‘Lud­dite’ says no

The Northland Age - - Local Life / Opinion -

De­spite at­tempts for months by ex­perts in waste-to-en­ergy tech­nol­ogy to get an ap­point­ment to see her, the Green

Party’s As­so­ciate En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Eu­ge­nie Sage has re­fused all ap­proaches, claim­ing waste-to-en­ergy plants “don’t fit with the gov­ern­ment’s waste re­duc­tion plans.”

But the Ger­man Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Agency says that “there are sev­eral rea­sons that the claim that waste in­cin­er­a­tion is thwart­ing waste pre­ven­tion ef­forts is un­sus­tain­able.”

It also says, “Waste in­cin­er­a­tion is mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to cli­mate pro­tec­tion and helps save nat­u­ral re­sources” in Ger­many.

Emis­sions from the new gen­er­a­tion plants were neg­li­gi­ble, while rub­bish dumps gen­er­ated meth­ane, said to be the worst of green­house gases, and CO2.

Ms Sage ap­pears to have a lud­dite view of new tech­nol­ogy in the waste dis­posal field, pre­fer­ring to see waste buried in the ground, leav­ing the af­ter-ef­fects, like the pos­si­bil­ity of tox­ins leach­ing into water­ways, for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to deal with.

She is out of step with the Green Party in Ger­many, which is pro­mot­ing a com­plete ban on land-fill­ing by 2020.

It main­tains that land­fill sites are “black boxes with un­con­trolled bi­o­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal pro­cesses that need in­ten­sive care for gen­er­a­tions, with a per­ma­nent dan­ger of leaks and tears,” likely to “cause ma­jor im­pacts on ground­wa­ter and soil.”

More than 2000 py­rolytic plants op­er­ate across the world, in coun­tries like Ja­pan, Nor­way, Swe­den, France, Ger­many, Bel­gium and other Euro­pean coun­tries, and re­cover a sub­stan­tial value in ma­te­rial from the waste stream be­fore turn­ing the re­main­der into elec­tric­ity, slag for use in road build­ing, and ash.

So­cial Credit would fund the build­ing of a wasteto-en­ergy (WtE) plant south of Auck­land, where de­mand for rub­bish dis­posal and elec­tric­ity are both fastest­grow­ing, and en­sure own­er­ship re­mained in New Zealand hands.

We want the gov­ern­ment to pass leg­is­la­tion re­quir­ing at least 60 per cent of waste to be re-pro­cessed by 2025 rather than be­ing dumped into land­fills.

Those coun­tries with waste to en­ergy plants are tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own rub­bish dis­posal, whereas Ms Sage ap­pears happy for New Zealand to send much of ours off­shore for some­one else to deal with, and sim­ply bury the rest in the ground and hope it goes away.

"Ms Sage ap­pears to have a lud­dite view of new tech­nol­ogy in the waste dis­posal field, pre­fer­ring to see waste buried in the ground, leav­ing the af­ter­ef­fects, like the pos­si­bil­ity of tox­ins leach­ing into water­ways, for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to deal with."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.