We're joining forces to divert household rubbish from landfill

Published on 09 November 2021


Mornington Peninsula Shire has joined 14 other councils in Melbourne’s south east to form a company to deliver an advanced waste processing alternative to landfill. This type of company is called a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and is common in projects where there are many organisations working together.

The SPV—called South East Metropolitan Advanced Waste Processing Pty Ltd—will help councils deliver an advanced waste processing facility that will process household rubbish instead of burying it in landfill.

Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) is facilitating the procurement of advanced waste processing for councils. “Councils coming together to form a SPV is a major milestone in what is the biggest tender for new waste management infrastructure ever undertaken by councils in Melbourne” said Jill Riseley, MWRRG CEO. “The new facilities are expected to attract multi-million-dollar investment and create up to 400 temporary jobs during construction and up to 100 permanent operating jobs.”
“Advanced waste processing facilities are being used safely and reliably around the world, including in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and North America.”

Advanced waste processing facilities are regulated by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA). Any facility will need to be appropriately located, constructed and operated according to strict regulations that minimise risks to the environment and people.

Advanced waste processing solutions will play a significant role in achieving the new target to divert 80% of household rubbish from landfill by 2030.

Quote attributable to Mayor Councillor Despi O'Connor: 
“By signing up to the SPV we are strengthening our ability to secure the economic, environmental, and social benefits from the facility.

 “The SPV has its own legal identity and will enter into a contract for advanced waste processing on behalf of participating councils.

“We are participating in this historic tender. Advanced waste processing will do more with the resources that are being put in landfill and achieve better financial, environmental and social outcomes.

“Advanced waste processing is a great solution for household rubbish that would normally go to landfill. We still need to continue kerbside recycling and green and food waste collection services as part of a total approach to managing waste.”
Notes to editors
Following MWRRG’s call for an expression of interest for an alternative to landfill for councils in Melbourne’s south east, the procurement has progressed with the three shortlisted respondents—Orbis Energy, Sacyr Environment Australia and Veolia Environmental Services Australia.

Councils will work with the respondents to ensure their social, environmental and economic objectives are met and a reliable solution is put forward during the solution development stage. This stage is currently in progress and is expected to be completed later this year.

About the SPV
South East Metropolitan Advanced Waste Processing Pty Ltd was established on 20 October 2021.
The participating councils are shareholders of the SPV. The Smarter Solution website has a list of participating councils.
The benefits of setting up an SPV are:

  • Structured decision making and administration between the councils.
  • The contractor can work with one entity rather than managing contracts with all participating councils.
  • Simplified legal and financial management for the councils and contractor.
  • Each council’s liability is limited to its share in the SPV, protecting their financial position and assets.
  • The SPV can seek investment from other levels of government.

The SPV is like any other company, it is governed by a constitution and reports to a board of management. Each participating council is bound by a shareholders agreement and has an equal share in the SPV. Having an equal share means each council has an equal say on how the contract is managed regardless of their size and amount of household rubbish.

The advanced waste processing contract will be between the chosen contractor and the SPV rather than with each individual council.

This new company exists only to manage the contract agreement for the advance waste processing facility and cannot make decisions on other waste matters.

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