Greater Dandenong City Council, together with 15 other councils from Melbourne’s south-east, have begun the first collective tender for advanced waste processing solutions.
This will result in household rubbish being processed instead of it being sent straight to landfill.
“This is the biggest tender for new waste management infrastructure ever undertaken by councils in Melbourne,” Greater Dandenong Council Chief Executive Officer John Bennie said.
“Advanced waste processing will transform how the City of Greater Dandenong manages the rubbish we collect from residents.”
Advanced waste processing technologies are being used successfully and safely overseas to recover valuable materials in household rubbish or transform it into energy.
These technologies can reduce the amount of household rubbish sent to landfill by at least 85 per cent and reduce residents’ impact on the environment.
Population growth in the south-east is driving a substantial increase in rubbish.
Household rubbish in the 16 councils is projected to increase by 40 per cent over the next 25 years.
Rubbish will all go to landfill unless another solution is found.
The announcement of the tender comes as the EPA deliberates over a proposal for a waste-to-energy plant in Ordish Road, Dandenong South, which would process an estimated 100,000 tonnes a year of non-recyclable municipal solid waste, and commercial and industrial waste through incineration.
Hundreds of residents have expressed concern about the proposed plant, especially around smells, air quality and pollution.
Mr Bennie said landfills in the south-east are set to close in a few years, which means councils will have to transport rubbish across Melbourne to other landfills.
“Advanced waste processing is a great solution for household rubbish that would normally go to landfill.
“We still need to continue kerbside recycling and green and food waste collection services as part of a total approach to managing waste,” Mr Bennie said.
“Advanced waste processing will do more with the valuable resources that are being put in landfill and achieve better financial, environmental and social outcomes.”
The tender has started with an Expression of Interest to identify businesses with the right experience and capability to design, build and operate a facility. It will take another two years before a preferred bid is selected.
No decisions have been made yet regarding the type or location of any facilities. This will be identified during the procurement process.
It is expected to be at least five to six years before a facility is operating.