THE City of Cockburn accepted a tender to supply its general waste for processing at an Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plant for 20 years from 2021 at last week’s council meeting.
The City’s waste will be processed by the HZI consortium, also known as New Energy Corporation, which proposes to construct a facility in East Rockingham.
The consortium has already been accepted as preferred waste disposal tenderer by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council.
The EfW plant will use moving grate combustion technology to convert energy from general household waste bins into electricity for the grid, with its ash waste by-products potentially being used in road construction.
City Waste manager Lyall Davieson, said the waste supply agreement (WSA) represented significant savings for ratepayers and would divert greater volumes of waste from landfill.
“Waste disposed at landfill attracts an ever-increasing State Government Landfill Levy, which is currently $65 per tonne, but this levy does not apply to EfW,” Mr Davieson said.
“The State Government has determined that no further landfills will be approved on the Swan Coastal Plain.
“When existing landfills reach capacity, the City, along with many other metropolitan local governments, will have to transport its general waste to regional or inland rural areas, a costly proposition that would also increase the City’s transport carbon emissions.
“The EfW process is environmentally favourable to landfill in that valuable materials are converted for energy production. There is also potential for the City to purchase the electricity produced by processing the waste.”
Under the agreement, the City will deliver waste collected from its kerbside general waste bins to the New Energy Corporation plant, at an estimated cost of $3.47m for the first year, a cost saving on the current arrangements for waste disposal at the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council’s Canning Vale Regional Resource Recovery Centre (SMRCRRRC).
The net tonnages that will be delivered to the EfW will vary towards 2021, as the City completes the roll-out of its green (garden) waste bins, the contents of which will be processed separately and go into the compost industry.
The City withdrew from its agreement with the SMRCRRRC in July 2017 and will continue to deliver the waste collected from the kerbside general waste bin to the SMRC under a separate WSA until June 2020.
It will investigate the best arrangement as 2020 nears.