Smart solutions to the waste challenge: Transforming waste into resources
Published: Monday 30th March 2015
ACU has tripled the amount of waste it diverts from landfill in less than three years, with innovative waste solutions implemented at the North Sydney and Brisbane campuses showcasing the Property Directorate's approach to the waste challenge.
North Sydney's landfill waste is sent to one of Australia’s most advanced waste facilities – the Woodlawn bioreactor near Goulbourn – where its organic component is extracted and transformed into energy that is added to the national electricity network. The bioreactor accelerates the decomposition of the organic waste and extracts the gas generated by the decomposition process. The gas is captured and piped to a 20MW turbine that generates enough energy to power 20,000 homes. The operation of the bioreactor also generates heat that is captured and used at a nearby hydroponic fish farm.
In Brisbane, Campus Operations worked with campus gardeners to design a system that takes the estimated 120 tonnes of garden waste produced on the campus annually, turning it into mulch for use on the gardens themselves. This initiative keeps a huge amount of garden waste out of landfill and also reduces the amount of mulch and soil conditioner required to be purchased.
The North Sydney and Brisbane landfill solutions have increased the amount of waste saved from landfill by over 300 tonnes since the start of 2013.