By Mitchell Clarke
Cardinia Shire Council will work with 15 councils across the south east under a landmark collective tender to build a waste-to-energy facility.
Under state government agency Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, the council-led initiative will see the amount of household rubbish sent to landfill reduced by at least 85 percent.
Advanced waste technologies, which are currently being used overseas, allows household materials to be transformed into energy while also recovering valuable materials.
According to Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group CEO Jillian Riseley, the tender is a “vital alternative” to the way waste in managed throughout Melbourne.
“Advanced waste processing has an important role to play as part of a circular economy for Victoria,” Ms Riseley said.
“When materials can no longer be reused or recycled, advanced waste processing puts rubbish to more productive use than burying it in the ground.”
It’s expected new advanced waste processing facilities will attract investment of up to $650 million and create construction jobs and eventual permanent operating jobs.
“A collective procurement of advanced waste processing solutions will drive new investment in the waste and resource recovery sector to deliver the infrastructure Victoria needs and create new jobs,” Ms Riseley added.
Population growth is exploding throughout the south east and household rubbish across the 16 council areas is projected to increase by 40 percent over the next 25 years.
In a statement provided to the Gazette, Cardinia Shire Council said rubbish will continue to be sent to landfill, unless a solution is found.
“This will give us the ability to process household rubbish instead of sending it straight to landfill and is the biggest tender for waste management infrastructure ever undertaken by councils in Melbourne,” the statement read.
“These technologies can reduce the amount of household rubbish sent to landfill by at least 85 percent and reduce environmental impact.”
The proposed waste-to-energy facility will “complement” the state government’s 10-year action plan to transform the recycling sector, which includes the introduction of four colour-coded bins to houses.
That rollout will gradually begin next year and is expected to be fully developed by 2023.
Meanwhile, the tender to build a new facility has only just begun with an expression of interest to identify businesses with the right experience and capacity to design, build and operate a facility.
A 20 to 25-year contract is set to be awarded by 2022, with construction to begin in 2023 but the facility won’t be operation for another five to six years.
A decision on the type of facility and where it will be located is yet to be made.