Wise reuse and recycling of resources

Recycling treated sewage effluent

The waste water from Icon Water’s sewerage treatment plants produces very high quality effluent with very low concentrations of phosphorous, organic solids and other nutrients.  In 2012 – 13, approximately 15% of this effluent was recycled for irrigation and other non-potable uses.  The remaining 85% is released to the Molonglo River readily meeting stringent ACT Government licence conditions.

Reusing biosolids – Agri-Ash

There are virtually no solid waste products from the Lower Molonglo treatment process as all solids are recycled into Agri-Ash. 

Icon Water currently provides this valuable agricultural/horticultural product for farmers who can use it on their paddocks to improve soil fertility and structure and to lift pH to a more neutral level. 

According to the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI), phosphate reserves will last between 50 - 100 years [1]  and there is no way to substitute this resource other than to find ways to reuse this nutrient.  Agri-Ash is high in Phosphorous and Calcium – both nutrients important for plant growth and food production.

Our sophisticated and holistic treatment process is of particular interest to other countries and communities who are also located inland and have limited waste disposal options.

Read more about the composition and distribution of agri-ash.

Waste reduction and Recycling

Icon Water has a number of recycling programs in place in accordance with our principles of sustainability.  These are:

  • Recycling bins located within our offices to reduce waste going to landfill – products can either be recycled, reused or composted.
  • To reduce unwanted printing jobs, Icon Water staff can delete their print jobs before they are printed or if they are not collected they get automatically deleted overnight.
  • Recycling of waste toner cartridges as well as maximising the safe disposal and reuse of end of life electronic equipment.
  • Battery collection point to enable staff to bring in used consumer batteries from home. The workplace is reducing toxic chemicals in domestic rubbish of our employees. 

office recycling


[1] www.phosphorousfutures.net