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.
It will mean food and green waste produced by residents in the rapidly growing Dandenong region in Melbourne’s south-east will not end up as landfill, where it would produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions such as methane. Instead the waste will produce compost for local parks and gardens.
The new mechanical and biological treatment plant is treating organic waste produced by eight Melbourne councils, substantially reducing landfill and emissions.
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.
The fully-enclosed, in-vessel aerobic composting and maturation plant, which opened in May 2019, 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.
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.
Food and green waste makes up an estimated 42 per cent of landfill from Australia’s municipal and commercial and industrial waste. The new Melbourne plant will provide part of the organic waste solution for eight of the 31 councils whose waste streams are coordinated by the Victorian Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG).
The eight participating councils are Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash.
The councils are charged gate fees to use the facility, with compost being used for landscaping, gardens, parks, agriculture and horticulture.
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.
Victoria, Bioenergy, Local Government, Sustainable Cities, Low emissions