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What is Waste to Energy

Waste-to-energy is an important type of bioenergy. This refers to any waste treatment that creates energy from a waste source.

Waste-to-energy can be sourced from:

  • Sewage gas that captures the methane emitted from the solid organic components of sewage collected by water utilities to product bioenergy.
  • Landfill gas that captures the methane emitted from landfills to generate bioenergy.
  • Agricultural-related wastes such as livestock wastes.
  • Urban biomass such as food-related wastes, garden organics, paper and cardboard material, and timber from construction and demolition sites.
  • Wood-related wastes such as wastes produced in the harvesting and processing of wood such as sawmill and pulp-mill residues.

How much Energy can be generated from our waste?

If we extracted the energy from our sewage, the waste that goes to landfill and our landfill emissions, it would provide around 1,620 GJ per week, or provide up to 2.5MW of continuous (combined heat and electricity) generation.  This is around 10 times the weekly energy used at the industrial precinct near the landfill and waste water treatment plant.

Or to look at it another way, all of this waste could provide continuous generation capacity of up to 1 to 1.5 MW of heat and up to 1MW of electricity. 1MW of electricity generation is enough to power around 400 homes.*


Rural and Regional Benefits of Bioenergy:

Waste-to-energy has many benefits:

  • Produces a clean and renewable energy source.
  • Assists waste reduction, and reduces landfill and sewerage treatment demands.
  • Reduces methane emissions (with 21 times more impact than carbon dioxide)
  • Provides economic benefits, where waste is treated as a resource, for a whole range of different industries, spanning agriculture, forestry, food processing, urban waste management and regulatory authorities.

Next Steps:

MASG’s Community Renewables Working Group will be consulting the local community from pre-feasibility/feasibility stages, and if the project is successful, through to delivery stages, via a series of events, and regular enews updates.
To stay informed email your contact details to:

Did you know?

‘Bioenergy presently provides 0.9 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation. With the right support in place, this has the potential to increase six-fold by 2020 to more than 10,600 GWh per year – enough to power 1.4 million Australian homes and remove over 5 million tonnes of carbon pollution from the atmosphere.
By 2050, bioenergy could potentially provide more than 72,000 GWh per year, powering a staggering
10.2 million Australian homes and removing over 39 million tonnes of carbon pollution from the atmosphere.’

Download the Clean Energy Council’s Waste to Energy Fact Sheet here.

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