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.
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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".
Extracts from “Resources up in Flames: The Economic Pitfalls of Incineration versus a Zero Waste Approach in the Global South” by Brenda A. Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
1. Incineration is the most costly solid waste management option
2. Incineration increases the indebtedness of host countries
3. Incineration is capital-intensive v. labor-intensive
4. Waste composition affects incinerator operation and finances
1. A zero waste approach is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies we can use to protect the climate and the environment. Significantly decreasing waste disposed in landfills and incinerators will reduce greenhouse gases the equivalent to closing one-fifth of U.S. coal-fired power plants. This is comparable to leading climate protection proposals such as improving vehicle fuel efficiency.
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 policy statement "Recycling works!" Recycling Works! brings together waste workers, community leaders, and environmental justice activists to create resilient recycling programs that generate good jobs, combat climate change, foster energy independence, and revitalize community health. The campaign was initiated in 2009 by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).