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Yarra Valley Water facility enters commissioning phase

After five years, Yarra Valley Water’s energy recovery facility in Wollert has been completed and will soon commence operations.

The facility’s anaerobic digesters are currently being seeded as part of its commissioning phase, according to Yarra Valley Water Manager Waste to Energy Services Damien Bassett.

“During the commissioning phase we will be feeding organic food waste into the digesters to commence the biological process which will take approximately three months.”

Bassett said they are currently open to submissions of organic waste for the facility’s trial runs.

These include food process waste, food waste, dairy waste, animal processing waste, de-packaged spoilt liquids and process upset waste.

Formerly known as Waste to Energy, the project - now known as ReWaste - is expected to recycle 100 tonnes of food waste per day, adding up to 33,000 tonnes per year.

Situated right next to an existing sewage treatment plant, ReWaste is seen to generate 1MW of energy, enough to power both facilities, with the excess exported to the electricity grid. 

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Pat McCafferty is optimistic about ReWaste’s prospects both from an economic and sustainability point of view.

“This groundbreaking facility has the potential to change the way we use and value our assets in the Australian water industry.

“Instead of treating the organics as waste, we’re treating them as a product with value that can be re-used to create and capture methane gas resulting in significant environmental and cost benefits.

“As well as helping to keep organics out of landfill, we are also helping to make recycling commercial organic waste easier and more affordable for businesses.”

ReWaste is part of the Aurora Waste to Energy project, and is expected to be fully operational by April 2017.