Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program

Program snapshot

Category: Business recycling program 

Amounts: Individual grants from $20,000 up to $150,000

Eligible bodies: Business, not-for-profit organisations, government agencies and organisations, industry bodies and product stewardship groups

Contact: 131 555 or

Status: Closed 

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)


The Circulate Industrial Ecology Program is 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. Part of the NSW Government's Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative, Circulate has contributed $7.2 million of funding across 55 projects since 2013..

Grant recipients

Round 3

Intake 8

Allocated $1,609,789 to fund sixteen projects under the Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Funding Description
Good360 Australia $150,000 Matching Retail Waste to Australians in Need: Good360 will develop a mobile app to scale their current local store matching program for retailers to donate excess new goods to local communities and charities. This will reduce transport movements, environmental impact and emissions.
Goterra Pty Ltd $89,400 Upcycling organic waste into protein in Albury using maggots: Goterra, in partnership with Albury City Council, Woolworths and Veolia, will trial the use of maggots and robotics to convert commercial food waste currently sent to landfill into high value, low impact protein and soil conditioner. This will replace high impact proteins used in pet food and animal feed.
Centre for Organic Research and Education (CORE) $147,600 Adoption of Recycled Materials in Water Management: CORE is collaborating with Woollahra Municipal Council to deliver innovative water management projects using recycled materials, including the first 100% recycled content Top-Dressing Amendment (instead of excavated sand and soil) and upgrading a stormwater capture, treatment and reuse system at Rose Bay Promenade. The reuse of site materials will save Council disposal and reprocessing costs.
Cleanaway $29,648 Extending the life of Hospital plastics: Cleanaway will partner with Fresenius Kabi to divert previously non-recyclable hospital plastics from landfill, targeting waste generated by hospital theatres like instrument packaging, kidney dishes and measuring jugs. Through source separation and comprehensive education, these materials will be reprocessed into plastic chairs, car batteries, park benches and more.
reDirect Recycling Pty Ltd $150,000 Wood Recovery Initiative Expansion Project: reDirect will divert waste wood pallets from landfill, aggregating, stripping, decontaminating and shredding the material for onsale to Borg Manufacturing, who will remanufacture the material into new particleboard products.
Six Simple Machines $48,000 Closed Loop Cuppa: Six Simple Machines will help slash plastic waste in the hospitality industry by going a step further on their low-waste and money-saving cafe milk dispensing equipment. Replacing 2L HDPE milk bottles with 10L milk bladders already reduces milk packaging waste by over 60%, but this project will see them pilot an innovative circular economy solution to bring milk packaging waste down to 0%, recycling milk bladders into products that will go back to the dairy and hospitality industries, providing the perfect closed loop cuppa.
Rhyle Pty Ltd t/a Deni Ag Contractors $100,000 Deni Ag Concrete Screening and Environmental By-product Project: Rhyle Pty Ltd will install a fuel-efficient Reclaiming Screening machine that will sort and provide market opportunities for the reclaimed concrete and brick rubble.
Albury City Council $62,000 AWMC - Circulate Option for Plasterboard: Albury City Council will increase diversion, recycling and reuse of Construction & Demolition and Commercial & Industrial plasterboard waste using developed plasterboard recycling markets and capitalising on the success of the Halve Waste program by delivering targeted education campaigns to increase the clean supply of this material. Federation council will trial collecting plasterboard waste, supporting more regional collection points to increase transport efficiencies and build a more robust rural circular economy.
Disruptive Packaging Pty Ltd $110,000 Replacing Polystyrene with a superior closed loop solution: Disruptive Packaging are replacing polystyrene packaging with an alternative that can be reused up to ten times and completely recycled through a low-energy, low-water process, into new packaging - closing the loop on seafood and fresh produce packaging.
Valley Industries Limited $129,700 Recycled Plastics Manufacturing capacity expansion: Valley Industries will establish a resource recovery centre to recycle up to 600 tonnes of plastics annually, increasing the range and volume of plastic waste diverted from landfill by adding a secured shed to their existing equipment, undertaking product testing and transporting plastic waste to be recycled into tooling and gardening supplies. The manufacturing plant expansion will create local jobs in MidCoast and establish a domestic supply chain for products currently reliant on imported waste product.
Plastic Forests Pty Ltd $150,000 Growing circularity & recycled end markets for distressed soft plastic: In the largest agricultural soft plastic recycling initiative ever undertaken in NSW Plastic Forests will work with three regional Councils, community groups, farms and local businesses to divert 158 tonnes of distressed soft plastics from Commercial & Industrial landfill. The soft plastics will be used as feedstock to remanufacture Plastic Forests’ range of recycled products and then sold back to waste generators and others to promote the circular economy.
Worn Up $100,000 Worn Up's 'Textile Rescue Program' diverts non-wearable uniform textile waste from landfill though unique pre-kerbside direct collection. This textile waste is processed into a raw material called Rectex which is remanufactured into new products including desks, dog beds and stools. Worn Up has proved that pre-kerbside collection is preferred by consumers, generates more textile waste and creates less contamination, making the raw material more suitable for remanufacturing.
WildBlueGlobal Consulting $138,635 Extracting maximum value from food waste: WildBlueGlobal Consulting will work with one of Australia’s largest wholesale fruit and vegetable distributors to save pulp waste from landfill and using it as animal feed, extracting maximum value from food processing and production waste for both food company and end users.
Albury City Council $25,318 Business Soft Plastic Recycling Trial: Albury City Council is partnering with Plastic Forests to reduce the amount of Commercial & Industrial soft plastic waste going to landfill. They will work closely with local small to medium businesses, recyclers and councils to source separate, process and manufacture items made from 100% recycled content. At the conclusion of this trial, the service will be extended to other councils in the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation to further progress towards NSW diversion targets and support a local circular economy.
Albury City Council $30,243 Sunset on Solar (SoS): Albury City Council is partnering with PV Industries to establish baseline data for existing solar panels entering the waste stream and prepare for future large-scale systems that will be entering in the coming years. This project will serve as proof of concept for collecting and processing expired solar panels in the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation region. Additional resources will be dedicated to informing solar providers, solar farm contractors and the general public on proper disposal of solar panels.
Impact Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd (IEC) $149,245 Reusability - Giving unwanted textiles and bric-a-brac a second life: Impact Environmental will partner with Willing and Able and Port Macquarie Hastings Council to increase community donations of textiles. Processing textiles onsite and returning them to Willing and Able's retail as clothes, increasing material recycling service and textiles sold to other social enterprises will strengthen the local circular economy. With a new online booking/pick up service, new drop off locations and employment opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities, the project will be proof of concept for a replicable fee for service model.

