The incineration kaupapa grabbed our attention in the past year especially because as Europe and other places in the world are rapidly moving away from burning their rubbish, we are seeing applications for waste to energy incinerators (burning rubbish to fuel power generation) pop up all over New Zealand.
Aotearoa to this date has no waste to energy incineration, but smaller councils are being targeted across the country.
Waste-to-energy incinerators undermine our commitment to a low emissions economy and compete with our renewable energy goals which in a country that produces nearly 85% of its electricity from renewable sources seems at the very least a serious step in the wrong direction.
OurActionStation hosts a number of petitions warning communities against these plants and urging councils to reject any applications for these to be built.
“It is urgent because the plant itself is being built and the last piece of the puzzle (the emissions to air permit) is under consideration right now. We do have a time to put in our objections via submission but there is no guarantee that we will win. There is an urgency to pull out all the stops.
The impact of your action will allow us to investigate and implement a Zero waste management operation, that will benefit our community via jobs for locals, encourage people to be conservative with their waste, to recycle, re-use , and repurpose. We would have repair cafes which encourage reusing furniture and so on instead of continually throwing unwanted items away. It will also only deal with our local waste, not everyone's in the bottom of the North Island. Your help will make all the difference.” Mereti Taipana (Save our air)
The Feilding incinerator has started construction (despite not having all the permits to operate yet) and may provide some insight into how small councils particularly are being sold on these greenwashing solutions with false evidence.
“Bioplant has tried to make out that there are two other operational waste-to-energy plants just like the Feilding proposal: one in South Korea and one in Dandenong, Australia. It has supplied data about emissions from these two. But the South Korean plant has been shut down and the Australian plant never existed!” Valerie Morse (Regeneration not incineration)
And to make sure our voices are loud and clear, do sign and share the petitions:
Together we can work for a future in which we prioritise good design, create less waste, reuse, compost and recycle.
Feilding waste incinerator latest update
Today, the Zero Waste Network submitted further expert evidence from Dr Andrew Rollinson in response to new "evidence" put forward by Bioplant, the waste-to-energy company pushing to build a pyrolysis plant in Feilding. What Dr Rollinson says is shocking.
In his submission he notes the company, "uses projected data with unsupported reference to a single plant in South Korea which had its licence revoked in 2018 and was described as an ‘environmental disaster’ and a ‘polluting abomination’. For Bioplant Feilding, it is impossible to know from the modelling what level of toxins will be released to air, and what the gaseous flow volumes will be, because the values are merely hopeful minima."
Throughout this whole process, Bioplant has tried to make out that there are two other operational waste-to-energy plants just like the Feilding proposal: one in South Korea and one in Dandenong, Australia. It has supplied data about emissions from these two. But the South Korean plant has been shut down and the Australian plant never existed!
This round of public submissions on the new technical evidence closes tomorrow. Then, in January, we expect Bioplant to submit more information pertaining to a Cultural Impact Assessment. Yet another round of submissions may be necessary. We have already indicated that, "no consent should be granted on land that was stolen, and that remains the subject of an outstanding Treaty claim, without the enthusiastic and overwhelming support of Mana Whenua. This proposal does not have that." Ngāti Kauwhata have been clear that they do not support this proposal.
We are encouraging the Commissioners to reject this proposal now so that the community does not have to continuing wasting its time with this fraudulent, polluting and fanciful proposal. It is absolutely outrageous that the Manawatū District Council did no due diligence on this and instead gave their full support.
This is a story of ongoing corporate greed, greenwashing, colonisation and the utter failure of local government to act in the best interest of the community. We will keep fighting until we stop this. Stay tuned to the Feilding Against Incineration facebook page for ongoing updates.
Ngā mihi mahana,
Waipā incinerator update
I wanted to let you know some really great news: the Waikato Regional Council has decided that the resource consent application for the Te Awamutu incinerator will be publicly notified. This means that the process will be open for anyone to have a say. This is an incredibly important step and one we hope that takes us closer to getting this proposal thrown out.
You might remember that the Waipā District Council (the local council for Te Awamutu) has already said the land-use consent application will be publicly notified. The two Councils will likely hold joint consent hearings. We don't have dates for this yet, but we will let you know as soon as we do!
There are so many reasons why this incinerator should not go ahead. One that we don't immediately think about is climate change. A waste-to-energy incinerator that burns thousands of tonnes of plastics, tyres and household rubbish isn't much different than a fossil fuel plant in terms of climate change: the "waste" is fossil fuels that just spent a little bit of its life as a plastic object (like a margarine container or a disposal nappy) before it was burned for energy. In Aotearoa New Zealand, our electricity grid is about 82% renewable, and our emissions reduction plans have us aiming for 100% renewable electricity. We urgently need to end all fossil fuel use in order to limit how hard we (and those generations coming after us!) are smashed by climate change - and we definitely don't need to build new infrastructure that releases massive amounts of CO2. You can read more about the climate impacts of waste-to-energy incineration from our friends at Zero Waste Europe.
Ngā mihi mahana,
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