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TWA Welcomes Adoption of Zero Waste Goal by Naples, Italy

Written By krishna on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 | 6:11 AM

Press Statement

TWA Welcomes Adoption of Zero Waste Goal by Naples, Italy

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New Delhi: ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) welcome the decision of Luigi de Magistris, Mayor of Naples, Italy in favour of Zero Waste and against Waste Incineration.

In an email communication, Dr. Paul Connett, Professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University, New York said, “If Naples can do this ANY CITY in the world can try this. This is the biggest blow yet delivered to the pro-incinerator mafiosos in our governments. It should make all those toiling at the grass roots celebrate!” Prof. Connet has long held that “Incineration is an unacceptable practice in the 21st Century and “It's not waste until it's wasted.”

He remarked, “In an incredible turnaround the newly elected mayor of Naples announced this afternoon that the city is embarking on a zero waste strategy and joining the zero waste alliance. In doing so the Mayor has exhibited enormous courage: he is taking on the central government, the regional government and the mafia - all of which want incineration. So from being an emblem of the worst waste management city in Italy, and probably Europe, Naples is set to become a world leader for a sustainable waste management program.”

TWA hopes that after such a move Mayor of Naples will desist from allowing transfer city’s waste to any foreign country. It remains to be seen as to what happens to the agreement city of Naples entered with Dutch waste disposal companies to collect and destroy 250,000 tons of waste a year.

The crisis of waste management in Naples reached critical stage with overfilled landfills in 2008 with proposal for three incinerators. The Italian Army had to be called in Naples to help the city deal with some 2000 tons of uncollected garbage in May 2011. The situation remains grim even now. It is the fate that awaits or surrounds all the cities world over that took birth post industrial revolution.
TWA invites the attention of Urban Development Ministry, Municipal Corporations and Municipalities in India to adopt the sane and ecologically sensitive and sacred goal of Zero Waste which is being adopted by more and more European municipalities. An upcoming meeting in the craddle of Zero Waste in Italy, Capannori is scheduled from the 7th to 9th October, 2011 to help coordination among Zero Waste Communities world over. Representatives from US and European cities are expected to be present. This meeting has relevance for India as well.

A similar initiative is long due in India so that the incineration of waste as recommended by National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMSH) under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is rejected. NMSH is suggesting a technology that emits persistent organic pollutants, green house gases and heavy metals. NMSH notes that 42 million tones of municipal solid waste is generated daily in the urban areas in the country, which is not segregated at source and mixed waste is being dumped in to the low lying areas in and around the towns. Municipal waste comprises 30 per cent -55 percent of bio-degradable (organic) matter, 20 per cent-35 per cent inert matter and 5 per cent -15 per cent recyclables.

NMSH rightly suggests that organic fraction of municipal solid waste can be profitably converted into useful products like compost (organic manure) but its recommendation for energy production through waste to energy based on Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)/Pelletisation and Pyrolysis/Plasma Gasification-a co-incineration process is highly misplaced. It is right in stating that incineration is difficult due to low calorific value and high moisture content in the waste at page no. 31 of the 114 page Mission document prepared by Union Ministry of Urban Development.

The composition of the waste and its chemical characteristics create a compelling logic against waste incineration either through RDF or any other incineration technology. Indian municipal waste has 25.2 % moisture content and 23.4 % organic matter and 40.03 % ash and inert matter. In such a scenario, if these waste to energy incinerators aren’t merely subsidy cornering initiatives; one does not know what it is.

Delhi Government, Union Ministry of Urban Development must not allow Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) to subvert and distort waste management through its obsession with waste incineration which is one of the sources of green house gases as per Annexure A of Kyoto Protocol. It is MNRE’s Waste to Energy policy based on waste incineration which is essentially a power plant based on waste is distorting waste management for good.

Residents of Delhi’s Narela-Bawana, Gazipur, Timarpur and Okhla and Jalandhar, Punjab are campaigning to save themselves from imminent public health disaster from the Dioxins emitting waste to energy incinerators proposed by emerging Garbage czars. Delhi High Court has fixed 20th October, 2011 as the next date for the hearing of Writ Petition (Civil) 9901/2009 in this matter. There has been 11 orders in the case so far but unmindful of the fact that the case of Okhla’s municipal waste to energy incinerator is sub judice, its construction is underway at supersonic speed as if Prithviraj Jindal, the owner of the Timarpur-Okhla Municipal Solid Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd (TOWMCL), a 100 % subsidiary of Jindal ITF Urban Infrastructure Ltd wishes to present a fait accompli to the High Court

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Convener, ToxicsWatch Alliance, Mb: 9818089660, E-mail: krishna2777@gmail.com, Web: toxicswatch.blogspot.com
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