As part of Mount Alexander Sustainability Group’s (MASG) target for reaching net zero emissions in the Shire of Mount Alexander, A bioenergy facility is being developed on a DON Smallgoods meat processing site in Castlemaine, Central Victoria, Australia.
It will turn organic waste away from landfill, capturing potentially harmful emissions and helping generate clean energy for the meat processor.
This is the first community-led project in Victoria to convert waste into energy. “For every tonne of waste coming into the bioenergy plant, we avoid two and a half tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence,” Mr Belfield, a member of the group said.
“This will take care of about 20 per cent of DON Smallgoods energy footprint, so it will reduce their emissions in equivalent level,” he said. “(They) will use some of our energy, while we take in their waste streams.”
The facility will use both anaerobic digestion and biomass thermal technology, which can replace gas, steam and electricity.
“Organic waste comes in and gets digested in a big tank, that produces biogas – it’s then used for energy, displacing natural gas which is a fossil fuel. The other is a biomass heat technology, that takes the energy out of the dry, woody waste, that can’t be digested by bugs, and can be combusted to produce a gas.”
The organic waste resources will come from the local DON Smallgoods (20%), as wells as from other locations in Central Victoria (80%). MASG is hoping to convert up to 40,000 tonnes of waste per year.
“As part of this initiative together with our solar energy investments and wider Energy Supply Strategy endeavors at Castlemaine, we anticipate a total 40% reduction in DON’s carbon footprint by 2025.”
The project has received initial funding and MASG is currently in the second investment sourcing in order to begin the construction of the $20 million facility.