Waste & Resource Recovery

New waste treatment plant to aid eight Melbourne councils in waste management

A newly-opened mechanical and biological waste treatment plant for municipal organic waste in Dandenong South, which is able to process 120,000 tonnes a year, will help southeast Melbourne councils and residents manage their waste more effectively.

The indoor composting facility, completed in early May, will be used by eight councils in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, providing service to 1.2 million people to recycle green garden and food waste.

The councils that will use the services provided by the facility are Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash.

Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg said while avoiding the generation of waste is the government’s first priority, there is also a need to harness opportunities for reuse, recycling, reprocessing and energy recovery.

“[The facility] can process around 12,000 truckloads of waste per year. It means food and organic waste produced by southeast Melbourne residents will not end up in landfill and will instead produce high-grade compost for our gardens and parks,” Frydenberg said.

Partially financed with a $38 million loan from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the $65m composting plant will allow households to throw their kitchen food scraps, as well as their garden cuttings into their green bins to be taken to the new facility.

Ian Learmonth, CEFC chief executive, said the new plant will play a role in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions generated by rotting rubbish in the region.

“When organic waste such as food and green waste ends up in landfill, it breaks down and produces methane,” Learmonth said.

“With this technology, councils can avoid those emissions by turning their organic waste into reusable compost, while also reducing our unsustainable reliance on landfill as a waste disposal option.”

Sacyr, who established the facility, expects it will able to compost the organic waste of the eight councils and produce up to 50,000 tonnes of quality compost each year.

With the start-up of the plant, Sacyr expects more than 65,000 tonnes of CO2 per year will cease to be released into the atmosphere and the emissions generated by landfill waste will be reduced by 85 per cent – the equivalent of removing 13,900 cars from circulation.

Sacyr is using a tailor-made solution for the organic waste treatment, combining the mechanical treatment system developed by German company Stadler, and the biological and air treatment systems developed by Dutch company Waste Treatment Technologies.

The product complies with the most demanding standards within the industry and with the Australian quality standard AS4454.