Wasted energy could be a thing of the past for Western Australia, with the state planning on redirecting waste from some landfill sites to create an alternative energy source.
There has been state government approval for Western Australia’s first large scale waste-to-energy facility in Boodarie near Port Hedland.
WA environment minister Albert Jacob said the New Energy facility was expected to process up to 255,000 tonnes of waste a year and put 15.5 megawatts of power back into the grid. As part of the approval, construction for the facility must start within the next five years.
“This is an exciting step forward for waste management in Western Australia,” he said.
“There are no other waste-to-energy plants of this scale currently operating in Australia. Waste-to-energy technology has the potential to offer an alternative to landfill with the additional benefit of energy generation.”
Other countries already use this technology, however, some green groups are worried there could be issues with emissions and that this doesn’t encourage people to reduce the amount of waste being produced in the state.
Mr Jacob said he was confident the existing regulatory regime under the Environmental Protection Act was well equipped to minimise and manage the environmental impact of waste-to-energy plants.
He said waste management in the Pilbara region of the state had struggled to keep up with the expansion of the resources industries, with a great increase in landfill, so this would improve waste management, increase recycling rates and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.