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Incineration campaign update

By Linda Gasser

Zero Waste Canada Launch

Zero Waste Canada is Canada’s first non-profit national organization dedicated to building and advocating for a waste free Canada. They are joining with international Zero Waste experts to promote best practice policies, legislation and initiatives to eliminate waste, with the aim to have Canada become a country where waste is eliminated and resources are continuously reused. See their media release here.

Recent Study on Cancer Mortality in Towns in the Vicinity of incinerators

A recent study on cancer mortality [García-Pérez, J., et al. (2013), “Cancer mortality in towns in the vicinity of incinerators and installations for the recovery or disposal of hazardous waste” Environment International 51(0): 31-44.]shows a statistically significant increase in the risk of dying from cancer in towns near incinerators and installations for the recovery or disposal of hazardous waste. The study detected increased cancer mortality in the total population residing in the vicinity of these installations as a whole, and in the vicinity of incinerators and scrap metal/end-of-life vehicle handling facilities, in particular. You can read the complete study here.

Plasco Energy – City of Ottawa sign project agreement

A year after the City of Ottawa council voted to strike a deal with Plasco Energy to build a plasma gasification incinerator that would process 300 tonnes per day of Ottawa’s garbage, the agreement was signed last December. Any request for an extension should provide a wakeup call for staff and council that Plasco may have trouble delivering on their promises.

Renewable Energy Management (REM), Wesleyville, Ontario

Renewable Energy Management’s (REM) January 2013 expected completion date of their Environmental Assessment Screening Report has passed, with no sign that REM have provided their Environmental Assessment submission, which would include specific project details and supporting studies, to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Port Hope Residents 4 Managing Waste Responsibly (PHR4WMR) formed in October 2012 to oppose the REM project and hosted a community information meeting last November to inform the community about the numerous health and other risks posed by waste incineration. PHR4WMR are in the process of developing a website, which should be easy to find by Googling their name. A December 2012 editorial urged caution given the many outstanding questions about the proposed “low temperature” gasification incinerator.

Durham-York Incinerator –under construction

Ordinary citizens may not be aware of the many political decisions that are made over long periods of time, which provide incinerator owners and operators with their numerous project approvals, or how these decisions might ultimately impact community health. A recent Toronto Star article described Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster’s reaction to the incinerator now under construction in his community. In 2011, the majority of Durham Region Councillors, including Mayor Foster and Clarington’s two other regional representatives, supported what amounts to a “poison pill” clause in the agreement between Durham and their minority partner, York Region. This clause would make the requesting partner responsible for the cost of all improvements to monitoring beyond the bare minimum likely to be required by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Improvements would, therefore, be at the sole cost of Durham Region as that is where the incinerator is sited.

Metro Vancouver Incinerator–Request for Qualifications

Metro Vancouver has undertaken their request for qualifications with a deadline of February 14th and expects to undertake public consultation in the fall, at which times options for an “in region” or “out of region” incineration sites would also be presented.

Linda Gasser monitors information around the health and environmental risks of waste incinerators. She developed a toolkit of information on the links between incineration and cancer for PCN’s Ban Incineration Campaign. Linda can be reached by email at:

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Also in the WINTER 2013 Issue of An Ounce

Published: March 5th, 2013