Do Incinerators Kill Goal of Zero Waste?

zero-waste-conceptby Stephen Leahy

The Uxbridge Cosmos Apr 30 2009

Shawn Williamson took out 2.4 bags of trash last year. Williamson hopes to trim that to 1.6 bags of garbage this year from his family of three living in a typical newer home in nearby Brooklin.

“It’s easy,” says Williamson, a consultant and Director at Durham Sustain Ability, who also uses his home as an office. The secret is buying in bulk and “not buying crap”. The family buys 50lb bags of rice, uses glass jars for storage of other bulk food items and does its own backyard composting. [living zero waste – you tube video]

“It makes more sense to compost food waste in your backyard than transport it all over the Region.”

Uxbridge and Durham Region residents may not realize there is a looming garbage crisis. Virtually all of the Region’s more than 100,000 tonnes of trash goes to Michigan. But those landfills will be closed to Ontario’s garbage in 2010. In response Durham Region Council voted last year to build an estimated $230 million incinerator, or energy-from-waste (EFW) facility in Clarington near Lake Ontario.

“No incinerator is clean. Why let the Region blow toxic smoke into your lungs?” Dr. Sean Godfrey, Chief of Pediatrics, Lakeridge Health Oshawa asked about 80 people attending an information session in Whitby in early April. The event was part of a series of sessions organized by a group of Durham residents called ZeroWaste4ZeroBurning who oppose Durham’s proposed incinerator. Continue reading