CEFC invests to reduce construction, demolition waste ahead of Brisbane Olympics
24 April 2023
The CEFC is committing $75 million in debt finance to develop what will be Queensland’s flagship construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facility, substantially boosting Australia’s recycling sector and expanding our onshore recycling capabilities.
Operated by Rino Recycling and strategically located in Pinkenba, between the Brisbane CBD and Airport, the $89 million 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 per cent, 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 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.
CEFC CEO 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 technology 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.”
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 these construction projects is very large, 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.”
The new facility will help address the under-developed C&D recycling sector in Southeast Queensland, using leading global recycling technology by Turmec from Ireland and CDE from Northern Ireland.
Rino Recycling General Manager Daniel Blaser said: “The design philosophy behind this state-of-the-art facility is to not only deliver world leading recovery rates, but to create the highest quality outputs as value-add products to the building, construction and manufacturing industries.
“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.”
CEFC Industrials Lead Mac Irvine said: “This project marks a significant development for Australia’s circular economy and for recycling in Queensland. 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 look to deliver a net zero emissions economy by 2050, we need to cut emissions wherever they occur, from the way we build to the way we recycle. This facility demonstrates how to unlock the untapped value of what is considered ‘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 reused1. According to Australia’s National Waste Report 2022, 29 million tonnes of waste came from the C&D sector last year, amounting to 38 per cent of all waste generated in Australia,2 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.
About Rino Recycling
Rino Recycling was established by Queensland Recycling Technologies (QRT), a joint venture between Alceon Qld and Edward Bull of Real Estate and Private Equity investor DCP. The organisation’s flagship site at 45 Eagle Farm Road, Pinkenba, currently processes approximately 500,000 tonnes of waste per annum. This eight hectare site is located 15 minutes from the Brisbane CBD, South East Queensland’s major construction and demolition waste generation hub. Firmly focused on the future, Rino Recycling is developing a state-of-the-art recycling and resource recovery processing plant with a view to becoming Queensland’s leading recycled construction materials producer.
1 World Economic Forum, Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology, May 2016.
2 National Waste Report, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, 22 December 2022
Media release, 2023