Proposed Commercial Waste Incinerator, Matraville

Proposed Commercial Waste Incinerator, Matraville

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, including the No More Incinerators Group, have voiced their concern at such a proposal and are encouraging locals to have their say. Links for the No More Incinerators Group are provided below:

 For updates on actions being taken and how you can help, check out the No More Incinerators Website, Facebook Page and Twitter Account

The No More Incinerators Group is working to achieve a toxic free New South Wales without high temperature incineration. 

For updates on actions being taken and information on how you can help, visit:

 Summary of Phone Conversation with the office of the State Minister for Energy and the Environment | 29 April 2020

Here is a summary of the phone conversation with Matt Kean’s office on Wednesday 29 April 2020. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was also present at the meeting. Issues associated with the proposed use of HT incineration in the Greater Sydney area as well as Orora’s proposal for their Matraville mill were discussed.

 Chris Hanson to meet with Senior Adviser and staff of Matt Kean, State Minister for Energy and Environment | RESCHEDULED TO 29 April 2020

The rescheduled date for a teleconference to discuss the issues associated with HT incineration is 29 April 2020. Regrettably Matt Kean, State Minister for Energy and Environment, is unavailable. However, the Minister's senior adviser, Peter Poulos and other department officials will be in attendance, and will convey to the Minister the serious health and environmental issues associated with HT incineration and how they will impact the residents of the eastern suburbs and greater Sydney.

View the comprehensive briefing paper.  

As part of Chris Hanson's efforts to raise awareness of the potential health and environmental impacts of Orora’s proposed HT incinerator, Chris has attended all the precinct meetings within the City, except Clovelly (which Chris was unable to make contact with) and Malabar (which to date has yet to hold its meeting). At those meetings, Chris provided an overview of what, in his view, were the main issues against Orora’s proposal. Alternatives to HT incineration and the bigger picture in relation to the recycling industry within NSW, and Australia’s policy not to export 'recyclables' were also discussed. 

In addition the Chairperson from the Matraville Precinct, Steve McAndrew, has added links to this webpage onto the Matraville Precinct’s Facebook page and provided them to the other precincts. Steve has also been doing a sterling job raising awareness with the other precincts at their combined management meeting, and Noel D’Souza managed to secure a meeting (via teleconference) with a Senior Adviser and staff of Matt Kean, State Minister for Energy and Environment. Chris Hanson will be attending this teleconference and will present the case against HT incineration and the alternatives to those in attendance. 

NSW Government's plan to fast track 'state significant' developments

A serious concern is New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes', recent announcement that the NSW Government is planning to fast track all 'state significant' developments as part of the NSW Government's post Covid-19 recovery strategy. Read the article here. This could include all waste to energy projects, ie high temperature incineration and co-gen type projects. This must not happen in Matraville.

 No Toxic Incinerator for Matraville | Zoom webinar rescheduled to 21 April 2020

Given the Government Health advisory on the coronavirus (COVID 19), the National Toxics Network (NTN) had to reschedule the information session planned for 31 March 2020 at the Prince Henry Centre, and will reconvene as a zoom webinar on Tuesday 21 April at 7pm Sydney time. 

NTN's first priority is on the threat of incineration, and will follow up shortly with zero waste solutions. 

NTN is delighted to include in the zoom webinar, international experts with a long history of research, advocacy and activism on the threat of waste incineration to our health, environment and climate. 

Check out the flyer for details. 

Registration details

Register online: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gjg1KQRGQFqeBMiip3FKfg 

Register by email: acejane@bigpond.com 

We are living in worrying times and the threat of waste incineration has never been greater in Australia and the global south, particularly for our Asia Pacific neighbours. Australia’s role in the establishment of incinerators throughout our region cannot be overstated and represents a significant regional and global climate, toxic and human rights threat. 

While our government has moved swiftly to place a ban on waste exports, the growing stockpiles of non-recyclable plastic waste is causing vulnerable state and local governments to turn to quick fix false solutions that put this waste out of sight and out of mind…into the air we breathe and the environment upon which we depend for sustenance, shelter and livelihoods, as ash and air pollution. Yet the unsustainable production, consumption and disposal of toxic, non-recyclable plastic continues and is expected to vastly increase as the petrochemical industry perpetuates and exploits this unsustainable linear economy. 

Zero Waste solutions and a circular economy are our future but this will never be achieved if the incineration industry entrenches itself in Australia and expands globally.

 National Toxics Network

Chris Hanson is working with the “No Incinerator for Western Sydney” and South Ward residents action groups and the National Toxics Network who are arranging for an information session on the long-term consequences of high temperature incineration to be held at the Prince Henry Centre on 31 March 2020. 

“National Toxics Network (NTN) is a NGO (non-government organisation) network working for pollution reduction, protection of environmental health and environmental justice. NTN is the Australian focal point for the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) and strives to achieve the full implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) 2001 and other relevant international and regional chemical and waste treaties.” More information on NTN: ntn.org.au/history/.

 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. High temperature incineration also produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides which contribute to global warming.
  5. 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.

 Further reading

 Useful Links

 How to lodge your objection

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.

The links for the parliamentary offices are as follows:

A step by step guide to lodging your objection

  1. Your details | Complete your name, address and contact details
  2. Subject | Insert 'Proposed Orora/Suez High Temperature Incinerator, Matraville' 
  3. Type of enquiry | select 'Message' 
  4. Message | You may type your objection or attach documents
  5. Attachments |  Attach your written objection and any supporting documents.
  6. I would like a response | Check box to ensure that you receive a reply and reference number.
  7. I'm not a robot | Check box