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Zero Waste Network Supports Waipa Council Incinerator Decision

“The Zero Waste Network strongly supports the decision of both the Waipā District Council and Waikato Regional Council asking the Minister to call in the resource consent application to build a waste incinerator in Te Awamutu. This incinerator would be a major contributor to climate change and spread toxic dioxin emissions throughout the air, land and water. It is vital that all of these impacts are taken into account,” said Sue Coutts of the Zero Waste Network.

The Waipā District Council has today voted to request that the Minister for the Environment call in the application, using powers under the Resource Management Act for projects of national significance.This would enable the climate change impacts of the incinerator proposal to be factored into the decision making process.

“This project would burn plastics, tyres and mixed solid waste which creates CO2 emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that each tonne of waste burnt produces up to 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide.”

“We need to reduce our emissions drastically. The most critical first step is not to build massive new sources of CO2.”

“The industry calls it ‘waste-to-energy’ as a way to cover up the fact that it is just dirty rubbish burning. The World Energy Council found that, kilogram for kilogram, waste produces less than half the energy of coal and less than one-third the energy of natural gas while producing many times the amount of pollution.”

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“The company proposing to build this waste incinerator in Te Awamutu has used an incinerator in Germany as a comparable site. That site uses 900,000+ liters of diesel each year just to keep it running. CO2 emissions are generated from burning both the diesel and the rubbish itself.”

“Opposition to this proposal comes from across the spectrum from local residents, businesses and environmental organisations. Fonterra has made a submission totally opposing the project.”

“A similar incinerator proposal in Waimate, South Canterbury has already been called in by the Minister, and this application should be dealt with in the same way in order to ensure a consistent and robust approach across the whole country.”

“The new Associate Minister for the Environment Penny Simmonds holds the waste portfolio. The message from communities across the country to her is super clear: people don’t want landfills or incinerators in their neighbourhoods. They are both toxic disposal options.”

“People want real solutions to waste. This means reduction at the source, along with a shift to reuse and repair. The Ministry for the Environment is implementing the Waste Strategy and there is cross sector work in progress to put product stewardship schemes in place. Incineration is completely at odds with New Zealand’s direction of travel.”


World Energy Council link:

IPCC report link:

Background on the Te Awamutu project:

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