A Veolia waste truck outside the EarthPower food waste to energy plant, Camellia, NSW

EarthPower food waste to energy plant

EarthPower takes food waste from a variety of businesses in the Greater Sydney region to produce green electricity and an organic-based fertiliser.

Food waste makes up to 38 per cent of the total content of household general garbage bins in New South Wales. Moreover, Federal Government data estimates that about 4 million tonnes of food is binned in Australia each year.

Although much of this material still goes to landfill, food organics recycling and energy recovery projects are becoming more popular. EarthPower sits in this space.

Located in the industrial suburb of Camellia in Parramatta, EarthPower is a unique food biomass waste-to-energy facility designed and licensed to accept solid and liquid food biomass from municipal, commercial and industrial sources from around Greater Sydney.

Developed by Babcock Brown, the facility was commissioned in 2003 following an investment of $35 million. In 2007, Veolia and Cleanaway purchased EarthPower Technologies in a joint venture.

Now processing about 800 tonnes of food waste each week, it generates enough green electricity to power 1,500 homes and 800 tonnes of organic-based fertiliser each year.

The company provides a more environmentally-responsible food waste disposal option to businesses that are looking to respond to increasing regulatory and public pressure to divert such material from landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

David Clark is EarthPower General Manager, leading a team of 12 employees who keep the facility running.

“When looking at waste management, many options are cradle to grave, with waste materials being consigned to landfill,” says David.

“Ours is a true resource recovery operation that is a practical example of a cradle to cradle process. The waste food comes in, we process it and generate energy at the same time as producing fertiliser, which is sold on for growing more food.”

To read more on this story see page 44 of Issue 8.