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Zero Waste Network Files Opposition To Incinerator Land Sale With OIO

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is currently considering an application by South Island Resource Recovery (SIRRL) to buy land in Glenavy to site a waste-to-energy incinerator. OIO consent is required because SIRRL is 60% overseas owned. Purchases of sensitive New Zealand land must pass a “benefit to New Zealand” test.

“The sale of rural land in South Canterbury for a massive toxic incinerator is a bad idea, and should not be allowed to proceed,” said Dorte Wray, General Manager of the Zero Waste Network.

“We have filed a submission to the OIO outlining why this purchase fails the ‘benefit to New Zealand’ test. This incinerator would create large CO2 emissions that would otherwise not exist. It is little more than a dirty fossil fuel plant. Burning rubbish is more polluting than coal or gas. It also releases toxic “forever chemicals” that are illegal under the Stockholm Convention, which New Zealand signed in 2004.”

“We also submit that any claims about the economic benefits of incinerators do not stack up against real world zero waste alternatives. Some estimates show that for 10,000 tonnes of waste products and materials, 1 job can be created if incinerated, 6 jobs if landfilled, 36 jobs if recycled, and up to 296 if refurbished and re-used. Data further suggests even greater potential for re-use at 800 jobs/10,000 tonnes of material.”

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“The push to build incinerators here is being driven by overseas companies looking for new markets because Europe is turning away from incinerators due to the climate impacts. This is outdated technology with significant negative impacts.”

“Zero waste solutions that support community employment and climate resilience are the future. There are already hundreds of these projects operating across the country right now.”

“Allowing an overseas company to come here and contribute to climate change while poisoning the local population is clearly not in New Zealanders interest. This decision for the OIO is really easy: decline it.”

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