Incinerator and landfill industries are trying to shed their dirty reputations and profit from the climate crisis by “greenwashing” waste disposal as a source of clean and renewable energy around the globe. Using names like “waste to energy”, gasification, and plasma, waste companies have gained access to subsidies in some national and global renewable energy programs.
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Very brief introduction of the cement kiln technology. Excerpt from an academic journal: Journal of Industrial Ecology (article title: "The Cement Industry as a Scavenger in Industrial Ecology and the Management of Hazardous Substances").
1. Establish and implement national, statewide, and municipal zero waste targets and plans. 2. Retire existing incinerators and halt construction of new incinerators and landfills. 3. Levy a per-ton surcharge on landfilled and incinerated materials. 4. Stop organic materials from being sent to landfills and incinerators. 5. End state and federal “renewable energy” subsidies to landfills and incinerators. 6.
This report by GAIA and Essential Action details the problems of waste incineration: pollutant releases both to air and other media, economic costs and employment costs, energy loss, unsustainability, and incompatibility with other waste management systems, and the health and environmental effects of pollutants emitted by incinerators.
Extracts from “Resources up in Flames: The Economic Pitfalls of Incineration versus a Zero Waste Approach in the Global South".
Hernani is a city in Spain. As in other cities of Spain, Hernani’s former municipal waste management system strongly relied on waste disposal complemented with a limited recycling system. In 2002, the provincial government presented a controversial plan containing two central components: the addition of another container for the voluntary recycling of organic materials and the construction of two new incinerators. Citizen opposition to the latter was immediate.
La Pintana is one of the communes that constitute the Metropolitan Region of Chile. Despite belonging to the national capital region, this is one of the poorest communities in the country. Nonetheless, while other governments may see this as an obstacle to the incorporation of waste prevention and resource recovery strategies, La Pintana decided to focus on making better use of the available resources and started a promising program that is already yielding significant results.
Seven case studies of zero waste around the world.
Introduction: Stories From the Front Lines of the Zero Waste movement
Pune, India: Waste Pickers Lead the Way to Zero Waste
San Francisco, USA: Creating a Culture of Zero Waste
Alaminos, Philippines: Zero Waste, from Dream to Reality
Hernani, Spain: Door-to-Door Collection as a Strategy to Reduce Waste Disposal
La Pintana, Chile: Prioritizing the Recovery of Vegetable Waste
GAIA's factsheet on incineration.
FACT1: Municipal waste is non-renewable, consisting of discarded materials such as paper, plastic and glass that are derived from finite natural resources such as forests that are being depleted at unsustainable rates.
FACT2: All incinerators pose considerable risk to the health and environment of neighboring communities as well as that of the general population.
GAIA's note on extended producer responsibility. To get to the root cause of waste, communities need to stop picking up after the producers of products that become waste and begin demanding that they do so themselves. The embodiment of this idea is Extended Producer Responsibility, which requires companies that manufacture or sell products to be responsible for such products after their useful life.