Factsheets

Incineración en América Latina

El fomento de la incineración y la política de privatización del manejo de los residuos que la acompaña, ha creado una nueva trinchera de lucha por la justicia ambiental, donde ciudadanos, organizaciones, comunidades afectadas y los más excluidos -los recicladores- han iniciado un movimiento de resistencia contra esa industria y sus estrategias para intervenir, según sus intereses, las políticas sobre manejo de los residuos en la región.

BREDL: Incineration Pollution: Landfill in the Sky

Learn about the health and environmental impacts of incinerators.

Cement Kilns

Cement kilns seem ready-made for destroying hazardous wastes. They have to be heated to high temperatures with fuel, so why not substitute hazardous wastes for part of the fuel and burn up the wastes while making aggregate or cement? It saves on fuel and destroys wastes - what could be better? groundWork's Cement Kiln portal provides detailed discussions of the hazards of cement kiln incineration.

Clean Development Mechanism and Waste Disposal

The Clean Development Mechanism is supposed to stimulate sustainable development and emission reductions by facilitating the development of clean technologies to replace the dirty ones that have caused the climate crisis. In practice, however, the CDM often invests in dirty, discredited, and unsustainable technologies - some of which increase, rather than decrease, GHG emissions.

For example, as of May 2008, out of 90 projects funded by the CDM to improve municipal waste management, 83 were landfills with gas recovery, and another five included incinerators - the two worst waste management technologies. Only three projects included composting.

What  is Composting?

A simple explanation on composting published by Magpie Environmental Trust.

Friends of the Earth UK: Up in Smoke

Burning our waste rather than recycling it sets off a dangerous cycle of using and producing. The material we burn is lost forever and we must produce more to satisfy our demand for new products. To extract natural resources and make materials, such as paper and plastic, uses a lot of energy. Most of this comes from burning fossil fuels, which leads to climate change, the most serious threat facing the environment today.

Friends of the the Earth UK:  Gasification, Pyrolysis, and Plasma
September 2009

This is a draft revision of the briefing, and any comments are welcome - please email them to Becky Slater on becky.slater(at)foe.co.uk.

In the past, almost all residual municipal waste in the UK - the waste left after recycling and composting - has been landfilled untreated. The European Landfill Directive means we must now reduce the biodegradable waste we send to landfill. Until recently, the main alternative to landfill which has been considered in the UK is mass-burn incineration. Friends of the Earth has long opposed incineration of residual waste because it destroys natural resources; it undermines recycling by demanding a steady stream of waste; it adds to climate change; and it causes pollution from air emissions and toxic ash. Local authorities have started considering other options for dealing with residual waste, including pyrolysis, gasification and plasma arc technologies. This briefing explains how these processes work and what their benefits and disadvantages are.

Gasification, Pyrolysis and Plasma Incineration Fact Sheet

This fact sheet, produced by GAIA and Greenaction for Health & Environmental Justice, articulates the serious flaws with these technologies and highlights the benefits of aiming for zero waste instead.

Incinerators in Disguise

What are gasification, plasma arc and pyrolysis? Are they genuine solution to the current waste problem? Check out this slide show which was co-written by GAIA and Greenaction for Health & Environmental Justice.

Incinerator Pollutants

Check out this factsheet to learn about the pollutants released during the incineration process.

Incinerators vs Zero Waste: Energy and the Climate

The growing disposal of resources is unsustainable for communities and the climate. Incinerating, instead of recycling and composting these materials, releases high levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and wastes large amounts of energy.

Dumping and landfilling organic wastes is also a critical problem. Landfill disposal accounts for 34 percent of human related methane emissions to the atmosphere, a global warming gas that has 23 times more heating trapping power than carbon dioxide.

What is Dioxin?

Dioxin is the common name for a class of 75 chemicals. Dioxin has no commercial use. It is a toxic waste product formed when waste containing chlorine is burned or when products containing chlorine are manufactured.

What is Dioxin and Furans?

Dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins) and furans (polychlorinated dibenzo furans) refer to a family of more than 400 super toxic chemicals that the international community, including the Philippines, has agreed to minimize and where feasible
eliminate under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Of all the dioxins and furans, the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a cancer-causing agent, is deemed the most notorious and has been described as
“the most toxic substance known to science.”1,2,3

Wasting the Climate: Kyoto Protocol agency supports Incinerators

Read this factsheet about the Kyoto Protocol and find out more about why Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is hurting the fight to stop global warming.


El peso de los datos condena la Gasificación
Una hoja informativa sobre la gasificación, pirólisis, arco de plasma y otras variantes de la incineración por etapas
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire
New EPA loophole threatens community health, the climate, and local economies by allowing waste burning along with coal
GAIA pub shows how waste incinerators undermine recycling
October 22nd, 2013
Waste incineration undermines recycling. This conflict is particularly clear in so-called “waste-to-energy” incinerators, and is also true for burners that do not recover energy. The cases presented in this briefing paper clearly illustrate the many ways that incineration has worked against waste prevention and recycling in various locations around the globe.
Incineración en América Latina: nuevas resistencias para nuevas amenazas. Abril 2013
El fomento de la incineración y la política de privatización del manejo de los residuos que la acompaña, ha creado una nueva trinchera de lucha por la justicia ambiental, donde ciudadanos, organizaciones, comunidades afectadas y los más excluidos -los recicladores- han iniciado un movimiento de resistencia contra esa industria y sus estrategias para intervenir, según sus intereses, las políticas sobre manejo de los residuos en la región.
Facts Rule Out Trash Gasification
Since WW II attempts to gasify municipal solid waste (MSW) have failed repeatedly. Processing trash with high heat is (1) polluting; (2) expensive; (3) energy inefficient; (4) destroys resources that could be reused, recycled, or composted; and (5) generates slag and other “by-products” that have to be landfilled.
“Lixo transformado em energia”: MITOS versus FATOS
Documento preparado pela GAIA e atualizado numa base contínua, chamada Mitos e Fatos da incineração. Para esta versão em Português foram adicionadas algumas informações sobre o Brasil, mas também tem informações úteis sobre as perspectivas da incineração no mundo.
Incinerators: Myths vs. Facts
In recent years, the incinerator industry has tried to expand their sector by marketing their facilities as “Waste to Energy” (WTE), using misleading claims of “reducing climate pollution”, and being a “clean energy source”. This document dispels some of the most common myths about incinerators with real facts.
Factsheet on wastepickers and climate change
Wastepickers reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased recycling; yet they are increasingly in conflict with "waste-to-energy" projects.


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