City of Cockburn signs WtE agreement

The City of Cockburn has signed a waste to energy agreement with the HZI Consortium to process its waste at a facility that will produce electricity, steam and construction aggregate as useful by-products.

It progresses the council’s March decision to accept a tender to supply general waste to the proposed HZI Consortium EfW resource recovery facility in East Rockingham.

City of Cockburn Waste Manager Lyall Davieson said it was an important step toward removing the city’s municipal solid waste from landfill, in accordance with the WA Waste Authority’s waste hierarchy, along with considerable cost savings for ratepayers.

“The contents of the yellow top bin (plastics/glass/paper) will be recycled, the green top bin (garden waste) will be mulched and now the red top bin will go to the proposed HZI Consortium WtE facility in the East Rockingham Industrial Estate,” Mr Davieson said.

“Waste disposed at landfill attracts an ever increasing state government landfill levy, which is currently $70 per tonne, but this levy does not apply to WtE.

“The state government has determined that no further landfills will be approved on the Swan Coastal Plain.

Related stories:

“When existing landfills reach capacity, the city, along with many other metropolitan local governments, will have to transport general waste to regional or inland rural areas, a costly proposition that would also increase the city’s transport carbon emissions.”

Cockburn will supply an estimated 27,000 tonnes per annum to the facility scheduled to open early in 2022.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city will supply its residual waste to the RRF on a ‘waste arising basis’, meaning it will only pay for capacity it uses.

This means there is no penalty for implementing waste reduction schemes, such as waste avoidance, reduction, and introducing a third bin for compostable organic waste.

Chairman of HZI Consortium partner New Energy Corporation Enzo Gullotti said WtE projects should not and need not impede higher-order recovery processes for waste streams.

“Our contracting structure allows councils to recover as much resources from waste as they can and to educate communities on minimising waste generation,” he said.

HZI is one of the world’s largest builders of EfW facilities. By-products from the East Rockingham development could include 28 megawatts of electricity (enough to light up 36,000 homes), steam for industrial customers and residual products for potential uses aggregate material in construction and infrastructure projects.

Cockburn, along with the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council, SUEZ and the Water Corporation will be among inaugural customers supplying waste to the facility.

Construction of the HZI facility is expected to begin in 2019.

Pictured: City of Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain, New Energy Corporation CEO Jason Pugh and City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett sign the Energy from Waste agreement.