Lake Mac innovation: casting fishing waste to furniture

Published on 16 June 2021

Lake Macquarie Innovator Support Program_Smart Cities Lead Claire Chaikin-Bryan and Renee Tuxford with fishing line bin.jpg

An initiative to recycle fishing line waste and turn it into street furniture is one of the projects that has been supported as part of Council’s Innovator Support Program.

The initiative will include the installation of fishing tackle bins across Lake Macquarie’s popular fishing spots to collect fishing line waste and divert it from entering our lake and ocean. The aim will then be to reuse and recycle 100 per cent of the waste in products such as street furniture.

Applicant and avid fishing enthusiast Renee Tuxford has ambitious plans for the simple but potentially significant impact that the installation of fishing tackle bins will have on the environment and the Lake Mac community.

“As a family we love fishing, but we often find lost and littered fishing line at jetties and on the lake foreshore that either ends up in the environment or landfill. It’s a huge problem that impacts our environment, waterways and wildlife,” Ms Tuxford said.

“It’s a simple solution, but with the help of Council, we can install the fishing tackle bins and collect the waste. From there, I will work with volunteers to collect the waste and send it to Newcastle Street Furniture to wash and compound the fishing line into a desired product. It then can be used in furniture, jewellery or even concrete material for footpaths.”

The fishing waste initiative is one of three projects funded under Council’s Innovator Support Program, which will provide $14,470 to support the successful applicants.

The two other supported initiatives include funding for the further development of a plastic recycling system by PrintStream that converts consumer plastics into 3D Print filament and a roving ‘pop up’ gallery that will be presented in aged care facilities developed by Lake Macquarie artist Bridget Whitehead.

Lake Macquarie City Council’s Smart Cities Lead Claire Chaikin-Bryan said these three initiatives are perfect examples of how innovation and creativity can provide benefits for our community and environment.

“We have a clear focus on encouraging and supporting innovation across the City. The grant program is an initiative from our Innovators Support Roadmap, so it’s wonderful that we are now seeing the roadmap come to life with real projects that have flow on benefits for the environment, community and our lifestyle,” Ms Chaikin-Bryan said.

This is the first time the Innovator Support Program grants have been offered, which aligns to Council’s vision to grow a smart and innovative City with a resilient, diverse economy by investing in, nurturing, retaining and attracting the innovators of today and tomorrow.

To view the Innovators Support Roadmap, visit

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