The proposal to build a waste-to-energy incinerator plant at the paper mill recycling site on Botany Road in Matraville, by SUEZ, a French multinational corporation and waste management company, and Orora, owned by Japan's Nippon Paper Industries, is being considered by Randwick Council. The proposed plant would incinerate up to 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable rubbish such as plastic, disposable nappies, polystyrene foam, bubble wrap, syringes, medical waste and garden waste each year to help power the Orora paper mill.
Several local groups have voiced their concern at such a proposal and are encouraging locals to have their say.
The Problem with High Temperature Incineration
Opinion Piece by Chris Hanson, Concerned Little Bay Resident
Orora and SUEZ Group, (a waste management company) are proposing to build a high temperature waste incinerator as part of a cogeneration plant to provide steam for Orora’s Botany Paper Mill. Orora’s paper mill is located in Botany Road Matraville, near Bunnerong Road.
While it may save Orora money in energy costs, the emissions from high temperature incineration could cause severe, long-term impacts to the environment and the health of residents living at Prince Henry and the surrounding community. Some of the main issues for concern are:
The main source of fuel for Orora’s incinerator will be process engineered fuel or PEF, supplied by the SUEZ Group. Approximately 80 per cent of the fuel for the incinerator will be PEF produced by SUEZ and the remainder waste from Orora’s plant. Overall the fuel stream will contain a range of plastics and other oil based materials which, when burnt, can produce dioxins which are the most lethal Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) known. This is because dioxins bioaccumulate in the environment and damage the health of the community by contaminating the air we breathe and local fish and food grown in the area. Dioxins are highly toxic compounds which may cause cancer and neurological damage, disrupt reproductive systems, thyroid systems, respiratory systems etc.
Experience has shown that even with the most sophisticated scrubber and pollution control equipment installed, it is notoriously difficult to maintain the optimum furnace conditions to minimise the production of highly toxic pollutants such as dioxins. That’s because to maximise the amount of steam produced, the process has to be run at temperatures which maximise the quantities of dioxins produced.
The scrubber liquid, ash and dust produced by high temperature incineration are also highly hazardous to workers and the environment and require special treatment and disposal facilities. These wastes have the potential to cause serious environmental pollution if leaks or spills occur.
High temperature incineration also produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides which contribute to global warming.
The use of high temperature incineration also discourages otherwise recyclable materials from being collected and reused. Experience in Europe has shown that high temperature incineration has become the preferred method of disposal over reducing, reusing or recycling.
If you lodge your objections via the respective parliamentary office contact portals for each of the ministers, you should receive a formal acknowledgement, whereas objections to electoral office email or mailing addresses may not be acknowledged. You could try both.
You could create your own objection or copy and paste/cherry pick from the following sample letter of objection and supporting table.