Melbourne’s new South Eastern Organics Processing Facility is set to convert around 12,000 truckloads of household garden and food waste, drawn from council kerbside green waste collections, into 50,000 tonnes of high-grade compost each year.
The new mechanical and biological treatment plant will treat organic waste produced by eight Melbourne councils, substantially reducing landfill and emissions. The compost will be used in local parks and gardens
The $65 million plant was built by leading international waste management company Sacyr Group. The plant is expected to abate more than 65,000 tonnes of CO₂-e emissions annually – cutting 85 per cent of the emissions the waste would have generated in landfill – the same as removing about 13,900 cars from the road each year.
Sacyr officially opened the plant in May. The fully-enclosed, in-vessel aerobic composting and maturation plant will operate for 15 years, with a potential five-year extension.
The project demonstrates how CEFC finance can address methane emissions, which have a global warming potential 25 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide.
The eight participating councils Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash, are part of the Victorian Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG).
The councils are charged gate fees to use the facility, with the majority of the compost sold back to the councils for use in community parks and gardens.
Sacyr Group, which has a proven international track record of constructing composting and energy from waste facilities, uses a fully-enclosed in-vessel composting process to turn organic waste from household green-waste bins into a high-grade compost.
The plant storage reservoirs are completely closed and use efficient and reliable deodorisation systems. This technology complies with the most stringent standards within the sector.
The CEFC is committing up to $38 million in debt finance to the project in an industry-first finance model that provides councils with access to a project financing structure that has rarely been leveraged across local government.
With the level of investment in waste infrastructure required over the next few years, the CEFC is looking to establish this financing model to accelerate further investment in waste management facilities.