Victoria must oppose waste incinerators if it's serious about fixing the waste crisis


Today the Victorian Greens will introduce a motion to parliament calling for a moratorium on any plans for waste incineration across the state.

There are currently four waste incinerator proposals in Victoria at various stages of development that threaten to lock Victoria into producing large amounts of waste for decades to come.

Waste incineration relies on Victoria not taking meaningful action to reduce waste because each plant needs to burn huge volumes of waste to remain viable.

The Government and the EPA have already given the green light to a waste incinerator in Maryvale with minimal environmental or health safeguards. These plastic, and thus crude oil, fuelled power stations are more polluting than coal fired power stations, according to the U.S. Environment Protection Authority.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, says intervention is vital to avoid locking in councils to 25 years of burning plastics, which could be recycled, and polluting our environment.

Waste incineration companies rely on us to not increase recycling rates or introduce state-wide composting of organic waste – because it threatens their business model.

The Victorian Greens also support the recent joint statement by a number of prominent environmental groups calling on the Government to oppose waste incinerators.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:

“Without intervention now, incinerators threaten to lock Victoria into the old waste paradigm for decades.

“It is inevitable that these incinerators will end up burning recyclables, plastic and organic waste because there is no commitment from these companies that they will separate the waste they receive. 

"Waste incinerators will generate tens of thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste annually. To dispose of this we will need a new hazardous waste landfill in Victoria. No community will or should have to accept this in their backyard.

“There’s no good reason for it. If the Government wants to move to a circular economy we need a container refund scheme, new separate kerbside bins for glass and organics, and a commitment to a ban on unnecessary single use plastics and excessive packaging.

“Mass incineration is a short-cut that Victoria’s environment can’t afford.”