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[GAIA] Governments and Citizens Urged: Go for Zero Waste, Reject Incineration

Apologies for Cross-Postings

>From: "Gigie Cruz" <gigie.gaia@no-burn.org>
>Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 09:29:26 +0800
>Governments and Citizens Urged:
>Go for Zero Waste, Reject Incineration
>21 April 2004, Manila. On the eve of Earth Day 2004, a global environmental
>health coalition today launched a report that promises a sustainable 
>remedy to the
>rising waste problems in developing countries. The report Resources up in 
>The Economic Pitfalls of Incineration versus a Zero Waste Approach in the 
>South was released by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives 
>(GAIA), who
>challenged policy makers to redirect the millions of dollars lined up for 
>into waste prevention and reduction and zero waste systems. Says Ann Leonard,
>GAIA Co-Coordinator: “Incineration encourages a one-way flow of materials on a
>finite planet. It makes the task of conserving resources and reducing 
>waste more
>difficult, not easier. Policy makers and citizens need to work together to 
>sustainable community-based solutions, without incineration. ”
>According to Resources up in Flames, prepared by the Institute for Local Self-
>Reliance (ILSR) in Washington, D.C. for GAIA, municipal solid waste
>incinerators—no matter where they are built—have numerous liabilities. In 
>to generating pollution and harming public health, they:
>         · Place huge financial burdens on host communities;
>         · Drain local communities of financial resources;
>         · Waste energy and materials;
>         · Thwart local economic development;
>         · Undermine waste prevention and rational approaches to discard
>         · Have an operating experience checkered with problems;
>         · Can go financially bankrupt from tonnage shortfalls; and
>         · Often leave citizens and taxpayers paying the bill.
>At least 16 jurisdictions worldwide have banned or restricted municipal 
>solid waste
>incineration. Chicago, California’s Alameda County, and Rhode Island are U.S.
>examples. The Philippines is the first country to explicitly ban all types 
>of waste
>Brenda Platt, Co-Director of ILSR and the primary author of the report, 
>asks: “Why
>invest millions of dollars in a technology that at the end of 30 years 
>leaves you with
>a pile of potentially toxic ash, when that same money could be redirected 
>to readily
>available cheaper and safer options that create many more jobs, new 
>and wealth for local communities.” The report indicates that just sorting 
>alone in the U.S. can sustain at least 11 times the number of jobs as 
>incineration on
>a per-ton basis.
>While the report introduces the concept and need for zero waste planning and
>highlights the growing worldwide zero-waste movement and numerous examples of
>communities embracing such an approach, it emphasizes that non-burn 
>are within reach of communities today and can pay immediate economic 
>In the global South, where organic material—yard trimmings and food scraps—is
>the single largest component of the waste stream, appropriately designed
>composting programs will be the easiest, quickest, and least-expensive 
>method to
>divert discards from disposal.
>Resources up in Flames: The Economic Pitfalls of Incineration versus a 
>Zero Waste
>Approach in the Global South is a 75-page report, supported by more than 100
>footnotes. It contains hard-hitting facts, model programs, and failed 
>examples. The first half of the report is devoted to the economic problems 
>posed by
>incinerators and includes a section on how to evaluate a planned 
>incinerator. The
>second half focuses on non-burn alternatives readily available, and 
>concludes with a
>10-step plan for getting starting on the path toward zero waste at the 
>local level. The
>report is available as a PDF file on GAIA’s web site, located at 
>burn.org. It is being translated into more than a dozen languages. 
>Resources up in
>Flames is the third report published by GAIA since it was formed in 
>December 2000.
>GAIA released The World Bank Group and Incineration: Bankrolling Dirty
>Technologies in 2002 and Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology in 2003.
>GAIA is an international alliance of community-based organizations, 
>research and
>policy advocacy institutions, citizen pressure groups and other nonprofit
>organizations and individuals working to end the burning of all types of 
>discards and
>to promote clean production, zero waste, and sustainable waste management
>systems. It has offices in Quezon City, the Philippines and Berkeley, 
>California. For
>more information on GAIA, log onto its web site at www.no-burn.org.
>Media contacts:
>Gigie Cruz/Abigail Jabines, GAIA Secretariat, Manila Philippines -
>Tel: + 63 2 929 0376, Fax: + 63 2 436 4733 Mobile: + 639205956958
>for US Press Monica Wilson, GAIA, Berkeley- mwilson@essential.org
>for Latin American Press Cecilia Allen, GAIA, Argentina - 

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