A solution to our waste problem

Barwon Water is planning a world leading Regional Renewable Organics Network (RRON) facility at the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant in Connewarre.

The planned facility will take household food and garden waste, local commercial and industrial organic waste and organic materials from wastewater treatment and safely convert it into products that capture carbon for high value use in agribusiness and sustainable manufacturing and construction materials, and at the same time produce renewable energy. In doing so, volumes of organic waste will be diverted away from landfill, will reduce emissions and help reverse the cycle of burning fossil fuels.

We are partnering with local councils (Borough of Queenscliffe, City of Greater Geelong, Golden Plains Shire and Surf Coast Shire) along the way to align with the state-wide Circular Economy initiatives and Recycling Victoria Policy. The RRON will deliver significant environmental, economic and community benefits to the region.

Watch the video below and read our FAQs to find out more about the project, how it works, what it will look like and where we are proposing to locate it.

  • See FAQs, including 'how does it work?' for more information...

Why is a Regional Renewable Organics Network needed?

Transforming organic waste into a valuable resource

As our region grows, so too does the need to manage waste. Each year the waste we generate increases at double the rate of our population.

About a third of the waste that ends up in our household bin is food and most of this goes to landfill. This wastes a potential resource and generates greenhouse gases which can cause severe environmental and health issues.

Biochar is carbon rich and is extremely beneficial for soil health, helping plants grow. This baking process also produces a gas called ‘syngas’ that can be used to generate renewable energy, and the operating temperature helps manage contaminants the waste may have contained. Barwon Water is exploring opportunities through research partnerships with Deakin and RMIT for using biochar, knowing it can be helpful in a variety of uses, in both soil and non-soil applications. In years to come, it could also be used in applications as broad as carbon fibre materials, sustainable batteries and green construction. Its ‘carbon-locking’ property sets it apart from composting and conventional soil conditioners and fertilisers.

This project provides an innovative solution to manage our increasing amount of waste. It leads the way in the transition to a circular economy, where materials are continually reused and recycled.

Get involved!

We are committed to listening to our community.

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You can continue to share your feedback by:

  • Dropping a pin on the map (see tab below) and leaving your comment or photo.
  • If you would prefer to provide a longer response, please submit your document (see survey below).

We are in the project development stage. These early conversations will inform the next stages of the project, including a functional design and technical assessments. The technical assessments will provide more information about how Barwon Water will meet Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requirements. This includes managing traffic, noise, and odour within EPA standards.

Community conversations to date

Between Friday 9 October 2021 to Friday 26 November 2021 we engaged with the community via webinars, meetings, an online mapping tool and a feedback form. Read our Phase 1 Engagement Report to learn more about the feedback or watch our webinar recording.

Read our FAQs to learn more about how the project is responding to the questions and ideas shared by community during Phase 1 Community Engagement.

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