Let’s not waste energy on waste-to-energy - Queensland Conservation Council

Let’s not waste energy on waste-to-energy

MEDIA RELEASE: September 20, 2018 – Peak conservation group, the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) is calling on the Palaszczuk government to continue support for real clean energy, like solar and wind, that will deliver on the state’s 50% renewable energy by 2030 target and put us on track for the zero-net emissions future we need.

“QCC is disappointed by attempts of the Queensland Government to package waste incineration as renewable energy,” said QCC climate change policy officer Lisa Cliff.

Today’s announcement of plans to build a $400 million polluting waste-to-energy facility in Swanbank risks diverting government resources, time and attention away from where the real opportunities and solutions lie - in delivering low-carbon projects that will build a low-carbon economy for Queensland.

“All the waste-to-energy proposal offers in terms of a solution is a redirection of pollution from landfill to toxic emissions and ash dumps. Far from solving the waste issue, the proposed REMONDIS waste-levy supported project risks encouraging the production of more waste to provide a continual fuel source. This will threaten the health of Queensland’s natural resources and ecosystems and put Queensland communities in harm's way.

"Instead of a waste-to-energy project, QCC believes the Palaszczuk Government should use revenue from the waste levy to support real resource recovery services and re-manufacturing industries across the state. QCC sees this as an opportunity for the Queensland Government to build on recent positive steps, such as the plastic bag ban and the forthcoming container deposit scheme, to provide lasting solutions to the waste problem.

"The majority of our waste – food, plastics, cardboard and paper – should be diverted from landfill in the first place. Instead, the REMONDIS project will burn resources with potential for reuse and produce more expensive, polluting and resource intensive energy. This makes no sense in a state where we can capitalise on an abundance of solar and wind resources offering cheap, clean and genuine renewable energy.

“Already communities across Queensland want stronger emissions standards, monitoring and enforcement of pollution from coal-fired power stations. Until these are strengthened, the last thing we need is another major source of toxic air pollution.

“The Queensland Government also needs to show they are serious about doing their fair share to deliver on the goals of the Paris climate change agreement. If this waste-to-energy project is to go ahead, QCC would like to see what steps the Queensland Government will take to offset the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard our climate for future generations."

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