Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

BC politicians think we want to burn garbage!

When the times get tough ~ and they will! ~ everyone is going to be looking for cheap alternatives to the fossil fuels that have powered our economy in the past 150 years. And sooner or later they will seize on GARBAGE as the cheap energy resource of the future.

It's already started. And Sweden is the role model.

A few years ago the chair of the Metro Vancouver Environment Committee, Joe Trasolini, toured Sweden and today he is pushing for a form of waste-to-energy alchemy called "gasification."

Metro Vancouver intends to issue a request for proposals early in the New Year to build huge huge new incinerators that will burn up to 3/4 million tonnes of waste each year (for comparison, our region's Burnaby incinerator burns 285,000 tonnes per year).

Last month, BC's energy minister Richard Neufeld came back from Sweden smitten with that country's energy plants that burn wood waste along with municipal waste. This minister comes from a northern riding that is drowning in wood waste like we're drowning in garbage. He's sure to see this as the perfect way to turn a problem into a solution.

Except, of course, that the last thing responsible political leaders should be promoting now is dumping our waste into the atmosphere. Please read the Zero Waste Vancouver backgrounder on waste incineration, and send a quick email to Trasolini and Neufeld:

Joe Trasolini, Chair
Metro Vancouver Environment Committee

Richard Neufeld, MLA
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources


Anonymous said...

What about the studies done that show waste-to-energy does create less greenhouse gases?
This report shows that while there are gases released, they are fewer than other facilities.


These reports say that the bottom ash (i.e. everything becomes something idea), is then used for road construction or creating steel.

Anonymous said...

Also, I have to commend the politicians and city staff for their plan. While burning garbage isn't perfect, it's also not the highest priority. As can be seen in this 2008 discussion paper, the first priority is to reduce waste generation. Then, it goes onto discuss other methods. Of course, waste reduction is a process that everyone needs to be a part of.

Here's the discussion paper: