Over the past decade environment protection policies have placed increasing emphasis on waste minimisation and cleaner production techniques. The Environment Protection Authority in Victoria, Australia, has sought to encourage waste minimisation by establishing a Clean Technology Incentive Scheme. This Scheme makes available secured interest-free loans of up to $100,000 to selected small and medium-sized companies proposing to install proven yet innovative waste reducing technology. Applications are evaluated by a Review Committee drawn from a diversity of backgrounds. The technical feasibility, innovativeness, environmental benefits and financial soundness of proposals are assessed and a short-list of potential loan recipients prepared. The managerial competence and financial status of short-listed applicants is checked before loans are made. The Scheme was established in 1988 and since then 35 offers of loans have been made. Whilst the newness of the Scheme makes evaluation of its long-term effectiveness premature, results to date are encouraging. Case studies of three especially successful projects are presented.

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