New plant smashes through the glass recycling ceiling | Photos

A state-of-the-art glass recycling plant at the Tuncurry Materials Recovery Facility will have the capacity to accept an additonal 10,000 tonnes of glass annually.

The project, which is nearing completion, is supported by  MidCoast Council is being delivered by NSW Glass Recyclers Pty Ltd in partnership with JR Richards & Sons Pty Ltd which operates the Tuncurry Materials Recovery Facility. 

Targeting the 40 per cent of glass bottles and jars broken at the time of kerbside collection, the advanced glass sorting facility will significantly improve glass recycling rates, at the same time reducing the volume of waste going to landfill.

 MidCoast Council waste, health and regulatory services manager, John Cananagh welcomes the addition of the glass recycling plant. 

“Around 60 per cent of all bottles and jars collected are turned into new glass, but the remainder arrives as broken shards or ‘fines’ which have traditionally been difficult to sort and recycle,” he said.

“The new plant enables the glass fines to be recycled, making a tremendous difference to recycling rates in our region.”

JR Richards & Sons municipal services manager, Greg Turner said, the new glass recycling facility was helping to recycle a further 10,000 tonnes of glass from the region each year.

“Which is great for our environment.

“Every tonne of glass we recycle is a tonne less the community has to dispose in landfill.

“It’s also a win for the community, with five new jobs created by the plant”.

When uncontaminated, glass can be recycled forever, but is estimated to take one million years when left to break down naturally.

The new glass recycling plant, developed in Australia by NSW Glass Recyclers, sorts and crushes glass fines into a range of sizes suitable for industrial filtration and abrasive applications. 

Director, Jim McLeod said since the plant was commissioned in May this year, 5000 tonnes of glass fines had been recycled into value added products.

“These products are sold in Australia and into specialist export markets in Asia, the Middle East and the United States.

“Given the success of the plant, we’re now looking for glass to recycle further afield.

“One of our targets is to provide recycling options for commercial window and glazing businesses across the MidCoast region which means for the first time, we’ll have a local solution to help these businesses recycle their waste glass, instead of it going into landfill.”

This project has received funding support through the NSW Government’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative.  

For more information about the Materials Recovery Facility at Tuncurry, visit