Blue Mountains News

Lithgow Council Opposes Waste to Energy

By Lithgow City Council
Posted: 4 Oct 2021
A waste-to-energy plant in Saugus, Massachusetts, the first plant in the United States. Photo by Flecther6 (CC BY 3.0)
At its meeting on Monday night, Lithgow Council considered a plan by the NSW Government for the concept of energy from waste. The Council resolved to oppose the plan.

Energy from waste involves the incineration of residue waste material, with some of the energy stored in the material being recovered for conversion to electricity. Residue waste is waste which is not able to be recycled. It is substantially paper, plastics and organic material. The vast majority of these residue wastes are created in major cities like Sydney.

 

The plan allows incineration as an alternative to landfilling.

 

The plan (called the Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan) proposes that these activities be effectively prohibited across NSW other than within the local government areas of Lithgow, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Parkes and Northern Rivers. The plan would rule out current proposals for these activities in metropolitan Sydney.

 

Mayor, Councillor Ray Thompson said "We have been blindsided by this proposal. There has been no consultation with the council or our community."

 

"In a briefing after announcement of this plan, we were told that before January the NSW Government intends to exhibit for just 28 days a regulation that would approve this plan."

 

"We also heard that Sydney requires four of these facilities by 2040. Under this plan, they will surely be placed in Lithgow and Goulburn because of proximity to Sydney" "Yet we have seen no modelling of the cumulative and long term health and environmental impacts."

 

"We don't understand why or accept that these activities should be concentrated in Lithgow and yet not allowed in Sydney where the bulk of the waste is created."

 

"Communities oppose these developments for good reason. Even the government's advice acknowledges that food production needs to be limited around these facilities and as technology improves the air emissions will need to be further restricted."

 

Media announcements which accompanied the plan's release suggested that these activities could create economic growth in the regions. But there was no accompanying information, or proposals from the NSW Government in relation to how these jobs could be assured. Mayor, Councillor Ray Thompson said, "When you look at this plan on the information that is available, we are burdened with activities that people in the cities don't want in their backyards, and there is no apparent positive upside."

 

"I know that the Council's decision reflects the opinion of our community. This is a poor plan for Lithgow."

 
Jenolan Caravan Park Jenolan Caravan Park Jenolan Caravan Park Situated in the heart of Oberon

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