Hunter JO December Circular Economy Update

The Circular Economy Team at the Hunter JO has had a busy and exciting end of year. In October, the Hunter JO hosted an inspiring and insightful event, bringing together leaders in the Australian circular economy space to share their knowledge and learnings after attending the World Circular Economy Forum 2023. The event, attended by approximately 80 cross-sector representatives, also saw the official launch of the Hunter Circular Hub, an online digital platform that not only represents the culmination of the region’s efforts in transitioning to a circular economy but serves as a source of inspiration, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Find out more here!

In November, our Project Lead, Eloise Lobsey and Project Officer, Stephanie Reilly attended Circularity 2023 in Melbourne. Circularity 2023 is an annual two-day event delivered by Planet Ark’s ACE Hub. The conference brings together stakeholders across industry, all levels of government, and academia to share knowledge, collaborate and drive actionable change toward a more circular future for Australia.

We are also excited to announce an exciting new Bin Trim project that we are embarking on with Go Circular. The project will be commencing in early 2024 and targets food waste in hospitality SMEs. Watch this space for more information!

The Circular Economy Precincts Project is progressing, with GHD nearing completion of the draft precinct concept plans. These plans have been informed by existing materials flow analysis, technology options assessment, site selection, and online stakeholder workshops that were held in November. The next steps in this exciting project will involve the development of the Circular Economy Futures Hub strategy and concept, which GHD will codesign with the Expert Panel and relevant stakeholders. The final concept plans, business case, implementation plan and communications pitch are due to be finalised by March 2024.

Our facilitation of textile circularity ambitions in the Hunter has continued, with Stephanie presenting an overview of the findings from our Textiles Circularity project at the NSSN Co-Design Workshop – Hospital Textile Waste in the Circular Economy in October. The attendees at this workshop extended upon the opportunities identified at the Hunter JO think-tank, specifically identifying a range of uses for sensors in increasing circularity of hospital textile waste.

In 2024, the Circular Economy team will be testing the implementation of a circular procurement framework for our member councils as we commence the early implementation phase of the circular procurement for local government project. This builds on the previously completed initial phase where the framework and assessment tool for councils was developed. Work will begin by focusing on testing the tools with councils as well as engaging suppliers in this process.

As we continue our work in the circular economy space, we invite you to stay engaged and informed. Please help us grow our case study database and directory by emailing any any projects, events, initiatives, or businesses implementing circular economy principles in the Hunter to Together, we can accelerate the transition to a circular economy and create new opportunities for growth.