Internationally, energy from waste (EfW) plays an important role in the management of wastes - both in the diversion of waste from landfill and in the provision of energy for industry and the community. In the Australian context, where in the past landfill space has been plentiful and cheap, energy from waste is becoming increasingly viable as both landfill costs and diversion targets increase.
Recognising this, most Australian state governments have published, or are preparing policies, positions or guidelines aimed towards maximising the recovery of resources from the waste stream whilst minimizing potential risks to human health and the environment. When considered as part pf the waste hierarchy, energy from waste provides a solution to maximise the value of material that cannot be recycled and would otherwise end up in landfill.
According to the report, Strategic Analysis of the Australian Waste-to-Energy Sector (Frost & Sullivan, 2013), the municipal solid waste (MSW) to energy sector is expected to see strong growth between 2015 and 2020, with installed capacity reaching around 80 MW and MSW treatment capacity hitting around 12 million tonnes per annum by 2020. Sarah Wang, Senior Consultant, Australia and New Zealand Industrial Practice, Frost & Sullivan predicts that ‘by 2024, the Asia Pacific region will own the highest number of MSW waste-to-energy plants in the world (with about 46.7 per cent share of the global market)’.
STEINERT is well positioned to support this rapidly growing sector, with a range of magnetic and sensor based sorting equipment designed to extract the non-combustible and higher value recyclable materials from the waste stream and produce refused derived fuel (RDF) from the remainder which would otherwise be destined for landfill.