Municipal & Residential

Woodlawn Bioreactor

Woodlawn Brochure
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Proven. Innovative. Sustainable Technologies. The Woodlawn site is located 250kms south of Sydney, near Goulburn in New South Wales. Previously a copper, lead and zinc open-cut mine, the void is now used as one of the largest and certainly one of the deepest purpose-built bioreactor landfill projects in the world.

Woodlawn Operations

The Woodlawn site is comprised of several key sustainable and innovative elements including:
  • Woodlawn Bioreactor (BioEnergy)
    offering a significant alternative for the resource recovery and disposal of putrescible waste in New South Wales by utilising proven technologies that are used by Veolia around the world. The bioreactor facility recovers energy from what would otherwise be waste material to produce green electricity.
  • Aquaculture & Horticulture
    utilising the waste heat produced from the energy generation process for fish farming, incorporating hydroponics in the filtrations system to remove excess nutrients
  • Woodlawn Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility
    designed to extract the organic content from the mixed waste stream to produce compost for onsite mine rehabilitation
  • Agriculture
    incorporating a working farm that applies nutrient and grazing rotation to improve meat and wool productivity while reducing impacts on the soil
  • Windfarm
    (operated by Infigen Energy) is a 50MW Windfarm harnessing the natural energy in an area renowned for significant year round wind generation.

All of these elements are examples of how Veolia continue to innovate and invest in sustainable activities, which complement one another whilst also making good business, environmental and social sense.

How Woodlawn helps waste and resource management in NSW

Provides a long-term sustainable solution 

Woodlawn plays an integral part in providing a long term sustainable solution for managing NSW’s waste that, utilises the freight rail network for efficient transport of waste.
The Woodlawn Bioreactor currently accepts around 20% of Sydney’s putrescible waste and is recognised as an example of best practice landfill technology. It supports existing source separated initiatives such as kerbside recycling, by recovering energy from the residual waste stream. Since opening in 2004, over 3.8 million tonnes of waste has been used to generate green electricity, and the facility now exports enough power to supply over 2,500 households.
The Woodlawn MBT facility will further enhance the resource recovery capabilities of the Woodlawn site, through the production of compost from the organic fraction of waste, and assist the municipal and commercial sectors to meet their resource recovery targets set by the NSW Government.

Recent approvals at Woodlawn

In 2012, Veolia was granted approval to increase the annual waste input rate to the Woodlawn Bioreactor from 500,000 tonnes per year to 1.13 million tonnes per year. This approval included a provision for the residual material from the MBT facility to be disposed of in the Bioreactor for further energy recovery.
Danny Conlon, Group General Manager, Veolia NSW commented, “The approval of this expansion will not only address the chronic shortage in Sydney’s landfill capacity and create greater regional waste management capacity, but will also give NSW Councils, and their resident’s real options for waste disposal. This approval also earmarks a more level playing field within the waste management industry and a further commitment from the NSW Government for greater investment in innovative and sustainable waste management technologies. “
“Throughout the approval process, Veolia has worked closely with all stakeholders, with a particular focus on addressing all concerns raised by the local communities. As such, Veolia has begun to implement critical infrastructure to manage increased truck movements and shared-road usage, additional lighting, improved road surfaces and signage and state of the art odour management systems.”
“Veolia will continue to engage with the local residents to ensure they are kept abreast of all developments at the facility.”
The expansion of the Woodlawn Bioreactor will deliver further local environmental, social and economic benefits, such as increased renewable energy production, further rehabilitation of the former mine site, support for local community groups through the voluntarily Veolia Mulwaree Trust which has distributed more than $5 million since 2005, and an increase in local job opportunities.
The increase in the waste input rate will accelerate the facilities generation of green electricity; at full capacity Woodlawn including the Bioreactor and the Infigen wind farm, is expected to generate almost 300,000 MWh per year, and provide power for the equivalent of approximately 37,500 homes a year."
The utilisation of the Woodlawn site to it’s maximum permitted capacity, through the development of MBT facility is dependent on developing additional transfer infrastructure in Sydney. In addition to the existing Clyde facility, Veolia propose to develop a similar transfer terminal at Banksmeadow, in Sydney’s southern region.

The Woodlawn Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility

Designed to turn organic waste into compost 

Part of our efforts at Woodlawn include rehabilitating the former Woodlawn mine site. Crucial to this is the development  of a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility,  designed to separate organics from mixed household waste to create compost suitable for the mine rehabilitation and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
Veolia expects to commence construction of the MBT facility in 2014. The facility is expected to provide employment and business opportunities within the local community during both the construction and operational phases.


Working with the Local Community


An example of a collaborative model that benefits all

This ongoing engagement with the local community includes the community liaison committee, regular updates in the Tarago Times, email and SMS alerts and regular representation at local community meetings.
The Veolia Mulwaree Trust provides funding for charitable purposes and worthwhile community projects to benefit communities within or surrounding the former Mulwaree Shire Council area. Since 2005 the Veolia Mulwaree Trust has distributed more than $5million to local community initiatives.
Would you like to learn more about aspects of the Woodlawn site?

Related Documents 

Additional environmental / pollution monitoring reports can be found in the reports section of our site.

You can't find the report / document you were looking for? Don't hesitate to get in touch with our team to request additional information.

Community information phone line:  1 800 241 750 during business hours.