Waste company Suez has come under fire for proposing another high-temperature waste incinerator after residents voiced concerns that the facility could contaminate nearby residential areas.
The proposed incinerator would have the capacity to burn more than 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable rubbish each year, while providing steam and electricity for a nearby paper mill.
Local residents are outraged by the proposal, saying the facility would pose a risk to a number of family-oriented amenities nearby, including schools and childcare centres, parks, residential areas and shopping precincts in the Chifley, Malabar, Maroubra and Botany areas.
President of the Matraville Precinct Resident’s Committee, Steve McAndrew, explained that the “main concern for the community really is no-one knows what is going to be released into the air.”
“The Botany area is one of the most heavily polluted areas anywhere in NSW. We seem to be a bit of a dumping ground for all this kind of industry.”
In a statement following a community meeting, Suez Australia explained that the plant provided the “possibility to provide steam and electricity to power the Orora Botany recycled paper mill.”
“The plant, which would be located on Orora land adjacent to the mill, will convert safe, non-recyclable materials that would otherwise go to landfill into electricity and steam to power the paper mill.
“This will reduce the mill’s reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity and natural gas.”
Randwick councillor Dylan Parker said he struggled to see any benefits to the placement of the plant.
“There are hundreds of homes within meters of the stack. Locals need to feel safe and at the moment they’re worried,” he said.
“Undeniably, we need a solution to deal with our waste but there is no good reason why it must be burned within meters of homes.”