MASG Community Renewables promotes community-owned and operated renewable energy projects. Among other projects, the community renewables project has provided an assessment of natural assets in the Baringhup area that may support renewable energy options, and conducted a pre-feasibility study of the southern industrial precinct of Castlemaine, to investigate BioEnergy possibilities.

MASG’s 2015 ‘Waste to Energy’ pre-feasibility study has investigated bio energy opportunities at the dually located Castlemaine Land Fill Station and Sewerage Treatment Facility.

The project goals were as follows:

  • Identify and map waste streams
  • Assess current energy use profiles
  • Propose opportunities most likely to provide a reliable and commercially attractive outcome.
  • The study has identified three possible renewable energy projects: bio-digester, gas from landfill, and bio-char/heating. With bio-digester and gas from landfill options recommended to proceed to a full feasibility study stage.

The community will be invited to be owner-investors and economic benefits will stay local via returns on investment and a new community grants fund.

The project is initiated and led by local people.


Download the MASG Study’s here:

Stage 1 Castlemaine Waste-to-Energy Pre-Feasibility Executive Summary 2015

Baringhup Renewable Energy Opportunities 2015

What is Waste to Energy?

Waste-to-energy is an important type of bioenergy. This refers to any waste treatment that creates energy from a waste source.

Waste-to-energy can be sourced from:

  • Sewage gas that captures the methane emitted from the solid organic components of sewage collected by water utilities to product bioenergy.
  • Landfill gas that captures the methane emitted from landfills to generate bioenergy.
  • Agricultural-related wastes such as livestock wastes.
  • Urban biomass such as food-related wastes, garden organics, paper and cardboard material, and timber from construction and demolition sites.
  • Wood-related wastes such as wastes produced in the harvesting and processing of wood such as sawmill and pulp-mill residues.

How much Energy can be generated from our waste?

If we extracted the energy from our sewage, the waste that goes to landfill and our landfill emissions, it would provide around 1,620 GJ per week, or provide up to 2.5MW of continuous (combined heat and electricity) generation.  This is around 10 times the weekly energy used at the industrial precinct near the landfill and waste water treatment plant.

Or to look at it another way, all of this waste could provide continuous generation capacity of up to 1 to 1.5 MW of heat and up to 1MW of electricity. 1MW of electricity generation is enough to power around 400 homes.*


Rural and Regional Benefits of Bioenergy:

Waste-to-energy has many benefits:

  • Produces a clean and renewable energy source.
  • Assists waste reduction, and reduces landfill and sewerage treatment demands.
  • Reduces methane emissions (with 21 times more impact than carbon dioxide)
  • Provides economic benefits, where waste is treated as a resource, for a whole range of different industries, spanning agriculture, forestry, food processing, urban waste management and regulatory authorities.

Next Steps:

MASG’s Community Renewables Working Group will be consulting the local community from pre-feasibility/feasibility stages, and if the project is successful, through to delivery stages, via a series of events, and regular enews updates.
To stay informed email your contact details to:

Did you know?

‘Bioenergy presently provides 0.9 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation. With the right support in place, this has the potential to increase six-fold by 2020 to more than 10,600 GWh per year – enough to power 1.4 million Australian homes and remove over 5 million tonnes of carbon pollution from the atmosphere.
By 2050, bioenergy could potentially provide more than 72,000 GWh per year, powering a staggering
10.2 million Australian homes and removing over 39 million tonnes of carbon pollution from the atmosphere.’

Download the Clean Energy Council’s Waste to Energy Fact Sheet here.

Help it happen

Community Renewables is funded by grants and donations from people like you!


All donations are tax deductible.