Woy Woy tip could be major ‘energy from waste’ site

Woy Woy tip could become developed to become a substantial “energy from waste” site, according to the recently-adopted regional waste management strategy.
Central Coast Council’s strategy described Woy Woy tip as an integrated waste management facility encompassing putrescible waste and sorting and transfer of gardening organics to Council’s northern Buttonderry tip.
Woy Woy tip is a drop-off facility for specific waste types including recyclables and e-waste, the strategy said.
It had a sorting and recycling area for scrap metal waste, sorting and recovery of concrete, bricks and tiles, biosolids processing and a waste education centre.
Council is looking at near-term relocation of the garden organics facility away from Woy Woy.
Woy Woy tip is licensed to receive 100,000 tonnes per year of putrescible and non-putrescible waste, tyres and asbestos.
At current disposal rates Woy Woy tip has a remaining life of 14 years, according to Council’s strategy.
The current landfill cell could be expanded to extend the life of the tip by another 10 years.
Options for its future include approval to develop an alternative waste treatment facility on site with the potential to process up to 115,000 tonnes per year.
An “energy from waste” strategy was already in place in the form of landfill gas extraction.
Flaring and electricity generation were undertaken at the Woy Woy tip where there was a 1.1 megawatt generator that annually generated around 7200 MWh of electricity, delivering to the grid the equivalent power needs of around 1200 homes and abating around 32,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
The limited remaining life of the landfill at Woy Woy was one reason the Council’s strategy gave to explore resource recovery opportunities and alternatives to divert more waste including energy from waste.
The strategy suggests Woy Woy could be the site of an “energy-from-waste” plant, which offered the lowest cost per tonne and accepted the widest range of wastes including bulk waste.
According to the strategy, a mixed “energy from waste” processing facility could include either residual waste combustion or mass burning of waste.
Another possibility was that the facility continued to use gasification with at least a basic level of pre-treatment.
According to the strategy: “the primary options are combustion, which burns the carbon-based components of the waste in a purpose-built furnace to generate electricity (and heat), and gasification by burning the waste in a limited oxygen environment so that it is partially oxidised into a combustible synthetic gas (syngas).
The strategy said such an alternative waste treatment facility could be “at Woy Woy Waste Management Facility or another location”.
“The NSW Energy from Waste Policy sets a 40 per cent limit on the proportion of red bin general waste allowed to go to energy-from-waste where a council runs a three-bin system that includes garden organics,” it said.
“Waste management is an essential service that plays a key role in minimising impacts on our environment, community amenity and public health,” a Council staff report accompanying the strategy said.
The strategy covers a term of 10 years until 2030 and will include periodic reviews to keep it targeted and relevant.
According to the strategy, the scale of waste management in the large Central Coast local government area presents significant benefits, including a capacity to develop and underwrite innovation in waste and recycling solutions.
“Central Coast Council’s draft Waste Resource Management Strategy articulates a balance between aspiration and risk, external dynamics and local priorities, short-term pressures and long-term asset optimisation,” it said.
“Above all, it recognises that waste is a resource of value.
“To deliver a step change towards improved resource management and recovery that meets these goals, Council is, and will continue to, consider options to divert residual red bin waste from landfill and develop and implement innovative solutions to target other waste streams, including those streams generated by Council’s own activities, businesses and other institutions.”

Central Coast Council agenda 2.7, 14 Sep 2020