The south east has some of Melbourne’s fastest growing suburbs, and the population is expected to grow substantially in coming years.
More people produce more rubbish—household rubbish in the participating councils is projected to increase by 40 per cent by 2046. It will all go to landfill unless another solution is established.
But relying on landfill to dispose of rubbish isn’t a sustainable solution:
- Landfills in the south east of Melbourne are filling up and no more are planned to be built. So councils will have to transport large amounts of waste across Melbourne to other landfills.
- The average rubbish bin contains materials that could be put to better use.
- Green and food waste in landfill breaks down and creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Future generations must deal with the problem as rubbish contained in landfills breaks down over decades.
- Landfill is a costly way to dispose of rubbish and costs are expected to keep going up.
No technology has been selected as this stage.
The procurement process will focus on the financial, environmental and social outcomes councils want to achieve, rather than specifying the technology to be delivered. It is up to bidders to recommend proven and appropriate solutions and to demonstrate how they deliver on councils’ objectives.
The processing solutions will be safe, proven, and effective.
Read the fact sheet About advanced waste processing for more information and how advanced waste processing facilities work.
At this stage, sites for facilities have not been selected. This will be identified during the procurement process. Facilities will need to be in appropriately zoned industrial land, meet local planning requirements, and have a suitable distance around the facility to minimise impacts on communities, the environment and public health.
It is estimated that industry will invest $300–$650 million to manage the household waste from the participating councils. The amount councils will need to pay to have rubbish processed at a facility will be identified during the procurement process.
It is projected that landfill costs will rise substantially over the next 30 years, so advanced waste processing solutions will be financially viable options.
Establishing an advanced waste processing facility takes time. It takes time to consider the merits of individual options, select a provider to build the facility, find a suitable site, consult with the community, secure the necessary approvals and then build and commission the facility.
A facility is expected to be operating by 2026.
The benefits of advanced waste processing include:
- at least 85% less household rubbish will go to landfill
- valuable materials in household rubbish can be recovered instead of burying them in the ground
- greenhouse gas emissions from landfill can be reduced
- less rubbish will be transported across Melbourne to landfills
- rubbish can used to generate electricity.
The councils are:
- Bayside City Council
- Boroondara City Council
- Cardinia Shire Council
- City of Casey
- City of Greater Dandenong
- City of Kingston
- City of Monash
- City of Whitehorse
- Frankston City Council
- Glen Eira City Council
- Knox City Council
- Manningham City Council
- Mornington Peninsula Shire
- Shire of Yarra Ranges
- Stonnington City Council.
Advanced waste processing facilities are being used safely and reliably around the world, including in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and North America.
Modern, best practice facilities have strong safety track records and are designed to meet strict emissions standards. Facilities have real-time emission monitoring and they are inspected and tested regularly to ensure safety standards are achieved.
Advanced waste processing facilities are regulated by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA). Any facility will need to be appropriately located, constructed and operated according to strict regulations that minimise risks to the environment and people.
Read the fact sheet Regulating advanced waste processing facilities.
Last updated: 20/05/2020