G21 backs renewable organics projects

Environment Pillar

G21 welcomes and is proudly supporting two nation-leading renewable organics projects within our region announced recently (6 June 2020) by the State Government and Barwon Water.

The projects are the first of their type in Australia and will transform organic municipal and trade organic waste into energy and bi-products, such as soil enhancers for agricultural purposes.

One facility is being built at Barwon Water’s Colac Water Reclamation Plant and another is under development for the greater Geelong area.

The projects will create more than 80 new jobs across the construction and ongoing facility management stages.

G21 CEO Elaine Carbines AM said the projects are being delivered by Barwon Water to create a circular economy for the region’s organic waste.

“The outcome is a win-win for all parties and for the environment.  The projects are reducing landfill costs for councils, reducing water infrastructure energy costs for Barwon Water customers and being kinder to the environment,” Ms Carbines said.

“G21 through our five municipal council members and our G21 Environment Pillar or working group, has been actively supporting and monitoring the development of both renewable organic projects.

“The projects being developed under the G21 Region Renewable Organics Network demonstrate the region’s progressive and innovative approach to reducing landfill, creating energy, generating jobs and working environmentally smarter.

“G21 region is showing the way to the nation.  Yet again our region leads.

“G21 is especially excited by the renewable organic network project in Colac, now under construction.  It will use high-strength organic waste from the Australian Lamb Company (ALC) and Bulla Dairy Foods to produce electricity and hot water for industrial purposes.

“The resulting electricity will mean Barwon Water’s Colac Wastewater Treatment Plant will no longer rely on the power grid. Instead, power will be feed into the grid, powering more than 1000 homes when complete.

“Hot water from the organic renewables project will be shared back to ALC to be used in production at the plant.

“The result is a win for the environment. A win for business. A win for common sense.

“Work is also underway to investigate options to build a similar facility by the end of 2023 for the greater Geelong region to process organic waste collected by the region’s five councils.

“G21’s municipal council members understand the benefits of diverting significant organic waste away from costly landfill to be turned into income generating renewable energy.

“As the region’s population grows rapidly, innovation and resourcefulness are becoming increasingly important.  Reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated by organics going to landfill is great for the local environment.

“G21 and its members are pleased to be at the forefront of the region’s collaboration and innovation through the G21 Region Renewable Organics Network,” Ms Carbines said.

The Colac project received state government funds of $240,000 in 2018 towards construction costs.