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Press release: New report finds significant air pollution problems across waste incineration activities

Press release: New report finds serious air pollution problems in waste incineration activities

. The zero waste strategy is a way to create green jobs and infrastructure. This needs to be on the agenda of the G20

Immediate release: 27/11/15

A new report released today by Zero Waste Europe found that waste incineration activities at incineration facilities and cement plants across Europe have severely violated emission restrictions and encountered other major technical and legal issues. Through 5 case studies, many environmental, procedural and technical problems faced by waste incinerators have been revealed.

This report prepared by the consulting group ENT investigated 5 incidents of excessive air pollution in incineration facilities; Lafarge Cement Plant in Montcada I Reixac (Barcelona, ​​Spain), Lafarge Cement Plant in Trbovlje (Slovenia), Ivry in Paris (France) Waste incineration plant, Dargavel waste incineration plant in Scotland, UK, and waste incineration plant in Bavaria, Germany.

The report emphasizes that the emission limit of harmful air pollutants specified by the European Union’s Air Quality Directive (AQD) is significantly higher than the safety limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which has caused great uncertainty and potential for both. Security Risk. Environment and public health. In addition, reliance on the "best available technology" (BAT) principle facilitates higher emission limits than the World Health Organization considers environmental and epidemiologically safe. In addition, air pollution monitoring in waste incineration activities is handled by the same facility and is therefore not subject to independent monitoring practices.

In the case of the Lafarge Montcada I Reixach cement plant, the people opposed the plant for a long time. There were protests in 1975, but recently in 2006, a petition received 6,000 signatures against the use of sludge and bones. And cement plan. Meat meal and plastic are used as fuel. This objection delayed the factory's license, but it was subsequently approved in 2008. However, this started a series of legal and procedural challenges to the license, which continue to this day.

Other cases, such as Dargavel and the incinerator in Bavaria, have highlighted cases where legal limits have been exceeded. Potentially dangerous effects on human health and the environment. In view of complaints from local communities about toxic emissions, odors, and lack of environmental permits, the case of the Slovenian Terbovre Cement Plant has received national and European attention in the past few years.

Mariel Vilella, Deputy Director of Zero Waste Europe, said: “How many air pollution incidents do people have to endure before they realize that burning waste is not the way forward? Recycling and composting can create livelihoods, save money, protect the environment and public health, while waste incineration It will only keep us away from a truly sustainable circular economy."

The report further supports the call to end waste incineration, as this practice will continue to exacerbate climate change and cause destructive and dangerous environmental pollution. On the contrary, Zero Waste Europe calls for the implementation of a zero waste policy, prioritizing higher options for waste hierarchy, such as waste prevention, reuse and recycling, including redesigning and implementing an improved Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program, which requires producers Efforts to eliminate waste of their products.

The report has been released in Barcelona as the beginning of an international conference on the key struggle around cement kiln waste incineration. This conference is a follow-up to the last European conference held in Barletta, Italy in 2014, and established that it has been active for the past 6 years. Spain opposes the efforts of the cement kiln waste incineration network.

End Read the full report

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