WMRR and Bioenergy Australia embark on energy from waste education journey

31 July 2019

Last night, the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia and Bioenergy Australia unveiled the first in a series of energy from waste (EfW) fact sheets, aimed at helping community, the media, and our politicians navigate an emerging but complex waste management area.

Launched at Arup in Sydney, the fact sheet which focuses on thermal treatment, will play a key role in the education piece and seeks to counter misinformation around EfW as interest and momentum builds on the role and benefits of EfW in an integrated waste management system.

Mr. Miles Mason, Chair of the WMRR NSW Energy from Waste Working Group that drove the development of the fact sheet, noted that waste management and resource recovery has become more interesting in the eyes of the public.

“There is a growing dialogue around waste issues and media coverage is increasing. However, there is also a lot of misinformation out there. So, this fact sheet answers some of the common questions that often stems from concern due to a lack of easy-to-understand information, such as does EfW smell? Is it safe? Does it reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and how does EfW fit in a circular economy? This document is a good starting point in the conversation,” Mr. Mason said.

“There is a lot of confusion in this space because there is a varying level of understanding of the terms, concepts, suitable waste types, costs, and more. Additionally, there are different definitions and policies across jurisdictions, adding to the complexity of EfW. As the peak body of the waste management and resource recovery industry, it is WMRR’s role to assist in the education and communication piece and provide factual elements to the conversation,” Vice Chair of the WMRR NSW Energy from Waste Working Group, Mr. Shaun Rainford, added.

The fact sheet, which can be downloaded here , answers the ten (10) most common questions and provides information to show why and how EfW facilities continue to operate safely around the world.

“WMRR and Bioenergy Australia fully support the fundamental principles of waste management and resource recovery and this fact sheet is a balanced document that discusses EfW within the waste management hierarchy, where it has a clear role above disposal. It is a useful document to have as jurisdictions around Australia develop EfW policies, and as all stakeholders – governments, industry, community and more – consider the changing face of waste management and resource recovery,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, concluded.