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: Round 3 Intake 6 closes on 25 October 2019. 

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)


Circulate is a six-year, $5.46 million program designed to fund innovative, commercially oriented industrial ecology projects. Circulate supports projects that will recover materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill, and to instead use them as feedstock for other commercial, industrial or construction processes.

Learn more about Circulate.

How to apply

Complete the following application form and submit prior to the intake closing dates below. Evaluation by a Technical Review Committee and awarding of grant funding will occur after each closing date.

Intake closing dates.

Grant application intake closing date Technical Review Committee meeting date
Intake 6: 25 October 2019 19 November 2019


In May 2018, revisions were made to the Circulate program to address changes in the recycling industry. These revisions came into effect after the intake closed on 18 July 2018.

Information webinar

The EPA held an information session and webinar on 05 July 2018 for potential applicants, including local government, business, industry and not-for-profit organisations on three Waste Less, Recycle More grants programs.

The session introduced the Product Improvement Program and the revisions to the Civil Construction Market and Circulate Programs. 

The session also provides an update on the EPA’s response to China’s National Sword Policy.

Segment times:
00:00 – 18:06     Introduction & update on EPA’s response to China’s National Sword policy
18:10 – 36:45     Circulate (Industrial Ecology Program)
36:46 – 50:31     Civil Construction Market Program
50:34 – 1:55:05  Product Improvement Program

Grant recipients

Round 3

Intake 1

Allocated $357,500 to fund 3 projects under the Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Funding Description

Cross Connections Consulting Pty Ltd


A regional, Hunter-based pilot which will collect soft plastics from businesses fortnightly. The plastics will be processed and used to make benches, garden beds and fencing.

Stephen Consulting Group Pty Ltd


This project will commission a customised mobile baler, designed specifically to bale soft plastics. They will be dry cleaned and reprocessed into cable covers, garden edging and root guard.

Centre for Organic Research and Education


The project will develop methods to substitute the use of sand in the manufacture of biofiltration technology for runoff water treatment, instead using organics, wood, timber and mixed cullet glass fines.

Intake 2

Allocated $510,000 to fund 4 projects under the Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Funding Description

Pelican Head Resources Pty Ltd


The project will research and demonstrate that paper mill waste can be used to rehabilitate sulfidic mine sites dams where acid drainage can be an issue.

Bottlecycler Sydney North t/a European Baler Rentals (EBR)


Will establish a network of commercial and industrial sources of plastic milk bottles and develop a logistics network to facilitate recycling the bottles into virgin-replacement resin.

Closed Loop Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd


Simply Cups is an existing coffee cup recycling program. The project will look to increase the quantity of coffee cups collected for reprocessing from office buildings as well as collection places in public spaces such as shopping centres, entertainment precincts, airports, hospitals and other businesses.

Intake 3

Allocated $523,171 to fund 4 projects under the Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Funding Description
Good360 Australia Pty Ltd


The project aims to identify and recover unsold non-perishable personal care items, currently stored in warehouses, back into the productive economy. Materials will be redirected for social benefit through refuges and shelters.
Vinidex Pty Ltd


Residual Polyvinyl chloride from construction and demolition and commercial and industrial waste streams will be collected and processed for use in the production of plastic pipes and fittings - closing the loop on finite resources.

WastePro 3BL Pty Ltd


This project will establish a model and technology platform to enable the regional collection and processing of Expanded Polystyrene on the Central Coast. It will engage social and disability enterprises to enable meaningful work and revenue streams. It aims to demonstrate a successful platform and business model for state-wide rollout.

Winya Indigenous Furniture Pty Ltd


Up to 99 percent of used office furniture is currently sent to landfill. Used office furniture will be collected and disassembled, the metal recycled, and the melamine removed. Medium density fibreboard and particleboard will be recycled into e-board for use in new office furniture by Indigenous staff..


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 Description

Advitech Pty Ltd

Murray region: Murray and Murrumbidgee areas


The Murray Darling area is an important agricultural region and provides an opportunity to recycle plastic waste, such as silage wrap, grain tubes, pit covers and baling twine from local farms. 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


This project in the Hunter region will facilitate industrial ecology connections to recover materials from building sites, and return them to 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


Resource recovery from office de-fits 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


This project will work with the food supply chain in Sydney, addressing 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 outdoor furniture.

Stephen Mitchell Associates

Sydney region: Sydney metropolitan area


The practice of reusing timber is becoming more important as hardwood timber supplies are reducing. This project will target the Sydney region’s 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


The aim of this project is to establish timber reprocessing facilities in the Central Coast/Hunter region. This project will collect timber pallets on the Central Coast and transport them to the Tamworth region for processing into animal bedding.             


South East region: Wollongong, South East and South Coast areas


Under this project in the South-East region, quality pallets and timber will be reused, and lower-quality timbers recovered for reuse and processing as mulch and compost.

Edge Environment

Sydney region: Sydney metropolitan area


Using a reverse logistics approach, this project will work in the Sydney region to recover plastic film, cardboard and other transport logistics waste. 

Wild Blue Global Consulting

Hunter region: Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter areas


Education and engagement are important tools to reduce and recover food waste. The project will trial an engagement program for Hunter region businesses to educate and increase interest in diverting 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


This Sydney-based project will recover out-of-specification (pre-consumer) building materials.

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.

More information

Waste and Resource Recovery Branch
Business Recycling Unit
Phone: (02) 9995 5228

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