Waste plant proposal a concern

Shoalwater-based environmentalist James Mumme was among those attending the Alliance for Clean Environment’s public meeting at Naragebup Rockingham Regional Environment Centre on Wednesday.

The group previously held a public meeting in Kwinana voicing its opposition to the waste-to-energy process.

The New Energy plant proposed for Office Road would use WA-developed technology and turn between 2000 and 200,000 tonnes of rubbish a year into electricity that would power as many as 20,000 homes.

It is going through a public environmental review, with the period for public submissions on the review closing on December 23.

The proposal is one of two for the region. The other is a Phoenix Energy proposal for Kwinana Beach.

Mr Mumme said at first glance the proposal seemed attractive but it did nothing to reduce waste production.

He also questioned what emissions would come from the plant and whether the plant would cause odours during transferring of waste.

‘At this point I believe we would be better off investing in reducing waste, in composting to produce fertiliser and in better recycling of construction and demolition waste,’ he said.

‘Most of us are concerned at the amount of unnecessary rubbish we generate.

‘This proposal would mean less incentive for us to cut down on waste and ultimate move to zero waste (to landfill).’

The Courier spoke to New Energy general manager Jason Pugh last month, who said the plant was about 2.5km from the nearest home.

Mr Pugh said the plant could accept household, industrial and recycle waste re-routed from landfill with compatible material slowly cooked for 16 to 24 hours at a temperature of up to 875 degrees Celsius.

‘A lot of people are interested in this technology, particularly in South-East Asia and Africa, because they produce an incredible amount of waste and have an increasing problem generating enough power,’ Mr Pugh said.