The green waste service is part of the City of Ballarat’s plan to reduce the amount of waste to landfill, which will ultimately reduce costs for Council and ratepayers, and reduce the impact on the environment.
The service will divert residential green waste from landfill by recycling it into compost at a specialised facility at Mount Wallace for landscaping and agricultural purposes.
It will reduce cost increases in the long-term given compost is cheaper to process than landfill waste and does not require ongoing management once it is processed.
It will lessen the impact on the environment because it will reduce the airspace that is consumed at the landfill, reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, and return carbon and nutrients to Western Victorian soils.
The City of Ballarat will initially deliver the service and will collate information for the future delivery of waste services in Ballarat.
A Clean Ballarat Advisory Committee will lead the 12-month service review.
Q. How does this relate to Ballarat’s population growth?
The City of Ballarat aims to lead the state with an economical and innovative integrated waste management system by 2020.
A green waste service is the first step towards implementing the integrated waste management system.
It comes as Ballarat’s population is forecast to exceed 142,000 residents by 2031, which is an increase of 40,000 residents in the next 16 years.
Ballarat is therefore faced with increasing environmental challenges including landfill capacity and a need to reduce methane emissions and offset carbon emissions.
The City of Ballarat also recognises the current practice of sending waste to landfill is expensive and unsustainable.
The integrated waste management system or Clean Ballarat initiative is expected to address the city’s waste challenges, including reducing waste to landfill; to create jobs; and to drive economic development.
Clean Ballarat is ground-breaking because it is the first time a Victorian council has attempted to manage waste as an economic asset rather than a liability, which will in turn deliver financial advantages for local governments and ratepayers across Victoria.
Clean Ballarat’s flagship component is a Waste to Energy processing facility within the new Ballarat West Employment Zone.
BWEZ is Ballarat’s engine room for jobs and economic growth over the next 20 years.
The Waste to Energy Facility would involve diverting around 30,000 tonnes of waste from landfill by implementing technology in use in other parts of the world including Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
The system would drive the following outcomes: deliver secure and affordable energy, heat (steam) and chill to existing industry; develop and support new industry; and sustain and improve the community’s financial and environmental future.