Twenty reasons why incineration is a losing financial proposition for host communities: especially in the global South

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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
5. Incineration will adversely impact the informal sector and the informal sector will adversely impact incineration
6. Incinerator proponents often over-estimate energy revenue
7. Incinerators may require transfer stations, another cost
8. Pollution control equipment and pollution regulation and enforcement are expensive and increase costs
9. Incinerators produce a toxic ash that requires disposal in secure landfills
10. Tonnage shortfalls lead to financial problems
11. Lack of infrastructure may doom incinerators to financial failure
12. Citizens and taxpayers pay for incinerators’ financial problems
13. Incinerators limit least-cost options such as recycling
14. Incineration eliminates the potential for recycling-based economic development
15. Incineration consultants and experts can add millions to the costs
16. Incineration’s high investment costs increase potential for corruption
17. Incineration has high public health costs
18. Incineration wastes resources, energy, and associated investment
19. Incinerators lower property values
20. Incineration encourages continued waste generation and reinforces the notion that unwanted discards are a local community responsibility and cost

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