Have you got a question?

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions site for the Resource Recovery Project.

Questions below have come from community meetings, forums and workshops to do with the Resource Recovery Project. This is a work in progress, and more questions will continue to be added over the coming months.

Please click on any of the topics below, or scroll down to see all questions.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please click on the ‘Ask a Question’ button and we’ll do our best to get back to you promptly with an answer.

Ask us a question

If you have a question relating to the Resource Recovery Project, this is the place to ask it!

RRF Tender FAQs

RRF Tender FAQs

Economic

What is the estimated cost of this facility?

The final cost of the facility will not be known until tenders are called and evaluated in 2016.

The anticipated cost is in the range of $50 to $100 million depending on the technology and scale of operation. The expected cost to ratepayers is estimated at around $38 per household per year (again depending on the technology option). This takes into account the capital and operating costs over the life of the facility (20 years).

The cost to ratepayers is an incremental change until loans are repaid.

Are people prepared to pay more for environmental gains?

Community research conducted in 2009 indicated that 86% of participants were prepared to pay something extra for environmental gains. This was an increase of the previous survey conducted in 2006, in which 77% were prepared to pay extra.

How are costs to be shared between member councils?

Member councils will pay a gate fee per tonne which will cover operating costs and repayment of any capital borrowings. The more tonnes of waste produced by a member council, the more they respectively pay (i.e. a user pay system).

Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park Background

Why do we need a Resource Recovery Park at Hazelmere?

As our population grows, so too does the amount of waste we produce.

Local councils have introduced recycling bins, greenwaste recycling and a range of waste education programs to encourage residents to recycle more and reduce waste to landfill. Resource recovery seeks to complement these existing waste management solutions by dealing with the waste left over in rubbish bins and verge side after residents have reduced, re-used and recycled their waste.

There are two facets to the EMRC's Resource Recovery Project: the Resource Recovery Facility at Red Hill and the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park.

Resource Recovery Parks are designed to receive, process, separate and repair society's discarded materials, with the goal of selling them to markets and the community.

Resource Recovery Parks demonstrate sustainability in waste management and there are many examples of successful Resource Recovery Parks across Australia and the world. For these reasons, the EMRC has included the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park as part of the overall Resource Recovery Project.

Feedstock for a Resource Recovery Park can be household bulk waste (appliances, furniture, etc); commercial and industrial waste; household renovation waste; greenwaste and timber.

What will the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park consist of?

The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is part of the EMRC's integrated plan for sustainable waste management. The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will include greenwaste processing, a Wood Waste to Energy Plant (pyrolysis of wood chip), a Materials Recovery Facility, a Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility, a community drop-off and a re-use store. Currently, the Park offers timber recycling and mattress recycling services.

What will be the operational hours of the facility?

The current operations are limited to timber recycling and mattress processing services. The approved hours of operation are currently permitted from Monday to Friday from 5am to 7pm. The facility is closed to the public on weekends and on public holidays. The operational hours will be revised as more facilities become operational.

Why was Hazelmere the chosen location for the Resource Recovery Park?

In terms of waste management activity, the Hazelmere site is the centre of the area managed by the EMRC. The land was bought in the late 1990s with the primary purpose of resource recovery and reducing the amount of waste to landfill. The location is strategic and appropriately reflects the long-term, environmentally sustainable solution for waste management in Perth's Eastern Region.

What is the expected size of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Approximately 12 hectares.

How much will the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park cost to develop?

The capital expenditure on the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is estimated at around $25 million planned over five years.

When did construction begin on the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The first stage of the Park was built in 2007. It was made open to the public in 2008, offering timber recycling and mattress recycling services. The proposed Wood Waste to Energy Plant will commence construction in June 2016, if approved. It will convert woodchips to renewable energy and biochar.

Further development onsite will occur over the next three to five years.

What recycling facilities will be available at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The EMRC operates the only facility in Western Australia dedicated to the recovery and processing of industrial timber waste so it can be diverted from landfill and recycled as a reusable woodchip. The site accepts untreated timbers, soft woods such as pine and particleboard and hard woods such as jarrah and cedar.

The site cannot accept treated timber or painted timber.

In July 2009, the EMRC commenced its mattress processing facility on site. The mattresses are shredded with the spring steel being recovered and the remainder sent to landfill.  

Other items for recovery will include commercial waste, recyclables, greenwaste and other household bulk waste (appliances, furniture, etc). The recycling of items other than timber and mattresses will begin once the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility has been constructed in mid-2016.

  • Useful products from Resource Recovery Parks are:
  • Recyclables (paper, cardboard, metals, plastics)
  • Repaired or refurbished goods for resale
  • Building materials / hardware / household goods
  • Ground timber fines
  • Electrical energy / heat energy

Will there be educational activities for visitors at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Several educational activities are being considered for the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park. These activities will help educate visitors about the EMRC's integrated approach to waste management - the 4Rs of reduce, re-use, recycle and recover waste.

These activities include:

  • Maps and brochures summarising the process
  • Guided tours of the site
  • Displays and demonstrations
  • Videos running of the park, the site in operation and some of its by-products
  • Multi-purpose meeting space (classroom, community talks, training).

What has been done to consult with the local community about the proposed Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park and its impacts on them?

Since 2004, the EMRC has undertaken community engagement activities for the Resource Recovery Project of which the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is a component. Community input through workshops, surveys, information sessions and reference group meetings has informed the decision process to date. Information on the project has also been made available to the public through EMRC newsletters and the corporate website. This will continue throughout the project, particularly as the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park develops.

2013-2015 engagement activities have included:

  • Meetings with the Hazelmere Progress Association
  • Briefing of Community Associations Network
  • Meeting with Midland / Swan Place Management Team.

In 2014, the EMRC released its Public Environmental Review of the Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant. The Public Environmental Review examines the environmental effects associated with the proposed development. A four week comment period on the proposal during May / June 2014 enabled public comment on the proposal.

One of the most important ways that the EMRC is involving the community is through its Waste Management Community Reference Group (WMCRG).

The WMCRG was formed in 2002 to provide informed advice and feedback to EMRC on waste management and waste education issues. Members comprise residents from within the areas covered by EMRC's six member councils.

Since its inception, the WMCRG has assisted EMRC progress a number of important waste education initiatives. Recent achievements include:

  • Playing a key role in the Resource Recovery Project since 2004
  • Being actively involved in the Resource Recovery Community and regional workshops
  • Providing feedback on the resource recovery guides and subsequent community advertising
  • Providing feedback on the Waste Education Strategy.

What opportunities does the general public have to provide feedback about planning and operations at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Feedback and suggestions concerning the park are always welcome via email or mailed correspondence. Alternatively, local community members are welcome to telephone the EMRC to speak with an officer in Resource Recovery.

What will be done to manage the potential impact of noise on residents during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Potential noise impact is to be assessed. EMRC will ensure all aspects of the park comply with regulations set by the City of Swan and state agencies.

What will the EMRC do to minimize traffic congestion into and out of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

There will be separated entrances for commercial operators and the public. This is to reduce the likelihood of congestion and to allow safe entry and exit for the public.

