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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Letters The Inferno

February 12, 2019

At first blush, Sweden's incineration of waste material is a win-win situation. On closer examination, there are more than a few drawbacks. As the old saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out".

One problem in constructing incinerators (at horrible expense) is the demand that it creates for a steady flow of waste. That should not be our goal. Wales has achieved the world's highest recycle rate, but there is still much more to be done. Society needs to reduce the production of waste, particularly plastics, and replace non-recyclables with better alternatives.

Building incinerators will require a constant or increasing quantity of garbage. It is much like placing a bounty on wolves. You won't do much to reduce the wolf population but the bounty hunters will be happy. Wolves become a commodity and the hunter needs them to keep his income stable.

There are many down sides to Sweden's incineration program, not the least of which is the transporting, over long distances, of huge quantities of waste material that should not be part of the disposal stream in the first place. In both recycling and incineration there is a meek acceptance of what is convenient for the manufacturers and retailers and not what is in the public interest. It is time our society put an end to waste in the name of convenience. Packaging is one of the biggest problems and the manufacturing of non-durable, throw-away products is a disgrace.

There is considerable doubt by observers that waste can be burned without releasing toxins into the environment, no matter what precautions are taken.

In the long run, is it more beneficial to eliminate garbage or burn it? And if you do burn it for the sake of a few kilowatt hours of energy aren't you easing the conscience instead of solving the problem?

Herman Friday

Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2019 06:27:00 AM EST

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