Eastern suburbs incinerator

Council opposes building waste to energy facilities in Randwick City

Opal Paper Mill in Matraville.

Background

In 2019, waste company Suez and the Opal papermill teamed up to lodge a proposal to construct the ‘Botany Cogeneration Plant’ at Matraville.

The cogeneration or waste to energy plant proposed to ‘process’ or burn hundreds of thousands of tonnes of processed waste each year to produce steam and electricity for the Opal paper mill.

An application and Scoping Report has been lodged with the NSW Government.

The proposal is classified as State Significant Development as it is a co-generation of heat and electricity and has a capital investment value of over $30M. This means it bypasses local approvals of Randwick Council and will be determined by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Randwick Council’s position

Randwick City Council is strongly opposed to this proposal given the considerable concern from the public for their health, the risk to the environment and local air pollution.

What Suez and Opal propose at Matraville.

Why does Council oppose the proposal?

According to Suez’s own Scoping Report dated 2 September 2019, the proposal would:

  • Burn 165,000 tonnes of rubbish a year including plastic, textiles and furniture.
  • Transport 21 semi-trailer loads of rubbish to Matraville every day.
  • Result in a chimney stack being built 60m high – the same height as the Sydney Opera House.
  • Operate 24/7

In addition, there is a significant residential population located nearby with the closest properties on Partanna Ave being approximately 130 metres away.

Approximately 5,000 people live within 1km of the proposed incinerator, 110,000 people live within 5km and 581,000 people live within 10km.

Map showing population located near incinerator.

Videos

What is Council doing about it?

Randwick Council is actively working with the local community including the Matraville Precinct and community group No More Incinerators to oppose the Matraville incinerator.

Council has produced a range of videos, printed flyers, installed posters on garbage bins in Matraville town centre and is developing a campaign to roll out across Council’s garbage trucks, street banners and bus shelter posters.

How can you oppose the plan?

Latest news

Council resolutions

26 October 2021

RESOLUTION: (Da Rocha/Said) that Council:

  1. notes the failure of the NSW Government to categorically rule out the proposal for an incinerator at the Opal site in Matraville; and
  2. continues to support the “No Matraville Incinerator” campaign and the efforts of the Matraville Precinct Committee in opposing the proposal for an incinerator by installing “No Matraville Incinerator” banners on poles throughout the Randwick LGA, and brands Council’s green waste collection trucks with “No Matraville Incinerator” messaging.

28 September 2021

RESOLUTION: (Mayor, Cr  Said) that Council call on the Minister for Energy and Environment, the Hon Matt Kean MP to clearly stipulate that the Matraville incinerator is not of a type that could be considered to lead to a better environmental outcome and should not proceed based on the criteria in the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan.

26 May 2020

RESOLUTION: (Mayor, Cr D Said) that Randwick City Council strongly oppose the proposal by the Opal’s (previously Orora) Paper Mill and Suez Group for the construction of an incinerator in Matraville and support local residents and the Matraville Precinct Committee in their campaign against the construction of a waste incinerator via Council’s social media channels, requesting meetings with the relevant ministers and requesting support from neighbouring councils.

26 August 2019

RESOLUTION: (Parker/Said) That Council:

  1. confirms it has been briefed on the Suez proposal for a commercial incinerator at the Orora site to generate electricity from waste and understands the proposal is at the feasibility stage;
  2. expresses concern that the proposal will potentially burn up to 160,000 tonnes of waste including glue and plastics as fuel per year;
  3. expresses concern that not all emissions will be captured;
  4. notes the lack of comparable cogeneration facility currently exists across NSW;
  5. notes that hundreds of residential homes are located within a 750m radius of the proposed site;
  6. acknowledges that the proposal will take the total number of truck movements at the Orora/Suez site up to 225 heavy vehicle movements per day; and
  7. resolves to make a submission into any future development application regarding the proposal and that this submission consider the community benefit, health impacts and additional truck movements at the site.
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