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REMONDIS welcomes Queensland Government report acknowledging importance of EfW technology

REMONDIS Australia // 21 August 2021


Report states there is a current over-reliance on landfill and concerning lack of recycling


Report declares Energy from Waste (EfW) technology essential for longer term, sustainable waste recovery targets


Report acknowledges EfW’s role after opportunities to reduce, re-use and recycle have been exhausted


REMONDIS Australia (REMONDIS) has welcomed a comprehensive Queensland Government report acknowledging Energy from Waste (EfW) technology as a vital part of the solution to the state’s waste management needs, particularly in south-east Queensland.

The Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Report identifies a current over-reliance on landfill and a concerning lack of recycling, limiting opportunities to shift to a ‘circular economy’ (where waste is treated as a resource that can be put to good use, as opposed to ending up as landfill).

The report says Energy from Waste technology is an “essential part of the mix” if longer term and sustainable waste recovery targets are to be achieved in Queensland.

Identifying opportunities and types of infrastructure that should be embraced to achieve better waste management outcomes over the next 30 years, the report highlights:

  • A long-term need for significant investment in Energy-from-Waste infrastructure to achieve landfill diversion targets
  • That Energy-from-Waste has a role to play in better waste management during the transition to a circular economy. After all practical and economically viable opportunities to reduce, re-use and recycle wastes have been exhausted, Energy from Waste can be used to extract useful energy (fuels, electricity, heat) from the residual waste
  • The adoption of Energy from Waste in Queensland would complement the delivery of a number of Queensland Government commitments around climate change, renewable energy and industry development
  • ‘Energy recovery’ (producing energy from thermal waste disposal) is preferable and more sustainable than landfilling

The Queensland Government’s current waste management policy seeks to reduce the amount of waste households produce by 25%, whilst recycling at least 75% of waste by 2050.

However, about 56.4 percent of all waste currently ended up as landfill in Queensland, based on 2018 data.

The Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Report shows that only seven percent of food waste, ten percent of plastics and 17 percent of timber are recovered or reused each year. Even glass recovery is lagging, with only 57 percent recovered for re-use.

The report is timely, given REMONDIS’ plans to deliver a $700 million Clean Energy & Resource Recovery Precinct at Swanbank, with a $400 million state of the art Energy from Waste facility as a centrepiece. The precinct would enable a dramatic boost in recycling, with non-recyclable materials combusted, producing enough clean energy to power 50,000 homes annually.

REMONDIS emphasised that Energy from Waste facilities operate safely and effectively in hundreds of major cities around the world and have a proven track record of solving landfill problems.

“This report is yet another reminder that we need to think about doing things differently when it comes to waste management,” REMONDIS Project Manager Sarah Collins said.

“What we want to do at Swanbank is right in line with what’s expressed in the Queensland Government’s report.

“We’re talking about adopting world’s best practice so we can put pretty much all arriving waste to use, focussing on recycling first, and using thermal technology to produce cleaner electricity.

“More than ninety five percent of the 500,000 tonnes of waste going into the new Energy from Waste facility would be diverted from landfill, dramatically reducing environmental problems including land disturbance, methane, leachate and odour.

“Our proposal would be a win for the environment, the community and the economy.”

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