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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

White elephants

One of the best arguments against waste incinerators is that they lock in high waste levels. A waste-to-energy incinerator can't make energy without waste.

Well it seems that Germany, one of the world leaders in waste incineration, is facing a crisis. They don't produce enough waste to feed all their incinerators.

A write-up in the webzine Monsters and Critics, citing the German environment ministry, reports that Germany had to import 6 million tonnes of refuse last year.
In the bizarre logic of trade, Germany exported 1.8 million tonnes of trash the same year. This summer Germany imported 160,000 tonnes of garbage that had been piling up in the streets of Naples.
The new incinerators planned by Metro Vancouver will require 1 million tonnes of waste each year. We produce barely one-million tonnes of waste right now. If we get serious about food waste composting, which could cut our waste by up to a third, what will we do? Will we look for someone else's trash to burn? Or operate the plant at a loss?

Or, maybe, plan ahead and not build the burners in the first place?

Pic: Nicholson cartoons in Australia.

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