Zero Waste to Landfill is a false concept


01 Nov 2013


Statement from the Zero Waste International Alliance

Organisations that are hijacking the term ‘zero waste’ in order to promote incineration and other unsustainable practices ‘need to be flushed out’, the Zero Waste International Alliance has urged.

ZWIA says the bogus concept of ‘zero waste to landfill’ has been introduced to support waste incineration schemes, yet argues that communities from San Francisco to the state of South Australia have achieved a recycling rate of 80% with no reliance on incineration.

The alliance added: ‘recycling rates of 75%-plus are possible now and examples of municipalities large and small throughout the world prove it. All the previous talk of high recycling rates being difficult to achieve is proving to be bunkum; zero waste is gaining ground as being practicably achievable.’

It cited the new Gwyrdd project, a ‘Welsh Dragon with a huge appetite’ which it said would see the South Wales community paying more than £100 million (US$ 160 million) per year to incinerate their waste. The Cardiff-based plant, boasting a capacity of 350 000 tonnes per year, was another example of companies and their financiers seeking to ‘grab community waste cash under the guise of waste-to-energy’, ZWIA claimed.

‘There can be no form of deliberate resource destruction in a zero waste world,’ declared ZWIA chairman Ric Anthony. He stressed that the concept Zero Waste has been carefully defined to mean ‘no waste, period’ – while Zero Waste to Landfill was a ‘bogus claim’ that falsely implied an element of environmentalism.

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