The commercial entrance will be via an internal ring road, which will allow vehicles to queue off the public roads. The community and public entrance will provide direct access to the public zone of the park and will reduce interface with commercial operators.

The City of Swan will assess all design briefs regarding access into the park to ensure key criteria are met, such as visibility. The City of Swan will also be involved with road widening to improve access and reduce potential congestion issues.

A 2013 report on the technology by the Environmental Protection Authority said the waste hierarchy should be applied and only waste that does not have a viable recycling or reuse alternative should be used as feedstock. Isn't there a market for the woodchips?

The wood is being diverted from landfill and converted to woodchip and woodfines product in accordance with the State Waste Authority's waste hierarchy.

There is a market for the woodfines and a small component of the woodchip, with only woodchip being proposed as a fuel source for the Plant.

Why is pyrolysis the only technology option being considered for the Wood Waste to Energy Plant? Are there no other viable alternatives?

Composting has been suggested as an alternative to pyrolysis; however, woodchip does not break down easily in a composting process. Although other thermal options are possible, pyrolysis is the preferred method. The technology is conducive to a relatively pure feedstock, such as woodchip. In addition, the technology to produce the WWTE plant is developed locally in Bunbury, Western Australia and is economically viable. Finally, the plant has a small footprint and creates a low environmental impact.

What will be done to manage the potential impacts on air quality during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant has been assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority and was found to meet the relevant air quality criteria. The Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant will comply with environmental and health standards and is being designed to best-practice engineering standards and a risk minimisation strategy. Predicted emissions have been compared to and will comply with national, international and other air quality standards which form the basis of health impact assessments. The Plant will conform with the recommendations outlined in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report on Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

Is the Wood Waste to Energy Plant the same thing as a biomass incinerator?

The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant is not an incinerator. The Plant will use pyrolysis technology, which involves the indirect heating of the residual wood waste. In the absence of oxygen, the process will produce the valuable resources of syngas and biochar. Emissions modelling shows that the Plant will meet ambient air quality standards and health standards for the public.

The Australian Government has determined that energy from biomass is renewable energy and is therefore carbon neutral. Pyrolysis of biomass to produce a fuel gas is not incineration, as evidenced by the emission standards in the EU Waste Incineration Directive, which states syngas is a fuel not a waste material.

The EMRC has used ambient air quality data from the Red Hill Waste Management Facility, which is12 kilometres away from the Hazelmere location. How can you use this data for Hazelmere?

The Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Environment Regulation require the predicted emissions from the proposed plant to be compared to air quality standards for the direct impacts and cumulative impacts.

For the cumulative impacts, high quality ambient air quality data (background air quality) was sourced from the EMRC Red Hill meteorology station and was benchmarked against publically available data from Department of Environment Regulation studies in the Midland area and the Department of Environment Regulation monitoring conducted at Caversham. The most conservative ambient concentrations were used for the cumulative air quality impact assessment, which included meteorological conditions conducive to inversion events. The assessment showed that all pollutant concentrations would be well below the relevant air quality criteria, even under inversion conditions, which are the worst-case conditions for dispersion of emissions.

What dust monitoring and management is proposed for the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

Dust monitoring is currently carried out on a continuous basis at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park and this will continue with future developments. Dust emissions will not increase as a result of the plant.

Dust suppression methods will be implemented during the construction and operation of the wood waste to energy plant, including:

  • Use of a water cart and / or sprinklers
  • Covering stockpiles
  • Site boundary fencing reinforcement with shade cloth.

There have been examples overseas of fire and explosion with this type of technology. How can the EMRC be so sure it won't happen to this plant?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. Safety is a component which has been given major consideration in the design and future operation of this plant.

How much will the EMRC be paid for the power it exports back to the grid from the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will be a model of sustainability with renewable electricity generated by the Wood Waste to Energy Plant being used to operate the wood waste grinder, as well as the plant. The balance of the renewable electricity generated will be exported back into the grid. A price for any renewable power which will be exported into the grid will be determined by the market; however, any income generated will contribute towards the project economics.

Has the efficiency of the syngas reformer process been established for units that are of the scale operating under the same temperature conditions as what is proposed at Hazelmere?

The Environmental Protection Authority has considered all the information in the Public Environmental Review, submissions, independent peer reviews, response to submissions and trial results against the section 16(e) advice in Report 1468. A summary of the Environmental Protection Authority considerations is included in the report's appendix 5. The Environmental Protection Authority has concluded that the proposed technology meets its requirements for a waste to energy plant of this type.

Where has this technology operated reliably elsewhere?

Ansac built a full-scale plant for Premier Coal several years ago. They have also built a pilot-scale demonstration plant in Bunbury, which formed the basis for the design of the proposed plant at Hazelmere. Ansac have also completed other projects in Indonesia, Thailand and the UK using their pyrolysis technology. Pyrolysis technology has also been demonstrated in Gosford NSW and in locations in Malaysia and Canada, using biomass as feedstock.

Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park Community

How can we help to reduce waste?

Waste reduction operates on the principle that prevention is better than a cure. By reducing the amount of packaging and other materials we consume, we can decrease the amount of waste that is generated in the first place, and hence the need for its disposal.

You can reduce your waste by:

  • Buying in bulk.
  • Using your own bag at the grocery store.
  • Using re-useable containers (take them back to the deli!).
  • Worm farming and composting.
  • Looking for products with little or no packaging, or looking for packaging that is made from recycled material or that is recyclable itself.

For more information on reducing waste visit http://www.rgang.org.au/

Do you have an area to drop off goods than can be sold at charity shops apart from clothing?

The EMRC does not have an area where unwanted goods can be dropped off for resale at present. This is envisaged for the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park in the near future.

The Shire of Mundaring has implemented this sort of drop off facility at their Mathieson Road Transfer Station for Mundaring residents.

Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park Community

What will the re-use shop sell?

The re-use shop will consist of items such as household objects, furniture, whitegoods, kitchenware and crockery, bicycles and parts, toys, books, outdoor furniture, bric-a-brac, tools and machinery and salvage building materials.

What will be done to manage the potential impact of noise on residents during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Potential noise impact is to be assessed. EMRC will ensure all aspects of the park comply with regulations set by the City of Swan and state agencies.

What will the EMRC do to minimize traffic congestion into and out of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

There will be separated entrances for commercial operators and the public. This is to reduce the likelihood of congestion and to allow safe entry and exit for the public.

The commercial entrance will be via an internal ring road, which will allow vehicles to queue off the public roads. The community and public entrance will provide direct access to the public zone of the park and will reduce interface with commercial operators.

The City of Swan will assess all design briefs regarding access into the park to ensure key criteria are met, such as visibility. The City of Swan will also be involved with road widening to improve access and reduce potential congestion issues.

Who will maintain the roads and streetscape around the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The City of Swan is responsible for maintaining the roads, verges and streetscape in the Hazelmere area. Close liaison will be maintained between the EMRC and the City of Swan to ensure the quality and safety of the roads is prioritised.

What waste will the plant at Hazelmere receive? Is it possible treated wood will be burned at the plant?

