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A future in liquid organic waste

Get on the front foot in the emerging field of re-use of organic liquid waste with this conference.

Bringing together waste producers, regulators, researchers, strategic thinkers and technology providers, this conference provides a unique opportunity to explore sustainable waste strategies for liquid organic wastes and identify opportunities for manageable and profitable solutions.

It will provide a forum for delegates to share their strategies, concerns, successes, failures, wants and needs and explore the opportunities to capitalise on the science of dewatering to produce clean water and valuable agricultural resources.

Delegates will be able to explore potential partnerships and relationships that could deliver beneficial solutions that satisfy business and regulatory drivers.


Science and industry are enabling better management and profitable reuse of liquid organic wastes. Organic waste represents approximately two-thirds (62 per cent) of all waste landfill, according to the Department of  Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

As well as reducing landfill gas emissions, better management of liquid organic waste can produce other positive environmental outcomes. Indeed, there are many encouraging examples of the public and private sector working collaboratively to convert organic waste to beneficial products such as methane and compost.

The program

Scroll below for details of the speakers, topics and abstracts of their presentations.

Click here to download the registration form

A Future in Organic Waste
Tuesday, 8th October 2013
University of Melbourne, Woodward Conference Centre   , Carlton Vic toria
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
registration fee
Professor Peter Scales
Professor Peter Scales from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is Deputy Dean of the School of Engineering, University of Melbourne. He leads a solids liquid separations team and is leader for water research across the university.
Options for the re-use of sludges
Professor Scales will present an overview on rapid measurement of dewatering design and optimisation parameters and fundamental dewatering characteristics of potable water treatment sludges.  He will explore the high-end options for the re-use of sludges from a range of industries, including the current barriers and limited end-use options. He will also outline other options – such as pyrolysis and super- and sub-critical water oxidation methodologies – that may be the last resort, but the best option.
Owen Phillis
Owen Phillis is Manager Sewerage Strategy & Resource for Melbourne Water
Strategies to manage organic waste
Owen will outline how Melbourne Water deals with its organic waste: where the sewage comes from and what Melbourne Water coverts it into; inadequacies in knowledge resources; flows and loads; and what the recent trends are showing; Melbourne Water’s objectives for resource recovery and how it is working towards cleaner production, (sewage) quality management, co-digestion, soil and energy production; plus the barriers to managing liquid organic waste.
Doug Richards
Doug Richards is Trade Waste Project Manager for the South Australian Water Corporation.

For some time, Doug has been at the forefront developing and implementing waste water projects including heavy metal reduction in biosolids, sewer network salinity infiltration detection and reduction as well as co-digestion of ‘high-strength organic wastes’ at waste water treatment plant anaerobic digesters.
Co-digestion of high-strength organic substrates: Waste-to-Energy
Co-digestion - the process of feeding high-strength organic substrate materials into anaerobic digesters that accept sludge produced at municipal sewage treatment plants - provides an alternative cost-effective disposal option for industries that generate high-strength organic substrate waste materials . It also increases the production of biogas that is used to generate electricity from combined heat power units on site.

Over the past two years, more than 30 high-strength organic substrate materials have been ‘eudiometer’ tested with the successful substrates transported to the Glenelg sewage treatment plant digesters.

The presentation will explain the implications of co-digestion for South Australian Waters‘ sewage treatment plant operations and generators of the high-strength organic substrate materials.
Maaten de Beurs
Maarten de Beurs is an Environmental Scientist with Yarra Valley Water in Victoria.
His roles have ranged from greenhouse gas strategy and environmental management system oversight to sewage treatment plant planning. He is currently project manager for the exciting and innovative Waste to Energy project that covers co-digesting sewage and trucked organic waste.
Developing co-digestion – a Yarra Valley Water approach
Maarten will present on the drivers for investigating co-digestion, the process and barriers to developing co-digestion capability.
Val MacGregor
Val MacGregor is Project Lead, Waste Strategy with Sustainability Victoria.
She has worked with Sustainability Victoria since 2006 and is currently working in the Integrated Waste Management Division in the area of waste strategy.
The new State-wide Organics Strategy - an integrated Waste Management Strategy in Victoria
Val will present on her current projects including coordination of the Victorian Organics Strategy, and the Statewide Education Framework as well as coordination of the implementation plan across Sustainability Victoria for the new Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery Policy: Getting Full Value.
Bill Barber
Bill Barber is Technical Director - Biosolids and Wastewater at ANZ/AECOM.
Having written numerous publications, Bill is internationally recognised for his knowledge of biosolids.  He has developed modelling tools for carbon footprinting and anaerobic digestion which are now recognised in the UK water industry.
Anaerobic digestion technology
Bill will introduce the subject of anaerobic digestion and the choice of material for co-digestion, benchmarking against sewage sludge from waste-water treatment.

He will discuss European environmental incentives, including tax incentives, enhanced capital allowance and carbon trading schemes. He will also outline the latest progress in introducing techniques for co-digestion plus the potential barriers to adoption.
Erik Van Driel
Erik Van Driel is Senior Process Engineer with Aquatec Maxcon Pty Ltd.

Eric is a waste-water professional who has been involved with design, commissioning and R&D of many anaerobic projects in brewery, food as well as pulp and paper projects in a number of countries for more than 25 years. During his years at Aquatec Maxcon and GHD he designed several industrial waste water projects with key involvements in large industrial projects including Yatala Brewery, Castlemaine Perkins, Smiths Food Group and Visy Paper.
Industry technical overview: anaerobic processes for industrial wastewater, sludge digestion and waste-to-energy technologies
Eric will present a technical overview of anaerobic processes including industrial waste water treatment, sludge digestion and waste-to-energy technologies plus other emerging related processes for nutrient recovery.
Nathan Steinhardt
Nathan Steinhardt, Team Leader, Policy and Regulation, EPA Victoria

Originally working in sustainability consulting at KPMG in the UK, Nathan has been working at EPA Victoria for the past four years. He is currently a team leader in EPA’s Policy and Regulation unit dealing with all things waste from landfills to energy from waste, asbestos to organics. He holds an MSc in Environmental Management.
Liquid organic waste: The environmental regulatory framework
Nathan will provide an overview of EPA’s regulations and guidelines and how they apply to the management of organic waste, specifically liquid organic waste. With organics being one of EPA’s top six priorities for the year, he will outline key pieces of work that the organisation is undertaking, including new guidelines for energy from waste and the direct application of waste to land, as well as updated composting and organics processing guidelines.
Mike Sadlier
Mike Sadlier, Principal with Geosynthetic Consultants Australia and former member of the International Geosynthetic Society Council
Anaerobic floating covers – The principal and design
Mike will discuss the various designs used for anaerobic lagoon covers as well as the suitability of particular materials for different designs. He will also discuss key issues regarding gas extraction as well as sludge removal. Mike will refer to example projects to illustrate his points.