Lobbyist hits back at 'noisy minority' for Remondis plant
RECYCLING and waste management's top brass blames a "noisy minority" for poor perception of the industry in Ipswich and misconception around the proposed "incinerator".
CEO of the Waste Recycling Industry Queensland, Rick Ralph emphasised the proposed $400 million Remondis waste-to-energy facility at Swanbank is not an incinerator.
"It's an energy from waste facility which forms part of any practical waste hierarchy globally," he said.
"This is a well-constructed, properly regulated, they're world's best practice and these types of facilities exist globally and they exist in the centre of cities.
"From the top of the Eiffel tower you look down at a waste-to-energy facility ... if you go to Copenhagen you are able to ski on a ski field which is located on the top of an waste-to-energy facility."
Waste-to-energy facilities convert residual, non-recyclable waste into electricity by burning the waste at high temperatures.
"In Europe energy from waste facilities generate steam which generates heat for communities," Mr Ralph said.
"In Queensland we would generate heat to turn into electricity to power the air conditioning."
"These are not industrial incinerators, nor are they bad for the community or bad for the environment.
"We've got a noisy minority trying to enforce upon the community the industry is out of control."
Mr Ralph said despite the current public perception of recycling and waste management in Ipswich it needs to be acknowledged what a major employer it is, citing around 800 jobs.
"If the community doesn't want the sector in the region can they please tell me where those 788 families going to be employed.
"The industry is genuinely trying to go forward with solid investment and with genuine solutions for the community."
Member for Bundamba, Jo-Ann Miller is staunchly against the project, while council have indicated the project would have to exceed the highest international environmental standards to proceed.
Ipswich and neighbouring councils are currently working on an innovative waste management plan to find best practice solutions for the region.
A protest against the proposed plant, "Stop The Incinerator" will rally today at d'Arcy Doyle Place at 10.30am.