A Step In The Renewable Organics Direction
Golden Plains Shire Council welcomes the announcement by Minister for Water Lisa Neville on 6 June, regarding the Victorian Government’s support for the regional Renewable Organics Network project.
The regional Renewable Organics Network initiative has been developed by Barwon Water, in partnership with the councils of the Geelong Regional Alliance (G21): Golden Plains Shire, City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe, Colac Otway Shire and Surf Coast Shire.
The regional Renewable Organics Network is an innovative environmental project to leverage existing water and sewerage infrastructure to transform organic municipal and trade waste into dispatchable renewable energy and bi-products, such as soil enhancers for agricultural purposes.
On Friday 6 June, Minister Neville announced the nation’s first two Renewable Organics Network projects to reduce waste going to landfill by using organic waste to produce electricity: the regional Renewable Organics Network initiative; and the Colac network. Currently under construction at the Colac Water Reclamation Plant, the Colac project will see high-strength organic waste produce enough electricity to take Barwon Water’s Colac wastewater treatment plant off the grid.
As stated in Minister Neville’s announcement, the regional Renewable Organics Network will investigate options to build a facility similar to the Colac project that will process organic waste collected by local councils for the greater Geelong region by the end of 2023.
A three-stage project, the first stage of the regional Renewable Organics Network focuses on investigating the viability of a purpose-built facility on a Barwon Water site that would provide organic waste management security for the region’s growing population, reduce landfill costs for councils and reduce water infrastructure energy costs.
Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey says that the Victorian Government’s announcement is an exciting step for the regional Renewable Organics Network project.
“In Victoria, we need long-term solutions for waste management and Golden Plains Shire Council is pleased to partner with the G21 councils and Barwon Water to develop this innovative Renewable Organics Network initiative for the Geelong region.
“For growing councils like Golden Plains Shire, waste management is an expensive and challenging issue. With the fragile recycling situation and the rising landfill levy, we are keen to find regional solutions for innovative and sustainable waste management.
“The regional Renewable Organics Network project will take the organic waste we normally throw in the rubbish bin which ends up in landfill, and instead use it to create renewable energy that will drive economic growth in our region.
“Under the Victorian Government’s Four-Bin Waste and Recycling Solution, all councils will need to collect organics and the big question is: what do we do with this waste? With the Renewable Organics Network, we are taking great strides to developing the answer to the region’s future waste management strategy.”
Quotes attributable to Barwon Water managing director Tracey Slatter:
“Barwon Water is thrilled to be working with local councils and businesses on this exciting project. It will bring significant benefits to the region and surrounds by supporting regional prosperity and reducing waste and emissions.”