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$22m Tomago Resource Recovery Facility to fill critical gap

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A multi-functional waste processing service at Tomago will fill a critical recycling gap in the Hunter Valley – and lift it to unprecedented levels.

The $22 million Tomago Resource Recovery Facility (TRRF) will see Remondis nearly double the amount of waste it handles in the Hunter, from about 55,000 to nearly 100,000 tonnes per year.

Sitting within Tomago’s industrial precinct, the premises is unique given that it 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.

A centrepiece is a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) facility, which processes waste into a solid fuel that can be used for energy-making in industrial settings, and as a cleaner alternative to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal.

The waste will come from homes, businesses, construction and mining sites across the Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast, with up to 93% 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.

Remondis Hunter and Western region NSW manager Scott Smith said the facility would enable the Hunter to take big strides forward when it came 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,” he explained.

“The Hunter recycling rate sits at about 40%, whereas NSW has state-wide targets of 80% 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.”

Mr Smith said the TRRF was a one-of-a-kind given 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,” he added.

Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW executive director Tony Khoury said the facility was a waste management milestone for the Hunter.

“The aim of modern waste management is to do what’s possible to stop unrecyclable waste going into the ground,“ he acknowledged.

“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 into the new Tomago site without disruption to services.   

It will employ 76 people, with eight new jobs to be created.

Subject to final EPA approvals, Remondis will start operations at Tomago by December and progress to full operations early next year.  

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