Community says 'no' to new incinerators

Photo: Rigmor Berg

Politicians from across the spectrum joined a community rally on October 13 against the New South Wales government’s plan to build five new incinerators in Sydney’s west. It was organised by Western Sydney Direct Action (WSDA) and No More Incinerators.

No More Incinerators (Matraville) spokesperson Chris Hanson said: “Nearly 200 toxic chemicals and heavy metals are known to be associated with incinerator emissions."

Even the most modern incinerators release toxic metals, dioxins and acid gases. “Far from eliminating the need for landfill, waste incinerator systems produce toxic ash and harmful chemicals.”

Greens NSW MP Cate Faehrmann, Labor MP Stephen Bali, Parramatta Greens councillor Phil Bradley, Randwick deputy mayor Philipa Veitch and Carl Halley from One Nation also spoke.

The government plan is to build four incinerators in the western suburbs and one in Lithgow.

The COVID-19 safe protest demanded that Sydney’s air not be “poisoned with burning garbage” for the next 30 years.

Publicity for the protest explained that Sydney’s Basin shape traps pollution, making it unsuitable for five incinerators. It cited a 2017 study by Professor of Environmental Medicine George Thurston that found that living near a waste energy incinerator “carries the same health risks as second-hand cigarette smoke”.

[Click for more information on large waste-to-energy incinerators.]