FAQs

Circular economy achievements

In 2019, we enabled our customers to achieve 19 million tonnes of carbon reductions. We also reused and recycled enough material to fill 1.5 million garbage trucks.

Other 2019 highlights

Laptop

Recycled 400,000 tonnes of electronic waste

Blade

Recycled 9.8 million tonnes of secondary metals

Garbage Truck

Diverted 11 million tonnes of material from landfill

Sims Resource Renewal

Sims Limited is the parent company of Sims Metals, Sims Lifecycle Services, Sims Municipal Recycling and Sims Resource Renewal. Through its various business divisions, the company is a global leader in metal and electronics recycling and an emerging leader in municipal recycling and renewable energy.

For more information on our wider business, visit Sims Limited.

Sims Limited’s purpose, create a world without waste to preserve our planet, was introduced in 2019, and it reflects our commitment to creating positive change and being a responsible community partner.

We established Sims Resource Renewal to help us achieve this purpose.

Sims Resource Renewal, a division of Sims Limited, aims to eliminate more than one million tonnes of material from going to landfill each year by 2030 and transform it into new, useful products for society in support of a more circular economy.

New products will include aggregates for construction materials, the building blocks of recycled plastics, and at our initial facilities, electricity to power our own operations.

We are also investing in research and innovation to develop new technologies that will allow us to create a globally-leading, closed loop business model.

This includes developing a new pilot facility at our existing Rocklea metal recycling operation which will allow us to start reducing our waste immediately while we advance this new technology.

Through Sims Resource Renewal we will immediately reduce our materials going to landfill while investing in the research and innovation required to develop a more advanced, closed loop business model.

This will enable us to progress towards achieving our purpose by taking responsibility for our own waste now and creating new products for society, while simultaneously advancing technology in support of the circular economy.

Read more about Sims Resource Renewal.

In each location where we establish a resource renewal facility, we will significantly decrease our environmental footprint by:

  • Reducing our trucking distance travelled.
  • Enabling the renewal and reuse of materials that would otherwise go to landfill.
  • Replacing virgin materials by using recycled material to make new, useful products.
  • Ensuring our design process and research and development are underpinned by our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2042 and net zero by 2050.
  • Furthering our progress towards achieving net zero as we improve our technology, by creating new products which may include the building blocks of recycled plastics.

In addition to significantly reducing Sims Limited’s environmental footprint, the programme will invest in the local communities where our resource renewal facilities are located, which will lead to construction and ongoing jobs, as well as industry development.

Our state-of-the-art resource renewal facilities will be local research and development hubs that will drive innovation.

At each facility, we will also invest in partnerships with the local communities where we operate to establish social value and sustainability initiatives that contribute to create a world without waste to preserve our planet.

We are committed to working in partnership with the communities in and around our sites, and we are seeking ideas and feedback across all stages of our programme.

You can get involved through our social and sustainability partnerships, as well as in the design and environmental planning assessment process for each resource renewal facility.

Learn more on how you can get involved.

We are identifying ways to involve the local community, including through employment and procurement opportunities during construction and operation of the facilities.

To receive updates on procurement and employment opportunities register here or visit our news page.

As defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “a circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems”.

Learn more about the circular economy here.

By their very nature, Sims Limited and its business divisions are at the centre of the circular economy.

  • Over the last decade, Sims Metals has recycled more than 110 million tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
  • We installed state-of-the-art metal recovery plants, downstream separation systems and processes, which has allowed us to extract even more metal from waste and produce higher quality products.
  • We enabled our customers to achieve 19 million tonnes of carbon reductions in 2019.

Through Sims Resource Renewal, we are supporting the transition to a more circular economy. Our aim is to have several resource renewal facilities operating across the globe by 2030 so we can divert one million tonnes of material from landfill and transform it into new, useful products for society every year.

Learn more about how Sims Resource Renewal is supporting the transition to a circular economy.

A resource renewal facility is a treatment facility that uses material left over from recycling to create other useful products.

In our case, we will have state-of-the-art facilities that will use the latest, proven plasma gasification technology, to transform ASR into valuable products for society.

These facilities are vital to our aim of reducing material to landfill. Each resource renewal facility will be customised based on location, and the products developed will depend on local market needs.

Learn more about the resource renewal facility planned for Campbellfield, Victoria.

Our investment in research and innovation will ensure that we are at the forefront of the circular economy and creating a truly closed loop operating system.

Our first resource renewal facility will use the latest, proven plasma gasification technology, and it will be developed to meet European emission standards – which is the current global emissions benchmark.

