Where are we now?
Until recently, four technology options were being considered for the proposed Resource Recovery Facility at Red Hill: anaerobic digestion, combustion, gasification and pyrolysis. However, at EMRC's 18 August 2011 Ordinary Council meeting, EMRC Council resolved to limit the technology options for the proposed Resource Recovery Facility at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility to anaerobic digestion and gasification, therefore eliminating pyrolysis and combustion as possible options.
Why have the changes to technology options been made?
This decision was based on information received from acceptable tenderers during and after the Expressions of Interest phase, preparations for the environmental impact assessment, community engagement feedback and advice from the Environmental Protection Authority during the preparation of the Public Environmental Review.
Anaerobic digestion and gasification are proven technologies for processing municipal waste with many examples world-wide. At this stage, they have been assessed as preferred options for the Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility.
Reducing the technology options from four to two will facilitate a streamlined environmental impact assessment process and refine the project's ongoing community engagement process.
Preparation of Public Environmental Review
In partnership with our six member Councils, Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) has prepared a Public Environmental Review (PER) document to assess the potential environmental and health impacts of the proposed Resource Recovery Facility at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility. It was submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for review in December 2011, and approved for an eight week public comment period, which took place from 23 July 2012 to 17 September 2012. Further information, including a downloadable version of the PER, can be found at the Public Environmental Review webpage.
Following the environmental and planning approval process, EMRC Council will decide whether to proceed with the tender process. Acceptable tenderers will then be invited to tender for the preferred technology options and ownership options. The tender process will be overseen by a Tender Evaluation Committee and an independent probity auditor.
Only one of the two technology options will be constructed at the RRF at Red Hill, and a final decision on the chosen technology will be made at the conclusion of the tender process in late 2013.
The health of the community and the environment are of utmost priority for EMRC and its member councils. EMRC has undertaken substantial research into the environmental and health implications for operating a resource recovery facility. The facility will operate to strict environmental and health standards.
The Public Environmental Review (PER) for the resource recovery facility is a detailed environmental impact assessment submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) as part of its requirements for environmental approvals. The document assesses air (including dioxins), noise, odour and other emissions to the atmosphere which could potentially impact on the community adjacent to the proposed resource recovery facility at Red Hill. The results from this assessment indicate that with appropriate design and management, the RRF will comply with health and environmental standards (see details in the PER document).
The Public Environmental Review is available for public review and submissions to the Environmental Protection Authority from 23 July 2012 to 17 September 2012.
Please click on any of the links below or scroll down for further information.
Expressions of Interest process
Which technologies were under consideration for the EOI - and why?
What are thermal technologies?
What are mechanical biological treatment technologies?
What is the diversion rate of waste to landfill using these technologies?
Preferred options for technology
How will the technology be chosen?
Bin collection systems and technology options
Technology in use world-wide
In May 2009, the EMRC advertised for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in providing technology options for the Resource Recovery Project. The purpose of this process was to inform EMRC Council about the different technologies to guide their decision making process. It would also enable EMRC to gather important information, including cost and environmental performance, to assist the EMRC to select a preferred site, ownership model and waste collection system for the RRF. The Expressions of Interest process was overseen by a Tender Evaluation Committee and an independent probity auditor.
Each submission was evaluated against a number of criteria set out in the EOI documents. The main focus was on their capability to successfully deliver a similar project.
The criteria included:
Please click on the link at the bottom of the page to read the EOI documentation.
Tenderers were invited to submit expressions of interest for one or more of five technology options: mechanical biological treatment - anaerobic digestion, and/or Energy from Waste (EfW) - gasification, pyrolysis, combustion, plasma or combinations thereof (all thermal technologies).
EMRC wanted to gain information about all of these technology options in considering what the preferred technology options were for the proposed facility at Red Hill Waste Management Facility. The initial list of technology options included other options such as aerobic composting which were subsequently excluded.
Thermal technologies can be defined as processes that use heat to convert municipal waste into energy and ash or, using controlled conditions, into energy rich fuels and ash or char. Combustion is an example of the former and gasification and pyrolysis, also known as thermal conversion technologies, are examples of the latter.
The energy rich fuels made during gasification and pyrolysis are intermediate products which offer the potential to make a range of chemicals and vehicle fuels or they can be converted to energy.
In July 2011, Council noted advice from SITA Environmental Solutions and WSN Environmental Solutions of their intention to withdraw from the tender process for the Resource Recovery Facility. The list of acceptable tenderers has now been amended.
The acceptable tenderers are:
These five respondents to the EOI will be invited to submit a tender at a later stage in the project (2012) once the environmental approvals process is complete.
In parallel with the EOI process, the EMRC undertook community research from May to July 2009. The objective of the research was to take a snapshot of community views on possible site and technology options and provide this feedback to Council where it could be taken into account in their decision making process. The research involved community surveys and focus groups. There was also consultation with member Councils. Please click here for the results of the research.
In September 2009, the Tender Evaluation Committee reported outcomes of the tender process to the Resource Recovery Committee (RRC) which comprises senior staff and councillors from EMRC's six member Councils. The RRC made preliminary recommendations on preferred options. These recommendations formed the basis of consultation between the EMRC and the member Councils and the community. Final recommendations on the tender process were made by EMRC Council in May 2010.
At its meeting on 18 August 2011, Council resolved to reduce the technology options for the Resource Recovery Facility to anaerobic digestion and gasification, eliminating pyrolysis and combustion as possible options.
Following the environmental and planning approval process, EMRC Council will decide whether to proceed with the tender process and whether to include all of the above technology options. It will also reconsider the preferred contract ownership model.
Acceptable tenderers will then be invited to tender for the preferred EMRC technology and ownership options. The Tender process will be overseen by a Tender Evaluation Committee and an independent probity auditor.
EMRC has developed draft selection criteria to evaluate tender proposals, and will include input from the Community Task Force before being finalised. Inspections of operating plans of acceptable tenderers will be required before final decisions are made.
The Tender Evaluation Committee will report outcomes of the tender process to the RRC which comprises senior staff and councillors from EMRC's six member Councils.
In May 2010, Council resolved that a third bin for household organic waste collection be considered in conjunction with anaerobic digestion technology, otherwise a two bin system is recommended for the thermal technology options.