Circulate, NSW EPA Industrial Ecology Program

Program snapshot

Category: Business Recycling Program

Amounts: Total of $2.5 million in grants; individual grants up to $150,000

Eligible bodies: Business, not for profit organisations, councils, industry bodies, product stewardship groups

Contact: 1300 361 967 or

Status: Opened on 24 January 2018.

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)


Circulate is a six year, $5.46 million program designed to support recovery of commercial and industrial (C&I) and construction and demolition (C&D) waste from organisations across NSW. Recipients develop synergies with other industries to identify industrial ecology opportunities, increase efficiency, and save money by reducing waste sent to landfill. To date the program has diverted more than 50,000 tonnes of C&I and C&D waste from landfill.

Learn more about Circulate.

How to apply

Round 3 opened on 24 January 2018

This round is ongoing and applications for funding can be submitted at any time up until 30 October 2019, unless the total funding allocation is exhausted earlier. Evaluation by a Technical Review Committee and awarding of grant funding will occur up to four times a year. 

Upcoming intake dates:

  • Intake 1 closes 3pm Monday 26 March 2018
  • Intake 2 closes 3pm Wednesday 18 July 2018
  • Intake 3 closes 3pm Wednesday 24 October 2018

Closing dates for subsequent intakes will be published at a later date.

Guidelines for applicants (PDF 1.2MB)

Application form (DOCX 1.3MB)

Information webinar

The EPA held a webinar on Circulate on 23 January 2018.

The webinar contains information for potential applicants including business, industry, not-for profit and local government organisations. 

The webinar includes information on three Waste Less Recycle More grants that opened on 24 January 2018:

  • Bin Trim – Round 3
  • Circulate (Industrial Ecology) – Round 3
  • Civil Construction Market Program – Round 1

View a recording of this webinar.

0:00 – 3:20 Introduction
3:20 – 29:25 Bin Trim – Round 3
29:25 – 59:10 Circulate (Industrial Ecology) – Round 3
59:20 – 1:19:00 Civil Construction Market – Round 1
1:19:00 – 1:25:53 Other questions

Grant recipients

Round 1

Round 1 allocated $1,623,965 to 6 projects under the Industrial Ecology Business Support Network Grants Program.

Organisation Region Funding Description

Mike Ritchie and Associates Pty Ltd

Murray region


The Murray region is a major food-producing area with some very large-scale food processing plants. They provide untapped opportunities to separate and recover packaged food waste that for various reasons fails to meet specifications. Local processors interested in securing significant quantities of plastic film for reuse have also been identified as a significant target for this network.


Inland region


There has been strong interest in establishing a bio-hub in the region to recover value from food manufacturing waste. The region's significant mining activities also offer an opportunity to use local materials to rehabilitate mine sites.

WildBlue Global Consulting

Hunter region


The Hunter region has pockets of concentrated heavy manufacturing and mining along with a traditional agricultural base. This provides potential industrial ecology opportunities to target the recovery and local reuse of metals, plastics, timber and organics.

Edge Environment Pty Ltd

Sydney region


The Sydney region offers an opportunity to tap into more than 2.5 million square metres of office fit-out material currently made redundant each year, including metal and timber desks, chairs, partitions and computer equipment. Working with office churn has the potential to return 3000 to 4000 tonnes of metals, timber, glass and plastics to the productive economy each year. The fast food industry provides additional opportunities to investigate reducing waste from preparing and selling large volumes of food in Sydney.

Resource Recovery Australia

South-east region


South-east NSW has areas of heavy industry mixed with established agriculture and tourism. Program support will help develop waste recovery opportunities in timber, plastic and metals as well as build on the existing food organics recovery currently underway in the region.

Resource Recovery Australia

North coast region


With a seasonal tourism industry, a strong agricultural base and small pockets of light manufacturing, the North Coast Industrial Ecology Business Support Network has the opportunity to develop initiatives that recover value from plastic film and timber.

Round 2

Round 2 allocated $1,336,307 to fund 11 industrial ecology projects under the Circulate, NSW EPA Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Region Funding Target Description

Advitech Pty Ltd

Murray Region: Murray and Murrumbidgee Areas



Work with local farmers and industry to recycle plastic waste, such as silage wrap, grain tubes, pit covers and baling twine. These plastic wastes will be processed and can be recycled into materials such as timber replacement products.

Cross Connections Consulting

Hunter Region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Areas


Packaging and  Logistics and Building Operation Waste

Facilitate opportunities for local markets and Industrial Ecology connections to ensure material recovered from building sites is put back into the productive economy. Packaging and building operational waste can be recycled into materials such as new building products.

Edge Environment

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area


Building Operation Waste

Resource recovery from office de-fit is approximately 20% in the Sydney CBD. Material removed from commercial buildings contains a mix of hard fill, glass, plasterboard, carpet, ceiling tiles, furniture and cabinetry. This project aims to progress the industry standard to 80% resource recovery and significant landfill avoidance.

Edge Environment

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area


Food Supply Chain Waste

Work with local food supply chains, and other industries to address organic waste, as well as plastic waste (such as hairnets, plastic aprons, soiled plastics and polyethylene covers). These wastes will be processed and can be recycled into materials such as timber replacement products and park outdoor furniture.

Stephen Mitchell Associates

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area



Work with timber recyclers, wood product manufacturers (including frame and truss fabricators), importers and logistics companies to recycle waste timber offcuts and reuse or recycle redundant timber pallets and crates.

WildBlue Global Consulting

Hunter Region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Areas


Wood and Pallets

Collect timber pallets on the Central Coast and transport them to Tamworth region for processing into animal bedding. The ultimate aim is to establish processing facilities in the Central Coast/Hunter region.


South East Region: Wollongong, South East and South Coast Areas



Facilitate the reuse of timber waste including pallets and other timber offcuts that often end up in landfill. Under this project, quality pallets and timber will be reused, and lower-quality timbersrecovered for reuse and processing as mulch and compost.

Edge Environment

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area


Transport & logistics waste

Recovery of plastic film, cardboard and other transport logistics waste using a reverse logistics approach.

Wild Blue Global Consulting

Hunter Region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Areas


Food waste

A trial program involving education and engagement of food waste generating businesses aligning their interest to that of diversion of organic material from landfill.

Cross Connections Consulting

Hunter Region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Areas



This project will work with businesses in the Hunter region to establish a waste plastic collection and recovery program.  The project works with a number of partners. 

Edge Environment

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area


Building products manufacturing

Recovery of out of specification (pre-consumer) building materials.

More information

Waste and Resource Recovery Branch
Business Recycling Unit
Phone: (02)  8275 1515

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