Thoughtful Environmental Technologies In Australia

In the Yarra valley region, Victoria, a purpose built facility has been established to dispose of commercial organic waste. It aims to divert over 30,000 tonnes of commercial food waste from landfills each year. This on its own is clearly beneficial in reducing waste, but it is the position next to the existing sewage treatment plant that shows innovation. The two entities have collaborated to further reduce energy consumption. Biogas created by the anaerobic digester (sealed vessel) supplies enough energy to power both sites. Renewable energy produced by this facility ensures that Victoria reliance on coal is reduced (Yarra Valley Water, 2016). Considering Yarra Valley Water is the biggest of the three water corporations in Victoria, it is extremely positive for innovative use of renewables in Victoria, if not nationally. 1.8 million people benefit from this cooperation and its location, near a noisy highway and grassland nature reserve, provides both noise and odor barriers for the neighboring populations.

In contrast, Brisbane cities closest water treatment (Luggage Point Wastewater Treatment Plant) would not be suitable for a similar waste energy facility. The site itself is surrounded by densely planned industrial and commercial facilities such as, the Brisbane Airport and GMD Packaging (Packaging Supply Store). This puts added strain on the natural environment by reducing soil quality and polluting (air and waste) the wider Brisbane Portside district. Further development in this area would see the already limited natural landscape further diminish. The proximity to the water is potentially the biggest risk, with organic waste matter potentially entering the waterways directly. As is the case with The Yarra Valley facility, it is located thirty minutes from the city and not in close proximity to open water sources. In conclusion, it must be noted that there are more suitable sites for such a facility near Ipswich, which would incorporate similar noise and odour barriers to the afore mentioned Yarra Valley waste energy site. It is exciting to see that Australia is starting to adopt technologies that have already proven successful in Europe and the United States.


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