Waste in­cin­er­a­tion not best so­lu­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Drak­en­stein Mu­nic­i­pal Man­ager, Mr Lieb­brandt in the Week­end Argus, 29th July 2017 refers to the “ex­or­bi­tant cost” of trans­port­ing waste from Welling­ton to the Cape Town land­fill.

The Welling­ton Ap­pli­cants Against the In­cin­er­a­tor (WAAI) is not dis­put­ing that trans­port­ing waste is ex­pen­sive. What we do dis­pute is that waste in­cin­er­a­tion is a fea­si­ble so­lu­tion.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s fea­si­bil­ity re­ports ig­nored many fea­si­ble al­ter­na­tives and, sur­pris­ingly, gave scant at­ten­tion to waste trans­porta­tion costs.

Omit­ted from the re­ports are the fol­low­ing per­tain­ing to waste trans­porta­tion:

The cost of trans­port­ing haz­ardous ash from the pro­posed in­cin­er­a­tor in Welling­ton to the City of Cape Town’s Vis­ser­shok land­fill site, given that the Welling­ton land­fill site is not li­censed to han­dle haz­ardous ash;

The cost of the en­vi­ron­men­tal, health, and so­cio-eco­nomic con­se­quences of trans­port­ing haz­ardous ash over long dis­tances;

That there is no agree­ment be­tween the City of Cape Town and Drak­en­stein Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­gard­ing dump­ing haz­ardous ash on the City's land­fill site;

That there are no agree­ments be­tween the Drak­en­stein Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the City of Cape Town and the Stel­len­bosch Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to trans­port ap­prox. 300 tons a day of solid waste from the City and Stel­len­bosch to the in­cin­er­a­tor;

If Stel­len­bosch and the City do not agree to ex­port 300 tons/day of solid waste, then the only op­tion to sus­tain the Waste In­cin­er­a­tor is for Drak­en­stein to im­port waste from far away or from an­other coun­try – with se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial, health, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cio-eco­nomic con­se­quences.

The costs of dam­age to roads and in­fra­struc­ture due to more than 22 812 (8 ton) refuse trucks cart­ing about 500 tons/day of solid waste to the in­cin­er­a­tor and spe­cial trucks trans­port­ing haz­ardous ash to Cape Town. Ap­prox­i­mately one mil­lion tons of haz­ardous ash would be trans­ported from Welling­ton to Cape Town over the 20 year life-cy­cle of the Waste In­cin­er­a­tor.

The cost and risks of pro­ceed­ing with this flawed project far ex­ceeds the costs and risks of restart­ing the process from scratch with a proper as­sess­ment of all the fea­si­ble op­tions for waste min­imi­sa­tion and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion.

The Drak­en­stein Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is ar­ro­gantly ig­nor­ing the Welling­ton com­mu­nity's con­sti­tu­tional rights by not pro­vid­ing them with all the fea­si­ble op­tions and in­for­ma­tion they re­quire in or­der for them to make an in­formed de­ci­sion as to the most ap­pro­pri­ate mech­a­nism for the solid waste ser­vice.

This is why we are tak­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to court.

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