Incineration of garbage is harmful

Louis Legal, Sunshine Coast Clean Air Society
July 3, 2014 12:01 PM

 

Editor:

Burning garbage to generate electricity is a poor use of the resource.

Recycling and composting are significantly more efficient.

According to the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), zero waste creates jobs and stimulates the economy.

U.S. recycling establishments employ 1.1 million people and gross $236 billion annually (2010 figures). Zero waste saves natural resources by reducing consumption and making new items from recycled materials.

Zero waste conserves energy by reducing demand for energy intensive extraction and processing raw materials.

The EPA confirmed that recycling is more energy efficient than combustion.

Prevent Cancer Now studied health consequences of burning garbage and cites the following: studies in the United Kingdom found an increased risk of childhood cancer, childhood leukemia and solid tumours of all kinds among children living near incinerators.

Studies from France, Japan, Italy, United Kingdom and Sweden found that populations living near incinerators had generally higher risks of all cancers but specifically of stomach, colorectal, liver, laryngeal and lung cancer.

Incinerator workers in Italy, the U.S. and Sweden had significantly higher gastric cancer mortality and a high prevalence of hypertension and excessive deaths from lung cancer and heart disease.

Professor Jack Leslie Carr at the University of Toronto evaluated the economics of Metro Vancouver’s waste incineration plans.

Professor Carr states: It is inefficient and wasteful of resources to implement the inefficient technology of incinerators and waste-to-energy facilities. It is not clear why the region of Metro Vancouver is pursuing an inefficient waste disposal technology. He also states that in 2011 there were 89 waste incinerators in the U.S., but only one new facility has been built since 1997 because of high costs, health risks and the increasing use of recycling and composting as more efficient disposal methods.

For more information, check the Prevent Cancer Now website.

© Coast Reporter

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