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High temperature waste incinerators

High temperature waste incinerators

Updated 3 July 2015 12:46pm

Subclause 12 (see link below) of the regulations specifies:

12 High-temperature hazardous waste incinerators

The standard prohibits any new high temperature incinerators operated for the principal purpose of the destruction of hazardous wastes.

The regulations define a hazardous waste incinerator as:

an incinerator that is designed and operated principally for burning hazardous waste at a temperature greater than 850 degrees C as measured–

(a) near the inner wall of the incinerator; or

(b) at another point in the combustion chamber where the temperature is likely to represent the temperature in the incinerator.

The regulations define hazardous waste as waste:

(a) that has one or more of the characteristics in Annex III to the Basel Convention; or

(b) that–

(i) belongs to one or more of the categories in Annex I of the Basel Convention; but

(ii) does not have any of the characteristics in Annex III to that Convention.

The Basel Convention and its Annexes can be viewed on their website.


There are currently only three high-temperature hazardous waste incinerators operating in New Zealand: at Auckland International Airport, in New Plymouth and near Christchurch International airport.The airport facilities burn medical waste, quarantine waste and police-sourced wastes.No new facilities on other sites will be allowed.The three existing facilities will continue to operate under their current resource consents.Upon the expiry of their existing consents, they will need to obtain new resource consents to continue operating.Reconsenting of these facilities is not prohibited under the standard.

This standard does not apply to metal plants, cement kilns and other industries that burn waste (e.g. tyres, used oil and pot liners from aluminium smelters) at high temperatures as a fuel source.The standard does not apply to crematorium or to incinerators converting municipal waste to energy.Any of these activities will be subject to any relevant regional plan rules and obtaining resource consent approval.