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Summary Reports

Burning waste for energy: It doesn’t stack-up

National Toxics Network – August 2013

Incinerators: 10 Myths vs. Facts about “Waste to Energy”

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) – February 2012

10 reasons why burning waste for energy is a bad idea

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) – February 2012

Health Reports

Air Pollution from Waste Disposal: Not for Public Breath

Zero Waste Europe – November 2015

The current design of the EU legal framework allows for immission limit values that face an unavoidable allocation of health and environmental risks to those citizens living nearby incineration and co-incineration activities.

Incineration and Human Health: State of knowledge of the impacts of waste incinerators

Greenpeace Research Laboratories – March 2001

After pollutants from an incineration facility disperse into the air, some people close to the facility may be exposed directly through inhalation or indirectly through consumption of food or water contaminated by deposition of the pollutants from air to soil, vegetation, and water. For metals and other pollutants that are very persistent in the environment, the potential effects may extend well beyond the area close to the incinerator. Persistent pollutants can be carried long distances from their emission sources, go through various chemical and physical transformations, and pass numerous times through soil, water, or food.

Dioxin Emissions from a Solid Waste Incinerator and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Floret, Nathalie; et al. – Epidemiology – July 2003

“[…] our findings support the hypothesis that environmental dioxins increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among the population living in the vicinity of a municipal solid waste incinerator.”

Best Practices for Organics Recycling

Renewable Energy for Munich – Green Electricity from Biowaste

Munich Waste Management Company, Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb München (AWM) – April 2012

The AWM Dry Fermentation Plant produces renewable biogas and high-quality compost from food and garden waste.

Ecologically sustainable recovery of bio-waste

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany – March 2012

Suggestions for policy-makers and local authorities, based on numerous successful German case studies.

Separate Collection: The Path to Composting

Amigos de la Tierra (Friends of the Earth Spain) – July 2017

Amigos de la Tierra/Friends of the Earth Spain undertook this report which looks at the separate collection of biowaste in six different cities and municipalities in Spain. Some key findings include that community and door-to-door composting models which involve greater citizen participation, result in the best quality material for compost at a lower economic cost.

The Berlin Biogas-Project

Alexander Gosten, Thomas Rücker and Wilhelm Winkelmann – 2011

The Production of Biomethane from Organic Waste

Anaerobic Digester Systems for Mid-Sized Dairy Farms

The Minnesota Project – 2005

96% of Minnesota’s dairy farms have 200 cows or less. The Minnesota Project has studied appropriate digester models for Minnesota’s average dairy farm.

Compost Manual: Correct Composting - Tips and Tricks

Umwelt Bundesamt (German Environment Agency) – December 2015

In Germany, legislators are not just leaving it all up to the commitment of amateur gardeners to recycle organic waste. The great majority of organic waste from private households will be collected separately and treated in centralised anaerobic digestion or composting facilities. Subsequently the digestive and compost can be used in agriculture and horticulture as fertiliser and soil improver. There are many laws that regulate the centralised treatment and utilisation of organic waste. However, there are very few obligatory specifications for the recycling of organic waste in the home garden. This compost manual is intended to provide assistance and answer questions in this regard.

City-to-Soil Project

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council – December 2015

Burying all of the goodness that kitchen scraps and organic material store, while farmers struggle to replace nutrients in their soil with fertilisers, is a complete waste. Not only is it a waste, but organic matter – potato peelings, left-overs, apple cores, grass clippings etc – creates methane gas when it decomposes while buried in rubbish tips, otherwise known as landfill.

The City to Soil project uses age-old techniques of composting to create the world’s best fertiliser for farmers’ fields and solving the problem of organic waste in landfill.

National Food Waste Strategy

Australian Government – November 2017

Food waste is a global challenge that has environmental,
economic and social impacts. It costs the Australian economy about $20 billion a year.

To address the challenge in Australia, the Government committed in 2016 to convene a food waste summit and develop a national food waste strategy to halve our food waste by 2030.

Australian Legislation & Best Practice Manuals

Food and Garden Organics Best Practice Collection Manual

Department of the Environment and Energy – 2012

Organic waste represents a significant proportion of Australia’s waste and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. One objective of the National Waste Policy: Less waste, more resources is to enhance biodegradable (organic) resource recovery and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. To support this objective, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities commissioned the Food and Garden Organics Best Practice Collection Manual [environment.gov.au].

NSW Energy from waste policy

NSW EPA – 2012

The NSW Energy from Waste Policy Statement [epa.nsw.gov.au] sets out the considerations and criteria that apply to recovering energy from waste in NSW. It ensures this energy recovery:


  • poses minimal risk of harm to human health and the environment

A Sustainable Zero Waste Future

Shane Rattenbury – MLA Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability – ACT Greens – 2017

The ACT Greens believe the focus of our waste management should be on minimising the generation of waste so that we see significantly less waste going to landfill. We support a zero waste strategy that will lead to higher resource recovery rates through a focus on product and packaging redesign, waste reduction, source-separated recycling and composting, and reuse and repair programs.

Under a zero waste strategy, the ACT would reduce its residual waste stream to the smallest fraction possible and then manage the storage of any remaining residual waste in a secured landfill. There is strong evidence to suggest that the storage of cleaned and shredded residual waste in a secure landfill has lower environmental impacts than using thermal waste-to-energy technologies such as incineration. It also provides the opportunity in the future to reuse those resources that would otherwise be lost through waste-to-energy incineration.

Draft Separation Distance Guidelines for Air Emissions

ACT Government Environment Protection Authority (EPA) – November 2014

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has prepared these Separation Distance Guidelines for Air Emissions for use as a tool in the development application process for new or expanding developments in the Australian Capital Territory (the Territory). These guidelines may be used by the Territory’s planning and land authority, developers, planning consultants and the community.

These guidelines provide recommended separation distances between various emitters and sensitive land uses. They will ensure incompatible land uses are located in a way that minimises the impacts of odour and polluting air emissions when applied in the assessment of new development proposals. While the guidelines will assist in the siting of new developments, they may also be used to ensure industrial activities in appropriate zones are protected from encroachment by residential and other sensitive land uses that would have a negative e ect on the viability of industry.

Zero Waste Guides

My Zero Waste Event Guide

Zero Waste Europe – 2017

A guide on how to run zero waste events. Produced by Zero Waste France, and translated by Zero Waste Europe.