A NEW scheme designed to limit the amount of waste and recycling being sent off shore is set to create jobs for locals.
The federal government's $600 million scheme is expected to create 10,000 jobs and expand processing capacity Australia wide.
Gunnedah Recyclit's Dave Cole said the scheme would help organisations like his employee more locals.
"All I can say is it is about time some funding was put into the industry," Mr Cole said.
"A lot of people are aware we were exporting a lot of recycling over to China, but we were also sending a lot of waste as well.
"There's no doubt that things like this will be really good for us to jump into and to generate more jobs.
"Primarily, we employee people with disabilities so anything that may give us the chance to give opportunities to those members of our community is certainly welcome."
The scheme comes ahead of a 2024 deadline set by the Council of Australian Governments banning exports of unprocessed waste.
The federal government is set to contribute $190 million to the stimulus scheme, which is hoped to generate $600 million over time, while state governments will also contribute $190 million and the recycling sector $200 million.
"In this industry there is always room for expansion," Mr Cole said.
"I think another thing we have to consider is that since the state government introduced the Return and Earn scheme there's been a lot more focus on recycling.
"The volumes of recycling have gone through the roof across the board and I think that is because the attention Return and Earn brought to recycling."
Mr Cole said while Return and Earn had impacted his centre's recycling rates, he was hopeful the government's investment could help turn the tide.
"To be honest, our volumes have dropped since it came into affect but we are continuous ... and hopefully we can get our share of this funding and keep doing what we're doing," he said.