Waste-to-Electricity plan a Load of Rubbish

Melbourne firm Phoenix Energy have lodged their application to the EPA to build a $400 million, 60MW waste-to-energy plant in Kwinana. The project is backed by prominent WA business woman Janet Holmes a Court and Japanese firm Mitsubishi.

The plant will require around 300,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year to produce electricity.

The Greens WA see Waste to Energy which requires incineration as a last resort for waste, not a path of least resistance. If the waste hierarchy is well applied, and resources recovered, reused, recycled and reprocessed in a sustainable manner, there should be no need for these expensive technologies to be employed.

Robin Chapple MLC, Greens WA spokesperson on waste, had this to say about the proposal:

“These technologies are appropriate in the context of cities which have no other alternatives to waste issues. Perth is not one of those cities – there is much more we can do to reduce waste to landfill before we start employing technologies of last resort. I’m also concerned that this technology will divert feedstock from other, more sustainable waste solutions, such as the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council’s Regional Resource Recovery Centre – which genuinely works on the principles of waste hierarchy, diverting waste from landfill and reusing the recovered resources in a sustainable manner."

This application to the EPA comes only a few days after the Energy Supply Association of Australia asserted that an oversupply of renewable energy in the market would “cannibalise existing supply”.

“This project is touting itself as a large-scale renewable energy project. If we can’t make room for genuine renewables suppliers on our inaccessible grid system, surely we can’t make room for 60MW of ‘renewables’ generated from an unsustainable waste solution?” said Chapple.

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