By 2020 Western Sydney will be sending at least 1.62 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year.
That’s enough to fill 2,400 Olympic size swimming pools, every year.
Instead of landfill, we can turn that waste into sustainable energy
Cleanaway is proposing to use world-leading, safe, energy-from-waste technology here. As used in cities across Europe, material that cannot be recycled and currently goes to landfill will be turned into valuable electricity.
Producing enough energy to power more than
homes and businesses
jobs and up to 1,200 indirect jobs during construction
local highly skilled jobs during operation
Greenhouse gas savings equivalent up to approximately
cars off the road
Smart city technology
Approximately 500 similar facilities operate across Europe using the same technology as we are proposing. It is common for these facilities to be located and operate in urban areas. This is safe and smart city technology. Facilities are being constructed around the world in urban areas.
This energy-from-waste plant, in Lakeside, London includes an education centre where students learn about improved waste management. The centre is 400 metres from homes. The centre achieves 100% diversion of waste from landfill.
See the energy-from-waste examples below for more information on similar overseas energy from waste centres.
It's good for climate change
The proposal would save on climate change gases that contribute to the heating of our planet. The savings are equivalent to more than 450,000 tonnes each year of carbon dioxide. This is the same as taking approximately 100,000 cars off the road.
What you see coming out of the stack is steam.
Some 99.9% of the volume leaving the stack are gases common to air - oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, water vapour, as the centre has equipment that cleans the emissions.
Particles are already in our air. They are created by mowing the lawn; our car exhausts and brakes; from wood heaters; heating a BBQ; industrial processes; and even sea salt.
We know that the levels of particles in Sydney’s air are low compared with other cities. To keep our air quality at these good levels, there are rules and limits we must abide by.
Studies show that energy-from-waste contributes very small amounts of particles to the air. Emissions from these modern facilities are approximately 1000 times lower or more, than normal levels in the air.
This is because the emissions are cleaned before they leave the facility. For example, the average number of particles released from the stack would be the same as the emissions released from 4 modern semi-trailers driving at a speed of 90km/hour on a motorway.
Things like lawn mowing, driving a car, our weekend BBQs, and gardening all release particles into the air.
This is a solution for red bin waste generated in Western Sydney…
Cleanaway would work with Western Sydney councils and businesses to target the waste from red bins, to recover the energy and reduce the need for landfill.
The sorts of things that people put in their red bin are plastic toys, packaging materials, old games, nappies and sanitary items, tissues, bits of wood, and kitchen items we have finished with.
...in line with the NSW waste hierarchy
Cleanaway invests in education programs and supports innovative ideas to reduce red bin waste.
For example, we help households recycle their food and garden organics across Australia. In 2019, we educated over 27,000 students on best practice recycling.
What is an energy-from-waste centre?
This diagram shows the steps of waste collection and treatment.
How does it work elsewhere?
Click on the images below to access fact sheets. These different centres are similar to this proposal. They are all in urban areas, with residents living nearby. We encourage you to look at the different communities using energy-from-waste every day.
What does the planning process look like?
Who we are
The project is being delivered by Cleanaway and Macquarie Capital, with technical support from ARUP and Ramboll.
Cleanaway Waste Management Limited is Australia’s leading total waste management, industrial and environmental services company. Our 6,000 highly trained staff, in over 300 locations around Australia are supported by more than 5,000 specialist vehicles and state-of-the-art facilities. We are working hard to deliver our mission of making a sustainable future possible for all.
Macquarie Capital is a leading equity investor, participant and sponsor in the development and construction of global renewable energy infrastructure assets. Macquarie’s Green Investment Group adds a new dimension to our green energy offering in Australia and New Zealand, through access to a deeper and broader range of capabilities, including global best practice, technological innovation and the specialist expertise of more than 350 dedicated green energy professionals. Together, we have invested in over 30 waste and biomass projects globally including Australia’s first thermal waste to energy project, Avertas Energy in Western Australia.
Ramboll is recognised as one of the world’s leading energy from waste engineering consultants. We have 60 dedicated energy-from-waste project managers and specialists, with in-depth knowledge of processes, world-leading technologies, suppliers and facility operations. Ramboll have designed over 150 energy-from-waste facilities in 45 countries, including Australia’s first facility in Western Australia.
A global leader in energy from waste and recovery of resources, Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, working across every aspect of the built environment. Together we help our clients solve their most complex challenges – turning ideas into reality as we shape a better world.