Waste not – new technologies to create energy from waste


The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability has welcomed the recently released discussion paper on the development of new technologies to convert waste into energy.

The amount of waste Victoria produces grows rapidly as our population increases. How waste is managed impacts our communities, the environment and the broader economy. Of the waste generated across Victoria, around two thirds is recovered for recycling and reuse and the rest goes into landfill. Turning waste into energy is an opportunity to extract value from waste that may otherwise go to landfill.

The discussion paper identified the following processes for adapting waste into energy:

  • Large scale combustion plant (thermal) – a larger scale waste to energy plant is likely to use combustion to process municipal solid waste. It could process very large volumes of waste and generate significant quantities of energy.
  • Anaerobic digestion plant (biological) – anaerobic digesters process organic waste with high moisture content in a sealed oxygen-free environment. Good waste feedstocks for this technology include food waste, manures from farms, or sewage sludge.
  • Precinct solutions (thermal or biological) – such a facility could meet the needs of a local community for local waste management solutions and energy generation.
  • Closed-loop industrial site (thermal or biological) – where an existing industrial facility produces large volumes of a homogenous waste, and has a substantial energy demand, an onsite waste to energy facility may be an attractive option to reduce operating costs.

The Victorian government is seeking input from the community and industry on the best role for waste to energy technologies in our waste and energy sectors in Victoria. Consultation is open until 24 December 2017. Please follow the link to read more: https://engage.vic.gov.au/waste/wastetoenergy

The full discussion paper can be found here