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

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's official ~ Metro Vancouver proposes incinerator(s)

Last Friday the Metro regional Board received its staff's proposal for a new solid waste management plan. They will hold a special meeting this Friday to discuss it.

The Plan confirms, in sec. 3.1.2 (a) that: "Metro Vancouver will establish up to 500,000 tonnes per year of new waste-to-energy capacity within the region."

All sorts of things will be burned in Metro's proposed incinerator(s).

Along with regular trash, the Plan proposes, in sec. 3.1.6, to burn "regional utility materials that cannot be recycled." These include "process grit and screenings" from sewage sludge, which can be reasonably expected to contain toxic heavy metals, and "spent activated carbon" from the region's drinking water treatment system. According to a producer of activated carbon filters, activated carbon filters are used to remove the following potential substances from our water: alachlor,atrazine, benzene, carbofuran, carbon tetrachloride, chlorobenzene, 2,4-D dibromochloropropane (DBCP), O, P-dechlorobenzines, forms of dichloroethylens, 1, 2-dechloropropane, cis-1,3-dichloropropylene, toxaphene, chlordane, radon, lindane, simazine, PCB's, toluene, xylenes...

Along with potential health and safety risks, Metro's Plan also promises to undermine our province's Extended Producer Responsiblity (EPR) programs.

Sec. 3.3.4 says Metro will ask the Ministry of Environment to require producers to send their "non-recyclable" products and packaging to Metro's incinerators. The intent of our provincial EPR policy is to encourage producers to design better products and packaging that can be recycled. But Metro's plan will instead open the door to burning the throw-aways instead.

In discussion last Friday, after members of the Board insisted the Plan be "released from closed," Surrey Councillor Marvin Hunt was pushing for a quick approval of the Plan. Other members of the Board, including Richmond Councillor Harold Steves, held off for a more thorough public discussion, especially with people in the Fraser Valley.
That discussion will begin with a Special Meeting of the GVS&DD Board starting at 8:00 am on Friday, December 4th, in the Metro Boardroom, 2nd floor, 4330 Kingsway (Patterson Skytrain Station).
Be there if you can. Politicians always sit up straighter when there are citizens in the room.

Pic: Marvin Hunt, CBC news, June 2008

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