Greens Bill to ban ‘waste to energy’ incinerators within 15km of homes

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 March 2017

The NSW Greens will introduce legislation to the Upper House this morning that would prohibit locating large polluting ‘waste to energy’ incinerators within 15 kilometres of urban zonings, and would effectively kill off a proposal from Mr Ian Malouf’s Dial-A-Dump company to build the world’s largest waste incinerator on his land in Eastern Creek, only 800 metres from homes and a school in Minchinbury and close to homes in Erskine Park, St Clair, Colyton St Mary’s,  Rooty Hill and Penrith, and only 5km from Prospect Reservoir which stores Sydney’s drinking water.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Waste Incinerator Facilities – Residential Exclusion Zones) Bill 2017 will be introduced into parliament this morning by Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Mr Malouf’s has lodged an Environmental Impact Statement with the Department of Planning, but over 1,000 submissions were lodged objecting to the development, including from the Environmental Protection Authority, NSW Health, Minchinbury Public School and Hillsong Church.

  • If approved it would cost $588 million to build the world’s largest garbage incinerator with a capacity to burn 1.34 million tonnes of waste every year to produce 137MW of electricity.
  • Waste to be burnt is estimated to be 18% plastics, 17% paper/card, 4% textiles, 30% wood scraps, 2.5% gyprock, 1% metal, 3 vegetation, 20.3% other combustibles, combustibles, non-combustibles and other’
  • Twin 100 metre exhaust stacks will spew out pollution including fine particulate matter dangerous to human health – PM10 and PM2.5; heavy metals including Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As) and Chromium (Cr); chemical compounds including Hydrogen Chloride (HCI), Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxides (NO2); and highly toxic organic substances such as dioxins and furans.

NSW Green energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:

“We should be improving air quality in Sydney, not creating a giant new source of pollution.

“The Greens will introduce legislation that will prohibit waste to energy incinerators within 15 kilometres of urban zonings to ensure they are not located in inappropriate areas.

“This incinerator will reduce recycling rates, spew out air pollution and impact on the health of residents in Western Sydney.

“With thousands of trucks delivering over a million tonnes of waste to be burnt each year, there is no certainty about what chemicals and particles will come out of the exhaust stacks – which is why the EPA and NSW Health object to this proposal.

“It’s the government’s role to step in and protect the lungs of Western Sydney.  Whether a giant waste incinerator is built only a kilometre from homes and schools is a decision for the government and parliament, and cannot just be left to planning bureaucrats.

“The Greens campaign against this incinerator is building momentum in Western Sydney.  If the Liberal Party does not stop this incinerator they will lose crucial seats in Western Sydney and government.”

NSW Health made a submission objecting to the incinerator saying:

“The proposal to build and operate an incinerator within city limits is not consistent with over 100 years of environmental regulation to improve urban air quality by removing incinerators and power stations and other sources of pollutants from urban areas. We note that this plant is double the size of similar plants overseas and we require assurance that appropriate environmental controls are in place and effective in the long term.”

And

“There are many known health effects from exposure to particulate matter.  Numerous studies have showed associations between exposure to particles and increased hospital admissions as well as death from heart or lung diseases.”

The EPA made a submission objecting to the incinerator saying:

“The EPA particularly has concerns in relation to potential air quality impacts; human health impacts; and alignment with the NSW EPA’s Energy from Waste Policy”
A public meeting will be held on the incinerator proposal at 7 – 8.30pm Thursday 13 April at the Erskine Park Community Hall, 57 Peppertree Drive Erskine Park.

A social media video on the incinerator is available for download here and on YouTube here.

One comment

  • Jeremy it was good to speak to you at Goulburn on Saturday and will send the Adani report when finalised… Just to say that at Tarago, when we were canvassing last year for Lea we met a man who told us that the Veolia waste to energy plant near the village makes him sick, as it stinks. Husband Brian, a chemist, thinks it cannot be the methane as it has no smell, but must be a sulphur compound, However you mention many nasty emissions. So then, these plants are no solution to reduce energy emissions; and, how is it that metal and paper and plastics are being burnt at all? One is told these are recycled! What is going on? Thanks.

    Like

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