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‘It’s a shortcut solution to the waste and recycling crisis’: Greens call for ban on burning waste for energy

Many have suggested waste incineration as a solution to both the recycling and electricity crises, but the Victorian Greens are calling for a moratorium on burning waste.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Dr Samantha Ratnam, said burning waste is a “shortcut solution”.

“There’s a lot of science and evidence telling us that it’ll actually produce more carbon dioxide than burning oil or coal,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

Ms Ratnam called for greater investment in recycling solutions.

“We have an industry in Victoria that’s crying out for a kick-start,” she said.

“We’re seeing really amazing initiatives at the moment that are turning organics into soil material that can be reused.

“We’ve got recycling manufacturers who can turn plastics and paper into really incredible products, and we could actually revolutionise recycling.”

The Greens leader said granting contracts for rubbish incineration could derail recycling efforts.

“Right now, these waste incineration companies are shopping around for contracts of 20 to 25 years, for really high waste volumes,” she said.

“If you lock in huge amounts of waste it undermines all the effort that we’re putting into increasing recycling rates and reducing waste.

“Put a moratorium on it.

“Give the recycling sector the chance to really transform and expand, and then we can figure out what we do with that very small residual waste that we can process in a much more environmentally friendly way.”

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