Waste & Resource Recovery

Exmouth Shire turns to innovative technology for its recycling

Exmouth Shire is working on two different recycling strategies, including an innovative waste technology system that would deliver on the community’s ambitions for sustainable alternatives.

During a recent meeting, the Shire council passed a motion to call for tenders on kerbside recycling, as well as another motion which would see officers investigate an entirely new technology for waste disposal.

“We are looking at several possible solutions to ensure they achieved the best possible outcome for residents,” Shire president Matthew Niikula told The West Australian.

“This not only includes examining the cost of implementing a kerbside recycling program but investigating innovative new technologies that could put us as the cutting edge of waste management.”

Perth-based company Renergi and Curtin University have developed technology that converts municipal solid waste, including almost everything except metal and glass, into products useful for horticulture, oil and as an alternative fuel source.

The technology works by feeding the waste into a rotating drum with large steel balls, which smashes it up while simultaneously heating it under conditions that are able to convert that waste into pyrolysis oil and biochar.

“The project, which is funded through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, had been developed to pilot-scale and the next stage would be to role it our commercially,” Rohan McDougall, Renergi director, told The West Australian.

“We’ll build a unit which can process at least 10,000 tonnes per annum of municipal solid waste. The commercial plant for council operations could be completed in two years and we would probably set it up at one of the Shire’s existing waste facilities.”

Council have already signed a confidentiality agreement with Renergi and Curtin University to further investigate the implementation of the technology and will continue to look into the cost of kerbside recycling.

“Once we have a thorough understanding of all the costs, benefits and risks associated with these options, we will be in a position to have an informed conversation with the community about the future of waste management in Exmouth,” Niikkula concluded.