Intake 7

Allocated $731,300 to fund seven projects under the Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Funding Description

Circular Hub Pty Ltd


The Plastic Blueprint is a digital platform that will enable businesses to access a step-by-step guide, resources and all the tools needed to implement an effective soft plastics reduction and recycling program within their organisation.

Edge Environment Pty Ltd


The Paving the way for glass recycling project will demonstrate the environmental benefits and address barriers to the uptake of recycled glass in infrastructure projects. Funding will support the development of an Environmental Product Declaration for the use of recycled glass fines as a replacement for virgin sand as a raw material in State Significant Infrastructure projects.

Yume Food


Eliminating food waste in manufacturing: Funding will assist Yume Food, a social enterprise, to extend its online marketplace connecting suppliers of quality surplus food with buyers. Edible food will be repurposed, providing a permanent diversion of food waste from landfill.

Circular Centre Pty Ltd


The Circular Textile Waste Service provides a value chain of partnerships that capture, sort, dismantle and repurpose denim and PPE textiles many times over. Textiles will be redesigned into new clothing and remanufactured into other new products in the auto, architectural, building, fashion and interiors industries.

Valera Recycling Pty Ltd


Recycling contaminated hard plastics: This project will see the recycling of 600 tonnes of contaminated hard plastics using specialist plastic washing and shredding systems.

WildBlueGlobal Consulting


Recycling in the hydroponics industry: Working with a major vegetable grower, this project will involve the recycling of the rockwool growing medium and plastic packaging from hydroponic cropping.

Textile Recyclers Australia


Textile recycling: This project will help three Australian companies, Sheridan, Manrags and Uniqlo keep unwanted textiles out of landfill via recycling.

Intake 6

Allocated $1,010,658 to fund eight projects under the Circulate, NSW Industrial Ecology Program.

Organisation Funding Description

Economy Waste Services Pty Ltd


This project will extract recyclable aggregates from mixed construction and demolition waste streams. Funded machinery will separate this 10 mm to 75 mm aggregate into clean masonry aggregate and light plastics/foam ready for recycling.

Industry City Earth (ICE) Consulting Pty Ltd


Industry City Earth Consulting Pty Ltd will work with Sustainable Salons to divert waste from salons in regional NSW. Aluminium, plastics and hair waste will be repurposed into oil spill clean up kits, wigs, cable protection covers, wheel stops, sunglasses and recycled aluminium foil.

Plasrec Australia Pty Ltd


Plasrec will collect soft plastics from Commercial and Industrial sources, wash, filter and pelletise this Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) plastic waste for recycling.

Recirc Australia Pty Ltd


This project will involve the reprocessing of 3,000 tonnes of waste glass material from Commercial and Industrial waste streams that currently go to landfill. The graded and cleaned glass will be utilised as a replacement for Virgin raw material.

Renewable Oil Services


Renewable Oil Services will establish a recovery plant to separate and recycle metals, plastics, rubber, textiles and paper associate with used oil filters, air filters, hydraulic hoses and bulk containers.

The Diverter


The Textiles to Textiles project is a partnership between The Diverter and the Matthew Talbot Clothing Recycling Centre. The project will involve the collection and reprocessing of 1,000 tonnes of textile waste from second hand shops. The textile waste will be sold in retail stores, reused as rags in manufacturing and mechanical businesses and exported as clothing in developing countries.

The Diverter


The Diverter will partner with Sustainable Salons to expand collection services in to the Northern Rivers region. Waste hair, plastics, aluminium and paper will be collected from salons and reprocessed into a variety of products.



VINREC Soft Plastic Recycling Project will divert 1,000 tonnes of soft plastic waste. Soft plastics will be recovered from commercial and industrial sources and will be converted into plastic resins for recycling.


Intake 3

Allocated $523,171 to fund four 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.


Intake 2

Allocated $390,000 to fund three 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)  $125,000 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 1

Allocated $357,500 to fund three 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.

Round 2

Round 2 allocated $1,336,307 to fund eleven 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 six 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

Circular Economy Programs
Business Recycling Unit
Phone: 131 555

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