GAIA Zero Waste MasterPlan - Page 75



Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) 75
PRACTICES TO AVOID
INCINERATION: WASTE-TO-ENERGY, CEMENT KILNS,
AND REFUSE-DERIVED FUEL
Burning waste does not make it disappear. Rather,
various incineration technologies- whether in waste
to energy (WTE) plants, incinerators, cement kilns,
refuse-derived fuel, or other industrial burners- enable
the continued unsustainable consumption of natural
resources while contributing to climate change, polluting
the environment, creating public health hazards, and
diverting public funding away from cheaper and more
sustainable zero waste solutions.
Incineration is the least climate-friendly waste
management option.
©iStock/kodda
WTE incineration emits more greenhouse gases than
coal-fired power plants per energy unit delivered to the
grid.[1] WTE should never be classified as a renewable
energy source not only because it releases greenhouse
gases but also because it requires a steady supply
of non-renewable materials to burn.[2] Moreover, the
application of renewable energy subsidies towards
incineration facilities diverts funding away from true
renewable energy projects.
Incineration poses threats to public health.
Burning waste releases a host of toxic emissions
including heavy metals, dioxins, and particulate matter.
These toxics disproportionately impact the low-income
communities and communities of color in which 80% of
Burning waste
does not make it
disappear.
1 Baptista, A., & Perovich, A. (2019). U.S. Municipal Solid Waste
Incinerators: An Industry in Decline. Tishman Environment and
Design Center at The New School & Global Alliance for Incinerator
Alternatives. https://www.no-burn.org/failingincineratorsreport/
2 Platt, B., Ciplet, D., Bailey, K.M., & Lombardi E. Stop Trashing the
Climate. (2008). Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Global Alliance for
Incinerator Alternatives, & Eco-Cycle. https://ilsr.org/wp-content/
uploads/2008/06/fullreport_stoptrashingtheclimate.pdf

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