Waste to Energy means INCINERATOR -or There is No SUCH PLACE as AWAY

Posted: December 7, 2009 in 1

After the community of Port Moody successfully prevented Plasco from building a “Waste to Energy” incinerator in its municipality,  Metro Vancouver’s Waste Management Committee was presented a single option in guise of a choice at its meeting on December 4th. The only voice I heard in a roomful of decisionmakers who recognized the four hour session was a one-sided presentation based on erroroneous and dangerous non-facts was Richmond Councillor Harold Steves. Port Coquitlam’s Mayor, Greg Moore, although not speaking against the incinerators, did state that taking an inventory of our waste was important before beginning the project. He also talked about incentives and disincentives of waste in terms of tipping fees.

The science, although not as extensive as one may like, is clear and available against the creation of incinerators for burning waste. This is just an enhanced second world war technology. It is not innovative and not green. It doesn’t address the issue at the heart of the problem nor does it recognize that big business and big dollars drive its creation. What is missing from the message of their ZERO WASTE CHALLENGE is the message against consumerism – REFUSE TO BUY – the heirarchy should be 6 R’s.

The health of humanity and of our planet depend on not adding any more toxic emissions to the air. This is triage, people. We MUST TAKE CARE OF THE AIRWAY first. When the patient is dying the airway must be preserved first! We are delusional to think that if we can’t see it or measure it at a particular point that it just isn’t there. I am told I have an environmental disease – MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY DISORDER – Balderdash! This is an environmental issue not a disease. My body reacts, like a canary in the mines, to an overload of toxins in the environment. Do we really want to add more?

The proposal presented to the Metro Board by Director Marvin Hunt, the 2009 Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Waste Management Committee was a classic. We teach parents and teachers working with young children to use this strategy. Provide only two choices and little information. Do you want this smelly old landfill that is closing or do you want this wonderful waste to energy facility that will create money? The simplistic notion that either of those extremes would be true was barely questioned in four hours of extreme,yet seemingly compelling facts. Dioxins, mercury, organochlorines, ultrafine particles, cadmium…not a problem…they told the board – these are at acceptable levels in emissions and ash. So they are not recycled, recaptured or reused. They are released either into the atmosphere or buried in a landfill after all. There is no such place as away… Dr. Milt McClaren, my professor from Simon Fraser University taught me well so long ago…

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