopt innovative and sustainable recycling models.
“Investing in businesses and systems that increase the Territory’s recycling rate will create local jobs and grow the economy.
“More than a third of the Territory’s waste is generated from construction, demolition, commercial and industrial activities so it’s great to see companies such as NTEX leading the way as part of its successful business model.”