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

Friday, October 10, 2008

Plasco dragon slain ~ but more on the way

Congratulations to the citizens of Port Moody ~ democracy is alive and well.

Through the dog-days of summer, hundreds of citizens showed up night after night and made an irrefutable case against Plasco Energy Group's dioxin factory.
Listening to arguments from citizen heroes like JoAnne Parneta, Elaine Golds and dozens of other well-informed speakers, the City's task force had no choice but to recommend that Council not pursue the foolish plan to let Plasco gasify hundreds of thousands of tonnes of garbage in their city.

But the work has just begun.
"Waste-to-energy" is still is still lurking like a cancer at the heart of Metro Vancouver's mendacious "Zero Waste Challenge."

Need evidence?

Next week Metro's Waste Management Committee will consider a budget that allocates over $33 million dollars in 2009 on direct expenditures for incineration. (For comparison, the amount they are allocating for "solid waste demand reduction" -- measures to work with the community to make less waste in the first place: $939,159.)

The incineration expenditures will include not only building new incinerators, but ongoing costly upgrades to the existing facility in Burnaby.

One of the "Operational Priorities" in the budget is inspection and overhaul of WtEF turbo-generator." The turbine was installed only 5 years ago at a cost of $36 million and it already needs an "overhaul"??

Build incinerators and you just keep spending good money after bad.

Zero Waste Vancouver has been silent for a while because we are gearing up for a campaign to make these incinerators an election issue in the civic election campaign. Not a single elected official has made a peep against the plan to spend $3 billion on garbage burners. Most of them, I am betting, don't even know it's in the works.

Watch for our launch at the Metro Waste Management Committee meeting next week, where we'll be joining JoAnne and Elaine and their delegation from Port Moody. We will be issuing a 4-page backgrounder that lays out an alternative plan of action for Metro and our communities. And while you're waiting for the campaign to start, sign our petition to Choose Zero Waste over Incinerators.

Pic: Deliberative Democracy Handbook


Ricker said...

Can you point me to where it states that Metro Vancouver plans to spend $3 billion on garbage burners.

I was on the Task Force that said no to Plasco and I remember the meeting when you mentioned this. There was also a representative from Metro Vancouver at that meeting that said there was no such budget.

This was left unresolved for me. Can you elaborate on this figure.

Helen said...

Fred Nenninger's response at the Port Moody Task Force meeting was not straightforward. His presentation on Metro's plan did not address the cost of the incinerators. But the costs are right there in Figure 9 in the Strategy for Updating the Solid Waste Management Plan, which he authored!

Ricker said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Btw. I have decided to run for Port Moody City Council. Even though Plasco may not be building a Waste-To-Energy facility in Port Moody for the moment, as you have stated, more are on the way. I believe Port Moody should show leadership and demonstrate to other lower mainland municipalities how we can achieve Zero Waste (and beyond) without burning garbage and polluting our airsheds. (will have more info next week).

Anonymous said...

I think that Plasco's technology is interesting and a much better alternative than a
landfill or conventional incinerator, however I am a NIMBY and unless we have zero waste now, we should move the waste we do have 350 km's to Cache Creek and bury it(toxins and all) and not let a technology like Plasco convert more than 99% of it into both usable compounds and nearly completely sorted toxins while creating more net electricity output and less emissions than from incineration.

Ps; I haven't seen my baby since I threw out the bathwater, any ideas?
We don't have time for NIMBYsm and single minded it's my way(zero waste), the old way(landfill,incinerator) and no other way at all.

As it would've been a privately owned asset Plasco would just simply go out of business in the absence of waste as we reduce our production of waste, unlike a government asset that would be pushed to remain viable.
Plasco offers the best method of dealing with waste, it should be allowed to play it's part in the solution to our waste until both it and the waste are simultaneously made to be zero.