The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Re: Snuff out incinerator idea,
councillor says, Feb. 24.
The recent debate over garbage
dumps versus incineration is long overdue, both in
this city and in the province at large. The
knee-jerk reactions against incineration point to an
urgent need for education or this debate get bogged
down in the usual shortsighted "we-can't-afford it"
or NIMBY arguments that typically arise in this city
to derail everything from the Congress Centre
expansion to light-rail transit.
It was good that Ottawa city
officials ("Staff, councillor off to Spain to talk
trash," Feb. 23) went to Spain to see Rod Bryden's
Plasco facility. Now other officials should head for
Europe to take a tour of the other 400
waste-to-energy facilities that are to be found from
Sweden to Spain and from Britain to Hungary. What
they will find is that this is not new technology as
some seem to think, nor is it polluting as others
On May 18, they will be able to
attend the third congress of the Confederation of
European Waste-to-Energy Plants in Vienna where they
will learn about waste-to-energy in European policy
as well as the experience of EU member states in
developing alternatives to landfilling.
The CEWEP website (www.cewep.com)
states that its membership includes "waste-to-energy
plants from across Europe: Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary,
Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain,
Sweden and Switzerland." These plants, operated both
by municipalities and by private companies, generate
both electricity and heat depending on local needs
and infrastructure. Denmark alone, a tiny country of
fewer than five and a half million people and
geographically about the same size as Eastern
Ontario, has 31 such facilities treating more than
three million tons of garbage annually.
So yes, this discussion is long
overdue because we can't keep expanding dumps, and
we need to find alternatives to generate energy
instead of burning scarce oil and natural gas.