Recycled glass paves the way for Rockhampton roads, jobs

01 June 2022

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs

The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon


A brand new facility to process recycled glass into useful construction materials is nearing completion in Rockhampton, the Palaszczuk Government has announced.


The $2 million facility, funded in part by the Palaszczuk Government, is expected to begin processing recycled glass provided through Queensland’s container refund scheme, Containers for Change, in June.


Kriaris Recyclables Processing, located in Kunwara, has employed six people in construction of the purpose-built facility, while five people will have jobs processing glass at the facility when opened driving Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan from COVID-19.


The project works by taking glass collected by one of Rockhampton’s Containers for Change recycling refund points, which is sorted out from other eligible containers, and then crushing it into glass fines, which can be used for making new bitumen for roads and as a replacement for natural sand used in construction.


Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said Kriaris had received $600,000 under the Palaszczuk Government’s Resource Recovery Industry Development Program (RRIDP) to help build the facility.


“This industry development program has assisted Queensland’s resource recovery industries to create projects and initiatives that divert waste from landfill, reduce stockpiling and create jobs,” Minister Scanlon said.


“Since its launch in September 2018, grant funding has been awarded to 29 businesses and local government projects diverting 1.3 million tonnes of waste per annum from landfill, delivering an additional $193.8 million in capital investment and creating more than 360 jobs across Queensland.


Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the new facility in Rockhampton would help to divert 6,800 tonnes of waste away from landfill each year. 


“A local facility to process recycled glass from Containers for Change means that glass being consumed in Rockhampton can be utilised here,” Mr O’Rourke said.


“Rather than being transported and being processed in other parts of the state, there is far less emissions and costs, using locally collected, recycled, and processed glass for projects such as building new roadways and civil construction right here.”


Minister Scanlon said:


“It means that if you’re drinking a beer in Rockhampton, and you recycle it through Containers for Change, not only do you get that 10 cents refunded to you but one day soon you may be walking over that same very glass that has been used by council to build roads.”


Rockhampton currently has a goal of becoming a “zero-waste” community by 2050, aiming to divert 90 per cent of waste from landfill.


More than 530 million containers have been recycled in Central Queensland since the Containers for Change scheme launched in November 2018.


Ken Noye, CEO of COEX the non-for-profit that runs the Containers for Change scheme, says the new facility shows off the value of recycled materials to Queensland’s economy.


“These are the jobs of the future, where real value to a city is being created from the city’s recycled containers,” he said.


“Using locally processed material means materials don’t have to be driven over the state, or shipped in from overseas.


“Materials recycled through the Containers for Change scheme go on to many different uses, whether that be creating new drink containers, construction materials, and even items like kitchen benchtops and home insulation.


“The Rockhampton glass processing facility is just one of many projects Containers for Change is working on throughout the state to provide more jobs for Queenslanders powered by recycling than ever before. We are very pleased to be able to see these projects also supported by the Queensland Government”


Kriaris Recyclables Processing Central Queensland is set to open in mid June.


For more information including what containers are eligible for refunds through the scheme, visit the website.


Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz – 0420 592 078