Victoria announces community funding to boost circular economy

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The Victorian government has allocated $3 million for 39 community organisations as part of the Circular Economy Communities Fund, which seeks to tackle waste and create new jobs in the state. 

The funding program intends to keep approximately 3,000 tonnes of waste out of landfills, with 60,000 volunteers involved and creating 100 new jobs, the state government said in a media statement Tuesday.  

Projects supported by the funding include bicycle recycling and repair; reuse, and recycling, and re-purposing of recreational fishing gear; a soap re-purposing project; and several innovative food rescues; and community garden programs. 

Enable Social Enterprises, one of the program’s grant recipients, will use the funding to expand its e-repair service, which helps people from disadvantaged backgrounds access affordable servicing for computers, mobile phones, and other technology. The company also intends to give young people employment pathways into the information technology sector. 

Reground will expand its coffee collection service to businesses producing coffee waste across victoria, engaging 130 businesses, recovering 270 tonnes of coffee waste, and delivering sustainable choice to over 200,000 customers. 

Meanwhile, Soap Aid will re-establish a soap repurposing facility in Melbourne to divert around 30 tonnes of soap and repurpose them into soap bars that will be distributed to approximately 20,000 vulnerable Victorians.

The Circular Economy Communities Fund is delivered through the government’s circular economy plan, Recycling Victoria: a new economy, and will contribute to transitioning Victoria to a circular climate resilient economy. 

The program has awarded a total of more than $5.4 million to 62 organisations over two years. 

The Labor government has invested a total of $515 million to deliver the biggest ever transformation and reform of Victoria’s waste and recycling industry.

“We’re funding creative, local solutions to keep waste from landfill – building community and protecting the planet,” said Minister for Environment and Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio

“Our record investment into Victoria’s waste and recycling systems is creating new industries and jobs while we give a new life to unwanted items.”