Incinerators Old and New Making News

Date: 30 Jan 2017 | posted in: waste - anti-incineration, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The new year has brought us a number of news stories about new and old incinerators.

The European Commission wants to defund garbage incineration, which has dominated the solid waste management landscape for 60 years. (see recent ILSR story here).

Baltimore’s 31-year-old garbage incinerator will need tens of millions of dollars to add pollution equipment and it will cost $11 million annually to operate the equipment (see Critics: BRESCO’s Proposed Pollution Controls a “Band Aid,” from the Baltimore Brew, January 19, 2017).

In Durham, Ontario the news concerns a new garbage incinerator that today completed its first year of commercial operation. Citizens have fought the incinerator for over 10 years, but ultimately lost their political and legal battles. Since the incinerator first fired up in February 2015, there have been numerous boiler shutdowns and equipment problems.

On January 28th, Linda Gasser, a member of RiseUp, an international anti-incineration network, describes the latest developments:

Oh dear, Covanta’s Durham state of the art toy broke down again yesterday.  Tomorrow will mark one year of commercial operation for this dud, which phase Covanta could only enter because in their wisdom, Durham staff recommended that council adjust the ash quantity guarantee in the project agreement  because Covanta could not meet the agreed upon quantity during acceptance testing.

During this one year of commercial operation – there have been three fires, a massive dioxins exceedance shutting down Boiler 1 for over two months and now yet another equipment issue. During Acceptance Testing in October 2015, both boilers had dioxins exceedances, but that didn’t “count” because Ontario’s regulator gave Covanta a do over of the stack tests.

Follow Neil Seldman:
Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Recycling and Economic Growth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and is a member of ILSR's Board of Directors.