Nine South Australia councils have signed a memo of understanding (MOU) to optimise the use of recycled materials during the course of their procurement processes.

The MOU is intended to encourage the development of the state’s circular economy by impelling demand for regionally recycled materials and reducing the expense of waste and recycling for councils.

The signatory councils were Adelaide Hills Council, City of Burnside, City of Charles Sturt, Mount Barker District Council, Rural City of Murray Bridge, City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters, City of Onkaparinga, City of Port Adelaide Enfield and City of Prospect.

The mass signing distinguished the first step in a circular procurement pilot project overseen by the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) which garnered a $96,500 grant from the South Australian State Government’s Green Industries SA office.

In signing, councils vowed to develop new markets for recycling in the area, LGA’s president mayor, Sam Telfer, announced via a statement. He says that the MOU sends a message to the industrial sector regarding the importance of producing sustainable products.

Through the MOU, councils have promised to track and report the weight of purchased recycled content. Most of them also designated a rolling target for purchasing recycled plastic products, with the eventual goal of collecting twice as much plastic in their council areas as they are repurchasing.

This project is hoped to generate area demand for recycled materials, supporting reprocessing and remanufacturing opportunities in South Australia.

The MOU was signed at the Kilburn-based factory of Advanced Plastic Recycling, a designer and manufacturer of 100 percent post-consumer products. The company diverts tonnes of plastic and wood from the landfill annually by converting roadside refuse into products such as bollards, boardwalks and fencing.

Aside from the products manufactured by the company, councils can buy products like road and construction materials, street furniture, bollards, office stationery and compost culled from post-consumer recycled resources.