Organic Waste Recycling: How Biogas Could Be The Fuel Of Tomorrow
At waster.com.au – we are always looking at new environmental processes such as organic waste recycling.
When we say organic waste in this article – we will be referring to food waste i.e. such as from cafes, restaurants or food production businesses.
Organic waste can be really troublesome – as it is commonly very heavy and hence expensive to dispose off. See our blog on recycling versus waste prevention.
Food waste can be super heavy. For example – think about a bin that an office based business may have. A normal bin would be a mixture of paper, cardboard, packaging, bits of food scraps and assorted other bits and pieces.
A food waste bin (see green waste removal) can be very heavy – as it is not bagged and hence there is no empty space.
Due to ever increasing levies on dumping at landfill – the cost of a tonne of waste is now almost $300 in Sydney metro region.
This makes alternative solutions for organic waste recycling even more pressing.
Waster offers recycling bin services for small businesses
With Waster – you can organise waste and recycling bin services for your small business. We provide organic food waste bins as well as all other bin types and services such as grease trap cleaning or sanitary waste bins.
You can easily arrange your service online (such as bottle and can recycling) by pressing the button below:
How biogas could be the future of organic waste recycling
We covered in a recent blog – how a Melbourne landfill could become a power plant of the future.
In that blog – we touched on the idea that biogas production is a more efficient method of electricity generation. See our new blog on whether recycling is good for the wider economy.
What is biogas?
Quoting Wikipedia : ”
Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels. Much of the fermentation used industrially to produce food and drink products, as well as home fermentation, uses anaerobic digestion.”
“Anaerobic digestion is widely used as a source of renewable energy. The process produces a biogas, consisting of methane, carbon dioxide and traces of other ‘contaminant’ gases. This biogas can be used directly as fuel, in combined heat and power gas engines or upgraded to natural gas-quality biomethane. The nutrient-rich digestate also produced can be used as fertilizer.”
How much electricity could be generated in this way in Australia
The website – theconversation.com.au suggests that we could produce huge amounts of electricity :
“Australia produces about 20 million tonnes of organic waste per year from domestic and industrial sources.”
“If all the organic waste from Australian domestic, industrial and agricultural industries was treated in biogas plants, it would have the potential to produce around 650 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough to power almost one million Australian homes.”
“The bioenergy industry expects biogas could be more important than solar, and as important as wind. The remainder of Australian bioenergy comes mostly from the combustion of sugarcane waste, also known as bagasse.”
“The majority of biogas plants in Australia – upwards of 50 – are associated with municipal waste treatment facilities. Commercial operations include Melbourne Water and Sydney Water, which use sewage as their biogas feedstock.”
See a video below of a large biogas project in operation in Denmark – for an indication of the scale and effectiveness of the approach.
See our blog on whether recycling is a waste of time.
Many landfills now burn gases to create electricity. This biogas system is the next logical step – and can deliver renewable energy for Australia.
It can reduce costs for waste disposal for businesses and really decrease green house emissions.
Certainly something looking into if you ask me!
See our blog on recycling versus waste prevention.