Hot Debate: Burning Durham Region’s Garbage

IncineratorWhen I was researching information about the building of an incinerator in Durham Region, I had a difficult time finding anything positive about the project.  It seems though that the regional councillors have a different view of it because 19 of 26 of them voted to approve the building site for the Energy-from-Waste’ facility.

Weeding through the information, this is what I found out:

  1. The proposed site is at Courtice Road and the 401 in Clarington.  Pickering residents are relieved that its not in their backyard, again.
  2. The incinerator will cost about $250,000,000 to build and they usually last about 40 years (that’s some depreciation!).  Durham residents will be paying for 88% of that bill.
  3. If you count 100% of the garbage going in, 30% of that garbage will come back out as ash and needs to be disposed of.  Pickering residents are still saying, not in my backyard, again.’
  4. York Region was going to pay for 50% of it and they would ship their garbage to us.  They have reduced their commitment to 12% of the cost.  I am not sure if they are still expecting us to dispose of their garbage (it seems not).
  5. Recyclable garbage that goes into the incinerator is lost unless the garbage is sorted through first (my son’s next summer job).  I heard that they are mining the garbage in the southern US to get the aluminum that everyone hasn’t bothered to recycle.
  6. There is no definite unbiased resource that tells me that the exhaust/smoke from the incinerator in not toxic.  If the plastics releases carcinogens in the microwave, what do they do as ash.

Maybe we could go back to packaging that doesn’t require a saw and brute City dumpstrength to cut through reducing our garbage.  Then we won’t need to find creative ways to get rid of it, we just won’t have any.