OUTSIDE THE SQUARE, INSIDE THE CIRCLE
The key framework underpinning waste management policy and practice in Australia is the Waste Management Hierarchy. This hierarchy prioritises specific waste management processes over others. It is based on environmental outcomes and ranks them in order of preference, from avoiding the creation of waste as the most desired outcome, and disposal to landfill as the least desired outcome. WMRR fully supports these fundamental principles of waste management and resource recovery.
Materials such as clean plastics and paper or cardboard, which are placed into the yellow lidded bin, can be recycled. The green lidded bin material can also be recycled through composting or digestion processes. Currently in Australia however, red bin material is generally disposed of to landfill without additional value being recovered (other than landfill gas). It is at this stage that diverting the material to an EfW plant for energy recovery can provide better environmental outcomes.
Energy from Waste (EfW), also known as Waste to Energy (WtE) involves the treatment of residual wastes to harness energy or create fuel from material that would otherwise be landfilled. There are more than 2,000 facilities operating safely across North America, Europe, Middle-East and Asia - with more than 200 of these constructed between 2011 and 2015 - and an increasing number in Australia. Energy from Waste can form a vital part of a sustainable waste management chain and is fully complementary to all other aspects of the hierarchy, including recycling.