The proposed Hazelmere wood waste to energy plant will form one component of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park and will be used to process woodchip resulting from the processing of untreated waste wood (eg. packaging and crates, pallets, off-cuts and cable reels) into woodfines and woodchip. The woodfines are then sold as an end-product to established markets, whilst the woodchip remains as residual waste for which there are currently limited markets. The new plant will indirectly heat the residual wood waste (approximately 250 tonnes per week) to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to produce the valuable resources of electricity and biochar. The Environmental Protection Authority report and recommended environmental conditions includes a list of waste types permitted to be processed.

A 2013 report on the technology by the Environmental Protection Authority said the waste hierarchy should be applied and only waste that does not have a viable recycling or reuse alternative should be used as feedstock. Isn't there a market for the woodchips?

The wood is being diverted from landfill and converted to woodchip and woodfines product in accordance with the State Waste Authority's waste hierarchy.

There is a market for the woodfines and a small component of the woodchip, with only woodchip being proposed as a fuel source for the Plant.

What will be done to manage the potential impacts on air quality during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant has been assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority and was found to meet the relevant air quality criteria. The Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant will comply with environmental and health standards and is being designed to best-practice engineering standards and a risk minimisation strategy. Predicted emissions have been compared to and will comply with national, international and other air quality standards which form the basis of health impact assessments. The Plant will conform with the recommendations outlined in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report on Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

Is the Wood Waste to Energy Plant the same thing as a biomass incinerator?

The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant is not an incinerator. The Plant will use pyrolysis technology, which involves the indirect heating of the residual wood waste. In the absence of oxygen, the process will produce the valuable resources of syngas and biochar. Emissions modelling shows that the Plant will meet ambient air quality standards and health standards for the public.

The Australian Government has determined that energy from biomass is renewable energy and is therefore carbon neutral. Pyrolysis of biomass to produce a fuel gas is not incineration, as evidenced by the emission standards in the EU Waste Incineration Directive, which states syngas is a fuel not a waste material.

What is known about nanoparticles and are they a concern with this project?

The literature indicates that the average human being is exposed to nanoparticle emissions every day from the likes of motor vehicle and truck exhausts as a result of internal combustion engines. Nanoparticles also occur naturally in clay, volcanic ash, ocean spray and milk.

(Reference: www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/CMSE/Nanosafety/What-are-nanoparticles.aspx)

Nanoparticle emissions from the plant are expected to be consistent with the combustion of natural gas. The EMRC will actively maintain a watching brief on developments in nanoparticle air emission issues and toxicology relevant to the Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant.

What role does the City of Swan have in relation to the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

Representatives from each of the EMRC's member councils (Town of Bassendean, City of Bayswater, City of Belmont, Shire of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring and the City of Swan) are present on EMRC's Council and Committees and have received periodic updates about the progression of the project and will continue to receive timely updates as the project moves forward.

How much will the EMRC be paid for the power it exports back to the grid from the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will be a model of sustainability with renewable electricity generated by the Wood Waste to Energy Plant being used to operate the wood waste grinder, as well as the plant. The balance of the renewable electricity generated will be exported back into the grid. A price for any renewable power which will be exported into the grid will be determined by the market; however, any income generated will contribute towards the project economics.

Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park Costs

How much will the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park cost to develop?

The capital expenditure on the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is estimated at around $25 million planned over five years.

Is this from rate-payers' contributions?

Operation of the proposed facilities at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is expected to break-even or better and capital expenditure will be funded from reserves. The Park will also receive assistance from state and federal grants.

How much will the EMRC be paid for the power it exports back to the grid from the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will be a model of sustainability with renewable electricity generated by the Wood Waste to Energy Plant being used to operate the wood waste grinder, as well as the plant. The balance of the renewable electricity generated will be exported back into the grid. A price for any renewable power which will be exported into the grid will be determined by the market; however, any income generated will contribute towards the project economics.

Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park Environment & Health

What will be done to manage the potential impact of noise on residents during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Potential noise impact is to be assessed. EMRC will ensure all aspects of the park comply with regulations set by the City of Swan and state agencies.

What are the provisions for waste water on the site?

Waste water will be treated and recycled in the plant; however, a small quantity (500 litres per day) will require disposal off-site to a trade waste facility or to a neighbouring sewer connection.

Is the pyrolysis technology safe and environmentally sound? What evidence is there to support this?

The proposal submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority will conform with the recommendations in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

The pyrolysis technology is made up of a series of unit operations each of which is proven.

What will be done to manage the potential impacts on air quality during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant has been assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority and was found to meet the relevant air quality criteria. The Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant will comply with environmental and health standards and is being designed to best-practice engineering standards and a risk minimisation strategy. Predicted emissions have been compared to and will comply with national, international and other air quality standards which form the basis of health impact assessments. The Plant will conform with the recommendations outlined in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report on Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

Is the Wood Waste to Energy Plant the same thing as a biomass incinerator?

The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant is not an incinerator. The Plant will use pyrolysis technology, which involves the indirect heating of the residual wood waste. In the absence of oxygen, the process will produce the valuable resources of syngas and biochar. Emissions modelling shows that the Plant will meet ambient air quality standards and health standards for the public.

The Australian Government has determined that energy from biomass is renewable energy and is therefore carbon neutral. Pyrolysis of biomass to produce a fuel gas is not incineration, as evidenced by the emission standards in the EU Waste Incineration Directive, which states syngas is a fuel not a waste material.

The EMRC has used ambient air quality data from the Red Hill Waste Management Facility, which is12 kilometres away from the Hazelmere location. How can you use this data for Hazelmere?

The Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Environment Regulation require the predicted emissions from the proposed plant to be compared to air quality standards for the direct impacts and cumulative impacts.

For the cumulative impacts, high quality ambient air quality data (background air quality) was sourced from the EMRC Red Hill meteorology station and was benchmarked against publically available data from Department of Environment Regulation studies in the Midland area and the Department of Environment Regulation monitoring conducted at Caversham. The most conservative ambient concentrations were used for the cumulative air quality impact assessment, which included meteorological conditions conducive to inversion events. The assessment showed that all pollutant concentrations would be well below the relevant air quality criteria, even under inversion conditions, which are the worst-case conditions for dispersion of emissions.

What dust monitoring and management is proposed for the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

Dust monitoring is currently carried out on a continuous basis at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park and this will continue with future developments. Dust emissions will not increase as a result of the plant.

Dust suppression methods will be implemented during the construction and operation of the wood waste to energy plant, including:

  • Use of a water cart and / or sprinklers
  • Covering stockpiles
  • Site boundary fencing reinforcement with shade cloth.

What is known about nanoparticles and are they a concern with this project?

The literature indicates that the average human being is exposed to nanoparticle emissions every day from the likes of motor vehicle and truck exhausts as a result of internal combustion engines. Nanoparticles also occur naturally in clay, volcanic ash, ocean spray and milk.

(Reference: www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/CMSE/Nanosafety/What-are-nanoparticles.aspx)

Nanoparticle emissions from the plant are expected to be consistent with the combustion of natural gas. The EMRC will actively maintain a watching brief on developments in nanoparticle air emission issues and toxicology relevant to the Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant.

Is there potential for dioxins or toxins of any sort to be emitted from the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

The Hazelmere wood waste to energy plant will meet air quality criteria set by the Department of Environment Regulation, which are health-based criteria.

