New South Wales
A weed is a plant growing where it isn't wanted.
Just so, waste, is something we have no use for in that particular time and place.
As the world transitions to renewable energy it is not the time nor place to build an incinerator to produce non-renewable energy and pollution whilst not even resolving the waste problem. In fact it will make waste that is more toxic and so extremely difficult to deal with.
As an aging member of society I had looked forward to my family, and all the other valuable members of society, reaping the benefits of the marvellous ingenuity of human kind. Yet it is not to be so. This ingenuity is continuing to be used to degrade the environment such that species are becoming extinct, polar ice caps are melting.... In fact, this anthropocene age is destroying the very ecosystems we need to survive.
Water is extremely basic for existence. There is no storage system that will not eventaully leak out of its confines.
1. The proposed Cleanaway incinerator site is adjacent to pipelines from Warragamba Dam lto Prospect Reservoir. Leakage here would directly compromise this drinking water supply. Cleanaway's jown Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) states it's sediment has the potential to impact Reedy Creek and Eastern Creek and their associated aquatic environments via sediment runoff. (Ref EIS pg 29).
2. 25% of the waste burnt becomes toxic fly and bottom ash. It is most likely these will go to the facility in Wallacia which accepts contaminated ash, to use in construction and road base. This action does not remove these contaminants forever, it just changes their location. Especially in the case of road base it will not be a permanent change of location. Nowhere in the world does one find roads that don't gradually wear out and develop pot holes. Here in Australia, with our hot summers, which will only be getting hotter, even more leaching will occur. Not to mention that the Wallacia facility itself is in a flood zone and on the banks of the Nepean River.
Air is also a basic necessity. We have even less choice what air we breathe than what water we drink, it has by necessity, to be the air surrounding us, ,even in the knowledge it is polluted. The filters in the chimney stacks only capture the larger particles. These then become potential water polluters as per my objection above. The particles smaller than the filters now become air pollutants.
1. There is a long list of air pollutants which include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, mercury, lead, dioxans and furans. The known adverse health effects of these include cancer risk, respiratory illness, cardiac disease, devevolpmental and neurological problems, even miscarrige.
2. The ultrafine particulate matter, which is too fine to be filtered out, is involved in respiratory disease no matter what it is made of.
3. The cost to the community of air pollution, both health and financial, is unacceptable.
Greenhouse emissions of CO2 are higher from incineration of waste than from burning oil or coal. The studies showing this, in both the UK and the USA, have measured without removing the organic waste, if this was done the difference would be even greater. Therefore waste to energy by incineration is defintely a move in the wrong direction in our times of climate change.
There are so many alternatives to utilisation of waste developed at present. If these are undertaken, the small amount left could be stored in landfill while we develop ways to utilise it. In the meantime we need to move forward to build that better future our inheritors should claim where there is zero waste, renewable energy, a circular economy and a stable climate wherein ecosystems are recovering.
Why should people be considered collateral damage to industry?
Reuse and recycling make rubbish a resource.
Incineration removes nothing, it only changes it's form.
We, the human race, have to stop being a weed in our own world.
Like nature, we need to build a circular economy with zero waste.