The incinerator industry is gloating after wearing down public opposition to a huge, quarter-billion dollar garbage burning plant that is now going to be built in the small community of Clarington. Ontario.
It's a zero-risk venture for the incineration industry giant Covanta energy.
The project is going to be "funded and owned" by the citizens of the York and Durham regions. This deal means guaranteed earnings for Covanta, with all the risk and cost borne by the public.
This is the same path that Metro Vancouver has chosen in its solid waste plan that got the green light from the provincial government last month. But the story isn't over yet.
We do things differently in BC.
Incineration is a natural component of the traditional "integrated waste management" system that still flourishes in Ontario and other jurisdictions. Integrated waste management combines garbage and recycling programs under the umbrella of muncipal services.
Cities operate recycling trucks alongside garbage trucks, recycling plants alongside landfills and incinerators. It all falls on the municipality's shoulders to sort it out and dispose of it responsibly.
It's an end-0f-pipe treatment system that ensures waste doesn't pile up in the streets. But it has failed to make any dent on the overproduction and overconsumption of throw-away products and packaging that is driving global warming and depleting natural resources.
Incinerators are just a more efficient system for detroying the evidence of our overconsumption.
But there is a revolution happening in BC. We are making producers responsible for taking back their throw-away products and packaging.
We won't need big municipal incinerators any more.
Unless we are foolish enough to spend public money and incur public risk to provide producers with an easy way to get rid the stuff they take back from us.
Who would win then?