Shoalhaven Resource Recovery Facility (RRF)

Advanced Recycling Technology for the Shoalhaven

The Shoalhaven is running out of landfilling space. Within 12 years our West Nowra landfill facility will reach capacity.

As a result, Shoalhaven City Council has undergone an extensive process of consulting with industry experts to find an economically and environmentally sound solution to a waste problem that faces local governments across Australia.

Household mixed-waste (red lid bins) in the Shoalhaven will soon be processed at a new facility in West Nowra – The West Nowra Resource Recovery Facility (RRF). Everything that can be reused or recycled is extracted in one process.

This state of the art facility will be Australia’s first Advanced Waste Treatment plant capable of diverting over 90% of Mixed Waste from landfill.

This new processing facility will be constructed on Council owned land, adjacent to the current West Nowra landfill site. Works will commence in 2019 with the facility expected to be fully operational in 2021.

The following video explains the technology the new facility will use.

Want to find out more?

Further information on this project is provided via the:

Check out the News Feed below for the latest project update.

To keep abreast of the latest news, subscribe for project updates via the "Stay Informed" button located on this page. Project subscribers will receive email notification when a new article is added to the News Feed.

Advanced Recycling Technology for the Shoalhaven

The Shoalhaven is running out of landfilling space. Within 12 years our West Nowra landfill facility will reach capacity.

As a result, Shoalhaven City Council has undergone an extensive process of consulting with industry experts to find an economically and environmentally sound solution to a waste problem that faces local governments across Australia.

Household mixed-waste (red lid bins) in the Shoalhaven will soon be processed at a new facility in West Nowra – The West Nowra Resource Recovery Facility (RRF). Everything that can be reused or recycled is extracted in one process.

This state of the art facility will be Australia’s first Advanced Waste Treatment plant capable of diverting over 90% of Mixed Waste from landfill.

This new processing facility will be constructed on Council owned land, adjacent to the current West Nowra landfill site. Works will commence in 2019 with the facility expected to be fully operational in 2021.

The following video explains the technology the new facility will use.

Want to find out more?

Further information on this project is provided via the:

Check out the News Feed below for the latest project update.

To keep abreast of the latest news, subscribe for project updates via the "Stay Informed" button located on this page. Project subscribers will receive email notification when a new article is added to the News Feed.

Do you have a question about this project that hasn't already been answered in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)? If so, you are welcome post your question here for Shoalhaven City Council's Waste Services Team to answer. 

Q&A

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  • Great idea! Thanks for making it happen. What is the innovative sterilising process this facility will be using?

    Melanie asked 9 months ago

    Hi Melanie

    Thank you for your question about what is the innovative sterilising process this facility will be using?

    The innovative sterilisation process is an autoclave process that differs from normal autoclaves. The main difference is that steam is not injected into the autoclave, but it rather uses the steam generated within the waste as part of the sterilisation process. As the waste morphology changes, an algorithm changes pressures and temperatures within the autoclave to ensure full sterilisation takes place.

    Kind regards

    Shoalhaven City Council - Waste Services 

  • What will happen to the YELLOW lid bin. Will you take it back or will I keep it and what for.

    Louise198486 asked 9 months ago

    Hi Louise

    Thank you for your question asking about what will happen to the yellow bin. Will you take it back or will I keep it and what for.

    Under the FAQs section located on the right hand side of this page - there is an answer which refers to what will happen with the yellow lid bin. We have also included this same answer below.

    The yellow lid recycling bin is here to stay. No change is required for the yellow lid recycling bin. 

    The yellow lid bin collection and sorting will remain the same. These materials will continue to be sorted and recycled at a local specialised materials recovery facility, as it is now. This process provides a cleaner recycled product than recyclables from mixed waste.

    Kind regards

    Shoalhaven City Council - Waste Services


  • Does council intend to use ANY of the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for energy production? Has council considered the negative environmental impacts of using Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for energy production? Can any of the glass material in this system be recycled back into glass instead of lower grade uses such as aggregate?

    J asked 9 months ago

    Hi J

    Thank you for your three questions, responses have now been provided to all three questions below. 

    Does council intend to use ANY of the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for energy production? 

    No.

    Has council considered the negative environmental impacts of using Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for energy production? 

    Yes, hence the reason for not considering this option.

    Can any of the glass material in this system be recycled back into glass instead of lower grade uses such as aggregate?

    The glass can readily be recycled back into glass, however the additional separation process required to obtain different colours is currently not financially viable. A higher used glass commodity price in the future may make this option financially viable. One of the currently proposed uses for this material (as glass wool insulation) is a higher grade use than aggregate.

    Kind regards

    Shoalhaven City Council - Waste Services


  • How much energy does this technology use and will the facility be powered by renewable energy?

    Dale asked 9 months ago

    Hi Dale 

    Thank you for your question asking how much energy does this technology use and will the facility be powered by renewable energy?

    The facility requires 5MW to operate. This power will be sourced through solar (roof panels) and gas (for the autoclaves) supplemented by power from the grid as needed.

    Kind regards

    Shoalhaven City Council - Waste Services


  • How many tons will this plant process per year?

    James asked 9 months ago

    Hi James

    Thank you for your question asking how many tonnes will this plant process per year? 

    The development approval for the site is for 130,000 tonnes per year, but initial design capacity is 100,000 tonnes per year.

    Kind regards

    Shoalhaven City Council - Waste Services