By Casey Neill
A trip to China could inspire a waste-to-energy plant in Greater Dandenong.
Earlier this month, a delegation from the council checked out alternative methods for disposing of household waste to see how they could be applied locally.
“We believe a waste-to-energy facility would sit comfortably in our industrial zone,” Mayor Jim Memeti said.
The Waste to Energy Study Tour included Cr Memeti, other councillors and council officers, a Greater Dandenong industry representative and members from the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group and Mornington Peninsula Shire.
They visited five waste-to-energy treatment plants in China, met with senior staff and looked at how the plants had been integrated into the surrounding communities.
Cr Memeti said China was leading the way in this area with efficient and proven technology and sound environmental measures in place that were far superior to Australian and European standards.
“As a council we are committed to taking a lead in this area and believe visiting modern facilities and gaining a first-hand understanding of how these technologies function is an important step moving forward,” he said.
He said a plant in Dandenong would provide additional energy to the grid, reduce the need to build additional electricity generating infrastructure and would offer an alternative to landfill.
Cr Memeti said the council believed there were enormous benefits to introducing the technology to Melbourne’s south-east.
“The council will continue to work with the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, along with other councils to share the benefits of this type of technology in our region,” he said.
“We believe this is a positive solution to waste disposal in the future and we will continue to speak with developers and investors about the possibility of a waste to energy plant being established in the City of Greater Dandenong or Melbourne’s south-east.”
A detailed report on the study tour finding will be presented at an upcoming council meeting.
In July, the Journal reported that Cr Tim Dark slammed the $10,000 trip as “nothing but a junket” and suggested instead attending the Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo in Melbourne in August.
But his colleagues voted in favour of the tour.
A report on the trip said waste management was a key expenditure item in the council’s budget and sustainably managing waste was a major challenge to the local government sector.
“The Ordish Road precinct in Dandenong South is a likely location for a regional facility,” the report said.
“It is important that council is armed with a first-hand understanding of the potential waste technologies.
“The knowledge gained will ensure that council will be in a better position to understand, consider and take the lead with other councils in the region in the joint procurement of the most appropriate and cost-effective waste technologies, which will benefit future generations.”