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Towards a new European mindset on waste-to-energy?

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Zero Waste Europe Alliance in view of the G20 meeting calls the EU leaders to contemplate the Zero Waste strategy as a way to create green jobs and green the infrastructure.

From the US to Europe the message is clear: “Politicians must put people first! The economic downturn caused by the negligence of the financial controllers is hitting people from all over the world and the economic recovery has to go through the change of the productive system, the de-carbonisation of our economy and the creation of green jobs.”

“The economic crisis proves, among other things, that our model of linear throw-away carbon-based economy has reached its limit. Humankind will only survive if we starting using a systemic approach and, by imitating natural cycles, we design an economy that produces no waste. Waste is the result of either badly designed or badly functioning economy and as such it should be changed. Zero Waste programs are the fastest and most cost effective ways that local governments can contribute to reducing climate change, protect health, create green jobs, and promote local sustainability.” said Rick Anthony from Zero Waste International Alliance.

The Zero Waste Alliance urges Mr Brown to bring Zero Waste into the agenda of the G20 meeting as a strategy to create green jobs and new more efficient infrastructure.

“The G20, hosted by British PM Brown, is not allowed to come with elusive answers. We need structural solutions able to change current patterns and provide lasting jobs for those suffering from the crisis. Investing in prevention, separate collection schemes, reuse centers, recycling and composting facilities and creative design is cheaper than investing in finalist solutions such as incinerators or landfills and above all they create 10 times more jobs. These Zero Waste systems also save business’ money by helping them become more resource efficient and resilient” Said Maxine Narburgh, UK coordinator of Zero Waste Europe (ZWE).

“The European Union plays a major role not only as environmental actor but also in defining production patterns. It is vital that the EU stops promoting and financing incinerators that only destroy resources and starts focusing in truly developing a recycling society. Incinerators create 10 times less jobs than Zero Waste and by burning resources they only continue with the outdated linear throw-away society” said Joan-Marc Simon, EU coordinator of Zero Waste Europe.

“During the 5th Zero Waste International Dialog celebrated in Naples, 18th-22nd February, 300 professionals and activists from all over the world gathered to define the Zero Waste Overarching Principles which detail the guidelines to implement Zero Waste strategy”

“The economic crisis proves, among other things, that our model of linear throw-away carbon-based economy has reached its limit.”

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There are 2 comments
  1. What about advanced gasification ie. plasma gasification?
    Incineration plants leave 20-30% toxic waste and submit to the atmosphere dioxins an furans 10 000-times more toxic then another gifts.Despite some problems with technology (Tees Valley) there are successful project around the World.

  2. Javier Biaggi

    When there is problems with technology someone is going to suffer its consequences and of course not the incinerators they just pay the fine if there is enough guts from regulators to fine them. A slap in the hand is usually the treatment. How come that we prefer that 88% of valuable resources to be burned at peoples cost. With they want the trash they should pay for the combustible, right? And pay exactly what they are charging now. A coal mine never pay a coal burner to burn the coal. Nor I go to the gas station and the owner pays me for burning his gasoline. Incinerators are not a trash final disposition place they make money then throw away their toxic ashes and use our atmosphere as a “landfill” of more than 70% of what they burned. If 20% to 30% is the total ashes where the rest 70% or 80% goes? To the atmosphere, so our elders, kids, grandkids, our sik and us, of course, play, study, work, sleep, tend our babies, prepare our food, breathing what so ever comes out from those chimmies.
    There is no safe way to operate an incinerator. Filter are filters they let things go through if not they were stoppers. Finally what doesn’t goes to the air goes to the ashes. Either way they will end up in our waters and our food. Zero Waste and common sense is the only right way to manage valuable post consumer resourses safely. There is no magic in incinerators.

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