The compost industry in Australia needs to improve its self-regulation to secure its ongoing social license to operate, writes Angus Johnston, Principal Consultant at Jackson Environment and Planning.
Resource Resolution Pty Ltd has applied to establish a $12 million commercial food waste processing facility which has the capability of producing biogas for energy.
The proposed facility would process 30,000 tonnes of liquid food waste a year and produce 2.4 megawatts of power.
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Resource Resolution also aims to recover organic matter for use as animal feed or to generate renewable energy with an anaerobic digestion facility.
Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria received the works approval for the site, planned to be located at 19 Winter Road, Girgarre.
Resource Resolution has proposed to use the Biogass Renewables AD system, which is currently used in Perth, WA. It is estimated that the bioenergy operation will process 23,382 tonnes of dairy, 3,475 tonnes of food products, 2,421 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and 722 tonnes of supermarket and grocery waste.
EPA Victoria’s assessment of the application will consider best practice technology, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and waste composition. It will also assess any potential risk to human health and the environment, including from emissions to air, noise, disposal of digestate, the waste water treatment system and operation contingencies.
An application for an amendment to the current planning permit is currently under assessment by Campaspe Shire Council.
Works approvals are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.