Australia generates 2.4 million tonnes of plastic every year. It comes in all shapes and polymers. Car parts, sofas, drink containers, medical equipment, pallet wrap and single use packaging. You name a product in the economy and sure enough it will have plastic in it or in its supply chain.
The introduction of National Sword restrictions on the import of recyclables to China has permitted some commentators to call for recyclables to be used in Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities. Several have proposed EfW as a solution for plastic, paper and cardboard. While EfW is higher up the waste hierarchy and beneficial over landfill (it recovers the full energy value), I caution against this line of argument.
When developed alongside strong recycling and organics processing systems, Energy from Waste (EfW) will help lift domestic and commercial diversion rates from 60% to 80-90%. It is an important element in a waste management system.
MRA’s Mike Ritchie delivered his view on the future of Energy from Waste (EfW) in Australia at the fourth Waste Expo conference last Wednesday. “Australia’s efforts related to Energy from Waste (EfW) are considerably less advanced when compared to some developed countries. The reasons for this are to be found in a complex combination of […]
By Mike Ritchie – Director, MRA Consulting Group On 16 February 2016, the Australian population reached 24 million people. Waste generation rates are a function of population growth, the level of urbanisation and per capita income[i] and Australians now produce about 50 million tonnes of waste each year, averaging over 2 tonnes per person. There […]
By Ron Wainberg – Technical Director, MRA Consulting Group Energy from Waste (EfW) is very well established overseas, but in Australia it has yet to get off the ground. The reasons for this are to be found in a complex combination of different historical factors: adequate landfill capacity, poor financial incentives, unfavourable public perceptions and lack […]
Published by Sustainability Matters What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your industry in the year ahead, and why? The biggest challenge for recyclers is the mixed government market price signals around recycling, waste management and carbon. Some States are pushing ahead with strategic approaches to waste management by setting targets, establishing […]
Published by ResourceRecovery.biz The winners during the first Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction have been announced. Congratulations to those who succeeded in securing a Carbon Abatement Contract with the Federal Government and commiserations to those who missed out. But don’t despair: there are many more auctions to come. Under the ERF, the Federal Government is […]
There has been much said recently about the need to use nuclear energy as a bridging technology while renewable technologies and battery systems in particular, are improved. It seems to me that waste and recycling have again been overlooked as serious contributors to Australia’s emission abatement task. In 2006 Warnken ISE and SITA Australia published […]
Australia generates 48 MT/year of waste (latest National Waste Data Report 2014). In the period 1997-2012 our population rose by 22% but waste generation increased by 145%. There are more of us and we generate more waste per person, each year. On the positive side, recycling is growing at a faster rate and since 2005 […]