The proposal to build an incinerator at Duke Point to burn garbage from Metro Vancouver must be stopped in its tracks. This project makes no sense for a multitude of reasons. In Europe, as recycling has improved, the incinerators require imported waste to continue operation. If the beast is built at Duke point we will need to feed it and if Metro Vancouver makes serious moves towards zero waste then what? Are we also going to start importing waste from the US to burn in Naniamo and spread their toxins in our air shed?
Too much of the debate centers around whether incinerating garbage is better than land-filling, the question of whether we should burn or bury our garbage is the wrong question. We should be asking; how do we reduce the amount of waste we are creating? And how we can better re-use our waste and then recycle what is left over? This so-called waste is a resource.
The use of single-use disposable items and the over-packaging of consumer goods has increased astronomically. One solution is to tax single-use disposable items and packaging that is not bio-degradable or fully recyclable. Higher eco-fees and return deposits are needed for goods that are difficult or expensive to recycle. Years ago, California raised the bar for all of North America by passing legislation that forced automakers to reduce vehicle emissions to protect air quality. In the same way, our governments have a responsibility to protect us from yet more pollution.
Incinerating garbage only dumps the problem in the air rather than the landfill. There are serious health concerns. The real solution is to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The city of Nanaimo and RDN should be saying YES to the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and saying NO to an incinerator at Duke Point.