Recycling is the vision, not garbage incineration

Incinerators Do Not Make Waste Disappear

As matter is neither created nor destroyed, whatever atoms went into the incinerator will have to come out –either in the air or as ash.

Incineration only reduces the volume of the material but landfills are still needed for the ash. The problem with the ash is that new toxins were formed during the combustion process so the ash is toxic from these new toxins as well as whatever may have been in the waste to begin with. Dr. Connett gave this presentation at a zero waste conference in the Phillipines on the issues with toxic ash.

Some areas try to use the ash for “beneficial purposes” claiming it is safe. In the UK, a council was fined for using incinerator ash in pathways  once local residents had it tested to prove that it was not safe, as they had been assured. Similar health issues have been seen when ash from coal plants were used to make gypsum.

Only we (citizens and businesses) can make waste disappear … by not creating it in the first place.

This may be by reusing and repairing items, buying items that can fulfil many purposes, by sharing items, by making wise purchasing decisions (quality goods over shorter-lived low quality items, items with less or lower impact packaging), by designing things smarter so they last longer and have a lower environmental impact and by asking for better design and systems from companies and government.

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