- Incinerators do not make waste disappear. For every five truckloads of waste burned, four truckloads are pumped into the atmosphere and one remains as toxic ash, which still must be carefully stored or land filled.
- Incinerators are a toxic technology. Even the most technologically advanced waste incinerators produce hundreds of distinct hazardous by-products including dioxins, heavy metals, halogenated organic compounds and the newly discovered threat, nanoparticles. These occur both in toxic air emissions and in ash residuals.
- Incinerators contribute to global warming. Incinerators produce more global warming pollution (mainly carbon dioxide) per unit electricity generated than most other kinds of power including coal, gas and hydroelectric.
- Incinerators waste energy and natural resources. Incineration irreversibly destroys valuable materials and necessitates the extraction, refinement and assembly of more raw natural resources to produce new products. Alternatives such as recycling reuse and repair and composting conserve energy by efficiently using materials. This significantly reduces global warming pollution, toxic waste and ecological degradation.
- Incinerators trap communities in a cycle of debt. They also displace more affordable and economically productive waste and energy solutions. Alternatives to incineration such as recycling, repair, reuse and composting create ten times more jobs (green jobs) and small business opportunities that benefit local communities.
- Disadvantaged communities are disproportionately burdened. These communities are more vulnerable to being targeted as sites for new incinerators.
- Incineration is not sustainable.
Why Burning Garbage is a Really Bad Idea!
Guest blog by engineer Eduardo Uranga Are the officials at the Comox Valley Regional District, considering building a waste incineration facility as part of a waste management strategy? Some supporters of waste incineration have said this is a way to produce so called "clean energy". These projects are sometimes called “waste to energy” facilities. Whatever you call it ultimately this is really just about burning garbage and that is a really bad idea. Currently Metro Vancouver is considering a plan to build a mass burn incineration facility that would burn at least 500,000 tonnes of garbage every year. If built this would make burning garbage one of the top three sources of the carbon emissions in the lower mainland and in the top ten in the province. Building a waste incinerator would be a big step in the wrong direction. New waste incinerators should not be approved for the following reasons: