SHIRE of Mundaring has partnered with Cities of Belmont, Kalamunda and Swan in taking a significant step forward into the future of waste management.
In their role as members of the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC), they recently signed the Waste Supply Agreement with Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) for the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility.
Shire President John Daw said under the agreement the Shire would supply its waste to the facility on a 'waste arising basis' which means it will only pay for the waste it presents. "This means there is no penalty for Councils who successfully implement waste reduction schemes such as a third bin for compostable organic waste," Cr Daw said.
There are only three practical options for dealing with municipal waste including landfill, compost or combust. Cr Daw said landfill is the least desirable because of leaching and damage to bush land as landfill cells are developed and expanded. It is costly too with the ever increasing state government landfill levy.
"Composting (Anaerobic digestion) is another option, however it directs non organic waste types being approximately 30% of total waste back to landfill, such as plastics and glass particles and these cannot be used in compost," Cr Daw said. "Also, because of this type of contamination, the compost produced has a very limited marketability.
"Lastly combustion, the chosen option uses technologies that are far cleaner than what was available in the past and will be designed, built, operated and maintained by the private consortium.
All the Councils through the EMRC have to do is deliver the waste to the gate at East Rockingham.
The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility is Australia's first utility scale municipal solid waste to energy facility. Using state-of-the-art technology, the waste to energy process is recognised as 'world's best practice' for producing saleable energy from waste that would otherwise go to landfill.
EMRC Chairman Councillor David McDonnell said the facility will have the capacity to convert 330 000 tonnes of waste per year into clean renewable energy, producing 28 megawatts (MW) of baseload energy which is enough to power 36,000 homes.
Any queries about the facility should be directed to the EMRC on 9424 2222.