By ERWIN CHLANDA
Public comment on an industrial incinerator capable of meeting most needs of the NT closes tomorrow with the Department of Lands.
The facility, planned by local businessman Darren Burton, would be located at the Brewer Estate south of town, cost more than $1.5m and employ 10 to 15 people initially.
The Top End based Rural Residents’ Rights (RRR) Group has lodged an objection.
Mr Burton says the facility would emit no toxic or poisonous gases and would reduce waste to 3% of its original volume.
It would comply with requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency which “would have capability of remotely monitoring emissions through sensors in the stack 24/7”.
“Currently there is no commercial incinerator in the Northern Territory,” says Mr Burton’s application.
“Waste such as oil, grease and paint are being stored perpetually. Waste such as shredded paper documents, TV’s, computers, plastics etc are part of the landfill at council waste dumps.
“There is continuous risk of pollution of the aquifers and atmosphere from leachates and gases.
“Medical waste is being transported from Darwin and Alice Springs to Adelaide for incineration, at great expense, and creating further carbon emissions,” he says.
“Backyard operations may burn plastic of cables for metal recycling. Police need to be able to destroy illegal drugs and substances.
“A commercial incinerator can deal with all of these situations in an environmentally controlled and approved manner.
“All incoming waste to be treated is locked in a secured area. The ashes of incinerated waste are bagged and stored, also in a secured area, until final transport arrives to move the final residue to Adelaide.”
Mr Burton says the incinerator would be fueled by gas from the existing pipeline, which runs parallel to Brewer Road, on the inside of the property boundary.
He is not certain how much material would be burned, but he says large amounts are transported south from and through Alice Springs.
Meanwhile RRR describes the planned plant as high-risk and claims it is “highly inappropriate and poses a huge danger to human and environmental health.
“The Alice Springs Council has a zero waste policy that involves recycling not incineration.
“We realise that ‘waste-to-energy’ concepts are too hard for development-at-all-costs governments but a waste incinerator as proposed is not a viable alternative.”
Incineration is also the dirtiest way to reduce waste, says RRR: “It is more polluting than landfill.”