VINCENT council has moved a step closer to sending its waste to industrial incinerators.
The council is part of the Mindarie Regional Council, which has made moves to join with its eastern neighbour in calling for tenders for the construction of an alternative waste facility to divert more rubbish from landfill.
Although details of the tender are confidential, a report to last week’s Vincent meeting shows it will be asking for a diversion rate of 90 per cent.
Currently waste to energy is the only technology reaching that level.
The report says that the MRC is working with the “Strategic Working Group to ensure that every opportunity to be involved in W2E in Western Australia is explored”.
Vincent mayor John Carey said while the council supported the MRC participating in the tender, it had given itself an opt-out clause by asking for more details.
“We are taking a very cautious approach,” Mr Carey said.
“Whilst some councillors supported the tender, others weren’t sure and would like a lot more information.
“It is still at early stages and we do not know what type of waste to energy facility will be considered.
“There were concerns raised by some councillors in regard to incinerator waste to energy,” the mayor said.
Mr Carey says while industry players claim the technology has improved in the last decade and is completely safe, environmental still have concerns.
Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance pollution prevention coordinator Jane Bremmer said she is “very concerned” that WA residents are amongst the country’s biggest producers of rubbish, particularly in the eastern suburbs.
“Building incinerators is the wrong way to be going about waste management.
“Incinerators are highly polluting, dioxin-producing facilities near communities,” Ms Bremmer said.
“The EMRC need to disclose what technology they are suggesting these local councils go into tender for.”
She says a far better way to treat the state’s waste problems is to convince people to improve their recycling, adopt home composting and reduce their consumption.
Ms Bremmer said regional councils such as the MRC are unaccountable.
“In my opinion, these regional councils have undue powers to make decisions that have long-reaching consequences for our health and environment,” she said.
Vincent’s support for the MRC joining the tender comes as the current Tamala Park landfill facility is expected to be at capacity by 2024, and the current resource recovery facility contract with BioVision will expire in 2030.
by CHARLIE SMITH