Could turning rubbish into renewable energy be key to tackling the climate crisis?
Tracy Dignum, director of Director Asia Pacific Waste Solutions (APWS), thinks so. And he says a proposed project in the central west could pave the way for the whole country.
"Waste is one of those things that we can't turn our back on and say, 'oh, well, that's Sydney's problem' or 'whatever's generated in Dubbo, we don't want to know about it'," he told the Daily Liberal.
"We've got to take a strategic path right across the country and get everybody on board with moving forward in a direction that we know has long term benefits."
APWS is proposing to build a multi-million dollar Renewable Energy and Circular Chemicals facility just outside of Narromine.
Mr Dignum said the facility would use best-of-its-kind technology to convert municipal, agricultural, commercial, industrial and construction waste into renewable energy, renewable fuels and circular chemicals.
"The first bit is what's called anaerobic digestion, where we can take all the food waste and green matter that comes to us and convert that into fertiliser, gas for power generation and carbon dioxide, which they use for growing tomatoes," he said.
"The other part of our process is what we call gasification and that's where we have what's like a big pot of soup that we can extract different things out of.
"We want this project to be the best we can possibly make it, otherwise I don't want to do it."
Like any new technology, Mr Dignum said there has been some concern about the project could and many people misunderstand what the process involves.
"The first thing we need to get across, and the most important thing, is that it is not an incinerator and it is not an incineration process. Nothing gets burnt," he said.
He said similar plants already exist in urban areas around the world including in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"It's a funny thing in Australia, we take up technology so fast when it comes to personal items like laptops and phones and all the gadgets that go with them," he said.
"Yet as a country, to bring new technology from other places that are going to benefit us, we're actually slow at doing that.
"The Europeans are way ahead of us when it comes to green credentials... all we're trying to do is say we need to be doing something more than what we're achieving right now, which is digging a hole and burying everything."
Mark Lamb, CEO of the Murray Darling Association, said - if approved - the project would be a "game changer" for councils across the basin.
"Whilst our main focus is on water, we are about local government and communities and part of that is an increasing interest from councils in the circular economy," he said.
"Instead of just putting rubbish in landfill, councils are now trying to look at better ways... So we think it actually has real interest and not just in Narromine but right across the basin.
"I think it's actually going to be one of the future technologies that's going to be widely used not only in Australia but around the world."
The project in whole is expected to cost $1.8 billion, with stage one alone estimated at $300 and $400 million. APWS estimates it will create 250 direct jobs during its construction phase and 150 during its operation stage.
But with the first round of consultation only just beginning, the plant is a long way off yet and people have plenty of time to have their say.
"We're really enthusiastic about the opportunity to offer a regional community something of this nature - of this level - and at the end of the day, it's up to the community whether they want it or not," Mr Dignum said.
"It'll just change the dynamics in a lot of ways... The prospect of regional areas leading the way in these new technologies and new processes, how often does that happen?"
APWS will be holding community engagement sessions about the project at the Narromine United Services Memorial Club on November 28 and 29, from 7pm to 9pm.