CEFC commits $75 million to develop Queensland’s C&D recycling facility

Left to Right: Rino Recycling General Manager Daniel Blaser, CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth and Rino Recycling Director Todd Pepper

The CEFC is committing $75 million in debt finance to develop what will be Queensland’s flagship construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facility at Rino Recycling, substantially boosting Australia’s recycling sector and expanding our onshore recycling capabilities.

What is the market offering of the C&D recycling facility?

Operated by Rino Recycling and strategically located in Pinkenba, between the Brisbane central business district and Airport, the $89m facility is expected to deliver 55,363tCO2-e of carbon abatement annually, equivalent to taking almost 12,000 cars off the road. With a recovery rate of more than 90%, it will produce higher quality recycled products for re-use.

The new integrated plant – one of Australia’s largest for throughput volume under one roof – will be able to process more than one million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste annually, including concrete, excavation material, vacuum waste and skip bin waste, diverting a significant amount of valuable resources from landfill. The CEFC investment is the single largest to be made via its $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund

The facility will address the under-developed C&D recycling sector in Southeast Queensland, using leading global recycling tech by Turmec from Ireland and CDE from Northern Ireland.

What does the funding mean for Rino Recycling?

Rino Recycling General Manager Daniel Blaser said: “The design philosophy behind this state-of-the-art facility is to not only deliver top recovery rates, but to create the highest quality outputs as value-add products to the building, construction and manufacturing sectors.”

“What is unique about this plant is that it is fully automated and able to handle many and various waste streams through the plant efficiently, separating the products effectively and creating valuable outputs without the need to rehandle or reprocess. The new integrated plant is one of Australia’s largest for throughput volume under one roof, is the first of its type, and will help Brisbane create a more sustainable Olympics,” Daniel Blaser further commented.

Commending the initiative by CEFC, Rino Recycling Director Todd Pepper said: “Brisbane is expected to continue the trend in significant population growth over the next 20 years, in addition to the construction requirements of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.”

“The city has a significant pipeline of infrastructure development, including expansion of the Brisbane Airport and the development of the Brisbane city region in the SEQ ‘City deal’. The potential for recycling building material in the projects is huge, and it’s great to be working with the CEFC to help establish this plant and contribute to a more sustainable Olympics.”

“The introduction of the landfill levy by the Queensland Government in 2019, and their commitment to almost double it by 2027, has enabled us to make this investment in this proven technology. This facility will not only help SEQ achieve its Olympics commitments but preserve a number of its finite resources by recycling existing materials in the system first.”

What does the funding mean for CEFC?

CEFC Chief Executive Officer Ian Learmonth said: “This investment helps provide a solution to Australia’s growing waste stream and accelerates our transition to a circular economy by deploying best-in-class tech to further develop our recycling sector. It offers an opportunity to deliver important infrastructure to Queensland and comes at a critical time for Brisbane, with the city on the cusp of a construction boom in the count down to the 2032 Olympics.”

CEFC Industrials Lead Mac Irvine said: “This project marks a significant development for Australia’s circular economy and for recycling in Queensland. Additionally, output products like recycled aggregates, road bases and sands/soils can be used in place of virgin products to create opportunities for lower embodied carbon content in construction projects.”

“As we strive for a net zero emissions economy, we must cut emissions wherever they occur, from how we build to how we recycle. This facility shows how to unlock the untapped value of what is ‘waste’ to deliver a more sustainable low-emissions built environment.”

Less than a third of all construction and demolition waste around the world is recovered and reused. According to Australia’s National Waste Report 2022, 29 million tonnes of waste came from the C&D sector last year, amounting to 38% of all waste generated in Australia, a significant proportion of which is sent to landfill. The Brisbane facility investment brings CEFC lifetime commitments across the waste and bioenergy sectors to more than $560 million.