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Success in converting waste into energy bags Veolia further Australian Business Award
A groundbreaking process that turns ordinary household and commercial waste into energy to make bricks has won a major Australian national award for Veolia Environmental Services, a global leader in the waste management and resource recovery sector.
This is the fourth year in a row Veolia has won an Australian Business Award, which recognises organisations that have made a significant contribution to their industry through more effective products, processes or ideas that result in environmental or social improvements. Veolia was awarded the 2013 ABA for Innovation.
The award recognises a joint-venture with Austral Bricks, the construction materials company, at Horsley Park in Sydney's south-western region; where Austral has a manufacturing plant and Veolia has a major landfill facility next door.
According to Veolia's Managing Director Doug Dean, the collaboration between the company and Austral Bricks started three years ago, when Veolia started experimenting with ways to capture and combust the gas (methane) generated by the waste in the landfill. This gas, which is produced when waste decomposes, has been used as an alternative energy source at various Veolia facilities for many years, although never has Veolia become so involved in the end-product.
"At Horsley Park, we are now capturing and combusting the gas produced by the landfill, which is then transferred via specially designed pipes next door to Austral, which in turn, uses the gas to fire up the kiln to make bricks," he said.
"So in a way, you can say that the gas produced by dry-waste or the waste we collect from a construction site or from businesses across Sydney, is now being turned into a relatively cheap and very reliable new source of energy.
"The bricks that are then used to build the house next door or a granny flat down the back could well have been made in a kiln that uses that very same gas.
"It's a great example of innovation and sustainability at its very best and is in line with Veolia's ongoing commitment to reduce and recycle waste. Similarly, this is but one of many great examples of resource recovery projects we are working on across the whole of Australia.
"While we encourage our customers and the wider community to minimise waste production at the source, we are also realistic and recognise that there will always be residual refuse, which poses significant environmental impacts.
"Methane, a by-product from waste generation, can be as potentially harmful to the environment as carbon dioxide, meaning that our landfill facilities must evolve and become more environmentally sustainable.
"Through initiatives like the capture of methane at our Horsley Park facility, we are actively utilising methane as an alternative fuel source, while successfully recycling waste."
1st August 2013