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Greens introduce Bill to ban waste to energy incinerators

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
5 August 2020

The Greens introduced a bill into the NSW Upper House today which would prohibit ‘waste to energy’ incinerators as an increasing number of communities face the prospect of incinerator projects in their suburb. The bill is expected to be brought on for debate before the end of the year.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment  (Prohibition of Waste to Energy Incinerators) Bill 2020, introduced by Greens MP and health and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann prohibits new waste to energy incineration facilities in NSW that burn industrial waste and plastic for fuel. 

There are currently four waste to energy incinerators proposed in NSW in Western Sydney, Matraville and Lithgow.

“It’s absolute madness that at a time when people’s health must be the number one priority for governments, some communities in Sydney and west of the Blue Mountains are facing the frightening prospect of toxic waste incinerators in their suburbs,” said Ms Faehrmann. 

“Right now the health and wellbeing of people must be front and centre of all government decision-making to ensure our communities are as resilient and as safe as they can be during this deadly COVID pandemic. 

“The four proposed incinerators would burn nearly 1 and a half million tonnes of municipal waste per year, converting this rubbish invisible, lethal toxins and toxic ash that must still be disposed of to landfill.

Waste incinerators have been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the largest producers of dioxins, which can cause “reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and even cancer.”

“These types of incinerators also go against the government’s stated goals for a circular economy because waste that would otherwise be composted, recycled or processed is burned. These incinerators need to operate for 25 to 30 years to be financially viable which means that if the waste-to-energy industry gets a foothold in NSW it will resist policies to reduce waste.

“We need to be moving towards a zero waste economy and investing more heavily in truly sustainable waste innovation instead of creating incinerators that put all of our health at risk.” 

More information: Ben Cronly 0487 247 960

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
5 August 2020


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