Projects funded by Research, Development and Demonstration grants

The following projects have been funded by Sustainability Victoria's Research, Development and Demonstration grants program, which supports research, development and demonstration projects that can increase the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria. 

Case study highlights

Trialling recycled plastic and glass in concrete footpaths at Hoppers Crossing

In a Victorian first, 200 metres of concrete footpath – made with the equivalent of 199,000 recycled glass and plastic bottles – has been laid at Geddes Park in Hoppers Crossing.

With thousands of tonnes of flexible plastics and glass fines ending up in landfill each year, Swinburne University and Polytrade Recycling conducted a research project in 2016 to repurpose this waste in concrete footpaths.

Read more


Yarra City Council trials glass and food waste recycling

The kerbside waste separation trial for glass and food waste is running in Abbotsford.

Yarra City Council has identified specific items that are valuable to the Australian recycling industry, including glass and food waste, ensuring that they’ll find a new life as a new product and not end up in landfill or overseas.

Read more


Railway sleepers made from recycled plastic installed at Richmond Train Station

Trains travelling through Richmond are now running on railway sleepers made from recycled plastic.

It is the first time the metropolitan train network has used the innovative sleepers, which are comprised of 85% recycled plastic waste.

Read more


Funded projects

Round 2 Project fund recipients
Nine projects received a total of $1.6 million for research and development and field trials to test and develop new markets for recovered materials in Victoria.

ARRB Group

  • Project partner(s): Brimbank City Council, VicRoads
  • Targeted material: Glass
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Trialling high proportions of recycled crushed glass in asphalt on local roads within Brimbank City Council.

Deakin University

  • Project partner(s): Qenos, GT Recycling
  • Targeted material: Plastics
  • Funding: $195,000
  • Project description: Investigate an alternative to the current physical and mechanical recycling methods of polyethylene (PE). This project will investigate the impact of various catalysts on PE recycling.

Deakin University

  • Project partner(s): Delaminating Resources, Close the Loop
  • Targeted material: E-waste
  • Funding: $150,000
  • Project description: A two-step process testing efficient methods to extract silicon from waste photovoltaic panels, then converting this material into a useable product.

Swinburne University

  • Project partner(s): Fulton Hogan Industries
  • Targeted material: Plastics and glass
  • Funding: $189,975
  • Project description: Investigate new blends of foamed bitumen using recycled glass fines and recovered plastics instead of traditional quarry aggregates.

Swinburne University

  • Project partner(s): Melbourne Trains Metro Level Crossing Removal Project, Rail Projects Victoria
  • Targeted material: Plastics and glass
  • Funding: $192,950
  • Project description: Evaluate the use of glass, plastics and crushed concrete in railway substructure including the capping layer and sub ballast.

Swinburne University

  • Project partner(s): Envirostream Pty Ltd
  • Targeted material: E-waste
  • Funding: $74,390
  • Project description: Establish a method to extract high purity zinc and zinc oxide powders from spent alkaline batteries.

University of Melbourne

  • Project partner(s): Casafico, Ikon Services Australia, Universal Vortex Industries, RMIT University
  • Targeted material: Paper, cardboard and glass
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Develop a precast structural concrete wall using waste glass fines and waste paper cellulose fibres.

University of Melbourne

  • Project partner(s): Integrated Recycling
  • Targeted material: Plastics
  • Funding: $195,000
  • Project description: Develop and field test noise barrier walls made from recycled plastic with minimal usage of virgin materials.

Victoria University

  • Project partner(s): Victoria University Ground Science, University of Melbourne, City West Water
  • Targeted material: Plastics and glass
  • Funding: $195,000
  • Project description: Develop new blends of trench backfill material specifically to be used to in and around sewer and ‘manhole’ structures. The blends will be field tested against EPA guidelines and Australian Standards.
Round 1 Project fund recipients

Thirteen projects received $1.9 million between them for R&D and field trials to develop new markets for recovered materials and increase their uptake in Victoria.

ARRB Group Ltd

  • Project partner(s): VicRoads, Australian Asphalt Pavement Association
  • Targeted material: Rubber
  • Funding: $60,000
  • Project description: Develop a VicRoads specification that allows use of crumb rubber in asphalt for use in local roads.

Downer EDI Works

  • Project partner(s): Hume City Council, Close the Loop, RED Group
  • Targeted material: Glass, plastics
  • Funding: $67,226
  • Project description: Downer partnered with Hume City Council, Close the Loop and RED Group to construct a demonstration road using recycled soft plastics, glass and toner cartridge in asphalt.

Hermetia Biosystems Pty Ltd

  • Targeted material: Organics (food waste)
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Establish a demonstration facility to convert up to 100 tonnes of food waste per day into protein meal and fertiliser products.

Monash University

  • Project partner(s): Integrated Recycling
  • Targeted material: Plastic
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Undertake field testing and monitoring to understand in-track performance and any benefits of the Duratrack recycled plastic rail sleeper such as noise and vibration reduction. Read more.

RMIT University

  • Project partner(s): Boral Limited, Office of Projects Victoria, City of Whitehorse
  • Targeted material: Plastics, rubber (tyres)
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Develop a premix concrete incorporating recycled plastics and rubber.

RMIT University

  • Project partner(s): Sami Bitumen Technologies, City of Whittlesea, Office of Projects Victoria
  • Targeted material: Plastics, rubber
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Develop a performance-based classification system of plastic/rubber-modified bitumen. This would mean that the inclusion of recycled content is determined by performance rather than percentage.

