New Lilydale Facility Driving Circular Economy Transition

16 April 2024

The Allan Labor Government is helping to driving down emissions and keep water bills low for Yarra Valley Water customers through the construction of a second waste to energy facility to help power their operations.

Minister for Water Harriet Shing today announced works have begun on the $48 million Lilydale Food Waste to Energy project – which is expected to become fully operational as early as 2025.

The new facility will generate 39,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per day – around 35 per cent of Yarra Valley Water’s energy needs or enough to power the equivalent of more than 2,200 Victorian households.

The renewable electricity generated will power both the facility itself and the Lilydale Sewage Treatment Plant, with excess energy exported to the electricity grid.

This new facility follows on from the success of Yarra Valley Water’s first organic waste to energy facility in Wollert, which has processed over 175,000 tonnes of food waste since it was commissioned in 2017.

The facility will use a natural process - known as anaerobic digestion - to convert organic waste to energy, rather than using a gasifier or incinerator to burn waste.

The Victorian water sector has set world-leading targets to cut emissions to net-zero by 2035. Yarra Valley Water is on track to reach this target a decade earlier with the addition of the Lilydale facility.

The new facility has the potential to reduce emissions by 24,700 tonnes every year – that is the equivalent of taking 23,000 cars off the road.

It will also support Victoria’s transition to a circular economy and divert around 55,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, while providing a more efficient waste solution for commercial operators.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“Food waste to energy is just one of the ways the water sector is helping to drive innovation in the circular economy, reduce costs and emissions, and keep water bills low for Victorians.”

“By recovering organic waste, we also boost growth and investment in our economy, create more Victorian jobs and meet the needs of our growing population, now and in the future.”

Quote attributable to Managing Director Yarra Valley Water Pat McCafferty

“Melbourne is growing rapidly, we see our facilities as part of a wider effort to combat the problem of food waste to landfill and help Victoria’s transition to a circular economy.”

“Turning food waste into energy helps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce landfill and reduce energy costs, which helps to keep pressure off customer bills.”

Reviewed 16 April 2024

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