Recovering Resources From Waste
Challenges in Recovering Waste Resources
Resource recovery often goes beyond the simple principles of reduce, reuse or recycle. Often municipal entities such as local councils, as well as governments and environmental bodies are facing many challenges on how best to not only minimise waste, but to ensure that their stakeholders see the inherent value in waste materials. These challenges include:
- Cross jurisdictional regulatory environment
- Cost vs. environmental benefit
- Engagement of local residents and constituents
- Education and behaviour
- Limited infrastructure
- Commodity price instability
For governments, local councils and businesses alike, there has been growing importance placed on how to best manage waste. Whether talking about materials such as plastics, paper, metals or cardboard (all of which are often deemed as rubbish), or wasted resources such as water and energy, now more than ever there is a focus on how those materials and resources can be recovered for beneficial reuse.
Veolia owns and operates several resource recovery facilities, as well as water recycling plants and waste to energy facilities. At the core of our solution is a desire to replicate natural systems to solve a man-made problem.
Plugging in Veolia's resource recovery solutions
Whilst recovering resources has an environmental benefit, there are often cost benefits to be realised. If materials can be re-used, there is a lack of reliance on raw materials production, and materials such as plastic, paper, metals and organic materials can be sold so as to be used as secondary manufacturing materials.
Through our collection of resource recovery facilities, water recycling plants and waste to energy facilities, we are able to partner with municipal entities, business and heavy industry to recover waste materials.
- Waste to Energy
Veolia owns and operates waste to energy infrastructure throughout the region. Facilities including Woodlawn and TiTree Bioenergy facilities take putrescible waste collected from council regions in NSW and QLD and utilise methane generated from the decomposing waste as fuel in the generation of electricity. Whilst Veolia encourages waste minimisation and recycling, we also recognise that residual waste must be managed. This residual waste, through our network of bioenergy facilities and technologies, is helping to create a viable source of energy. Theoretically, returning a valuable product back to the very homes where the waste used to create this energy was generated.
- Water Recycling and Reclamation
Recycling water is another aspect of water resource management, increasing overall water availability by providing an alternative and additional water supply. Veolia is a world leader in designing, constructing and operating wastewater recycling plants, treating wastewater and creating purified recycled water. In Australia, Veolia has successfully implemented water recycling contracts and large scale water recycling projects for irrigation in agriculture, to water parklands and for use in industry.
- Materials Recovery Facilities
Veolia operates a number of materials recovery facilities (MRF) across Australia. These facilities specialise in the sorting and collection of recyclable materials, which are then forwarded onto a number of recyclers who convert these materials back into useable products. Veolia’s materials recovery facilities ensure viable materials such as plastics are not sent to landfill, but rather reused within the consumable market. Other such materials sent to materials recovery facilities include Paper and cardboard, Glass bottles and containers, Aluminium and steel cans, Plastic bottles and containers
Food and green waste
- Organics and Biosolids Recovery
It is estimated that more than half of all waste discarded within Australian households is comprised of food and other organics materials. With this in mind, Veolia in collaboration with invessel composting technology developer CR Hudson and Associates, operates Natural Recovery Systems (NRS) in Dandenong, Victoria, and has recently opened Bulla Organics Recover Facility, also located in Victoria.
from commercial and municipal collections is sent to these locations where it undergoes rapid degradation within an enclosed, controlled and monitored aerobic environment. The consequential by-product is nutrient-rich compost which can be used in the horticultural market. Similarly Ballarat North Water Reclamation Plant and Reuse Plant, Victoria is capable of treating 8.4 megalitres of wastewater per day while improving the quality of treated water discharged to the environment. It also includes a thermal sludge dryer
which produces biosolids to a standard suitable for beneficial land based reuse, such as fertiliser.