The ReCirculator program is a $2 million Federal Government-funded initiative forming part of the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF).
Designed to act as an independent broker, The ReCirculator will support information exchange, research and technology implementation to accelerate the adoption of circular economy principles in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW.
This will involve conducting, publishing and facilitating world-leading research to enable adoption of circular economy principles in the NSW Northern Rivers region.
Led by Southern Cross University, ReCirculator is a research hub and technology brokerage that connects NSW Northern Rivers businesses in a circular economy ecosystem of cutting-edge technology. It acts as an economic growth driver by:
- saving costs
- improving productivity
- regenerating resources
- creating resilient jobs.
Aiming help local businesses to enhance their efficiency by adopting circular economy principles that:
- identify the composition of their waste streams and any materials and energy that could be recovered from it
- combine wastes from compatible partners to create commercially marketable outputs and/or products, and
- identify, trial and optimise technological solutions to waste reuse and recovery, and assist with their uptake on a commercial scale
To do this, The ReCirculator will:
- provide access to the technical facilities and expertise of Southern Cross University and its research partners for waste characterisation, testing of resource recovery potential, plus piloting and optimising suitable technology before commercial adoption
- provide techno-economic modelling expertise to identify and apply commercially viable solutions
- act as a trusted technology broker for industry, using links between Southern Cross University and both national and international technology and research providers, and
- build a network between the university, industry, regulators and government to foster information sharing and technology adoption to create meaningful change
They represent a targeted approach to a common goal – a better, safer, more sustainable world.
Benefits of a circular economy
- reduce waste and pollution
- keep products and materials in use, and
- create employment by marketing new products and materials recovered from waste streams
Partnerships and promotion
The ReCirculator is establishing research partnerships and promoting information sharing with Northern Rivers businesses to:
- drive economic growth
- identify new markets and opportunities
- save organisational costs
- improve efficiency and productivity
- regenerate resources, and
- connect local businesses with a circular economy ecosystem using cutting-edge technology
Our program partners include:
- Southern Cross University
- Richmond Valley Council
- Department of Regional NSW
- Regional Development Australia - Northern Rivers
- Business NSW
- North East Waste
The ReCirculator is running four demonstration projects targeting significant waste streams in key Northern Rivers industries. The efficiencies established in these pilot projects are scalable, meaning they can be adapted for commercial uptake up by similar businesses in the future.
- Project 1: Thermal treatment of waste
- Project 2: Plastic waste –recycling into the Circular Economy
- Project 3: Capturing nutrients from industrial wastewater
- Project 4: Carbon accounting
- Project 5: Waste identification and sorting
Industries supported by these pilot projects include:
- food production
The ReCirculator demonstration projects use state-of-the art technology from specialist suppliers.
Meet the team
Professor Andrew Rose
Andrew is a career academic with a lifelong passion for science and the environment who continues to balance hands-on teaching and ongoing research projects with governance duties such as chairing SCU’s Academic Board. Andrew has been instrumental in setting up the ReCirculator, and now serves as the program’s Academic Director.
Professor Dirk Erler
Dirk Erler, the ReCirculator’s Chief Investigator, a Professor of Biogeochemistry who will focus on the remediation of liquid waste streams within the ReCirculator program. Dirk’s background is in nutrient and mineral cycling in both natural and engineered aquatic systems.
Dr Shane McIntosh
Lead Investigator in Thermal Processing
Dr Shane McIntosh has joined the ReCirculator team as Lead Investigator on Thermal Processing. Shane has research expertise in biorefining processes for waste remediation and valorisation, and has worked extensively with domestic and international industries on waste-related projects.
Dr Ernest Du Toit
Ernest is an experienced process engineer who has worked in various industries including oil and gas, agriculture and biopharma. As Technical Manager, Ernest manages the ReCirculator’s technical services and liaises with existing and prospective industry partners to develop research projects through the ReCirculator.
Ms Susan Lang-Lemckert
Program Manager, ReCirculator
Susan comes to the ReCirculator with a background in all levels of government and a passion for communications and engagement. As Program Manager, Susan administers the ReCirculator’s day-to-day operations and is the first point of contact for all things to do with the program.
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