Green Ceramics MICROfactorie™

Shoalhaven City Council received grant funding of $500,000 from the Environment Trust to enter into a partnership with the University of NSW’s Sustainable Materials and Technology Centre to establish a Green Ceramics MICROfactorie™  at West Nowra.

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About the project

The UNSW SMaRT Centre is a leading National research centre, that works in collaboration with industry, to ensure new recycling science is translated into real-world environmental and economic benefits. Essentially, waste is reformed into value-added materials for re-use and remanufacturing using one of a selection of different proprietary MICROfactories™.  

The MICROfactorie™ constructed at the Shoalhaven City Council’s West Nowra Recycling Precinct has commenced processing waste materials such as plastic, glass, textiles and mattresses.  A range of 'green ceramics’ are currently being manufactured. Soon, sorted and cleaned waste plastics will also be turned into pellets or 3D printing filament.  

The green ceramics are a new generation of high-performance, non-toxic, engineered bio-composites, for use in various architectural and decorative applications, including furniture and ceramic tiles. Green ceramic products are typically made from the types of waste glass and textiles that are difficult to recycle using traditional methods.  

Once in full scale production, the new facility will annually process approximately 450 tonnes of glass, mattresses and other textiles.  

Broken and dirty glass leftover from the kerbside recycling sorting process is typically considered too contaminated for recyclers. Council’s Waste Services has designed, constructed, and now operating a washing, crushing and sizing plant that can recycle glass leftovers into various grades of glass sand, which is a core ingredient in the green ceramic products.  

Shoalhaven is leading the way by using innovative, cutting-edge technology to solve our growing waste problem.  

The Green Ceramics MICROfactorie™ is going through final commissioning and has already manufactured about 5,500kg of green ceramic products. 

For more information, please email your questions to Waste Services at

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