Report backs rubbish power
A new report suggests Victoria should burn rubbish for energy.
The waste-to-energy plan is touted as a viable alternative to landfill for the state in a new public consultation report.
The Andrews Government commissioned consultations on waste-to-energy technology after the expansion of Victoria's largest tip was rejected last year.
The report says a $220 million waste-to-energy plant in Melbourne's western suburbs could reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by around 90 per cent.
The public consultation report found “broad support” for waste-to-energy technology over landfill.
Residents raised concerns about how pollution from the proposed plants would be managed.
The process produces 3 tonnes of potentially toxic fly ash for every 100 tonnes of rubbish burned.
Fly ash is typically disposed of through hazardous waste landfill.
But Deakin University's hazardous materials lecturer Trevor Thornton says pollution control standards at waste-to-energy plants have improved in recent years.
“Incinerators haven't had a good reputation or good name over the years because going back they were pretty dirty, not monitored — pollution control devices weren't great,” he told the ABC.
“But nowadays, the controls on them and the way of managing the fly ash —where it gets disposed of, how it's managed — is a lot more sophisticated than it was.
“Certainly agencies such as the EPA have got fairly strict controls on how they are managed and where they can be disposed of.”
Construction has started on what will be Australia’s first waste-to-energy plant at a site in Perth.
The Victorian Government is yet to announce its official position on waste-to-energy technology.