ReWaste: new waste to energy facility in Melbourne

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After several years of deliberations and construction, a new plant designed to produce energy (in the form of biogas) out of discarded food and other organic waste has opened near Melbourne, Australia. The project was previously named Waste to Energy and has cost around 27 million dollars. It will be able to process almost 100 tonnes of organic waste per day and produce enough energy to sustain not only itself, but also the sewage treatment plant that is located next to it. While food waste is usually just thrown into landfills or recycled into fertilizer, using it to make energy is an innovative technology; at such facilities, bacteria are normally used to break down organic waste, converting it to ethanol. The new project corresponds to the Australian government’s goal to obtain at least 25 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020. According to some data, about one-third of all food produced in the world goes to waste; but instead by occupying landfills, it can be used to heat houses. The global waste-to-energy market is expected to grow five-fold in the next ten years.