The people taking to the streets in this picture are citizens of the Durham Region of Ontario. They are trying to block the development of a waste incinerator in their community. They have a lot to teach us, because we will soon be facing the same prospect.
The staff at Metro Vancouver have taken the initiative of declaring waste-to-energy incineration a "Zero Waste" process, and they are busy drafting a Request for Proposals for new incinerator developments that will go out early this year. The plan is to burn 1.25 million tonnes of waste per year ~ in addition to the 280,000 tonnes we currently burn in Burnaby and the million or so tonnes we bury in landfills. This is all based on the thermodynamically impossible assumption that we can double our consumption/waste generation in the next 25 years.
It's time to bone up on the subject. To get started, read Zero Waste Vancouver's two-page backgrounder. If you want to know more, dig into this very readable 157-page report produced by a determined citizen in the Durham region. And visit the Durham Environment Watch website for inspiration for the battle ahead.
It won't be long before we're fighting our own battle. Let's be ready.