IRM Aspects

IRM Process

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 disposal charges);

  • 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 management.

  • Phasing.  IRM can grow in pace with development.  For developments this means reducing debt carry.  For communities this means lower taxpayer debt and cost;

  • Demand.  Because 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 projection risk;

  • 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;

  • Debt.  Because 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 community resilience;

  • Independence.  IRM applies the right technology appropriate to local needs.  This raises local independence;

  • Obsolescence.  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;

  • Risk.  Because 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;

  • Resilience.  IRM generates local energy and water and so is more resilient to energy price and supply spikes, supply interruptions etc.  Localised plants reduce the potential impact from catastrophic events.  Localising water supply improves drought tolerance;

  • Retrofit.  IRM can be retro-fitted to existing communities and infrastructure.  Because it is incremental, it is helpful where existing infrastructure requires replacement;

  • Scalable.  Installations from small to large can be addressed, making it applicable from small communities to neighbourhoods in larger cities.

For more information contact Pivotal, download the summary, or download more from our Resources page.


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Pivotal IRM Inc., 2016