A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 September 1992
The latest scheme masquerading as a rational and responsible alternative to landfills is a nationwide - and worldwide - move to drastically increase the use of incineration. In the United States, the percentage of municipal waste incinerated more than doubled -from 7 percent in 1985 to over 15 percent in just four years- and investments in new incineration capacity are expected to double that percentage again in the next several years...The huge new investment in new incinerators -almost $20 billion worth- is being made even though major health and environmental concerns have never been adequately answered. According to congressional investigators, the air pollution from waste incinerators typically includes dioxins, furans, and pollutants like arsenic, cadmium, chlorobenzenes, chlorophenols, chromium, cobalt, lead, mercury, PCBs, and sulfur dioxide...The principal consequence of incineration is thus the transporting of the communitys garbage - in gaseous form, through the air - to neighboring communities, across state lines, and indeed, to the atmosphere of the entire globe, where it will linger for many years to come.
It is still basically a Yard-A-Pult approach. [The Yard-A-Pult, invented for a commercial on Saturday Night Live, invites disposal of waste by catapulting it over the back fence into the yards of nearby neighbors. Our real waste disposal practices are not as different from this spoof as we would like to believe.]... Pages 156-157, Earth in the Balance by Senator Al Gore, Published 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Co. Price: $22.95.
The full text of Ontarios Minister of Environment, Ruth Grier, News Release of 9-11-92: (Ontario is Canadas largest province with a population of approximately 9.7 million.) A new provincial regulation to reduce and control the incineration of municipal solid waste will protect the environment and health of Ontario citizens, Environmental Minister Ruth Grier said today. Legislation takes effect today banning future municipal solid waste incinerators and placing stringent performance requirements on existing incinerators. Incineration is a technological quick-fix which creates new environmental problems without solving the old ones, Mrs. Grier said. The legislation we have passed today takes the cautious approach by curtailing the release of toxic chemicals into the air we breathe and the environment we rely on. The ban was enacted in response to serious human health and environmental effects, waste management concerns and economic considerations:
* The air emissions from incinerators are a threat to both human and environmental health. Incinerators generate a wide variety of toxic heavy metals and organic contaminants that endanger human health, as well as gases that cause acid rain, smog and global warming.
* Solid waste incinerators create large quantities of slag, ash and other solid waste residues. Much of this waste material is contaminated and must be sent to hazardous waste treatment facilities and landfills.
* The incineration of recyclable materials and other valuable components in the solid waste stream directly competes for these materials with programs supporting waste reduction, reuse and recycling (the 3Rs).
* Incineration is less cost-effective than recycling and other 3Rs waste minimization alternatives. It is more expensive than other waste disposal options, including landfilling.
* Incineration is inconsistent with the Ministry of the Environments approach to protecting Ontarios air, water and land through pollution prevention.
In addition to outlawing new incinerators, the regulation defines permissible uses of incinerators for waste streams which may be hazardous or have no viable recycling potential. These include several types of sludges, animal and pathological wastes, forestry plant wastes and wood waste. Apartment incinerators were phased-out in 1989. As well, five out of the six owners of the provinces largest existing garbage incinerators have agreed to upgrade controls and operations to minimize pollution emissions. Together, these incinerators handle less than four per cent of Ontarios garbage. The sixth incinerator, owned by Ford Canada in Oakville, has ceased operation since the ban on new garbage incinerators was announced by the Minister in April 1991. This regulation is an integral part of our waste management plan, which emphasizes the 3Rs - the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials, Mrs. Grier said. Our policies already have generated positive results. Manufacturers are developing simpler, more durable goods and have reduced packaging waste. Consumers are buying recycled and recylable products with less packaging. And Ontario is North Americas leader in recycling and composting programs. We cannot jeopardize this progress by burning potentially valuable materials and squandering the opportunity to become a society which conserves its resources and produces less waste. - end of News Release. For further information contact: Ed Piche, Air Resources Board, 416-326-1632; or, Gerry Merchant, Public Affairs and Communications Services Branch, 416-323-4333. -Both with Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Excerpts from the ban on municipal waste incineration and its application
* New Municipal Waste Incinerators - No new municipal waste incinerators may be built or operated in Ontario with the exception of waste-specific incinerators discussed later.