RMIT University

  • Project partner(s): RepurposeIt, Frasers Property Australia, Hume City Council, Brimbank City Council
  • Targeted material: Glass
  • Funding: $77,806
  • Project description: Test the use of a glass fines stabilising technology to manufacture a prototype access cover that meets Australian Standard AS3996:2006 in support of road drainage infrastructure.

Swinburne University of Technology

  • Project partner(s): GT Recycling Pty Ltd, Robovoid Pty Ltd
  • Targeted material: Plastics
  • Funding: $175,000
  • Project description: Develop a production process using 100% recycled plastics in concrete void formers which are used to reduce the volume of concrete whilst maintaining strength in concrete slabs.

Swinburne University of Technology

  • Project partner(s): Wyndham City Council
  • Targeted material: Glass and plastics
  • Funding: $72,100
  • Project description: Using previously SV funded R&D results to demonstrate the performance of plastics and glass in concrete footpaths. Read the case study.

Swinburne University of Technology     

  • Project partner(s): Alex Fraser Group, VicRoads (Quarry Materials specialist)
  • Targeted material: Concrete, brick and glass
  • Funding: $176,000
  • Project description: Undertake R&D to develop a VicRoads specification for municipal roads that permits the use of crushed glass, concrete and brick.

University of Melbourne

  • Project partner(s): Downer EDI Works
  • Targeted material: Concrete, brick, glass, plastics and rubber
  • Funding: $160,000
  • Project description: A demonstration project trialling a permeable pavement, using recycled concrete, brick, glass, plastics and rubber, under real traffic conditions.

University of Melbourne

  • Project partner(s): VicRoads, North West Program Alliance, Hanson
  • Targeted material: Glass
  • Funding: $115,000
  • Project description: Construct a demonstration site at a Level Crossing Removal Authority project site to trial the glass fines as a sand replacement in concrete in a real-world application.

Yarra City Council

  • Project partner(s): RMIT University
  • Targeted material: Glass
  • Funding: $200,000
  • Project description: Trialling a separate glass collection with approx. 1000 residents and using the collected glass in asphalt to demonstrate performance in municipal road construction. Read the case study.
Previously funded projects

In 2016, SV partnered with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) to provide over $600,000 under the priority recovered resources grants program. Seven projects worked on developing new markets for recovered glass fines (GF) and flexible plastics (FP). Projects were completed in 2018.

Monash University

  • Project partner(s): Integrated Recycling Pty Ltd
  • Targeted material: Flexible plastics
  • Funding: $100,000
  • Project description: Develop a process to test and qualify low cost alternative polymers as suitable for use in the manufacture of 'approved' railway sleepers that are produced locally, made with 100% recycled material, meet standards and are competitively priced to compete with international imports.
  • Case study: Recycled plastics in railway sleepers.

Monash University

  • Project partner(s): Potters Industries
  • Targeted material: Glass fines
  • Funding: $45,000
  • Project description: Investigate the suitability of using Potters recycled glass fines in three-dimensional (3D) printing. Specifically investigating 3D printing with recycled glass fines, glass fines mixed with polymers and metal powders.
  • Case study: Breakthrough research in 3D printing utilises recycled glass.

RMIT

  • Project partner(s): Alex Fraser Group, Mark Douglas Designs
  • Targeted material: Glass fines
  • Funding: $99,338
  • Project description: Explore a diverse range of technical solutions to repurpose glass fines, through a combination of design and engineering approaches. These approaches include reviewing the Australian glass waste system and engaging RMIT design students to investigate methods of cleaning glass fines and identify feasible applications for industry to explore commercialisation opportunities.
  • Case study: Understanding recycled glass fines for product design.

Swinburne University of Technology

  • Project partner(s): Polytrade
  • Targeted material: Glass fines and flexible plastics
  • Funding: $100,000
  • Project description: Investigate new blends of concrete for footpaths by incorporating FP & GF without compromising engineering standards required for its use. This project aims to reduce the carbon footprint associated with footpath construction.
  • Case study: Using recovered plastics and glass fines in concrete footpaths.

Swinburne University of Technology

  • Project partner(s): Alex Fraser Group, Vicroads
  • Targeted material: Glass fines
  • Funding: $100,000
  • Project description: Investigate the application of GF as:
    a) a supplementary material with recycled crushed rock in cement treated bound pavement (road base) applications and
    b) a rigidity reduction material when used in unbound crushed concrete/crushed rock (triple) blends.
  • Case study: Glass fines in cement treated pavement.

University of Melbourne

  • Project partner(s): PrefabAus
  • Targeted material: Glass fines
  • Funding: $100,000
  • Project description: Investigate and develop new prefabricated building materials utilising GF to make lightweight concrete building components that do not require high strength and /or load bearing characteristics. And investigate the use of geopolymer concrete as a replacement for Portland cement in the construction of prefabricated panels.
  • Case study: Using recycled glass in lightweight concrete creates new product market and decreases virgin material use.

Victoria University

  • Project partner(s): Polytrade Regina Glass Replas
  • Targeted material: Glass fines
  • Funding: $99,847
  • Project description: Investigate how incorporating glass fines into recycled plastic products could increase structural strength for use in applications such as decking joists, bearers and posts to strengthen decking made from recycled plastic.
  • Case study: Using recycled glass in plastic products.