Ever wondered what happens to your rubbish once it's picked up from your kerb? Waverley Council is one of a growing number of councils that are turning trash into treasure (and by treasure, we creating energy and compost).
With available landfill space decreasing, there has been a push from the NSW government to recover more resources rather than sending them to landfill. For Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and its member group of 11 councils, this has been an almost ten year journey from the initial concept to the delivery of a state-of-the-art Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility that is expected to divert up to 60 percent of waste from landfill and reduce truck movements during waste transport. Plus, organic content is extracted from the waste to produce compost for environmental rehabilitation.
Waverley Council are on track to reach 65 percent resource recovery from waste disposal by the end of this year, and are working to meet achieve 75 percent waste recovery by 2020. The MBT is an essential component of sustainable waste recovery targets.
And the best bit? This means when dedicated organic collection is not available, compostable packaging and organics are still recovered.
How does it work?
According to Waverley Council, the red bin waste is collected at the kerbside and transferred to Veolia’s MBT Woodlawn location. The waste is then loaded into an enclosed system where various recyclable items mistakenly placed in the red bin and other contaminants are separated out. The remaining material is turned and air and water is added. Any methane gas produced in this stage is harvested and sent via pipes to create energy for the Woodlawn site.
Once the material leaves the MBT process, it is piled into a large warehouse to age and ferment. This process creates compost material that is used to rehabilitate an old mine site.
What this means for BioPak compostable packaging?
This means that BioPak compostable BioCups and packaging will be extracted along with other organic content from the general waste of over 1.4 million Sydney residents to produce compost for environmental rehabilitation, according to council website.
Participating Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC)
- Bayside Council area
- Burwood Council area
- Inner West Council area
- Georges River Council area
- Waverley Council Area
- Woollahra Municipal Council
Where to next?
War On Waste has always encouraged Australians to be conscious of their consumption habits and take matters into their own hands, rather than rely on governments to clean up our act. In a recent War On Waste Q and A episode, Host Craig Reucassel said ‘I think it's a bit hypocritical to kind of go, “Government, you sort it out. I won't change until you do it”’.
We believe that working together we can tackle the waste crisis Australia is facing, and truly make a difference. Consumers, government, councils and business alike all have a responsibility to enact positive change. We champion producer responsibility and are leading by example to inspire others to join us in the journey towards a circular economy.