* Waste-Specific Incinerators - municipal waste incinerators which burn only the following waste materials, classified as municipal waste, may continue to be established and operated in the province:
a) Woodwaste. Waste wood and wood products, including tree truncks, branches, leaves and brush. The material must be free of hardware, fittings or attachments, unless they are made of wood or cellulose, and not contaminated with wood preservatives such as chromated or ammoniacal copper arsenate, pentachlorophenol, or creosote.
b Sewage sludge, from a works under the Ontario Water Resources Act where the operation i) is owned by the municipality, ii) is owned by the Crown through an agreement with the municipality under the Ontario Water Resources Act, or iii) receives only waste similar in character to the domestic sewage from a household;
c) Paper mill sludge; d) Pulp mill sludge; e) Paper deinking sludge; f) A waste that comes under the small quantity exemption for liquid industrial waste as described in Regulation 309: less than 25 litres/month accumulated or produced. g) A waste that comes under the small quantity exemption for hazardous waste as described in Regulation 309. h) animal carcasses which are not pathological waste.
* Hospital Incinerators Burning Municipal Waste - Hospitals using incinerators to burn municipal waste have been asked to voluntarily shut-down by the end of 1992. The regulation does not affect the incineration of biomedical waste.
* School Incinerators - A voluntary shut-down by the end of 1992 of garbage incinerators in schools is being requested.
DRAFT DOCUMENTS ON EPAS HEALTH ASSESSMENT FOR DIOXIN & RELATED COMPOUNDS ARE NOW AVAILABLE. The following Review Draft documents on the Health Assessment for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and Related Compounds are available free from: ORD Publications Center, CERI-FRN, U.S. EPA, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268. Tel: 513-569-7562; fax 513-569-7566.
Estimating Exposures to Dioxin-Like Compounds EPA/600/6-88/005B
Health Assessment Chapters:
Chapter 1. Disposition and Pharmacokinetics EPA/600/AP-92/001a
Chapter 2. Mechanisms of Toxic Actions EPA/600/AP-92/001b
Chapter 3. Acute, Subchronic, and Chronic Toxicity EPA/600/AP-92/001c
Chapter 4. Immunotoxic Effects EPA/600/AP-92/001d
Chapter 5. Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity EPA/600/AP-92/001e
Chapter 6. Carcinogenicity of TCDD in Animals EPA/600/AP-92/001f
Chapter 7. Epidemiology/Human Data EPA/600/AP-92/001g
Chapter 8. Dose-Response Relationships EPA/600/AP-92/001h
EPA HOLDING HEARINGS IN SEPTEMBER ON THE REASSESSMENT OF DIOXIN. More hearings have been scheduled on EPAs scientific reassessment of dioxin. Two peer-review workshops to review the above documents will be held. On Sept. 10-11 the workshop will review the draft documents on procedures for assessing exposures to dioxin. The Sept. 22-25 workshop will be to review the draft health assessment chapters. Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG), an EPA contractor, is providing logistical support for the peer-review workshops. Both meetings will be held at the Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8861 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, Virginia. For additional information, or requests to present formal statements, contact Helen Murray, ERG, at 617-674-7307 or fax 617-674-2906. Members of the public may also submit written comments and other materials relevant to the scientific reassessment of dioxin to: ERG, 110 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA 02173-3198, attention Helen Murray. Comments will be accepted up to 10 working days following each meting. After that time, written comments should be directed to: Office of Health and Environmental Assessment (RD-689), US EPA, 401 M. Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460, Attn: Dioxin Reassessment. Contact either of these groups and ask to be placed on their mailing list if you want to receive direct notification of EPAs upcoming hearings and reports on the reassessment of dioxin.