Rocklea

Pilot resource renewal facility

We are proposing to use our existing recycling operation in Rocklea, Queensland as the location for a small pilot resource renewal facility where will undertake research and development to advance our technology and the circular economy.

Advancing our recycling technology

The proposed pilot will be a small, research and development focused facility that will enable us to not only take local recycling and waste reuse to a new level but allow us to pioneer new methodologies and techniques able to be adopted throughout the world.

The highly controlled research and development we are proposing will enable us to test the commercial viability of developing new products, which include the building blocks for recycled plastics, from the shredded material left over following our metal recycling process that is currently sent to landfill.

This will help us to achieve our objective of transforming one million tonnes of this shredded material every year into new, useful products for society by 2030.

Project status

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.

Please return here for the latest updates on this project.

About the pilot facility

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To create a world without waste to preserve our planet we will create new, useful products from the material left over following metals recycling (ASR).

We are proposing to use our existing metals recycling operation in Rocklea, Queensland as the location for a small pilot resource renewal facility where we will undertake highly controlled research and development to advance our technology and the circular economy.

The highly controlled research and development we are proposing will enable us to test the commercial viability of developing new products from the material left over following our metal recycling process, which is currently sent to landfill. This will help us achieve our objective of transforming one million tonnes of ASR material every year into new, useful products for society by 2030. Our aim is to deliver a leading circular business model that creates value for our business and society and the proposed pilot facility is a critical step in enabling us to close the loop on our waste and ensure it is not left for future generations to manage.

Learn more about the Sims Resource Renewal programme and how it will enable us to progress the Sims purpose; create a world without waste to preserve our planet.

The advanced, proven technology we will use at the pilot facility is known as plasma gasification and operates safely around the world. This technology heats the ASR and transforms it into a mixture of clean gases known as synthesis gas (syngas). A “glass like” product is also created. Importantly this technology does not burn ASR and does not produce the types of problematic emissions that some older forms of technology can create.

We will continually improve our technology by drawing on the latest innovations generated through our research and development. Our designs are based on European emissions standards which is the current global emissions benchmark.

The feedstock to be used for our global resource renewal programme, and at the proposed pilot facility, is known as ASR and is what remains once recoverable materials are removed following the recycling of metal-based goods like cars, washing machines, and shopping trolleys. Currently this ASR material is treated as waste and disposed of in landfill.

In line with our purpose, to create a world without waste to preserve our planet, we want to take responsibility for our ASR material and through resource renewal, move to a more circular operating model.

In line with the waste hierarchy, ASR has had all readily recoverable materials removed and has no other viable use without treatment. For more about the waste hierarchy visit the Brisbane City Council website.

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.

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 the Brisbane City Council and the Department of Environment and Science (via SARA). We have responded to these information requests and have 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.

We are committed to working in partnership with the community in and around the proposed location for our pilot resource renewal facility.

We want to generate shared value by undertaking critical research and development to advance the circular economy by producing new, useful products for society from ASR material, which is currently being treated as waste.

We are also progressing sustainability initiatives in partnership with the local community.

To receive updates about the proposed pilot facility and / or the broader Resource Renewal Programme please register below.

Would you like to know more?

Please return to this page to receive ongoing updates about our engagement and communications activities as the programme and our Campbellfield facility and Rocklea pilot facility progress.

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Contact Information

Tel: 1800 570 530
Email: info.srr@simsmm.com

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