Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Waste Technology and Innovation Study



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Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Waste Technology and Innovation Study

Final Report

August 2009



The views and opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Government or the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

Contents


Acronyms vi

Executive Summary viii

1. Introduction 1

1.1 Overview of Approach to Study 1

1.2 Innovation Framework 2

1.3 Survey of waste and resource recovery related technology and innovation, including products and product uses 2

1.4 Examination of the applicability of technologies to the local context 2

1.5 Current and future snapshot of key innovations, trends and opportunities 3

1.6 Market and non-market barriers to the introduction or uptake of emerging technologies and innovations 3

1.7 Examination of current and potential funding options for waste management solutions involving technology and innovation 4

2. Why is there a need for innovation? 5

2.1 National Waste Policy 5

2.2 Current waste situation – how much is going to landfill? 6

2.3 Organic materials 10

2.4 Assessment of the Need for Resource Recovery in Australia 11

3. Developing a Strategic Framework for Technology Assessment 12

3.1 Background Information 12

3.2 The Strategic Framework Introduction 12

3.3 Guiding principles 14

3.4 The Assessment Methodology 17

3.5 Selection criteria for a strategic framework for waste management decision making 18

3.6 Assessment of Performance 18

4. Survey of waste and resource recovery related technologies and innovations 38

4.1 Introduction 38

4.2 International trends 40

4.3 Mixed Waste Technologies and Innovations 46

4.4 Operational Facilities for Municipal Wastes in Australia 61

4.5 Comparative Mixed Municipal Waste Technologies 62

4.6 Waste to Energy 71

4.7 Plasma Arc 73

4.8 Organic Waste Technologies and Innovations 74

4.9 Other Waste Technologies 78

4.10 Other Waste Innovations 96

5. Applicability of Technologies to Local Contexts 105

6. Key emerging innovations, trends and opportunities 106

6.1 Drivers 106

6.2 New Technologies and Combinations 106

6.3 Commercial Waste 107

6.4 Technology Financing 107

6.5 Legislation and Regulation 108

6.6 Hazardous Waste 108

6.7 Green Design 108

7. Market and non-market barriers 110

7.1 Market Barriers 110

7.2 Non-Market Barriers 111

7.3 Role for Product Stewardship 112

8. Findings of the Study 114

8.1 Introduction 114

8.2 Technologies 114

8.3 Adaptability to Local Conditions 115

8.4 Waste to Energy 116

8.5 Commercial Wastes 116

8.6 Green Design 117

8.7 Role of Waste Transfer Stations 117

8.8 Regulations and Policies 118

8.9 Barriers to Innovation 118

8.10 Overcoming the Barriers 119

8.11 Conclusions 120

9. References 121





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