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WA recycling plant destroyed

Up to 100 sea containers of recycled products may have to be dumped in landfill over the next two weeks after a fire destroyed Western Australia's largest recycling facility, in Canning Vale, early today.

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Do It Once, Do It Right In 2002 Western Australia almost did. At that time, Global Olivine received an environmental permit to build a Sustainable Resource Recycling Facility (SRRF) in Kwinana. The plant would have solved all problems related to waste collection and recycling. It would have also provided the region with modulated power export of up to 186 megawatts of electricity per hour, a total of 1.6 million megawatt hours annually. The plant would be producing 123,000 cubic meters of high quality water per day from sea water at a fraction of the current cost. To complete the recycling loop, 650,000 tonnes of practical, in-demand by-products would be flowing from the community’s total waste stream, including all the dangerous goods, plastics, whiteware and electronics equipment. Sending “...2,000 tonnes, or 100 sea containers, of valuable recycled products to landfill” is a travesty, symptomatic of a system in crisis. It represents the loss of 1.9 million tonnes of carbon credits, and at the same time adds to the methane gas and toxic leachate that all landfills produce. Had the Global Olivine SRRF project gone ahead, landfills and toxic emissions would be a thing of the past. Can Western Australia afford to keep putting band-aids on a problem that has gone from bad to worse? Why are local Government councils in WA polluting the atmosphere, the ground water for generations to come? With a Global Olivine plant, land fill requirements are totally eliminated. A Global Olivine SRRF would ideally be majority-owned by key interests in the primary outputs: electricity, water and waste collection and disposal. The venture provides highly competitive pricing, and delivers both sustainable profitability and cost benefits to the community. The plant’s range of by-product industries operate on night shift to support modulation of electricity production. These by-products are in consistent demand, providing both employment and revenue that contributes considerably to the local economy. Current financial models and projections for a plant of the size anticipated for Kwinana indicate the following rates: tipping fee, $56.24 per tonne; electricity average spot price, five cents per kilowatt hour; water, $2.75 per cubic meter. Additionally, more than 1 million megawatt hours per year would be available for renewable energy credits. At the above rates, the plant provides both an excellent source of income to the major infrastructure participants and a reduction to the cost of living for Perth residents. The council would be wise to re-think the Global Olivine option, which is a cost-effective long-term solution to the present and future needs of the region. The council would benefit from investment in a SRRF; so would regional electricity generators, water providers and the rate-paying public. The Government almost got it right seven years ago; perhaps it is time to re-visit this option, and do it right once and for all. Warwick J Davies Chairman, Global Olivine

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