Waste incineration not best solution
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.