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Hidden emissions from waste incineration: new case study reveals dangerous breaches

Hidden emissions from waste incineration: A new case study reveals dangerous violations

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Janek Vahk, European Zero Waste Development and Policy Coordinator / +32 (0) 493 55 3779

Hidden Emissions: New research by @toxicowatch reveals the "most advanced" #waste incinerator dangerous violation of air pollution restrictions? Read:

-Zero Waste Europe (@zerowasteeurope) November 28, 2018

For immediate release: Brussels, 28/11/18

Zero Waste Europe today released a new case study on the Reststoffen Energy Center (REC) in the Netherlands, revealing how even the most advanced incinerators emit hazardous pollutants that far exceed the EU's toxic emission limits.

Research conducted by ToxicoWatch [1] showed that the emissions of dioxins, furans and persistent toxic pollutants violated the European Union’s air pollution restrictions. These excess emissions are not special cases, but are normal features of factories.

An analysis of eggs in the backyard within a radius of 2 kilometers from the factory showed that the pollution of dioxins and furans exceeded the consumption limit [2].

The study also reveals how the loopholes are hidden due to unreliable tests that severely underestimate emission levels [2].

Janek Vahk, European Zero Waste Development and Policy Coordinator, said: "The short-term emission sampling currently required by the European Union shows serious defects and allows hidden emissions. We must urgently amend waste incineration emission monitoring rules to protect people's health and safety."

For Zero Waste Europe, the study confirmed the need to get rid of waste incineration, which is aggravating climate change while endangering public health and the environment [4] and ending public subsidies for incineration plants.

To read the case study, click here.



[1] ToxicoWatch is a non-governmental organization dedicated to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology and raising awareness of toxic hazards in the environment. For more information, please visit:

[2] Committee’s recommendation on reducing the presence of dioxins, furans and PCBs in feed and food: :32013H0711&rid =1

[3] The mandatory system of emission testing relies on pre-announced short-term sampling of 6-8 hours twice a year, which seriously underestimates the actual level of dioxin emissions. When short-term and long-term sampling are performed in the same period, significant differences become apparent. Research conducted by ToxicoWatch is based on long-term sampling.

[4] UKWIN's 2018 Climate Change Report:

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