Ballarat will need to more than double the amount of waste it can access to make a proposed waste to energy plant financially viable, a waste management expert says.
Ballarat City Council has been discussing options for landfill alternatives since 2012.
A waste to energy plant, which uses generates electricity and/or heat from the treatment of waste, was first recommended early last year.
The city currently generates about 60,000 tonnes of waste with a further 10,000 projected through council’s recent introduction of green waste kerbside collection.
Commercial and industrial waste is managed privately.
Waste management consultant Ron Wainberg said 70,000 tonnes was “low” and would have to be bolstered with waste streams from other municipalities, business and industry.
“They're going to have to sell the service and it’s environmental impact to other governments and they’re going to have to make the price attractive to business, to waste generators or waste management,” Mr Wainberg said.
“That waste is all contracted to someone, there are arrangements in place for managing that waste, it's a commercial gain like all other commercial gain.”
Ballarat Council development and planning director Angelique Lush said council would work with Central Highlands Waste Management Group and the broader region.
The exact technology, and which technology is suited for the BWEZ site, will be determined by the market, Ms Lush said.
“The ultimate aim is to not only produce electricity to feed back into the grid, but also produce other energy to be used in the immediate industrial precinct.
“The green waste service is an important first step in consolidating the waste stream because it will enable the collection of important data for procurement documentation.”
The market will also determine which waste streams – whether green, recyclables, or general waste – will be processed at the site.
Ballarat’s councillors will decide when to instigate a public procurement process once they have been briefed on the proposal, she said.
Powercor has committed to building a new power substation on the site.
BWEZ received $30.2 million in funding in the Napthine government’s 2014 budget.