24 | ASIA Miner | Volume 14
Issue 1 | 2017
WASTE-TO-ENERGY (WTE) is the process
of creating energy from waste which in Austra-
lia is typically sent to a big hole in the ground
- landfill. Most WTE methods generate elec-
tricity through incineration and there are about
800 thermal WTE facilities that are fully oper-
ational and considered an integral part of the
global waste management solution through-
out Europe, Asia and North America.
Australia is still in the early stages of fully
accepting alternative energy sources owing
to its reliance on and abundance of fossil fu-
els along with experience in utilising its vast
land mass for digging/finding big holes for the
dumping of waste.
Currently, less than 1% of landfill in Australia
is used in WTE processes, but this is starting
to change. In Western Australia (WA), for in-
stance, the State Government recently gave
the green light for a WTE project in Port Hed-
land in the Pilbara region.
This region's residential and commercial
waste streams are estimated to turnover
approximately 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of
waste per year and rather than going to land-
fill, this will be diverted into a Waste-to-Energy
facility. The WTE plant is expected to produce
enough electricity to supply approximate-
ly 21,000 households – thereby providing a
renewable energy source which will help re-
duce the State's dependence on fossil fuels
and assist in providing a stable power supply
for Port Hedland (1).
Waste-to-Energy is thriving throughout the
world as a leading alternative process of waste
disposal and energy supply. With the recent
closures of some of Australia's long-running
and major contributing coal plants, especially
in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, renewable energy
opportunities such as WTE may be the un-
likely benefactor. For example, Hazelwood
Power Station supplies approximately 20% of
Victoria's power. The state needs something
to take its place, so why not WTE?
Utilise MSW for fuel and reduce
More than 20 million tonnes of waste gets
dumped into landfills each year throughout
Australia, most of which are legal sites, but
there are still some illegal sites. While this
waste degrades over time, it very often pro-
duces harmful gas emissions for many years
after its disposal.
With WTE's ability to reduce the volume
of waste in an environmentally-friendly man-
ner, generate valuable energy, and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, it is quite easy
to see why many European nations rely on
waste-to-energy technologies (2).
According to the Confederation of Europe-
an Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP), Europe
currently treats 50 million tonnes of waste at
WTE plants each year, generating an amount
of energy that can supply electricity for 27 mil-
lion people or heat for 13 million people.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) along with
Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste and
Commercial & Industrial (C&I) waste are the
three main sectors in Australia that can be res-
cued from landfill via reprocessing materials,
ultimately for the recovery of recyclables and/
or source of fuel.
The environmental reasons for the repro-
cessing of these materials are highlighted in
the 'Victorian Recycling Industries Annual Sur-
vey 2013-14 - Sustainability Victoria' (3):
• Reduced greenhouse gases (methane
emissions) from landfill and energy-inten-
sive primary production processes;
• Savings in water and electricity in the pro-
duction of metal, concrete, paper and
glass by using recycled feedstock;
• Savings of raw materials, for example min-
eral ores used in virgin metal production
and timber and oil used in paper produc-
• Reduced groundwater and soil contami-
nation from landfill, and the preservation of
It can be seen that around the world that
WTE plants can provide a distinct supply of
continuous renewable energy. Every week
the average Australian household waste bin
contains the resources for both recycling and
combustion – potentially producing enough
waste to power approximately 14% of a
household's weekly electricity needs.
WTE is a real solution that requires consideration.
Maximise the value of WTE
processes with STEINERT
Management of the human use of natural re-
sources, waste minimisation and avoidance,
and materials efficiency are some of the most
critical challenges faced in modern times.
Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facilities are fast be-
coming an integrated approach to managing
municipal solid waste around the world, and
STEINERT sorting machines can help stream-
line the process.
STEINERT solutions can sort, separate and
prepare material for your WTE systems while
providing synergy with your objectives, such
as materials recovery and/or fuel prepara-
tion. STEINERT works with some of the largest
waste-to-energy companies in the world and
can create a solution that is right for you.
Some of STEINERT's equipment solu-
tions for WTE are:
Magnetic separation – STEINERT NES;
STEINERT NES 4T; and STEINERT Suspen-
Sensor-based sorting – STEINERT ISS;
STEINERT KSS; and STEINERT XSS.
UniSort – UniSort Analyser; UniSort Black;
and UniSort PR.
Not only do waste-to-energy facilities re-
duce the amount of land used for landfills,
they increase the amount of material diverted
from landfill, offer additional revenue sources
and provide a much needed alternative as fuel
for energy creation.
Go to www.steinert.com.au for more infor-
mation on STEINERT resource recovery solu-
3 . www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/publi-
Increasingly, customers are demanding continu-
ous real-time analysis of the materials being used
in the production of substitute fuels (SF) for ther-
Reducing need for non-renewable energy sources
Suspension magnets from STEINERT have been
extracting iron and iron-bearing components
from bulk materials for many decades. They re-
cover clean iron scrap for recycling, and protect
grinders, mills and other processing equipment
against wear and damage.