Cutting edge waste technology in Victoria
The Australian Waste & Recycling Expo 2015 (AWRE) will highlight new processing facilities in Victoria that emphasise innovation. A panel session on Thursday, 13 August, will feature a panel session from senior representatives of four new and highly innovative waste processing and recycling facilities in Victoria. These include the first municipal street sweeping recycling facility in the Southern Hemisphere, an automated mattress recycling plant, a thermal treatment plant for contaminated soil. The session will also unveil a new hazardous waste processing facility which is also the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Speakers include: John Hassall from Citywide; Richard Jeffares from RENEX; Andrew Race from Veolia; Alex Serpo from Resource Recovery News; and Michael Warren from TIC Group Mattress Recycling.
INNOVATION IN VICTORIA
Citywide’s new Street Sweeping Recycling Plant launched in 2015
As pioneers of innovation, Citywide worked with recycling technology experts, CDEnviro, to construct a Street-Sweeping Recycling Plant at its Dynon Road Waste Transfer Station. This technology of recycling street sweeping waste,
while commonplace in Europe and the UK, is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Plant, based on proven mining techniques, collect materials from sweeping and drainage operations which are processed through the facility to create a range of by-products. Collected materials get washed and sorted according to size and weight. A safe and biodegradable chemical is added to break up toxic heavy metals. The washing-water used in the process is continually cleaned and recycled within the system, and excess water used throughout other Citywide operations.
The facility has successfully: assisted councils in achieving their waste reduction targets under their own Environmental Management Plans; reduced negative impact on the environment by deferring waste from landfill; diverted 55 to 80 percent of street sweeping waste from landfill, depending on end markets for recovered products.
The first stage of Citywide’s Waste Transfer Station’s transformation into a Recycling Facility, Citywide will eventually have the capacity to process approximately 12,000 tonnes of collected materials per annum, the equivalent of 240,000 green waste bins.
The company is in the process of exploring opportunities for powering the Recycling Facility, including the utilisation of solar panels, with the aim of becoming self-sufficient in terms of energy.
Veolia’s organic green waste recycling facility in Bulla
Veolia is set to unveil its Indirect Thermal Desorption plant in Brooklyn, Victoria at the AWRE 2015. The plant effectively removes and recovers moisture and hydrocarbons from prescribed industrial waste, minimising waste to landfill, reducing potential environmental hazards and maximising the recovery of resources. Innovation has been a long-term priority for Veolia. Prior to the soon to be launched plant, Veolia Environmental Services opened a green waste facility in 2013.
The facility, located in Bulla, situated 30kms from Melbourne, uses state-of-the-art Australian technology to convert thousands of tonnes of green waste into high-grade compost for agriculture. It processes on average about 85,000 tonnes of green waste every year, including bush trimmings, lawn clippings and small tree parts.
Employing technology developed by Veolia and its partners, this waste will be turned into approximately 60,000 tonnes of high-grade compost, which will then be sold to commercial operators, such as those in commercial scale horticulture and metropolitan soil markets.
The managing director of Veolia, Doug Dean, said the Bulla facility confirmed the company’s position as an industry leader in sustainable and renewable practices.
“It is a great example of sustainability that will also help reduce the need for new landfills in the region,” Mr Dean said.
Mr Dean added: “The process to be used at the new facility is aerobic, which means it avoids the generation of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is released naturally if the waste was disposed in a landfill.
“Turning this green waste into a useful product such as high-grade compost not only makes business sense but it is also good news for the environment. That is why Veolia is continuing to invest in new technologies at a local level as part of our long-standing commitment to turning waste into a resource across Australia,” he said.
RENEX opens doors to first thermal soil treatment facility in Victoria
RENEX built and developed the plant, located in Dandenong South with the support of major investors including Cleantech Ventures, Macquarie Bank and OPTrust.
A pyrolysis kiln thermally decomposes organic contaminants in soils including polyaromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons plus halogen rich organic pesticides. Additionally, the plant has also been fitted with control technology able to treat and fully capture mercury contamination in soils.
RENEX CEO Peter Mirkov said that while the plant is based on a reference site operating in Germany since 1992 major technology upgrades were made to the new Australian facility.
Mr Mirkov noted in particular the exceptionally high air emissions standard the plant was able to achieve: “Our low particulate emissions means we’re actually improving the air quality in Dandenong South.”
He also described how the plant was able to become energy neutral by recovering energy from the hydrocarbon rich emissions created from treating contaminated soils.
Across Victoria, he estimated that a “fairly stable” 350,000 to 400,000 tonnes per year of contaminated soil was generated, which he extrapolated to one to two million tonnes Australia-wide.
Off the back of the successful commissioning of the Victorian plant, Mirkov said RENEX was looking for growth opportunities including soil treatment facilities in other states and energy recovery facilities for solid waste materials.
Tic Group Mattress Recycling: Automated Processing Plant
TIC Mattress Recycling Plant in Victoria is set to transform the industry. Able to process 80 mattresses per hour through a fully automated system that recovers more than 80 percent of the recyclables, the new facility reduces the manual handling and deconstruction of mattresses dramatically, and enables an increased recovery of valuable resources such as steel, foam and textiles while reducing health hazards and the risk of workplace injuries.
Managing director of TIC Mattress Recycling Michael Warren said two years of research and development had gone into the new facility. “Mattresses have long been recognised as an environmental problem. If they are sent to landfill they are bulky, take up a lot of space, and the recyclable steel and other materials are lost,” he said.
Since 2013, TIC has conducted and completed a global search and sent Australian mattresses to Europe for testing in automated facilities. The chosen technology has been modified for Australian conditions and will be capable of processing more than 20,000 mattresses a year, thereby saving about 170,000 cubic metres of landfill space and recycling more than two million kilograms of steel, and 250,000 kilograms of foam.