Greenpeace closes incinerator

Issue 

Greenpeace closes incinerator

AMSTERDAM — Greenpeace activists closed down the largest household waste incinerator in Europe on May 12. They blocked the waste bunker and climbed into the transportation cranes of the AVR plant at Rotterdam.

AVR is planning an expansion that will result in the annual production of 375,000 tonnes of toxic ash, 480,000 cubic metres of contaminated waste water and 833 million cubic metres of toxic air emissions.

"Waste incineration will not solve the waste crisis, it only creates waste problems of its own", said Wytze van der Naald of Greenpeace Netherlands. There is concern the expansion will dramatically increase dioxin emissions. In 1989 the incinerator was found to have scattered dioxins over surrounding fields, causing contamination of cows' milk.

While the expansion plan allocates US$226 million for upgrading pollution equipment, Greenpeace says new research casts doubt on the ability of incineration to destroy dioxins, and burning creates a new problem in the form of toxic ash, which is piling up in huge quantities near a canal that drains into the North Sea.

Greenpeace says the Dutch government should spend the expansion funds on waste prevention rather than expanding the incinerator.

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