Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Awaba organic waste facility

REMONDIS Australia and Lake Macquarie City Council have taken a significant step in the war against waste with the opening of a state-of-the-art organics processing facility at the Awaba Waste Management Facility this week.

The multi-million dollar facility is the centrepiece of the Council’s new greener 3-bin waste management system, which will reduce the amount of waste going into landfill by as much as one third by facilitating the recycling of food refuse.

A front-end loader emptying compost onto a pile at the organics processing facility

Food and green waste will be recycled at the new facility and transformed into high-quality compost products for reuse on parks, grounds and sporting fields.

The REMONDIS Group, which operates the Lake Macquarie Organics Resource Recovery Facility, is a family-run company with 34,000 employees spanning 800 business locations and four continents.

REMONDIS CEO, Luke Agati, said the company is proud to be investing in Lake Macquarie and the Australian resource recovery sector.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Kay Fraser, and Remondis CEO, Luke Agati, at the Lake Macquarie Organics Resource Recovery Facility.

“REMONDIS has been composting garden waste at Awaba for Lake Macquarie City Council since 2013, and this new facility will enable us to also convert food waste into a valuable resource,” Mr Agati said.

“The facility will convert up to 44,000 tonnes per year of organic waste into compost and soil amendment products.

“REMONDIS applauds forward-thinking local government organisations such as Lake Macquarie City Council for their dedication to building the vital recycling infrastructure that will create job opportunities, strengthen the Australian economy and reduce our environmental footprint.”

The high-tech facility comprises a unique hybrid model of ‘in-vessel’ and ‘mobile aerated floor’ systems and boasts a number of Australian firsts, including:

  • A fully automated tunnel composting system to pasteurise food waste in two weeks, coupled with mobile aerated floor finishing to complete the composting process; and
  • A convenient automatic, cashless weighbridge system that will give users access to the facility with the swipe of a card, enabling fast and accurate transactions.

The Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser, said the Organics Resource Recovery Facility would see the City take a leading role in recycling and waste management.

“This is a significant step in our Waste Strategy and in our efforts to encourage people to think and act more responsibly about household waste disposal,” Cr Fraser said.

“By making it easy for residents to dispose of organic waste appropriately, we will encourage them to recycle and close the food consumption loop.

“About one third of household garbage bin contents is food waste, so this will divert significant amounts of organic material from landfill, extending the life of our Awaba Waste Management Facility and saving an estimated $4 million over 10 years in waste management costs.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC, representing the Minister for Trade and Industry The Hon Niall Blair at the opening, said the NSW Government was pleased to assist by contributing a $1.4 million grant to the facility and $600,000 for community engagement initiatives, from the EPA Waste Less Recycle More initiative.

“This facility will improve the availability of organic compost for local primary producers and reduce unnecessary wastage of high-quality organic material. I congratulate Lake Macquarie City Council in securing investment from a business with the calibre of REMONDIS.”

More than 100 contracting firms were engaged to build the facility, mostly from the Hunter region, with more than 300 people employed on the project throughout its one-year construction phase.