Circulate, NSW EPA Industrial Ecology Program

Circulate funds facilitators to work with organisations across NSW to improve their environmental practices. Facilitators help organisations identify and implement projects to divert waste from landfill. The diverted material provides other organisations with resources, reducing waste generated and relieving pressure on landfills.

About industrial ecology

Industrial ecology increases the efficiency of industry's resource use, by shifting it from a linear to a closed-loop or circular system.

  • Traditional industry typically follows a linear pattern. Virgin resources are extracted from the environment, products are made and sold, and waste products are sent to landfill.
  • Industrial ecology redesigns industrial processes so they function in similar ways to natural ecosystems. In this way, the waste products of one process become the resources of another process.

Industrial ecology has important economic and environmental benefits. Using the by-products of other companies or industries can reduce an organisations’ costs and reduce the amount or waste going to landfill.

Who the program is for

Circulate’s industrial ecology facilitators work with

  • medium-to-large enterprises and businesses
  • not-for-profit organisations
  • government organisations

The program has two major streams, targeting

  • commercial and industrial waste
  • construction and demolition waste

Grant funding of up to $2.5 million is available for both streams. 

Circulate is for organisations from a wide range of sectors, including

  • manufacturing
  • trade
  • commercial property
  • clubs and accommodation
  • education
  • healthcare and social assistance

Circulate facilitators

  • help organisations manage many different types of waste including timber, plastic, food wastes, packaging and building operational waste
  • provide their network of businesses with the support to identify resource recovery opportunities, overcome technical barriers, and establish realistic business cases for change

Program targets

The Circulate, NSW EPA Industrial Ecology program is part of the NSW Government's Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative, using funds derived from the waste levy. By 2021, Circulate seeks to

  • engage with 1000 medium to large enterprises
  • target 160,000 tonnes of landfill diversion

Benefits of joining an industrial ecology network

  • Reducing costs and waste by applying industrial ecology principles to your business.
  • Access to specialist advice.
  • Networking, education, information-sharing and collaboration.
  • Increasing your business profile and demonstrating your commitment to sustainability and innovation.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting for projects established through the network.
  • Branding and marketing support for projects established through the network.

How to join your regional industrial ecology network

To join Circulate, contact the EPA-funded facilitator in your area.

Organisation Region

Cross Connections Consulting

Hunter Region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Areas

Edge Environment

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area

Stephen Mitchell Associates

Sydney Region: Sydney Metropolitan Area

WildBlue Global Consulting

Hunter Region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Areas

zeRRRo

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

Case studies of industrial ecology network participants

Industrial ecology program

Circulate - recycling soft plastics in the Hunter region

Circulate - recycling plasterboard in the Hunter region

Circulate boosting recycling from infrastructure projects in the Hunter Region

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Time: 00:00 / 00:00Volume: 0Transcript: Plastics Circulate Case Study Final 720p.doc
Time: 00:00 / 00:00Volume: 0Transcript: Plasterboard Circulate Case Study Final 720p.doc
Time: 00:00 / 00:00Volume: 0Transcript: Plastics Circulate Case Study Final 720p.doc
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