We strongly endorse the waste hierarchy and the principle of avoiding and reducing waste at the source.
Australia generates around 64 million tonnes of waste a year, with as much as 40 per cent of this ending up as landfill where it produces methane emissions which have a global warming potential more than 25 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide.
Australia’s waste sector is undergoing an important transition, requiring significant investment in infrastructure and equipment, including upgrades to existing assets, as well as the installation of new assets.
By focusing on clean energy technologies, these investments can reduce emissions by diverting waste from landfill, as well as help ensure that waste processing and resource recovery operations are as energy efficient as possible.
The CEFC strongly endorses the waste hierarchy and the principle of avoiding and reducing waste at the source. Our finance is about effectively managing the remaining waste and investing in proven technologies to repurpose it, including as compost and alternative fuels.
We also see a growing commercial opportunity for resource recovery, reinforced by tightening state government landfill regulations. With investment in proven technologies, companies can turn urban and industrial waste into new energy sources, creating an important revenue stream while also reducing landfill gas emissions.
In this way Australia can develop a circular economy, with strong domestic markets for recyclable materials, and products made from recycled material.
COMPOST FROM FOOD, GARDEN WASTE
The CEFC has committed up to $38 million to Melbourne’s South Eastern Organics Processing Facility, to process household garden and food waste from kerbside green waste collections. Sacyr Group’s state-of-the-art facility, which is under construction, will produce 50,000 tonnes of high grade compost each year. With an annual processing capacity of 120,000 tonnes of waste, it is expected to abate more than 65,000 tonnes of CO₂-e emissions a year – cutting 85 per cent of the emissions the waste would have generated in landfill.
FAST TRACKING LANDFILL SOLUTIONS
Leading Australian waste management company Cleanaway is accelerating its best practice sustainable waste management activities with an array of projects drawing on a $90 million corporate loan from the CEFC. Cleanaway operates a national network of waste collection, processing, treatment and landfill assets from more than 260 locations. The company is fast tracking a range of eligible projects, including facilities for organics processing and resource recovery, as well as landfill gas projects, to achieve better environmental, social and economic outcomes.
PROCESSED ENGINEERED FUEL
During the year we were pleased to see the opening of a new resource recovery facility in western Sydney, which is transforming commercial and industrial waste into an alternative renewable fuel source. The plant, co-owned by Cleanaway and ResourceCo, produces Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF), drawing on $30 million in CEFC finance. The plant is licensed to process 250,000 tonnes of waste a year. Over the lifetime of the equipment, the plant is expected to abate over 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions. The PEF is used by the Berrima Cement Works in NSW, with ResourceCo also targeting markets in Asia.