In an Australian first of its kind, Yarra Valley Water has constructed a waste to energy facility linked to a sewage treatment plant.
The purpose built facility provides an environmentally friendly disposal solution for commercial organic waste. The facility will divert 33,000 tonnes of commercial food waste from landfill each year.
The waste is delivered by trucks from commercial waste producers, such as markets and food manufacturing. As well as helping to keep organics out of landfill it is also helping to make recycling commercial organic waste easier and more affordable for businesses.
The waste to energy facility sits next to an existing sewage treatment plant in Aurora and generates enough biogas to run both sites with the surplus energy to be exported to the electricity grid.
The organic waste is fed into an anaerobic digester (sealed vessel) where it is converted into methane or “biogas” in the absence of oxygen. The process captures the methane before it hits the environment and turns it into renewable energy. Renewable energy produced at the facility ensures that Yarra Valley Water’s and Victoria’s reliance on coal fired electricity is reduced.
Construction commenced in October of 2015 and commissioning began in September 2016, with full operation commencing in May 2017. The construction phase has created jobs for 18 people, and four new staff ongoing are operating the plant.