The plant will conform with the recommendations outlined in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report on environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

Modelling of the Hazelmere plant emissions has been based on an analysis of the woodchip and the reactions which will occur in the plant. All parameters assessed were well under the assessment criteria. Dioxins are not an issue because the precursors for its formation are absent.

Will the pyrolysis plant worsen the fog experienced in the foothills?

The presence of fog does not necessarily indicate poorly mixed air and higher air pollution levels. Fog is formed in the foothills from cooling of air below dew point due to radiation of heat from land surfaces. The assessment of air emissions from the proposed Wood Waste to Energy Plant has included meteorological conditions conducive to fog formation (night time surface radiation and light winds). We do not predict that respective air quality criteria will be exceeded by emissions from the proposed Wood Waste to Energy Plant for all meteorological conditions and operating scenarios. The assessment included the contribution of the Wood Waste to Energy Plant air emissions to the background levels of air pollutants from other sources.

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to EMRC and its member councils. The Hazelmere wood waste to energy plant will comply with environmental and health standards, and is being designed to best-practice engineering standards and a risk minimisation strategy. Predicted emissions have been compared to, and will comply with, national, international and other air quality standards, which form the basis of health impact assessments.

There have been examples overseas of fire and explosion with this type of technology. How can the EMRC be so sure it won't happen to this plant?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. Safety is a component which has been given major consideration in the design and future operation of this plant.

What role does the City of Swan have in relation to the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

Representatives from each of the EMRC's member councils (Town of Bassendean, City of Bayswater, City of Belmont, Shire of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring and the City of Swan) are present on EMRC's Council and Committees and have received periodic updates about the progression of the project and will continue to receive timely updates as the project moves forward.

How can we help to reduce waste?

Waste reduction operates on the principle that prevention is better than a cure. By reducing the amount of packaging and other materials we consume, we can decrease the amount of waste that is generated in the first place, and hence the need for its disposal.

You can reduce your waste by:

  • Buying in bulk.
  • Using your own bag at the grocery store.
  • Using re-useable containers (take them back to the deli!).
  • Worm farming and composting.
  • Looking for products with little or no packaging, or looking for packaging that is made from recycled material or that is recyclable itself.

For more information on reducing waste visit http://www.rgang.org.au/

Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park Operation

What will the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park consist of?

The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is part of the EMRC's integrated plan for sustainable waste management. The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will include greenwaste processing, a Wood Waste to Energy Plant (pyrolysis of wood chip), a Materials Recovery Facility, a Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility, a community drop-off and a re-use store. Currently, the Park offers timber recycling and mattress recycling services.

What will be the operational hours of the facility?

The current operations are limited to timber recycling and mattress processing services. The approved hours of operation are currently permitted from Monday to Friday from 5am to 7pm. The facility is closed to the public on weekends and on public holidays. The operational hours will be revised as more facilities become operational.

Why was Hazelmere the chosen location for the Resource Recovery Park?

In terms of waste management activity, the Hazelmere site is the centre of the area managed by the EMRC. The land was bought in the late 1990s with the primary purpose of resource recovery and reducing the amount of waste to landfill. The location is strategic and appropriately reflects the long-term, environmentally sustainable solution for waste management in Perth's Eastern Region.

Where is Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park located?

77 Lakes Road, Hazelmere WA
(approx 14 kms east from Perth CBD as the crow flies)

Telephone: (08) 9274 7807

What is the expected size of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Approximately 12 hectares.

Is this from rate-payers' contributions?

Operation of the proposed facilities at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is expected to break-even or better and capital expenditure will be funded from reserves. The Park will also receive assistance from state and federal grants.

When did construction begin on the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The first stage of the Park was built in 2007. It was made open to the public in 2008, offering timber recycling and mattress recycling services. The proposed Wood Waste to Energy Plant will commence construction in June 2016, if approved. It will convert woodchips to renewable energy and biochar.

Further development onsite will occur over the next three to five years.

What recycling facilities will be available at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The EMRC operates the only facility in Western Australia dedicated to the recovery and processing of industrial timber waste so it can be diverted from landfill and recycled as a reusable woodchip. The site accepts untreated timbers, soft woods such as pine and particleboard and hard woods such as jarrah and cedar.

The site cannot accept treated timber or painted timber.

In July 2009, the EMRC commenced its mattress processing facility on site. The mattresses are shredded with the spring steel being recovered and the remainder sent to landfill.  

Other items for recovery will include commercial waste, recyclables, greenwaste and other household bulk waste (appliances, furniture, etc). The recycling of items other than timber and mattresses will begin once the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility has been constructed in mid-2016.

  • Useful products from Resource Recovery Parks are:
  • Recyclables (paper, cardboard, metals, plastics)
  • Repaired or refurbished goods for resale
  • Building materials / hardware / household goods
  • Ground timber fines
  • Electrical energy / heat energy

Will there be educational activities for visitors at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Several educational activities are being considered for the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park. These activities will help educate visitors about the EMRC's integrated approach to waste management - the 4Rs of reduce, re-use, recycle and recover waste.

These activities include:

  • Maps and brochures summarising the process
  • Guided tours of the site
  • Displays and demonstrations
  • Videos running of the park, the site in operation and some of its by-products
  • Multi-purpose meeting space (classroom, community talks, training).

What visitor facilities will be provided at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

This is still to be determined. The concept plan currently includes a café / coffee shop and an education centre to be used for community engagement.

What has been done to consult with the local community about the proposed Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park and its impacts on them?

Since 2004, the EMRC has undertaken community engagement activities for the Resource Recovery Project of which the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is a component. Community input through workshops, surveys, information sessions and reference group meetings has informed the decision process to date. Information on the project has also been made available to the public through EMRC newsletters and the corporate website. This will continue throughout the project, particularly as the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park develops.

2013-2015 engagement activities have included:

  • Meetings with the Hazelmere Progress Association
  • Briefing of Community Associations Network
  • Meeting with Midland / Swan Place Management Team.

In 2014, the EMRC released its Public Environmental Review of the Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant. The Public Environmental Review examines the environmental effects associated with the proposed development. A four week comment period on the proposal during May / June 2014 enabled public comment on the proposal.

One of the most important ways that the EMRC is involving the community is through its Waste Management Community Reference Group (WMCRG).

The WMCRG was formed in 2002 to provide informed advice and feedback to EMRC on waste management and waste education issues. Members comprise residents from within the areas covered by EMRC's six member councils.

Since its inception, the WMCRG has assisted EMRC progress a number of important waste education initiatives. Recent achievements include:

  • Playing a key role in the Resource Recovery Project since 2004
  • Being actively involved in the Resource Recovery Community and regional workshops
  • Providing feedback on the resource recovery guides and subsequent community advertising
  • Providing feedback on the Waste Education Strategy.

What opportunities does the general public have to provide feedback about planning and operations at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Feedback and suggestions concerning the park are always welcome via email or mailed correspondence. Alternatively, local community members are welcome to telephone the EMRC to speak with an officer in Resource Recovery.

