Dandenong answers industrial waste problem for Victoria


A Dandenong waste transformation business, Geocycle has developed a $4 million state of the art plant to help Victoria handle hazardous waste and stop thousands of tonnes of waste going to landfill.

The new plant is to be opened on Friday by the Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, The Hon. Mr Martin Ferguson AM.

In 2007 the Victorian government changed its policy on landfill levies on industrial waste and placed a ban on particular waste categories from going to landfill.
This policy was designed to divert material away from landfill and encourage businesses to invest in more sustainable technologies.

So in an entrepreneurial approach, Geocycle, the Federal Government and the Victorian EPA teamed up to ensure new technologies would be available to handle these types of waste safely and sustainably.

Processing at Geocycle was largely manual so the plant required automation to safely and efficiently handle the required volume. Aided by AUD$1.8 million in funding from the Australian Government under the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) an innovative solution was designed to meet these challenges. The Victorian EPA then made a further investment of AUD $600,000 under its Hazwaste Program to supplement Cement Australias AUD $1.8 million investment in the project.

With the assistance of one of Cement Australia's major shareholders, Holcim, a unique "megablender" system was designed, combining technologies from processing industries around the world.

The 20,000 tonne per annum system has been designed so that it is fully automated, safe, easy to use and able to blend a broad range of bulk and packaged materials into a usable kiln fuel. The system also separates and cleans all steel from the drums and containers so that it can be recycled.

Local MP Luke Donnellan said "innovation lies at the heart of the Brumby Government's sustainability and climate change policies. We know we need to develop new ways of doing things if we are going to meet the serious environmental challenges currently facing the state."

"Geocycle's sustainable waste transformation technology is a great example of industry and Government partnering to develop innovative responses to our environmental challenges" he said.

Geocycle Business Manager Andrew Ward said the project reflects Cement Australia's innovative approach to addressing the challenges of sustainability.

"We are very proud of what we have achieved in a short time. The partnership between the Federal and Victorian governments and Cement Australia has enabled us to move quickly to tackle these challenges rather than miss this valuable opportunity for both the environment and our business" said Mr. Ward.