The Victorian Government has announced two Renewable Organics Network projects to reduce waste going to landfill by using organic waste to produce electricity.
In collaboration with Barwon Water, once the project is complete, high-strength organic waste from the Australian Lamb Company and Bulla Dairy Foods is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 1000 homes.
Located in the state’s south west, the networks will transform organic municipal and trade waste into renewable energy and bi-products such as soil enhancers for agricultural purposes.
One facility is being built at the Colac Water Reclamation Plant and another is under development for the greater Geelong area.
The Colac site will share energy back to Australian Lamb Company as hot water, and produce enough electricity to take Barwon Water’s Colac wastewater treatment plant off the grid.
Work is also underway to investigate options to build a similar facility by the end of 2023 for the greater Geelong region to process organic waste collected by local councils.
Construction for the Colac network, which received $240,000 in 2018, is already underway.
Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, said the project not only reduces waste going to landfill but also boosts Victoria’s renewable energy capacity.
The projects are part of the government’s Water for Victoria plan, designed to help the state reach the target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Greater Geelong Council ratified the Memorandum of Understanding with Barwon Water and other partners at its council meeting on 26 May.
Greater Geelong Council said in a statement that as the region’s largest municipality, the city’s involvement in this project is vital in order to have a high impact in reducing the amount of waste to landfill in the Geelong region.
Stephanie Asher, Greater Geelong Council Mayor said she is delighted to confirm the council’s ratification on the innovative project.
“The long-term environmental and economic benefits of an organic waste-to-energy network in the region are extremely significant,” she said.
“This initiative is a key action in our Sustainability Framework, which for the first time will give our region a blueprint to work together to position our community, environment and economy to meet our sustainability challenges now and in the future.”
Tracey Slatter, Managing Director, Barwon Water said the company is thrilled to be working with local councils and businesses on the project.
“It will bring significant benefits to the region and surrounds by supporting regional prosperity and reducing waste and emissions,” Slatter said.