What employment opportunities are available at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Employment opportunities will be created during the construction and operational stages of the Park. Expressions of interest should be lodged online via www.emrc.org.au/employment.html.

What will the re-use shop sell?

The re-use shop will consist of items such as household objects, furniture, whitegoods, kitchenware and crockery, bicycles and parts, toys, books, outdoor furniture, bric-a-brac, tools and machinery and salvage building materials.

What will be done to manage the potential impact of noise on residents during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Potential noise impact is to be assessed. EMRC will ensure all aspects of the park comply with regulations set by the City of Swan and state agencies.

What will the EMRC do to minimize traffic congestion into and out of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

There will be separated entrances for commercial operators and the public. This is to reduce the likelihood of congestion and to allow safe entry and exit for the public.

The commercial entrance will be via an internal ring road, which will allow vehicles to queue off the public roads. The community and public entrance will provide direct access to the public zone of the park and will reduce interface with commercial operators.

The City of Swan will assess all design briefs regarding access into the park to ensure key criteria are met, such as visibility. The City of Swan will also be involved with road widening to improve access and reduce potential congestion issues.

Who will maintain the roads and streetscape around the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The City of Swan is responsible for maintaining the roads, verges and streetscape in the Hazelmere area. Close liaison will be maintained between the EMRC and the City of Swan to ensure the quality and safety of the roads is prioritised.

What waste will the plant at Hazelmere receive? Is it possible treated wood will be burned at the plant?

The proposed Hazelmere wood waste to energy plant will form one component of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park and will be used to process woodchip resulting from the processing of untreated waste wood (eg. packaging and crates, pallets, off-cuts and cable reels) into woodfines and woodchip. The woodfines are then sold as an end-product to established markets, whilst the woodchip remains as residual waste for which there are currently limited markets. The new plant will indirectly heat the residual wood waste (approximately 250 tonnes per week) to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to produce the valuable resources of electricity and biochar. The Environmental Protection Authority report and recommended environmental conditions includes a list of waste types permitted to be processed.

If the shredded wood fuel source runs out what other materials would be used to run the plant? Can you explain how it can be classed as a renewable system?

The Wood Waste to Energy Plant will use untreated waste wood (e.g. pallets, packaging and crates, off-cuts and cable reels) as feedstock, and the EMRC believes there is sufficient feedstock available from material currently delivered to the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park or potentially divertible from the Red Hill Waste Management Facility.

The plant will produce renewable power. In the Environmental Protection Authority report No. 1468, biomass-based components of municipal solid waste are considered as eligible renewable energy source under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

Biomass is a renewable source of fuel and therefore generates renewable power.

How much waste is it expected to be processed on a weekly basis at the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant is expected to process approximately 250 tonnes of residual non-CCA treated wood waste per week.

A 2013 report on the technology by the Environmental Protection Authority said the waste hierarchy should be applied and only waste that does not have a viable recycling or reuse alternative should be used as feedstock. Isn't there a market for the woodchips?

The wood is being diverted from landfill and converted to woodchip and woodfines product in accordance with the State Waste Authority's waste hierarchy.

There is a market for the woodfines and a small component of the woodchip, with only woodchip being proposed as a fuel source for the Plant.

What else does the EMRC do with wood waste?

The EMRC diverts wood waste from landfill and converts it to woodchip and wood fine products, in accordance with the State Waste Authority's waste hierarchy.

There is a market for the wood fines and a small component of the woodchip, with only woodchip being proposed as a feedstock for the plant. These products are mainly sold to poultry producers for use as animal bedding and to cattle and sheep stockyards for use in animal pens.

In 2012, EMRC worked closely with key markets to develop high quality, consistent and fit-for-purpose products so that recycled wood chip can compete with virgin product. The EMRC invested $2.5 million in a fixed wood grinder to further improve product quality and ensure supply to customers.

Why is pyrolysis the only technology option being considered for the Wood Waste to Energy Plant? Are there no other viable alternatives?

Composting has been suggested as an alternative to pyrolysis; however, woodchip does not break down easily in a composting process. Although other thermal options are possible, pyrolysis is the preferred method. The technology is conducive to a relatively pure feedstock, such as woodchip. In addition, the technology to produce the WWTE plant is developed locally in Bunbury, Western Australia and is economically viable. Finally, the plant has a small footprint and creates a low environmental impact.

Is the pyrolysis technology safe and environmentally sound? What evidence is there to support this?

The proposal submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority will conform with the recommendations in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

The pyrolysis technology is made up of a series of unit operations each of which is proven.

What will be done to manage the potential impacts on air quality during construction and operation of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant has been assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority and was found to meet the relevant air quality criteria. The Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant will comply with environmental and health standards and is being designed to best-practice engineering standards and a risk minimisation strategy. Predicted emissions have been compared to and will comply with national, international and other air quality standards which form the basis of health impact assessments. The Plant will conform with the recommendations outlined in the Environmental Protection Authority's 2013 report on Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies in Western Australia.

What is known about nanoparticles and are they a concern with this project?

The literature indicates that the average human being is exposed to nanoparticle emissions every day from the likes of motor vehicle and truck exhausts as a result of internal combustion engines. Nanoparticles also occur naturally in clay, volcanic ash, ocean spray and milk.

(Reference: www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/CMSE/Nanosafety/What-are-nanoparticles.aspx)

Nanoparticle emissions from the plant are expected to be consistent with the combustion of natural gas. The EMRC will actively maintain a watching brief on developments in nanoparticle air emission issues and toxicology relevant to the Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant.

How will the bottom ash be disposed of from the pyrolysis process?

The proposed Hazelmere Wood Waste to Energy Plant will not produce bottom ash. The pyrolysis process generates a char product (biochar) in addition to renewable electricity.

Has the efficiency of the syngas reformer process been established for units that are of the scale operating under the same temperature conditions as what is proposed at Hazelmere?

The Environmental Protection Authority has considered all the information in the Public Environmental Review, submissions, independent peer reviews, response to submissions and trial results against the section 16(e) advice in Report 1468. A summary of the Environmental Protection Authority considerations is included in the report's appendix 5. The Environmental Protection Authority has concluded that the proposed technology meets its requirements for a waste to energy plant of this type.

Where has this technology operated reliably elsewhere?

Ansac built a full-scale plant for Premier Coal several years ago. They have also built a pilot-scale demonstration plant in Bunbury, which formed the basis for the design of the proposed plant at Hazelmere. Ansac have also completed other projects in Indonesia, Thailand and the UK using their pyrolysis technology. Pyrolysis technology has also been demonstrated in Gosford NSW and in locations in Malaysia and Canada, using biomass as feedstock.

Who will operate the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

EMRC and / or a contractor.

What is involved with the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility?

The C&I Waste Sorting Facility will recover resources from commercial and industrial waste streams, thus diverting waste from landfill whilst also providing an opportunity to reuse materials.

Dry commercial and industrial waste and waste from bulk verge collections will be received at the facility in skip bins or other containers from commercial operators and member Councils. It will be pre-sorted mechanically before being hand-separated. A small fraction of the material leaves the picking station and this material is mechanically processed.

Is waste sorted by hand at the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility?

