Joint media release: Strengthening the territory's recycling capacity

10 November 2023

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
The Hon Nicole Manison, Deputy Chief Minister

More than 5,700 tonnes of waste will be diverted from Northern Territory landfill each year thanks to a $1.24 million co-investment from the Federal and Northern Territory Labor Governments.

Funding for 4 new projects will address gaps in the Territory’s waste recycling capabilities including in the remote communities of Lajamanu, Laramba and Engawala. Three project sites are near Darwin and Katherine.

The investment is expected to support at least 12 ongoing jobs and 14 construction jobs, and with additional funding from industry the total investment is $2.6 million. 

The new and upgraded facilities will process waste plastics, tyres, paper and cardboard, and glass, and turn them into valuable new commodities such as irrigation pipe and rigid plastic produce bins.

The Albanese Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund is accelerating Australia’s circular economy so that when a product is no longer useful or required for its initial purpose, it is either reused, recycled or remanufactured.

Projects already announced under the Recycling Modernisation Fund will add an extra 1.3 million tonnes of processing capacity.

That’s equivalent to the weight of over 25 Sydney Harbour Bridges being kept out of landfill every year while creating over 3,000 jobs.

When combined with co-investment from all states and industry, the Recycling Modernisation Fund will give a $1 billion boost to Australian recycling.

To learn more about the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund visit Investing in Australia's waste and recycling infrastructure - DCCEEW

Territory businesses and organisations can apply for a Circular Economy NT (CENT) Grant for projects that create or improve recycling, reuse or remanufacturing of waste currently going to landfill.

Applications close 5 January 2024. To learn more and apply visit

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek:

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to working with states and territories and industry to better manage waste in locations like regional and remote Northern Territory.

“We recognise there are challenges making it difficult to recycle, reuse and remanufacture waste in smaller and isolated communities, which have dispersed populations and where kerbside collection is not feasible.

“This investment in new and upgraded infrastructure is driving improved waste processing including in the remote communities of Lajamanu, Laramba and Engawala.

“Today’s announcement builds on recycling projects we’ve already funded in Yuelamu, Nyirripi, Willowra and Atitjere in the Central Desert region.

Quotes attributable to the NT Deputy Chief Minister, Nicole Manison:

“We are building a bigger and better circular economy across the Territory which means jobs, jobs, jobs!

"We want to stop valuable material becoming landfill and instead reuse, recycle and remanufacture where it can be done.

“By working closely with industry and the Australian Government, the Territory government is improving environmental outcomes and creating more green jobs by realising economic opportunities of a circular economy for the benefit of all Territorians.

“Supporting resource recovery initiatives like this create local jobs and new industries right across the Territory, all while benefitting the environment.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP:

“Our environment is our lifeline, and its health will determine our future.  Our economies, our food production, our enjoyment of everyday life - all of this is dependent on what we do now.

"There’s nothing square about the circular economy and this investment is a win-win, keeping 5.7 tonnes out of landfill each year while contributing to innovation, growth and job creation in the Northern Territory. 

“With National Recycling Week around the corner [13 – 19 November] it’s important to remember to reduce, reuse and recycle – ensuring no waste is wasted.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Lingiari, Marion Scrymgour MP:

“Recycling of wastes and plastics is an ongoing problem world-wide and it’s harder to tackle in remote communities.”

“As well as spoiling the beauty of our country, it’s also now a major health issue with microplastics getting into our food chain everywhere.”

“We’ve got a way to go to properly fix this problem, but these grants show the Albanese Government is taking this problem seriously and contributing to solutions.”

Round 2 funded projects include:

Elsam Pipe Systems Pty Ltd will receive $266,709 for a pelletising line and conveyor system. The pelletising line will process waste HDPE plastics and the conveyor system will convey output from the pelletising line to then be reused as poly pipe.

Central Desert Regional Council will receive $130,614 to construct recycling bays at waste management facilities in the remote communities of Lajamanu, Laramba and Engawala. 

King’s Group Pty Ltd will receive $750,000 to recycle agricultural plastics (plastic mulch and bins) generated from its own farming business as well as from other agricultural businesses operating in Katherine and nearby regions.

City of Darwin will receive $90,000 to install a stationary compactor unit with a capacity of holding 35 cubic meters of cardboard. This will replace the current system to collect and recycle cardboard using front lift bins and divert 410 tonnes of waste cardboard from going to landfill each year.