Adopting incinerators as a waste management solution is the worst option Lebanese authorities can resort to! In spite of all the studies that confirm the harm caused by smoke and ash emitted by incinerators into the air, land and water, which affect human health and the environment, the Lebanese Government intends to build incinerators under the pretext that they are the best solution for the waste crises the Lebanese people have been suffering from for the past several years. The Beirut Municipality has officially announced that it will soon implement this course of action. Other municipalities are expected to follow suit. The movement against incinerators will not stand for their disregard for our health and environment!
To all those involved in this decision, there’s no place for your incinerator among us. Your decision is not in the best interest of the Lebanese people!
To the Council of the Beirut Municipality
To the municipal unions throughout Lebanon
Presidency of the Council of Ministers
To the Lebanese parties and parliamentary blocks
What are incinerators?
Incineration is a technology by which all the waste materials from glass to plastic to organic waste and other substances are collected and burned with the aim of disposing of them by converting them into ash. The term “incinerators” has a negative connotation, and companies and authorities know that very well. That’s why they are promoting them under the guise of such attractive terms as “thermal degradation,” “waste-to-energy” or “steam generation from combustion of waste.” However all these terms are but another name for incinerators, which in all cases are harmful to the environment and people’s health.
What are the negative impacts of incinerators?
Incineration technology is detrimental to the environment and human health, not to mention that it is costly. While the competent authorities can make use of the different materials found in waste by adopting a sustainable waste management plan, they burn them all away in incinerators.
· Incinerators emit toxic atmospheric pollutants that cause terminal illnesses such as cancer, heart and pulmonary disease, and genetic disfigurements.
· Incinerators emit toxic ash filled with dioxins, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as Benzo-A-Pyrene, which is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a cancerous substance, and other toxic composites.
· Incinerators are among the most expensive technologies for solid waste management, and require strict and continuous monitoring to control the resulting pollutants.
What is the solution?
We want to implement a sustainable waste management plan that consists of reducing, reusing, recycling, biological treatment, and energy recovery. Sanitary landfills can be used for the residues of the sorting, recycling and biological treatment processes under environmentally sound conditions and temporarily until there are ways to treat all types of waste.