The plant uses a combination of mechanical sorting by plant and equipment and hand sorting. Very large items and non-processable items are pre-sorted mechanically by an excavator before loading the pan feeder. Material below 150mm is mechanically removed by a screen prior to reaching the picking station where trained operators remove material from a moving conveyor belt.

Cardboard / paper, plastic, untreated timber, metals and waste is sorted by hand as it passes through the picking station of the plant.

What sort of equipment is used at the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility?

The primary equipment used is the Recycling Plant itself. Pre-sorted recyclable items are loaded into the pan feeder. The items travel up a conveyor and pass over a waste screen. This is a large shaking area which drops out any items smaller than 150mm. Remaining items are then sorted by hand in the picking station. Cardboard / paper, plastic, untreated timber, steel and waste material is separated and dropped into bunkers below the station. The residual fraction comprising of small steel particles, brick rubble and other light particles exits the picking station and passes under a magnet to remove the steel. Light material is blown from the brick into a separate cage; the brick material is then dropped into a bunker.

In addition to the recycling plant, a loader, excavator and mechanical sweeper will be used. The loader will be used to transfer material to the excavator as well as to transfer the sorted material from the bunkers to the skip bins for removal off-site for recycling/reprocessing by others. In the case of timber this will be converted into woodchip on site at Hazelmere. The excavator will be used to pre-sort the material removing any large or non-processable items as well as to load the material into the pan feeder. A mechanical sweeper will be used to maintain the housekeeping of the facility.

How many jobs will the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility create?

A total of six team members will be employed directly at the plant. This will include a supervisor/spotter, excavator operator and four pickers. The EMRC has worked with long term partner Edge Employment Solutions to employ two team members with disability as pickers. At full operation up to 25 team members may be employed over two shifts with the potential for around half of these positions to be filled by people with disability.

Hezelmere Recovery Park Site

What will the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park consist of?

The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is part of the EMRC's integrated plan for sustainable waste management. The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will include greenwaste processing, a Wood Waste to Energy Plant (pyrolysis of wood chip), a Materials Recovery Facility, a Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility, a community drop-off and a re-use store. Currently, the Park offers timber recycling and mattress recycling services.

What will be the operational hours of the facility?

The current operations are limited to timber recycling and mattress processing services. The approved hours of operation are currently permitted from Monday to Friday from 5am to 7pm. The facility is closed to the public on weekends and on public holidays. The operational hours will be revised as more facilities become operational.

Why was Hazelmere the chosen location for the Resource Recovery Park?

In terms of waste management activity, the Hazelmere site is the centre of the area managed by the EMRC. The land was bought in the late 1990s with the primary purpose of resource recovery and reducing the amount of waste to landfill. The location is strategic and appropriately reflects the long-term, environmentally sustainable solution for waste management in Perth's Eastern Region.

Where is Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park located?

77 Lakes Road, Hazelmere WA
(approx 14 kms east from Perth CBD as the crow flies)

Telephone: (08) 9274 7807

What is the expected size of the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Approximately 12 hectares.

How much will the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park cost to develop?

The capital expenditure on the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park is estimated at around $25 million planned over five years.

When did construction begin on the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The first stage of the Park was built in 2007. It was made open to the public in 2008, offering timber recycling and mattress recycling services. The proposed Wood Waste to Energy Plant will commence construction in June 2016, if approved. It will convert woodchips to renewable energy and biochar.

Further development onsite will occur over the next three to five years.

What recycling facilities will be available at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The EMRC operates the only facility in Western Australia dedicated to the recovery and processing of industrial timber waste so it can be diverted from landfill and recycled as a reusable woodchip. The site accepts untreated timbers, soft woods such as pine and particleboard and hard woods such as jarrah and cedar.

The site cannot accept treated timber or painted timber.

In July 2009, the EMRC commenced its mattress processing facility on site. The mattresses are shredded with the spring steel being recovered and the remainder sent to landfill.  

Other items for recovery will include commercial waste, recyclables, greenwaste and other household bulk waste (appliances, furniture, etc). The recycling of items other than timber and mattresses will begin once the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility has been constructed in mid-2016.

  • Useful products from Resource Recovery Parks are:
  • Recyclables (paper, cardboard, metals, plastics)
  • Repaired or refurbished goods for resale
  • Building materials / hardware / household goods
  • Ground timber fines
  • Electrical energy / heat energy

Will there be educational activities for visitors at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

Several educational activities are being considered for the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park. These activities will help educate visitors about the EMRC's integrated approach to waste management - the 4Rs of reduce, re-use, recycle and recover waste.

These activities include:

  • Maps and brochures summarising the process
  • Guided tours of the site
  • Displays and demonstrations
  • Videos running of the park, the site in operation and some of its by-products
  • Multi-purpose meeting space (classroom, community talks, training).

What visitor facilities will be provided at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

This is still to be determined. The concept plan currently includes a café / coffee shop and an education centre to be used for community engagement.

What will the re-use shop sell?

The re-use shop will consist of items such as household objects, furniture, whitegoods, kitchenware and crockery, bicycles and parts, toys, books, outdoor furniture, bric-a-brac, tools and machinery and salvage building materials.

Who will maintain the roads and streetscape around the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park?

The City of Swan is responsible for maintaining the roads, verges and streetscape in the Hazelmere area. Close liaison will be maintained between the EMRC and the City of Swan to ensure the quality and safety of the roads is prioritised.

What are the provisions for waste water on the site?

Waste water will be treated and recycled in the plant; however, a small quantity (500 litres per day) will require disposal off-site to a trade waste facility or to a neighbouring sewer connection.

What else does the EMRC do with wood waste?

The EMRC diverts wood waste from landfill and converts it to woodchip and wood fine products, in accordance with the State Waste Authority's waste hierarchy.

There is a market for the wood fines and a small component of the woodchip, with only woodchip being proposed as a feedstock for the plant. These products are mainly sold to poultry producers for use as animal bedding and to cattle and sheep stockyards for use in animal pens.

In 2012, EMRC worked closely with key markets to develop high quality, consistent and fit-for-purpose products so that recycled wood chip can compete with virgin product. The EMRC invested $2.5 million in a fixed wood grinder to further improve product quality and ensure supply to customers.

There have been examples overseas of fire and explosion with this type of technology. How can the EMRC be so sure it won't happen to this plant?

The health and wellbeing of the community and the environment are of the utmost priority to the EMRC and its member councils. Safety is a component which has been given major consideration in the design and future operation of this plant.

Who will operate the Wood Waste to Energy Plant?

EMRC and / or a contractor.

Legal

What happens if a council decides to pull out of the project?

There will be a mechanism for the withdrawal of member councils.

Do tenderers get evaluated for legal compliance?

Tenderers have to comply with the terms of the tender.

Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility Background

Why do we need a Resource Recovery Facility?

Perth’s growing population has seen waste volumes increase and every metropolitan regional council in Perth is either involved in or is planning a resource recovery facility for municipal waste because the alternative of transporting rubbish long distances to new landfills will be costly. A more sustainable solution is required.

  • Resource Recovery Facilities have considerable environmental advantages over landfilling. They minimise:
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Odour, dust, noise, litter
  • Surface and groundwater contamination
  • Impacts on flora and fauna
  • Legacy issues associated with landfill.

