The dirty secret is out, the County, as suspected by many, is talking to the REM people about using their incinerator (and we will refer to the facility as nothing else, because that’s what it is even if the REM people try to dress it up) as the ‘magic bullet’ that will magically pull their filthy rabbit from the hat. The BR wrote about the problems that the County (here) is facing if they do not get an extension for the Brighton landfill site in 2016 here. We also suggested that the fat cats in the County waste management get off their arses and get moving on the composting solution that would remove 40% of the waste stream from landfill, thereby extending the life of the remaining capacity.
It is no news to the BR that the County has been giving quiet support to REM. The writing was on the wall when the County hired new members of the waste management office right away from Durham Region, that department was developing the super burner in Clarington.
Thanks to Valerie MacDonald of Northumberland Today for digging out this nugget of a story. As she must realise what this revelation has done is to take this story beyond the grubby debate on the pages of “Port Hope Politics” and the endless go-arounds at Port Hope Council and expanded it into the County-wide discussion.
But back to the nuts and bolts of the story – you cannot polish this turd or even put any more lipstick on this pig – gasification is not a benign process that uses high heat to dissolve trash and where the waste products magically go ‘poof’ into the environment. Gasification is Incineration. Emissions are toxic and deadly and cannot be hidden or destroyed. Elementary School physics taught us that matter cannot be destroyed only changed and this case high heat does not destroy the toxins – dioxins or furans. We have not perfected any technology that reduces these emissions.
Wikipedia says this about Incineration; “Incineration has a number of outputs such as the ash and the emission to the atmosphere of flue gas. Before the flue gas cleaning system, if installed, the flue gases may contain significant amounts of particulate matter, heavy metals, dioxins, furans, sulfur dioxide, methane, and hydrochloric acid. If plants have inadequate controls, these outputs may add a significant pollution component to stack emissions. In a study from 1997, Delaware Solid Waste Authority found that, for same amount of produced energy, incineration plants emitted fewer particles, hydrocarbons and less SO2, HCl, CO and NOx than coal-fired power plants, but more than natural gas–fired power plants. According to Germany’s Ministry of the Environment, waste incinerators reduce the amount of some atmospheric pollutants by substituting power produced by coal-fired plants with power from waste-fired plants.“
If this process is allowed to go forward it will only be because the emission standards have not kept pace with this unproven technology. There is not one operation like the one proposed for Wsleyville that is working in the World today. Even the unit in Poland, that was visited by a Port Hope politician on a ‘sponsored junket’ was of a different design.
So in conclusion we set out our arguments once again for the fast-tracking of a Northumberlan composting plant – if the shinyarses at the County want to see what one looks like we suggest they jump in their cars and whiz down the 401 on their mileage allowances and nip into the Disco Rd facility in Toronto (read about it here). At a cost of 74 million dollars this facility will seem like a bargain when full cost accounting of waste is applied to it. For instance when calculating the cost of a ton of garbage across the gate what costs are included.
“The Disco Road plant helps Toronto increase its processing capacity by up to 75,000 tonnes per year.” A quote is pulled from the article cited and is used to demonstrate that we can do it if the will is there.
Composting is the magic bullet not an unproven idea from a barely existent Company with no history or record of what they are proposing.