A new facility in NSW will recycle up to 90 per cent of household waste using revolutionary technology, which will be the first for the country.
Bioelektra, the company responsible for the facility, has entered into a contract with a local NSW council to be operational by 2021.
Residents will put their normal rubbish in the red-lidded bin as they do now and have it collected as usual. Contents will then be taken to the new facility for sterilisation, drying and separation into various groups of recyclable materials.
Anything that is not able to be recycled would still be sent to landfill but would be inert and much less risky for the environment than the current waste output.
“This state-of-the-art facility will be Australia’s first advanced treatment plant capable of diverting 90 per cent of mixed waste from landfill,” said Amanda Findley, mayor of NSW’s Shoalhaven City Council.
“Everything that can be reused or recycled will be extracted in one process. There are currently only two facilities like it in the world, both of which are in Poland.”
The system uses large pressurised vats which fill with steam to treat waste, reaching temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius, sterilising and breaking down materials to a fraction of their original volume.
Plastics, metals, glass and organics matter will be separated and put back into construction aggregate.
“This new facility will be a giant leap forward for how Shoalhaven manages waste that would otherwise end up in landfill,” Findlay said.
“The introduction of this new facility is projected to extend the landfill life of Shoalhaven to more than 50 years.”
The facility could also accommodate waste from neighbouring areas, a processing capacity of 150,000 tonnes of waste each year. The Shoalhaven currently produces about 55,000 tonnes of waste per year.