State government forces closure of Regional Resource Recovery Centre. Are toxic incinerators on the way?

Submitted by sam on Mon, 16/04/2012 - 19:15

Currently all the organic waste in your green top bin gets turned into compost at the Canning Vale RRRC. But the Department of Environment and Conservation has refused to renew the centre's operating licence, supposedly because it produces "unacceptable odours".

The RRRC diverts more than 60,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill and prevents 70,000 tonnes tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The RRRC took $100 million of your money to build. Now the Barnett government wants it to sit idle and force the participating councils to put their waste into landfill, and pay the $23/tonne landfill levy for the privilege. This will raise them $1.5 million per year, 75% of which just goes to general revenue.

Compare this to Cockburn Cement who were allowed to keep operating even though they were in breach of their licence. Meanwhile the DEC says the RRRC can apply for a new licence if it reduces odours to an "acceptable level", yet it can't even define what an acceptable level is. The ruling has zero credibility. Clearly the state government has leant on the DEC. There have been odour problems for residents near the RRRC. But if the state government was fair dinkum about fixing this they would be spending their landfill levy on installing more filters or even moving the facility.

Everyone knows that the decision was about letting some Liberal MPs in marginal seats nears the RRRC deliver a win to locals who want to get rid of the plant. But this is only part of the story.

The same MPs who've been campaigning against the RRRC have also been spruiking the so-called benefits of incinerating waste for electricity. Are they trying to engineer a landfill crisis to justify incinerators? If people don't like the smell of compost; just wait till they live next to an incinerator burning plastic, batteries, old paint cans and bits of asbestos mixed in with the fish heads and lawn clippings. You can download a petition below to stop this environmental vandalism.