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

Friday, May 22, 2009

Expansion of garbage burning assailed

As the Recycling Council of BC gathers this weekend for its annual conference ~ and as four local politicians set off on their junket to visit Swedish incinerators ~ the problems with garbage burning are attracting public attention in the public media.

A story by Scott Simpson made the front page of the Vancouver Sun's business section this morning, reporting concerns of a local waste analyst who will speak at the RCBC conference. Monica Kosmak says the provincial government's misguided "Bioenergy" strategy is part of what is driving Metro Vancouver's incineration plan.

Zero Waste Vancouver's concerns about the Sweden junket also earned coverage in the local news this week.

At this week's joint meeting of the Metro Waste Management and Environment Committees, politicians received the findings from recent public consultations: over 80% of the respondents called for aggressive waste reduction efforts. Politicians spoke out for continuous improvement, beyond the 70% target proposed 15 months ago by their staff.

If we build the incinerators recommended by Metro staff, we'll be locked into feeding them.

Do we need new disposal facilities in the first place? Metro politicians were told waste has dropped 13% this year over last year due to the recession.


David said...

In today's Van Sun article, are Marvin Hunt's comments true that European countries with waste to energy facilities also have the highest recycling rates? I thought Germany was importing garbage to keep the lights on.

Helen said...

Germany is importing waste to pay down the debt on all the incinerators they built. Plus, a lot of the "recycling" they do in Europe is actually incineration. An amendment to their policy on packaging has redefined "incineration with recovery of energy" to be the equivalent of "mechanical recycling" ~ that is. Gone is any incentive to design better packaging that can be reused or recycled. Instead, it is pumped into the atmosphere.

nm said...

Heard ur informative spot on cbc radio on this topic! way to go Helen..>nm

John Costigane said...

Europe is used as an example for incineration here in the UK. We are not fooled by this at all.

Recently the Labour government has backed AD and asked supermarkets to reduce excess packaging. Use of refillables was also mentioned: better late than never!

This is a pleasant change from the PFI incineration 'hidden' agenda which UKWIN and Friends of the Earth have been opposing for years.