ACT Greens secure win for community against big, dirty waste polluters

Australian Greens

The ACT Greens today welcomed the ACT Government’s long-awaited commitment to rule out any incineration of waste – a polluting, dirty means of waste management, long opposed by the Greens and the Canberra community

“The Greens are pleased to announce that the ACT Government has, after a long fought battle, ruled out support for big, dirty waste polluters,” ACT Greens Leader and Environment Spokesperson Shane Rattenbury said today.

“There are cleaner, greener and more efficient ways of managing our waste, than burning it. The last thing we need are the toxic emissions or greenhouse gases from burning waste in Canberra.

“Burning residual waste is no better than burning dirty fossil fuels and does not allow us to achieve the maximum economic and environmental benefit from those resources.

“When it comes to managing our waste, as the nation’s climate action capital, we can – and must – do better. We should be a waste management leader, ” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The new ACT Government policy starts to lay the foundations for this, by ruling out thermal treatment of waste, but still allowing cool technologies for organic waste treatment, such as anaerobic digestion.”

In 2017, the ACT Greens called on the ACT Government to rule out any thermal waste-to-energy treatment options in the ACT for good. This was in response to a number of proposals that had been driven by private proponents, including Capital Recycling Solutions (CRS) in Fyshwick.

At the time, ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury noted that the Greens “don’t even think the ACT Government should be entertaining the idea,” and warned that “the Greens are here to ensure the Government doesn’t sell out its environmental credentials in exchange for some deal that might initially look attractive, but will cost us all in the long run.”

When a waste facility using thermal treatment was proposed in Fyshwick in 2017, the ACT Greens challenged this proposal, concerned especially by the potential environmental impacts. Many people in the local community also opposed this proposal, and it has since been abandoned.

With Greens in Government, the ACT is a global climate action leader, and we need to work towards sustainable zero emissions and zero waste solutions. The ACT’s electricity is already supplied by 100% clean, green, renewable sources – like wind and solar.

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