Resource Recovery Facilities are able to convert waste into resources, such as compost and / or energy.

Resource Recovery Facilities have screening processes so that potential recyclables and hazardous materials which would otherwise go to landfill can be separated before processing.

Resource recovery is also a priority for the state government and its waste strategy sets targets for all local councils to reduce household waste to landfill and increase resource recovery.

Research undertaken by EMRC indicate that there are a number of commercially proven Resource Recovery Facilities technologies available for the treatment of municipal waste. The use of Resource Recovery Facilities is also becoming necessary in some parts of the world to meet strict environmental directives such as the European Union Landfill Directive. 

How much waste is disposed of at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility?

In 2014/2015, around 247,000 tonnes of waste was disposed of at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility, including 136,000 tonnes of member council waste plus commercial waste and other wastes.

How much member council waste is projected to be disposed of at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility in the future?

Based on recent estimates, the total amount of member council municipal waste is expected to increase to 185,000 tonnes per annum by the year 2034/2035.

What type of waste will be accepted at the proposed facility?

The waste will include municipal solid waste, such as food and garden waste, as well as non-recyclable household rubbish. Commercial and Industrial waste may also be accepted.

What types of waste won't be accepted?

The facility will not be used to treat hazardous, toxic or high-risk waste.

What percentage of rubbish going to landfill could be diverted through a resource recovery facility?

If all member councils participated, then 126,000 tonnes per annum could be processed in the facility. Anaerobic digestion technology is capable of diverting about 70% (by volume) of waste from landfill. Thermal technologies such as Gasification, are capable of diverting about 90% or more (by volume) of waste.

What is the estimated life expectancy of the facility?

At this stage the facility will have a life expectancy of at least 20 years. Other facilities elsewhere in the world are known to last for up to 50 years.

Are there any plans for the Resource Recovery Facility to process waste from other council areas?

Commercial and Industrial waste could come from outside the region.

Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility Community & Social

What has been done to consult with the local community about the proposed facility?

Since 2004, the EMRC has undertaken community engagement activities for the Resource Recovery Project. Community input through workshops, surveys, information sessions and reference group meetings has informed the decision process to date. Information on the project has also been made available to the public through EMRC newsletters and on the EMRC’s corporate website. This will continue throughout the project.

Further information is available at the Community Engagement page.

What is the EMRC's complaints handling process for the Red Hill operations?

EMRC has a long-standing procedure to ensure that all complaints are recorded and followed up.

Any complaints regarding the Red Hill Waste Management Facility made by members of the public to EMRC staff are logged in a complaints register at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility as part of license conditions. The license condition requires EMRC to record particular information regarding the complaint which includes date and time, location, nature of the complaint, wind direction and temperature. It also requires EMRC to investigate the source of the complaint, liaise with the person/s making the complaint and take corrective action where possible.

All of this information is recorded in a bound register and reported annually to the Department of Environment and Conservation in EMRC's Annual Monitoring and Compliance Report. This report is made public each year to the Gidgegannup Progress Association.

Will a new Resource Recovery Facility have any impact for residents who don't have a bin service?

Residents will continue the same arrangements they have currently with their respective local councils. Transfer station access is generally provided for residents who don't have a kerbside bin service.

Is the EMRC considering a tip shop or re-use option for waste which currently goes to landfill?

While the Resource Recovery Facility is one part of the overall Resource Recovery Project, the other very important aspect is the Resource Recovery Park. The EMRC's vision is to build a hub for different resource recovery facilities in which a variety of domestic and commercial waste can be dismantled, rebuilt, re-used and / or recycled.

In 2008, the EMRC established the Hazelmere Recycling Centre* as the beginning of this vision. The Centre contains Western Australia's only timber recycling and mattress recycling industries.
A concept plan, which includes a tip shop, has been developed for the Resource Recovery Park.
 
* The Hazelmere Recycling Centre is now known as the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park.

Will more be done to educate the community about waste reduction and the resource recovery facility itself?

The EMRC and its member councils encourage the community to follow the waste hierarchy:

  • Avoid
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Recover
  • Dispose

Regional waste education programs advocate this message strongly and future education campaigns will continue to encourage reduction, reuse and recycling. Specific programs focused on the new facility will be developed when final decisions on the facility are made.

For information on current regional waste education programs, please visit the R-Gang website.

Will any social or economic benefits flow to the community from building the new facility?

The EMRC will try to maximise local content in the construction of the Resource Recovery Facility and it will provide employment opportunities during construction and operation.

Will the views of Red Hill residents be affected by the Resource Recovery Facility?

This is unlikely given the location of the Resource Recovery Facility on the Red Hill site, the bush environment and proximity of residents and the fact that the Resource Recovery Facility will have moderately sized exhaust gas chimney(s). The Resource Recovery Facility will be designed to maintain the visual aesthetics of the area. This would apply to any tall structures like buildings or flue stacks.

How will the EMRC publicly report on performance of the facility?

As well as adhering to its statutory reporting requirements, EMRC will report to the community and provide information in accordance with the objectives set out in the Community Partnership Agreement. Goal 1 of the Community Partnership addresses communication and reporting as below:

ObjectiveExamples of possible indicators

1.1 Accessible and regular communication with the community

  • Information about plant operations provided in multiple formats (e.g. newsletter, social media, website, etc)
  • Regular reports outlining project milestones and site performance against the CPA

1.1.1 Quarterly reports made available to the community outlining project milestones, compliance reports and site performance against the CPA

1.1.2 Number of visits to RRF website
1.1.3 Bi-ennial survey of nearby residents/landowners

1.2 Timely and accessible complaints management system in place 1.2.1 Hotline and webiste access for complaints acknowledged within 48 hours
1.2.2 Number of complaints and resolution times
1.3 Community Engagement Advisory Group be formed to oversee the implementation, monitoring and periodic review of the CPA 1.3.1 Meeting attendance, frequency and committee composition
1.3.2 Periodic review of the CPA completed

Goal 1: Ensure strong community involvement and communication

Is there any evidence that waste to energy facilities reduce the incentive to recycle?

No - in fact there is some evidence that recycling rates continue to rise after the introduction of waste-to-energy facilities (see the 2010 Waste to Energy forum presentation from Dr Robyn Davidov under the Resources tab).

The EMRC and its member councils have always encouraged residents to reduce, re-use and recycle and will continue to make this a priority in waste education.

How can we help to reduce waste?

Waste reduction operates on the principle that prevention is better than a cure. By reducing the amount of packaging and other materials we consume, we can decrease the amount of waste that is generated in the first place, and hence the need for its disposal.

You can reduce your waste by:

  • Buying in bulk.
  • Using your own bag at the grocery store.
  • Using re-useable containers (take them back to the deli!).
  • Worm farming and composting.
  • Looking for products with little or no packaging, or looking for packaging that is made from recycled material or that is recyclable itself.

For more information on reducing waste visit http://www.rgang.org.au/

Do you have an area to drop off goods than can be sold at charity shops apart from clothing?

The EMRC does not have an area where unwanted goods can be dropped off for resale at present. This is envisaged for the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park in the near future.

