Mandurah teams with other councils to solve waste issues

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Mandurah has teamed up with five other councils under the Rivers Regional Council to attract a new system to deal with the burgeoning issues of what to do with waste.

Rivers Regional includes the councils of Mandurah, Armadale, Gosnells, Murray, Serpentine Jarrahdale and South Perth.

The problem is becoming urgent because of a number of issues including a State Planning Strategy that does not allow for any more landfills on the Swan Coastal Plain and no new landfills for putrescible (likely to decay) waste are likely to be approved.

Mayor Rhys Williams said the City was committed to protection of not only the backyard but the global environment.

“It’s an issue beyond the practicalities of landfill availability,’’ he said.

“We are a council that thinks long term and is prepared to invest in the future beyond the electoral cycle and this project will be a cost effective and clean waste recovery arrangement for the next 30 years.

“This is a big picture solution to a big issue and the idea is to convert our waste to energy.

“This will be achieved by building a state-of-the-art Waste to Energy facility in Kwinana.

“It is a massive project that has taken more than a decade to get where it is.

“We now have the finances agreed through Macquarie Capital and construction is expected to start in September with practical completion in 2021.”

The Facts

Mandurah produces around 520kg of waste per person per year – much better than Denmark with 751kg per head, but a lot worse than Japan at 354kg a head.

Most of this waste is trucked to landfill but when the Waste to Energy plant is up and running, waste will be turned to energy.

The processing plant will convert the energy to electricity which will be sold back to the industry.

Energy production using waste results in lower air emissions that with fossil fuels.

Significant savings can be made in carbon dioxide emissions compared to landfilling or composting.

The plant will manage waste recovery for 525,000 people or 27 per cent of the Perth population.

Ash produced by the burning will be used in road construction and as an ingredient for brick pavers.

The Cities of Canning and Kwinana have also committed to providing waste for the project.