Incinerator not a solution to landfill woes

“The Kaipara District Council’s decision to investigate waste-to-energy appears to be based on a false choice between a landfill and an incinerator. Incinerators still need landfills for the toxic ash and wastewater they create. Incinerators don’t eliminate waste – they just transform it into new, more toxic waste including air, land and water pollution containing deadly dioxins,” said Dorte Wray of the Zero Waste Network.

“The proposed Waimate plant will produce 100,000 tonnes per year in residual ash – 20 percent of which will be fly ash. The fly ash will be treated with a plasma furnace, but not the bottom grate ash. The entire 100,000 tonnes will be landfilled, now concentrated with heavy metals and deadly toxins.”

“We know that people in the Kaipara and surrounding areas are extremely angry and worried about the Dome Valley landfill. We agree it is an unacceptable project. There is a different solution: zero waste.”

“Zero waste is a comprehensive approach to waste minimisation. It includes policies like the container return scheme – the old bottle deposits – that would deal with the 1.7 billion beverage containers that are littered or landfilled each year by giving you back .20 cents each time a container is returned. We have hundreds of different zero waste policy options and actual working practical projects across the country that are non-toxic and beneficial for the community.”

“Incinerators are toxic facilities. Earlier this year, one in Florida burned for a week making residents across the community sick. Burning plastics emit a wide array of “forever chemicals” that cause birth defects, cancer and infertility.”

“The major contribution of incinerators is to carbon emissions that cause climate change. Incinerators are really fossil fuel power plants not waste minimisation projects. We’ve all witnessed the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle. We can’t build a place that adds more carbon to the atmosphere.”

“Incinerators are expensive, inefficient and lock councils into long term contracts to produce enough waste to keep them going instead of actually reducing waste.”

“Waste-to-energy incineration may seem like an easy solution to landfills. The reality is that they create more problems than they solve.”