The Shire of Mundaring has implemented this sort of drop off facility at their Mathieson Road Transfer Station for Mundaring residents.

Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility Environment & Health

What health risks could community members face from emissions from a Resource Recovery Facility?

The EMRC has prepared a Public Environmental Review to assess the potential environmental and health impacts of the facility, specifically the impacts of air, 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 show that there would be minimal health impacts, based on a conservative assessment and comparing predicted emissions with national, international or other air quality standards which form the basis of health impact assessments. So by adopting all the proposed management procedures adopted in the Public Environmental Review, health impacts are considered minimal.
 

What kind of health standards, to do with air quality, will the facility be subject to when operational?

Air quality standards are set based on human health. In WA, air quality is regulated by the Department of Environment Regulation who recommend an interim approach for air quality guidelines based on a hierarchical selection process:

  • National Environmental Protection Measure standards will be preferentially used as guidelines.
    World Health Organisation will be employed in the absence of a National Environmental Protection Measure standard.
  • Criteria from other jurisdictions can be adopted for other pollutants not covered by National Environmental Protection Measure and World Health Organisation guidelines and deemed to be applicable to the WA context.

The EMRC followed this approach in its selection of air quality guidelines and assessment of air quality impacts for the two technology options being proposed for the Resource Recovery Facility.

Department of Environment Regulation licence limits on emissions will be used to protect air quality standards and hence human health.

The modelling of emissions from gasification and anaerobic digestion technologies found that air quality standards are not predicted to exceed at nearby receptors for all emissions associated with the two technologies. It is unlikely that any adverse community health impacts would arise from the operation of a Resource Recovery Facility using either technology. See the Public Environmental Review for more detail.

What studies have been done on potential environmental impacts of the facility on soil and groundwater?

Although not required as part of the environmental impact assessment process, the EMRC conducted baseline environmental studies at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility including ambient air quality, odour and noise studies. This data was used in the Public Environmental Review for a cumulative assessment of compliance with air quality assessment criteria, taking into account the baseline air quality and predicted emissions for the technology options.

International studies on the health effects of waste management are cited in the Public Environmental Review.

The Public Environmental Review also addresses groundwater, including possible risks from incorrect disposal and handling of residual solids and liquids and safe management measures to mitigate these risks. Detailed assessment has shown that the facility will comply with environmental and health standards with appropriate design and management systems. For further information on the assessments undertaken on air emissions and groundwater, see the relevant sections in the Public Environmental Review document.

Soil has not been assessed, as it is not required for the environmental approval process.

Are there any native title issues with respect to the Red Hill site?

No. For information on the consultation undertaken with respect to native title, please see the native title section of the Public Environmental Review document.

In the processing you've said that you will screen hazardous / toxic waste. Where's it going to go?

Any hazardous waste separated out will either go into household hazardous waste systems for offsite disposal, or to the appropriate class of landfill.

Are there any threatened species of flora or fauna within the vicinity of Red Hill? How would the building of a Resource Recovery Facility impact on their habitat?

There are some threatened species of flora and fauna in the vicinity of Red Hill. Studies referenced in the Public Environmental Review indicate that the building and operation of the Resource Recovery Facility is unlikely to have a significant impact on habitat because the proposed site has historically been cleared. For further information, see the relevant sections of the Public Environmental Review.

What are the potential impacts on residents regarding noise emissions in the building and operation of the resource recovery facility? What will be done to manage and reduce those risks?

For a complete report on the monitoring, modelling and management planning undertaken on noise emissions, please go to the Public Environmental Review webpage, where you can read or download the full environmental impact assessment report submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority.

In summary, the modelling of the noise levels from the proposed facility using the two technology options located at the proposed site has found that with appropriate design the facility would achieve compliance with the assigned noise levels.

Will there be a contingency plan if hazardous waste is processed?

For an anaerobic digestion plant, contamination of the waste could result in upset conditions in the digesters, resulting in contaminated batches of compost which would be diverted to landfill.

For a gasification plant, the process would be able to deal with the contamination and emissions to the atmosphere would most likely not be affected.  The high temperatures would break down and destroy volatile contaminants and this flue gas would be filtered through the pollution control system. Solid bottom ash and fly ash from the plant would be tested periodically to verify the key contaminants.

How can we help to reduce waste?

Waste reduction operates on the principle that prevention is better than a cure. By reducing the amount of packaging and other materials we consume, we can decrease the amount of waste that is generated in the first place, and hence the need for its disposal.

You can reduce your waste by:

  • Buying in bulk.
  • Using your own bag at the grocery store.
  • Using re-useable containers (take them back to the deli!).
  • Worm farming and composting.
  • Looking for products with little or no packaging, or looking for packaging that is made from recycled material or that is recyclable itself.

For more information on reducing waste visit http://www.rgang.org.au/

Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility Operation

What will be the operational hours of the facility?

The facility will run continuously, unless shut down for maintenance or repairs. Waste will only be received during the normal daily hours of operation of Red Hill Waste Management Facility.

Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility Site

What is the expected size of the facility?

The size required to locate the facility will vary depending on the technology chosen. The maximum area is estimated to be four hectares.

Red Hill Resource Recovery Facility Technology

Has the EMRC made a decision about which kind of technology will be used for the facility? If not, when?

The EMRC has not yet made a final decision about which kind of technology will be used in the Resource Recovery Facility. This decision will be made following the evaluation of tenders. The tender process will begin in mid 2016.

Will kerbside recycling still take place?

Yes! The Resource Recovery Facility will process the rubbish from green-top household rubbish bins - not your recycling bin. You will keep your recycling bin (or equivalent recycling service) and local councils actively encourage residents to continue recycling and reducing waste as much as possible.

Is there a potential for dioxins to be emitted from thermal technologies in waste to energy facilities?

The health of the community and the environment are of utmost priority for the EMRC and its member councils. The EMRC has undertaken substantial research into the environmental and health implications of constructing an operating a Resource Recovery Facility. The Facility will operate to strict environmental and health standards.

The EMRC is aware that waste combustion has a reputation for being a major contributor to the amount of dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo(p)dioxins / furans or PCDD / F) in the environment and this perception is a cause of community opposition. Research undertaken of modern waste to energy plants, however, indicates strongly that building such a facility would contribute 'a negligible amount to human PCDD / F intake in its neighbourhood' (Stanmore, 'Dioxins and waste-to-energy plants - a reality check', 2007 - see the Resources page for the full paper).

The environmental impact assessment prepared for the proposed Resource Recovery Facility, which considered 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 show that there will be no adverse health impacts. 

For further information on this topic, please visit the Resources page of the Resource Recovery site.

What are the major factors determining which technology will be approved? How will the criteria be developed?

The EMRC will use a multi criteria analysis methodology, based on on technical, environmental, social, economic and legal criteria. Each of these criteria have been developed by the EMRC as part of the tender process.

To ensure that community concerns are being addressed in the tender process, the Community Partnership Agreement will form part of the tender specification. The Community Task Force have commented on the draft tender evaluation criteria.

Who will make the final decision on the technology?

The EMRC Council will decide on the technology choice for the Resource Recovery Facility.