Richgro anaerobic digester diverts food waste away from landfill
Supported with $500,000 from State Government
A facility that converts food and organic waste into electricity has started generating green energy in Jandakot today.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the new anaerobic digester at the garden supplies company Richgro was made possible with $500,000 in Low Emissions Energy Development funding from the State Government.
Mr Jacob said the digester converted food and organic waste from outlets such as supermarkets and fast food stores into methane gas and then into electricity.
"Not only is this plant generating power for all of Richgro's needs and diverting 150 tonnes of food and organic waste from landfill daily, it is also generating enough additional energy to power the equivalent of 150 houses an hour," he said.
"Residue produced during the conversion process provides nutrients for compost, while heat and carbon dioxide supply a garden hothouse where blueberries are grown. The residue is certified organic so it can be used in the compost, resulting in zero waste."
Of the 1.2 megawatts the plant generates, 0.4 megawatts is used by Richgro and the remaining 0.8 megawatts is exported to the grid.
Mr Jacob said the opening of the plant marked a major milestone for an emerging sector.
"Today's launch is particularly satisfying because it marks the start of a new focus in Western Australia, one which will offer significant environmental benefits," he said.
The anaerobic digestion process also has a possible future use in the creation of renewable vehicle fuel. Methane produced during the conversion can potentially be purified and compressed to produce compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas.
Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the Government continued to lead the way in renewable energy technology.
"The Government is supporting various projects that are at the forefront of clean and innovative energy solutions and I am pleased to see another project generating green energy right here in Perth," Dr Nahan said.
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Energy Minister's office - 6552 5700