Victoria to develop waste to energy policy


The Victorian Government has released a discussion paper on the potential applications and value of waste to energy technologies.

Of the waste generated across Victoria around two thirds is recovered for recycling and reuse and the rest goes into landfill. Currently Victoria generates 12.7 million tonnes of waste annually, and this is projected to grow to 20 million tonnes by 2046.

As part of its considerations about how Victoria will meet its climate change targets of reducing emissions to 15 to 20 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020, and to net zero emissions by 20, the government is examining how the waste management, energy, and other sectors will contribute.

Recovering energy from waste is an established practice in some landfills and sewage treatment plants in Victoria but opportunity remains for waste to energy to deliver improved waste and energy sector outcomes across the state. The purpose of the paper is to start a discussion about waste to energy facilities in Victoria and the opportunities and risks associated with them.

Feedback received on the discussion paper will help inform the development of a waste to energy policy, to be released in 2018.

Releasing the paper, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio also announced five grants from the $2.38 million Waste to Energy Infrastructure Fund.

The grants will help businesses and water corporations upgrade waste management practices and support projects that will deliver almost 1MW of renewable energy capacity per annum:

  • Western Region Water Corporation will receive $802,784 to collect organic waste material and generate energy

  • Diamond Valley Pork will receive $284,929 to install an anaerobic digester to improve waste management and generate energy and nutrient rich digestate

  • East Gippsland Region Water Corporation will receive $209,765 to enhance an existing bio-digester to process septic tank waste, food waste, fats, oils and greases

  • Nestle Australia will receive $182,510 to create a system where organic waste from starch based soft confectionery is used for bioenergy

  • Resource Resolution will receive $900,000 to help it build an anaerobic digester to divert local commercial food waste and other organics from landfill

The emissions saved through this program is equivalent to removing 16,500 cars from the road or the energy consumption of 7,000 homes.

The Waste to Energy Infrastructure Fund was announced in the 2016 State Budget as part of the Government’s Climate Change innovation and Jobs Initiative.

The discussion paper, Turning Waste into Energy is available at engage.vic.gov.au/waste/wastetoenergy.