Initiative transforming Sydney waste into green energy

green energy
JJ Richards and Sons NSW/ACT operations manager Benjamin Martis, right, discusses the plant’s waste management 28-ton receiving tanks and processing tanks with CST Wastewater Solutions Engineer Peter Bambridge

Waste management company JJ Richards & Sons is proving an environmental initiative in Sydney that eliminates landfill dumping of commercial and retail food waste by transforming it into valuable green energy and fertiliser.

The company’s custom-engineered waste reception centre at Seven Hills processes pulped waste from its partner Pulpmaster’s collection tankers into an easily handled and valuable resource for use in agriculture, horticulture and fossil fuel replacement.

The plant, which already handles bulk waste from major customers including supermarkets, food shops, hospitals, schools and catering facilities – uses CST Wastewater Solutions’ KDS multi-disc fine screening and compaction technology as part of its automated process that turns the pulped waste collected into a cake form that is more than 50 per cent lighter and dryer than the pulp and which can be transported to users for half the cost of heavier and less hygienic output.

Waste producers using the system get monthly reports on how much they are saving on disposal costs, while simultaneously reducing their environmental impact. The material is used by farms and other agricultural enterprises as high-potency fertiliser and for the production of biogas to reduce their environmental footprints.

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“The system has been brilliantly received by community-minded customers who are reducing their environmental impact, as well as by users of the cleaner greener energy and fertiliser coming out of it,” JJ Richards & Sons NSW/ACT operations manager, Liquids, Ben Martis says.

“Businesses love getting the reports on the environmental benefits of their waste disposal and recycling, because they can demonstrate benefits to the community, while also saving themselves substantial measurable costs,” says Mr Martis, who has been deeply involved in the design and proving of the Seven Hills plant, which features twin 28-ton filtrate receival tanks and similarly large vessels to process waste to the pH levels most ideal for recycling uses and injection into the ground as fertiliser.

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The automated and highly reliable receival, processing and despatch facility at Seven Hills features high-speed drive-in pulp receival bays and treatment tanks for the thousands of tonnes of throughput delivered by Pulpmaster tankers, which employ an environmentally friendly and cost-effective collection system that converts the mixed waste they collect into pulp slurry for further processing into organic fertiliser and biogas.

green energy
In addition to custom-engineered applications such as JJ Richards’, the KDS system can also be skid-mounted to manage separation and compaction needs on remote sites, saving waste transport disposal costs

This slurry passes from the Seven Hills treatment tanks through ultra-fine (1mm) screening from CST Wastewater Solutions before passing through the KDS dewatering and liquid separation process, which transforms the sloppy pulp waste into a hygienic, compact and much lighter dewatered output that is easy to handle and costs 50 per cent less than heavier wet waste to transport onwards to users of the output. This lighter and compacted output is automatically fed into 35-ton slide-out waste handling bins for loading onto JJ Richards onward delivery vehicles. The KDS system can be run continuously and reliably, with low energy consumption, to optimise output from the Seven Hills plant.

“There is a lot to like about the KDS system,” Mr Martis says.

“It has very few moving parts, high-efficiency dewatering operation, uses little energy and doesn’t break down. It is a quality system.”