Learn about waste to energy investment opportunities in Victoria.
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Waste to energy involves turning waste material into heat, electricity or a fuel.
Waste to energy provides opportunities for long-term investment in Victoria’s waste and resource recovery sector. Victoria encourages investment in waste to energy projects with careful consideration to maximise environmental and economic benefits.
We support waste to energy investments where they meet best practice environment protection requirements, demonstrate social licence with affected communities, and reduce waste to landfill, using the waste hierarchy as an order of preference for how waste is managed. After waste avoidance, reuse and recycling, waste to energy is the final opportunity and option to help us achieve the best possible economic and environmental outcomes from material that would go to landfill.
Waste to energy will also play an important role in Victoria’s circular economy by transforming our linear economy mindset of take, use and throw away. It will foster innovation and productivity that invigorates new and existing businesses by delivering more jobs and growth for local, regional, state and global economies.
Waste to energy technologies fall into 2 broad categories:
Read about investing in bioenergy.
The way waste to energy is managed in Victoria is changing.
The Victorian Government’s waste to energy policy was published in February 2020 as part of Recycling Victoria: A new economy.
The Recycling Victoria policy is a 10-year plan that steps out the systemic change that’s needed to cut waste and boost recycling and reuse of our precious resources.
Read about Victoria’s plan for a circular economy.
In November 2021, the Victorian waste to energy framework was released as part of the Recycling Victoria policy.
The Victorian waste to energy framework recognises the role of waste to energy to divert waste from landfills. It strikes the right balance to focus on waste avoidance and recycling in Victoria's transition to a circular economy.
To manage any risks of over-reliance on waste to energy, the framework places a one million tonne per year cap on the amount of waste that can be heat treated to make energy and outlines how the cap is to work.
The new Recycling Victoria authority will oversee and deliver licenses to businesses wishing to operate a thermal waste to energy facility from mid to late 2022.
Read about Victorian waste to energy policy which outlines how the cap will work.
For the purposes of the cap, ‘thermal waste to energy’ refers to any thermal process used to:
Thermal waste to energy includes, but is not limited to, combustion, gasification and pyrolysis technologies (or any hybrid variant).
The following processes are not
considered to be ‘thermal waste to energy’ for the purposes of the cap:
Under the proposed waste to energy framework, waste is divided into 3 categories based on its suitability for use as a thermal waste to energy feedstock:
For more information about how the cap will operate, refer to the Victorian waste to energy framework which details how permitted, banned and exempt wastes are defined under the framework.