Putting waste to work:
Developing a role for
Energy from Waste

In our latest Australian Travel Time Metric, developed using Uber's anonymised ride share data, we see that peak travel times across Australia's four largest cities have not increased over the past four years. This is despite populations and demand for the roads in these cities growing substantially over this time.

budget season header image

Australian governments have a major opportunity to avoid a looming waste crisis and embrace energy recovery as a way of managing our waste and creating baseload power in the process..

Energy from Waste has been used for decades around the world to divert non-recyclable waste from landfill, reduce emissions, and produce energy, yet Australia has been slow off the mark in harnessing a role for technology.

A lack of scale, social licence and impetus for change has meant that Energy from Waste and other forms of advanced waste processing have been underutilised in Australia.

The report, Putting waste to work: Developing a role for Energy from Waste, outlines a series of key recommendations required to support the roll out of energy recovery facilities and unlock close to $14 billion in private investment by 2030.

Key Recommendations

Recommendation 1

Governments should define a role for Energy from Waste through their recycling and waste management plans and strategies. These documents should openly address energy recovery and the potential role it can play in improving waste management outcomes in Australia.


Recommendation 2

Governments of all levels should help to establish social licence for Energy from Waste – broadly and locally – by engaging communities openly on the benefits of advanced forms of waste processing and addressing any concerns.


Recommendation 3

Governments through the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) should develop nationally consistent guidelines for the development of Energy from Waste projects and other waste management technologies.


Recommendation 4

Governments through NFRC should adopt EU emissions standards for Energy from Waste facilities, applied through nationally consistent regulation.


Recommendation 5

Governments through NFRC should seek to establish a national market for Energy from Waste, including nationally consistent regulations in relation to feedstock, and development of market opportunities for by-products.



Full Report






For more information
please contact

Adrian Dwyer
Chief Executive Officer
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia


+61 2 9152 6000

Mollie Matich
Director, Policy and Research
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia


 +61 2 9152 6017

For all media enquiries contact:

Michael Player

Director, Communications and Engagement
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia


+61 2 9152 6016