Incineration in Australia

The push for waste to energy incineration in Australia

Over the last decade Australia has increasingly looked to waste to energy technologies to address the increasing volumes of waste generated by consumers, the construction and demolition sector and the commercial and industrial sector.

Many states have passed zero waste to landfill policies as a way to address the adverse environmental impacts of landfilling waste and as a (not so obvious) policy driver for the introduction of the waste to energy industry – an industry that comes with significant potential local, national and international economic, social, climate, public health and environmental impacts.

As such there is an urgent need for a more independent and robust level of regulatory scrutiny. But more importantly there is an urgent need for greater awareness and support for sustainable zero waste solutions within Australia’s waste management policy.

With every state in Australia now considering waste to energy incineration proposals, a more robust regulatory approach is more than justified given that Australian taxpayers are part funding some of these projects through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency at the expense of cleaner and safer renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, and wave energy.

We are calling for the Australian Government to uphold their commitment to the International Stockholm Convention to reduce and eliminate all sources of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Waste incineration is one of the prime sources of POPs generation. We wants an end to all MSW waste to energy incineration in Australia and an immediate implementation of safer, proven and more cost effective zero waste strategies.