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What are the alternatives?                                                   
Alternative waste treatments

National policy includes thermal treatment of hazardous waste. But why clutch at the first proposal that comes our way – particularly a mass burn facility that uses technology in commercial use since the early ‘70s?

Thermal treatment has advanced in leaps and bounds since the ‘70s and there are alternatives to the type of facility proposed by Indaver.

For example, while Gasification and Pyrolysis share some of the problems of mass burn facilities (harmful emissions and hazardous ash), they are more efficient, produce less ash, allow better emission control, and some are available in trailers that can be transported to the point of waste production.

So, if we must have thermal treatment, why not small mobile units that treat pre-sorted waste, using contained, controlled systems specific to each waste type? After all, our goal is to reduce thermal treatment of hazardous waste to about half today’s levels.

And what about safer, alternative technologies, such as:

  • composting
  • anaerobic digestion
  • biodegradation
  • gas phase chemical reduction


Zero Waste

Zero Waste is a PHILOSOPHY, a JOURNEY, and a GOAL that is being embraced by businesses and governments worldwide – in particular, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and some US states.

Zero Waste aims to change the one-way flow of materials through society to a circular system that ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired, or recycled:

The journey towards zero waste involves:

  • eliminating waste at source through product redesign
  • reducing waste further down the supply chain through cleaner production, reuse, repair, recycling, and composting.

In principle, our own national policy corresponds with the concept of Zero Waste, with its focus on prevention and minimization.

But what choice does Ireland make from the vast range of global waste management models and technologies? Age-old mass burn incineration – a solution that will render virtually redundant the "cornerstone" of national policy, which is PREVENTION.

Significant quotes

"a vision for a society that values its environment and resources, and a guide to achieving it."
New Zealand Waste Strategy – Towards zero waste and a sustainable New Zealand

"The goal is zero – zero waste and emissions."
Vice President, DuPont

"It is important to set ourselves demanding targets. While at first sight the goal of zero emissions... may seem beyond our reach, I believe it has importance in focusing our quest for solutions to a complex problem."
Deputy Group Chief Executive, BP International


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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