We will use this advanced technology to transform our ASR and create market-ready products.

To start, we will produce electricity and construction materials. The electricity will be used to power our resource renewal facility, as well as our neighbouring metal recycling facility.

As our technology advances, we will shift to producing other types of products, including the building blocks of recycled plastics.

In parallel, we will invest in a research and development facility at a second location to develop our own proprietary plasma gasification technology, which will give us the flexibility to meet the varying needs of our local and global markets.

Modern plasma plants operate safely around the world, and we are applying world class, proven design and technology to create valuable products for society and future generations.

Learn more about resource renewal technology.

Shredded material, known as ASR, is what remains once recoverable materials are removed following the recycling of metal-based goods like cars, washing machines, and shopping trolleys. ASR is currently sent to landfill.

ASR typically includes plastics, fabrics, insulation, foam, rubber and wood. Dirt, sand and stones may also be present in small amounts, because they were a part of the original source materials for cars and appliances before the initial recycling process.

The ASR that will be used as feedstock is what is left over once all of the recoverable materials have been used. ASR is currently treated as waste, and it is disposed in landfill.

Learn more from Programme Director, Trevor Stolz.

The safety of our employees and the communities where we operate takes precedence in everything we do.

We have operated in the recycling industry for more than 100 years, and we are highly experienced in designing, constructing and operating major recycling and material recovery facilities.

Modern plasma gasification facilities operate safely around the world, and we are applying proven, world class design and technology as the basis for our facilities.

Learn more about plasma gasification.

Sustainability is our priority, and our first proposed facility will use the latest, proven plasma gasification technology. It will be developed to meet European emission standards, which is the current global emissions benchmark.

We are currently undertaking a demonstration trial so that we can provide more detailed environmental information to regulatory authorities and the public.

Learn more about the resource renewal facility proposed for Campbellfield, Victoria.

Campbellfield

Sims Resource Renewal is in the early stages of the proposal, and we are currently progressing engineering design, environmental studies, the environmental and planning assessment processes, and community and stakeholder engagement.

We are providing ongoing opportunities for involvement through a range of digital and more traditional engagement activities. Please see the project page for the latest activity updates.

Learn more about the resource renewal facility proposed for Campbellfield, Victoria.

Sims Resource Renewal must undergo robust environmental and planning assessment processes for the proposed resource renewal facility.

We must secure a works approval from the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA). We must also secure a planning permit. Recent changes to the responsible authority for planning permit applications for some energy generation and storage facilities mean we are engaging with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Hume City Council to clarify the process we must now follow and will update stakeholders and the community as soon as this is confirmed.

Community and stakeholder engagement is a critical component of these processes.

Learn how you can get involved.

Learn more about the proposed Campbellfield resource renewal facility.

Rocklea

A pilot resource renewal facility is a small-scale plant that allows us to conduct highly controlled research and development within a controlled environment to test the commercial viability of new, exciting product streams that are developed from our waste.

We are proposing to use our existing metal recycling facility in Rocklea, Queensland as the location for our first research and development pilot facility.

Learn more about the pilot facility proposed for Rocklea.

We have submitted our development application to the Brisbane City Council and completed a 15-business day statutory consultation period from 29 March to 21 April 2021. Brisbane City Council will now assess any submissions and provide a decision notice in the coming months.

Sims Resource Renewal must undergo robust environmental and planning assessment processes for the proposed pilot resource renewal facility.

We must secure planning and environmental approvals before we are able to progress to construction of our pilot facility. To do this, under the Planning Act 2016 (QLD), we require approval for our development application for a material change of use through the Brisbane City Council. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, we also require a licence to operate (known as an Environmental Authority) from the Department of Environment and Science.

Our proposed facility has been designated a Research and Technology Industry and Special Industry use under the Brisbane City Plan 2014 and our development application will be impact assessable. Learn more about the development application process.

We recently submitted our development application to the Brisbane City Council. This application has been referred to the Department of Environment and Science via the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA), which also forms an application for an Environmental Authority. The application has also been referred to Powerlink and Energex as advice agencies. Learn more about the Environmental Authority process.

Following the submission of our development application and referral, we received information requests from Brisbane City Council and the Department of Environment and Science (via SARA). We have responded to these information requests and completed a 15-business day statutory consultation period from 29 March to 21 April 2021. Brisbane City Council will now assess any submissions and provide a decision notice. The decision notice will include a range of conditions, one of which will be an Environmental Authority issued by the Department of Environment and Science.