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Gippsland Water partners in trial at Waranggatta for ground-breaking process to transform green waste into soil

'Transform green waste into soil trial' program will convert household waste into biochar, potentially creating jobs and a major facility.

By news@gippsland - 15th March 2023 - Back to News

A new program to help reduce carbon emissions by converting household sewage and green waste into biochar, a carbon-rich material made from biomass, is to be trialled in Wangaratta. If successful, the trial could lead to a major new facility and the creation of jobs for the region. Minister for Water Harriet Shing launched the trial in Wangaratta, alongside North East Water and the Rural City of Wangaratta. Gippsland Water and the Intelligent Water Network are project partners in this trial.

The Transform Green Waste Into Soil Trial will inform Gippsland Water's organic recycling business expansion. Biochar from waste may cut costs and create commodity

The Transform Green Waste Into Soil Trial will inform Gippsland Water's organic recycling business expansion. Biochar from waste may cut costs and create commodity

Benefits from water reuse

The trial will also inform the planned expansion of Gippsland Water's organics recycling business at Dutson Downs, one of the largest circular economy operations in Victoria.

Managing director of Gippsland Water, Sarah Cumming, said. "Making biochar from sewage and green waste could prove to be a cost-effective way of reusing materials that would otherwise go to waste, improve environmental outcomes and provide a commodity we can sell to put further downward pressure on customer bills - we think that's worthwhile investigating."

Resourcing and recycling

The ground-breaking trial will see biosolids from Wangaratta's wastewater treatment plant mixed with the city's green waste then processed into biochar in Melbourne. The carbon-rich form of charcoal is used in to improve soil health and boost agricultural productivity.

This project stops these valuable resources going to landfill and provides potential for future carbon sequestration and the trade of carbon offsets. If the Wangaratta waste streams are proven to be suitable during the trial, a local facility will be considered to process large volumes of biochar for possible use on the region's farmland with the potential to generate jobs for the region.

North East Water, Gippsland Water and the Intelligent Water Network will invest $160,000 in the first stage of the trial with the Rural City of Wangaratta. Victoria's water sector is leading the charge towards reaching its target of net zero emissions by 2035 and helping create a thriving circular economy for Victoria.

Pictures from Gippsland Water website.


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