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Food waste to power WA homes

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It’s like something out of a science fiction film – literally.

Jandakot-based Biogass Renewables has proposed joining forces with local councils in Western Australia to collect food waste like chicken bones and mouldy lettuce and convert them into energy via an anaerobic digestion process to create biogas.

“It is done through a biological anaerobic (no air) digestion process, acting like a mechanical gut processing organics, releasing biogas for power generation,” said Biogass Renewables General Manager, Joseph Oliver.

A similar process was used to power the DeLorean in the Back to the Future films. The technology is already being used to power the Richgro Garden Products Factory, which can process up to 140 tonnes of food waste every day. In the UK, around 8 million households collect their food waste in a “slop bucket” or “kitchen caddy” to feed a similar energy system.

Mr Oliver said his program could power up to 3000 homes “tomorrow” if permission was granted from the council to access power grids.

Currently, Synergy has a monopoly over the market – and the only way residents can buy power is to go through them. But the WA government is considering a shake up of its energy market, and has already provided $500,000 towards Biogass Renewables’ Jandakot plant.

“The Government supports economically viable initiatives such as anaerobic digestion that increase resource recovery and help to meet the State’s Waste Strategy targets,” said state Environment Minister Albert Jacob.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the program could help WA to meet its zero waste landfill target by diverting waste that would otherwise take up room in landfill.

“There is an additional cost (for implementing this system), but the increasing cost of landfill is making other methods such as composting and waste to energy more competitive,” he said.

*adapted from ‘Food waste could be converted into energy to power WA homes’, from news.com.au. Original article can be found here.