Waste to Energy infrastructure to bolster resource recovery targets

The potential of waste to energy facilities to do some of the heavy lifting to meet the targets set out in the National Waste Policy Action Plan cannot be overlooked, according to the National Waste and Recycling Council (NWRIC).

NWRIC CEO Rose Read said analysis of the waste to energy pipeline of infrastructure projects was encouraging and sent a clear message that industry was willing to invest in this type of technology and keep waste out of landfill.

“Extracting electricity from residual waste that would otherwise go to landfill is a key part of the waste management hierarchy and development of a circular economy.

“It is encouraging to see several projects underway, but it is imperative that industry has the support of government and clear policies in place so that this sector can develop in a timely manner and play its important role in recovering energy from residual waste.”

The table below shows waste to energy project pipeline (details courtesy Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Corrs Chambers Westgarth; Energy from Waste: the solution to Australia’s war on waste?)

Project Location Investment Proponent Resource Recovery
Avertas Energy Kwinana, WA $698 m Macquarie Capital and Phoenix energy with operations and maintenance by Veolia Convert up to 400,000 t of household, C &I waste into electricity and construction materials
East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility Perth, WA $511m Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), New Energy Corporation and Tribe Infrastructure (operations and maintenance SUEZ) Divert up to 300,000t waste from WA landfills each year
Swanbank waste to energy facility Swanbank, 10 Km SE of Ipswich, QLD $400 m Remondis 300-500,000 t waste to generate up to 50 megawatts of electricity
Western Sydney energy and resource recovery centre Eastern Creek, NSW $700m JV- Macquarie Capital and Cleanaway Up to 500,000 t of MSW, C&I waste generating up to 45 megawatts of electricity (power 65,000 homes)
Parkes materials recovery and energy from waste facility Parkes special aviation precinct, Parkes NSW TBC EOI open Proposed to be the fourth major thermal facility in Australia
South east Melbourne advanced waste processing facility Melbourne, VIC $650 m TBC – three bidders shortlisted Advanced waste processing services- initially 500,000 t of MSW
Maryvale energy from waste Latrobe Valley, VIC $600m Opal Australian Paper and SUEZ 325,000 t non-recyclable waste (potential to expand capacity to 650,000 t and include MSW and C&I)
Mt Piper Energy Recovery Project Lithgow NSW $170m Energy Australia and Re.Group Energy through refuse derived fuel from non-recyclable household and commercial waste. Divert 200,000 t away from landfill
Renergi Biorefinery Collie, WA TBC Renergi (Curtin Uni) Convert municipal, forestry and agricultural wastes into biochar and bio-oil

* Laverton North Waste gasification to energy plant


Laverton North, VIC $100 million

Recovered Energy Australia


Processing 200,000 tonnes of waste and generating 16MW of electricity into the grid.

*Updated 5/03/21

“The range of energy from waste projects currently under construction or in progress is valued at $3.7 billion will see an additional 700,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill each year in both WA and NSW, 825,000 tonnes in Victoria and 500,000 tonnes in Queensland.

“This means we know of at least 2.725 Mt of waste being diverted from landfill via energy from waste facilities, making up nearly 20% of the extra 15 Mt needed to be recovered each year in order to meet the National Waste Policy Action Plan target of 80% resource recovery by 2030.

Ms Read said the existing waste to energy infrastructure pipeline was the tip of the iceberg.

“According to Infrastructure Partnership Australia’s report, up to 75% of waste going to landfill could be potentially used for energy from residual waste including organics that cannot be composted, creating an investment opportunity of $8.2 to $13.7 billion by 2030.

“This would potentially generate enough energy to power 1.4 to 2.6 million households and reduce CO2-e by 3.8 to 5.2 million tonnes,” said Ms Read.

Fast facts: Thousands of waste and recycling asset creating economic value

NWRIC’s From Waste to Value- The Australian Waste & Resource Recovery Industry 2020 report provides an important snapshot of level infrastructure the waste and resource recovery industry manages across Australia.

“Our Waste to Value report shows that together with local councils, the industry manages a considerable number of waste and recycling assets Australia wide.

“These include around 870 transfer stations, 810 resource recovery facilities, and an estimated 1,200 landfills in Australia – with 75% of landfilled waste going to 38 sites.

“Landfilled waste has raised an estimated $1.13 billion in levies in 2018-19, with only an estimated $282 million reinvested by to states and territories into improving waste management and resource recovery,” said NWRIC CEO Rose Read.

Read NWRIC’s white paper Review of waste levies in Australia

Future Waste Resources Convention in Queensland next month

Waste and Recycling Industry Association Queensland (WRIQ), Queensland Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Industrial Ecology Network (AIEN) will be hosting the Future Waste Resources Convention in early March.

The conference will be a forum for demonstrating and discussing resource recovery in Queensland, and solutions for the challenges for the sector, particularly in delivering improvements for secondary resource recovery.

The program will capture key themes including, Energy (Regulatory, Networks and Queensland Technology), Australian Export Bans of recyclables, Organics, Plastics, Emerging Waste Streams and Disaster Waste Management (including Bio Security), focused on the issues our sector and its partners manage.

The trade exhibition and equipment display will provide an opportunity for delegates, to meet with suppliers and discuss the latest industry developments and innovations.

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) CEO Rose Read will be chairing two sessions at the convention: Regulatory Insights on Tuesday 2 March from 11.00 – 12.30 and Recycling on Wednesday 3 March from 11.00 – 12.30.

The Convention is being held from 1-3 March 2021 at Sea World Conference Centre Gold Coast.

For more information and to register visit http://www.fwrconvention.com.au/


Future Waste Resources Convention 2021 has been listed on the Schedule of Approved Events as part of the Australian Business Events Grants Program, with applications opening shortly to eligible FWR exhibitors and approved delegates.

Eligible business can apply for funding between $10,000 and $250,000 to cover up to 50% of the costs associated with attendance (conditions apply) and there are guidelines around this process. Please contact veronica@revolveservices.com.au for more information.