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Questions and Answers

Residential Amenity


Will the energy precinct mean there will be more trucks?

This project will not require more trucks as we will be diverting existing waste streams from landfill to the system.


Will you be bringing in more rubbish into the area than there is now?


This project is being scoped based on current waste input so no more waste to be brought into the area.


Where will the waste come from and how do you know it will be clean?


The waste will come from paper recyclers and the transfer stations owned and operated by the Calleja group (which owns MBC).  The project team performed an audit on the waste being received at the end of last year and found the majority of it was not contaminated and we will construct a sorting and cleaning facility to ensure all contaminants are removed.


What do you do with waste that can’t be turned into energy?


Any waste that cannot be processed to form energy will be diverted back to the landfill.


Where will the plant be on the site?


At this stage, the plan is to install the plant at the JBD industrial park that adjoins MBC.


How much noise will there be?


There will be no increase in noise compared to operations today.


What will it smell like?


There will be no increase in smell compared to operations today. The plant will be housed in a building.  The plant is proven internationally and will be built to European emission requirements (the highest in the world), and compliant with Victorian emission standards. 


What pollutants will be emitted when rubbish is processed?


Similar to any thermally processed fuel, there will be some pollutants created, for example carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and some particulates.

 

The plant will include air pollution control devices to reduce pollutant levels to ensure the plant meets EPA emission guidelines.

 

By processing the waste instead of landfilling, we will reduce the creation of  methane that occurs when waste decomposes, so the net effect will be to reduce the impact on the environment.


How will our air quality change?


The plant will improve air quality in Victoria by reducing the amount of coal that needs to be transformed to create electricity. Methane emissions will also be reduced because there will be less waste going to landfill.

 

There will be no noticeable impact on local air quality.  Any emissions must meet or exceed air quality standards defined by the EPA.


Will burning the gas in the LFG flare cause light pollution?


When the landfill gas is flared, it is done so in an confined candle, blocking the majority of light being emitted.


Will waste be processed 24/7?

The plan is to operate the 24/7 so base load power is produced.


How will you ensure that only clean rubbish is used? What happens if the wrong sort of rubbish is processed? 


MBC currently undertakes significant screening to separate out materials that can be re-used or recycled. This approach will be extended by adding a new pre sorting facility to ensure the quality and composition of waste.  Any item that is not suitable will be removed and sent to landfill.

 

This will ensure that only the appropriate waste will be processed.

What are the dangers if something goes wrong with the process and uncontrolled emissions are released? 


The plant will be staffed and monitored 24/7 to ensure it operates as required.  The plant can and will be shut down immediately if needed.  This will stop operation and the creation of emissions and any further risks.


Is there an increased fire risk? 

The establishment of the plant reduces the fire risk in the area by reducing the volume of waste being sent to landfill (which can create methane). The thermal treatment of the process is tightly controlled and monitored. 


What if stockpiled material catches fire and spreads to other rubbish at the landfill? 

The plant will only be stockpiling waste for use over the weekend, so it will be a limited and manageable volume. MBC has a CFA approved fire management plan and it will be reviewed, in consultation with regulators, to ensure that it continues to be appropriate for the new operations. 


Where else in Australia has this been done? 

This plant will be the first of its kind in Victoria, and Australia.  There are several other similar plants being developed in other states, but these are mostly dealing with municipal waste – which is far more complicated than the waste we will be processing at MBC.

 

Waste to energy is extremely common in Europe and has been for many years. Australia is catching up and we have access to the best European technology, which has been refined over decades. 

Will the precinct take kerb-side recyclables that China won’t take any more? 
While the facility could take kerb-side recyclables, this waste stream is currently not in scope as there is no contracted supply of it to MBC.

Local Issues
Why are you doing this here and not in a more remote area? 
This site is already receiving and landfilling waste, so has the zoning needed and current infrastructure to support the project.  Establishing the plant in a remote area would be difficult without the zoning authority.  Further, the cost of transporting waste (and the impact on the environment) could make the project un-economical. There is an urgent need for the plant to meet the state’s waste management and energy generation requirements. 

Will the energy precinct mean the landfill will be open for longer? 
Potentially.  The establishment of the MEP will mean that there will be an industrial centre on site for at least 20 years and the diversion of waste from landfill will mean that there will be more space available in the landfill each year. 

Will local residents/businesses be able to buy cheap power? 
IntelliGas is looking into the opportunity to establish a buying group through an energy retailer, which will enable members of the group to buy power at set and reduced rates. 

How many jobs will be created? Will you employ local people? 
We estimate that the plant will involve the employment of at least 15-30 people, which will include skilled and non-skilled roles.  We will definitely look to hire locally wherever possible, including through the procurement, construction and operational phases. 

General Questions
What is the net impact on greenhouse production? 
The installation of the plant will reduce the generation of greenhouse gases as it will divert waste from landfill, where gasses are created as waste decomposes. There will be reduced demand for coal-fired electricity, which is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. 

How much power will be produced? 
We are expecting the plant to have a surplus of 10 Megawatts annually. 

How long can power be generated for? 
Power can be generated 24/7 and we expect the plant to be operational for at least 20 years. 

How much waste will be diverted form landfill each year? 
The waste to energy project will divert a minimum of 150,000 tonnes from landfill every year.