Greens oppose major waste incineration plants for global day of action

Media statement, Tuesday, 14 October 2014.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has today as part of a global day of action on incinerators urged the State Government to implement better programmes for reducing, reusing and recycling waste rather than proceed with proposals to burn large quantities of household waste.

“Our efforts to reduce landfill shouldn’t lead to even greater environmental hazards like an increase in dioxins or furans.

“The proposed incinerator in Kwinana has been falsely pitched as environmentally friendly waste-management, it is far from it”, said Ms MacLaren.

“I very recently made a submission to the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs in response to a petition containing 545 signatures, which opposed waste to energy incinerators. The community acknowledges that there are more sustainable alternatives.

"If built, the Kwinana plant will adversely impact local communities and the environment. There is no doubt the project will increase trucks required to transport waste; thereby increasing traffic congestion and diesel pollution, and that emissions from the plants will include toxic airborne particles.

“Unfortunately, waste-to-energy plants create market for waste. The Greens (WA) instead support a sensible plan for waste management where you reduce, re-use and recycle. We should only be considering incineration as a last resort,” Ms MacLaren said.

Alliance for a Clean Environment Chair, Jane Bremmer, emphasised ‘international scientific consensus warns that there is no safe level of air pollution, that current levels are costing lives and that any increase in air pollution levels will result in increased mortality and diseases’.
“Zero waste is an achievable goal already being successfully implemented in cities around the world in stark contrast to the out-dated idea of burning waste under the pretence of producing ‘energy’,” she said.

“We support the community and science in opposing this ‘solution’ to managing waste. We are not waiting for the silver bullet, proven alternative waste management initiatives exist, these are more effective in managing our waste stream in line with waste hierarchy and best waste management practices.”, concluded Ms MacLaren.