Philippines under attack by incinerator companies - Greenpeace

Press release - June 9, 1997
The international environmental organization Greenpeace today warned that the Philippines is in danger of becoming one of the largest dumping grounds in Asia of discredited Western waste management technologies, particularly incineration. At least ten proposals to put up municipal waste incinerators in various parts of the country are in various stages of approval or implementation. These include proposals for a 1,350 ton per day (tpd) mass burn incinerator in Smokey Mountain, a 2,000 tpd facility in Carmona, Cavite, and a $185 M, 4,500 tpd plant in San Mateo, Rizal.

The international environmental organization Greenpeace today warned that the Philippines is in danger of becoming one of the largest dumping grounds in Asia of discredited Western waste management technologies, particularly incineration. At least ten proposals to put up municipal waste incinerators in various parts of the country are in various stages of approval or implementation. These include proposals for a 1,350 ton per day (tpd) mass burn incinerator in Smokey Mountain, a 2,000 tpd facility in Carmona, Cavite, and a $185 M, 4,500 tpd plant in San Mateo, Rizal.

"With markets in the West closing down due to the now-proven environmental and health problems of dioxin and heavy metal emissions associated with incinerators, multinational waste management companies are now targeting the Philippines in their desperate bid to peddle their wares at the expense of unsuspecting nations." Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner Von Hernandez said. "In its rush to embrace these so-called high-tech solutions, the Ramos government has demonstrated a total lack of understanding of waste management and a marked predisposition to quick-fix solutions, " he added.

"The very purpose of incinerators creates a need for waste. The pursuit of return on high investment costs requires at least minimum capacity use over the entire lifetime of the incinerator and thus creates a major disincentive to the prevention of waste and to the setting-up of separation and recycling schemes," Hernandez said.

Realizing that the Presidential Task Force on Waste Management has favored incineration as a safe and effective waste disposal option despite overwhelming evidence pointing to the contrary, a coalition of non-governmental organizations in a joint statement on June 6 called on President Fidel Ramos to immediately halt all actions and processes that will lead to the setting up of waste incinerators. The coalition along with Greenpeace has resolved to launch a massive national campaign to stop incinerators and push the government to provide the financial and physical infrastructure necessary to Implement environmentally sound and cost-effective community-based waste management strategies.

It is estimated that the current urban population in the Philippines is generating a total of 16,400 tons of solid waste daily. At 9,600 tons capacity, existing Incinerator proposals in and around Metro Manila already indicate a strong potential of over-capacity. This will cause unnecessary pollution by burning waste that could be easily dealt with more sensibly and economically.

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