Giant composter takes to the road

Wednesday, 12 November, 2008

A section of what will be Australia’s largest composting drums will make a slow journey from Welshpool to Neerabup as part of the development of Perth’s $80 million waste management project.

The composting section is being delivered to the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) being developed by Mindarie Regional Council at Neerabup, in Perth’s northern suburbs.

Each of the four sections required for the two giant drums weighs more than150 tonnes and are more than 33 m long and 5 m high. Delivery of the equipment to site will be undertaken by a purpose-built, 128-wheeled truck and trailer configuration that will take approximately six hours to make the journey.

The trip has been carefully planned, with a specially selected route and assistance from the WA Police and Western Power to escort the equipment and minimise disruption to Perth traffic.

The composting drums are a critical component of the RRF and have been built locally by RCR Tomlinson. Once pieced together on site, the two drums will be more than 65 m long and will hold more than 420 tonnes of waste at any one time.

SITA has brought on board alternative waste technology specialist Marco Fontana-Giusti, from its parent company SUEZ Environment, to project manage the development of the facility.

“Delivery of the drums is an important milestone for this state-of-the-art composting facility, which will treat up to 100,000 tonnes of household waste annually, converting the organic matter into compost,” SITA project manager Fontana-Giusti said.

“Composting organic matter such as food scraps and garden clippings, instead of sending it to landfill, substantially reduces the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from landfill sites.

“Using compost on Perth’s sandy soils will also reduce water loss from evaporation, improve soil health, help prevent soil erosion and reduce the need for artificial fertilisers.”

The facility, operated by BioVision 2020, which is jointly owned by leading waste management specialist SITA Environmental Solutions, is expected to be producing compost in the first half of 2009.

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