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

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Regulations and Policies

Some changes in the regulatory environment have been introduced overseas to accommodate new advances in technology applied to waste management situations. Waste facilities have been prohibited in some local government areas, but AWT facilities and other resource recovery processing facilities have lower environmental impacts than landfills. As a result they can be located in industrial areas, closer to residential and other community areas than new landfill sites. There have been some innovations in the planning area to overcome these restrictions, which arose when landfills were poorly run and many waste recycling facilities were not subject to environmental impact assessments and licencing controls. In NSW, an Infrastructure State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) introduced in 2007 can now be used to assist resource recovery facilities being established in industrial areas, close to where they are actually needed.

Some forms of waste technology innovation involving waste to energy, straddle several policy areas; waste, energy, environment and carbon reduction. Existing regulations and legislation, none of which addresses it in a holistic way, prompting a number of new approaches. The European Union has developed several regulatory instruments to deal with waste to energy facilities in particular.

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