IRM is scalable, making it applicable for small developments right
the way up to large communities.
The key aspects include:
Viability. Enough energy
and materials can be recovered to potentially pay for the recovery process
or at least reduce costs. Traditional waste management is not
usually viable and requires payments (taxpayer support or similar
Value first. IRM is driven by a business case and the
highest and best use and value. It's not an IRM model if the
financials are a consequence of a plan - that's traditional waste
IRM can grow in pace with development. For developments this
means reducing debt carry. For communities this means lower
taxpayer debt and cost;
it can be phased, an IRM approach can be scaled to meet community and business
growth, where, when and how it happens. This reduces or eliminates
reliance on population and demand projections, thus reducing
Densification. Communities often grow upwards not
outwards, in keeping with Smart Growth. IRM provides an
important advantage when communities increase density, it can avoid
or reduce costs of expensive replacement or upgrading of existing infrastructure.
IRM grows where and when needed, as quickly as required;
it can be phased and scaled as, when and where needed, IRM delays costs until they are
either profitable and/or necessary. For communities, businesses
and developments, this means debt finance is minimised. IRM is
thus the most fiscally responsible approach;
Economies of scale.
Traditional waste management usually relies on large plants on the principle that these create economies of scale.
In reality however these are usually purpose-designed, which
increases cost. By contrast small plants can be supplied by a number of technology suppliers, thus
improving both economies of scale and cost;
Environment. Because IRM
reduces waste it reduces impacts on water and air pollution. It generates reusable
water that reduces demand on stressed aquifers and watersheds, as
well as replenishing water sources with clean water. This
supports ecosystem regeneration, business and
Independence. IRM applies the right technology
appropriate to local needs.
This raises local independence;
By using multiple components technologies can be replaced with more efficient solutions, incrementally
and as/when needed.
This is more difficult with a traditional large central plant approach;
it is scalable, IRM is more
fault-tolerant. When large plants fail they affect entire systems.
Localised solutions reduce or localize the impact of failures and
help the broader development or community survive;
IRM generates local energy and water and so is more resilient to energy price and supply spikes, supply interruptions
Localised plants reduce the potential impact
from catastrophic events. Localising water supply improves
can be retro-fitted to existing communities and infrastructure.
Because it is incremental, it is helpful where existing infrastructure requires replacement;
Installations from small to large can be addressed, making it
applicable from small communities to neighbourhoods in larger