After several months on exhibition the Advanced Waste Treatment Master Plan has returned to council for adoption. There are a large number of issues that the Master Plan raises, some of which will be addressed in the following Implementation Plan. I’m pleased to be a part of an organisation that takes an ambitious approach to environmental sustainability. Without the leadership of the State or Federal Government the City of Sydney is forging ahead to meet significant greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The new Master Plan aims to create a new waste to energy facility that has the capacity to divert significant waste from landfill and reduce our reliance on electricity from other sources.
One key component of the plan is the emphasis on reusing and recycling. Waste will only be used as an energy source when it is not able to be re-used or recycled. The proposed facility will not interfere with the City’s recycling program.
During the exhibition period there were two community consultations conducted to allow residents to provide feedback.
A number of key issues have arisen as part of the exhibition period that present significant challenges for the City. Central to this is the difficulties of finding a suitable site for the facility. This was high on the list of concerns amongst residents during the consultation sessions. While the City needs to find a facility close enough to the local government area to make the project environmentally sustainable there are significant space constraints in central Sydney. In order to make this project financially viable the City will need to coordinate with neighbouring Councils to create a base large enough to make the project financially viable and attractive to an operator.
Given the success of similar projects in Japan I am hopeful that we can proceed, however, there are significant road blocks that the City will need to navigate.