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Incineration – Solid Waste Disposal

Unforeseen Dioxin Formation in Waste Incineration

Ingrid Söderbergh, September 18, 2014

Dioxins forms faster, at lower temperatures and under other conditions than previously thought. This may affect how we in the future construct sampling equipment, flue gas filtering systems for waste incineration and how to treat waste incineration fly ash. These are some of the conclusions Eva Weidemann draws in her doctoral thesis, which she defends at Umeå University on Friday the 26 of September.

Dioxins is a collective name for a specific group of chlorinated organic molecules where some exhibit hormone disrupting and carcinogenic properties. Dioxins can form in waste incineration, as the flue gases cool down.

“When you incinerate waste, some dioxin formation is inevitable, but with the modern flue gas cleaning systems the emission through the stack is minimized, The dioxins are filtered from the flue gases and end up in the fly ash“, says Eva Weidemann.

That dioxins form is known since the 80’s but in the thesis work Eva Weidemann shows that these toxic substances can form under previously unseen conditions. Amongst other findings she describes formation of dioxins within the flue gas filters of a full scale waste incineration plant.

“The intended function of the filters is to remove the dioxins from the flue gas, but I found that they actually formed instead. The dioxin emissions from the plant still falls below the legislative limits, but that the formation takes place in the first place is bad news. We have identified key parameters for the formation and approximate mechanics. My hope is that our findings can contribute to better filter design in the future,” says Eva Weidemann.

Another problem addressed by the thesis is that dioxins can form within the sampling equipment used during high temperature sampling and Eva Weidemann has investigated how to carry out high temperature dioxin sampling to avoid this occurrence. The solution is more efficient cooling at a critical stage, which then prevents the formation of dioxins.

Eva Weidemann have also looked at how dioxins in waste incineration fly ash is influenced by different of hot and cold treatments to find possible methods to detoxify the ashes. The results are not entirely conclusive, but they provide puzzle pieces that can help.

“If we could find a good detoxification method for the fly ashes, it would be an environmental benefit from a dioxin perspective but also in other aspects such as recycling”, says Eva Weidemann.

Waste incineration is despite the dioxins a good option to utilize the energy in waste that cannot be sorted and recycled. The waste is reduced in weight and volume, and bacteria and odor disappears. In addition, combustion a more climate friendly handling method in comparison to landfilling. The methane gas that forms as the waste decays is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide formed during combustion. The pollution problem attributed to the method in the 80’s and 90’s are today nearly eliminated with the help of advanced filters and purification systems, as well as periodic emission controls.

‘Japan incinerator technology not suited to Malaysia’

6 July 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: An incinerator in Malaysia is not needed even if it is based on Japanese technology as the situation in both countries is different.

Referring to Japan’s offer to supply its incinerator technology to Malaysia, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming said Malaysia is not the suitable place to implement Japanese incineration technology.

“It is because we have not done something that Japan has already done which is separation of waste at source,” he said, adding that Japan has its own schedule to collect different types of rubbish every two days.

“To put it simply, all waste streams are separated at source and collected separately in Japan,” Ong said in a press conference in Laman Resident Kipark, near here today.

Ong, who visited three Japanese incineration plants during an unofficial trip with several NGOs, said Japan needs incinerators because it does not have enough land.

“In Malaysia, there is enough land to implement other programmes and not just incineration, such as recycling centres, setting up a bio-gas facility or anaerobic digestion. We have other options,” he added.

Recently, Japan offered its incinerator technology to Malaysia when a Malaysian delegation met that country’s Waste and Recycle Management director-general, Shigemoto Kajihara.

The Malaysian team, led by National Solid Waste Management Department (JPSPN) director-general Dr Nadzri Yahaya, included Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw and Hulu Langat MP Dr Che Rosly Che Mat.

Also in the delegation were Gerakan’s Batu parliamentary coordinator Prof Dr Dominic Lau, Umno Kepong representative Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman and Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator (KTI) representative Lam Choong Wah.

However, KTI claimed the trip was merely an agenda to mitigate the negative perception of incinerators in Malaysia.

Lam said Japan and Malaysia had different and unique environments.

“Japan is in a different situation (compared to Malaysia) which made them select the incinerator as the only technology in waste management,” he said.

Guangdong demonstrators take to streets for second day to protest waste incinerator plans

Sunday, 14 September, 2014

He Huifeng

Demonstrations against a controversial waste incinerator project continued in Huizhou in Guangdong yesterday ahead of today’s close of the public consultation over the plan.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the county’s government building and a public square, as anti-riot police stood monitoring the situation, according to several residents.

The protest followed a bigger rally on Saturday, when participants and witnesses estimated thousands took to the streets in Boluo county, demanding the authorities scrap the incinerator project, which would process 2,600 tonnes of rubbish a day.

Li Wei, a local resident, said a petition highlighting residents’ concerns was being circulated. “So far we have more than 20,000 names on more than 1,000 sheets of paper,” Li said.

“I believe more people will join the protest [today] and even students will turn out because it’s the last day of the government’s one-month public consultation over the project.

“If we don’t stand up to fight, it will be too late to save our community,” he added.

Municipal authorities said the location of the incinerator had not been decided.

They released a statement saying Saturday’s gathering was illegal and the work of people with ulterior motives. The local public security bureau said 24 people had been detained on suspicion of disturbing public order and causing trouble. Sixteen had received administrative punishment.

The local government would “further gather reasonable and lawful suggestions and opinions from the public” and would “pick the project site scientifically and in accordance of the law”.

In April, residents in three Guangdong cities – Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Maoming – took to the streets to protest against building a 3.5 billion yuan (HK$4.4 billion) paraxylene (PX) plant in Maoming.

In May, another mass rally over a proposed waste incinerator in the eastern city of Hangzhou left at least 10 demonstrators and 29 police officers injured.

At least five more people detained over Huizhou incinerator protest

Monday, 15 September, 2014

Huifeng He

Arrests follow weekend demonstrations involving thousands calling for project to be scrapped

At least five people were detained by police on Sunday in Huizhou in Guangdong for allegedly spreading false information over the internet to “incite” protest against a proposed trash incinerator project.

The arrests follow demonstrations during the weekend in which thousands took to the streets in Boluo county demanding the authorities scrap the project, which would process 2,600 tonnes of rubbish a day.

Since Saturday, the local public security bureau had taken away 32 people for investigation on suspicion of spreading rumours or disturbing public order and causing trouble, and 21 were still being detained.

Several local residents said they received electronic messages saying the municipal government had given approval to their taking to the streets peacefully on September 20 to voice concerns about the project. But the county’s authorities released a brief statement on Sunday night denying it had given such permission.

However, many local residents said they would again take to the street this coming Saturday, no matter the authorities approve. “We are not afraid of being detained. If we don’t stand up to fight, it will be too late to save our community,” Li Wei said

According to county authorities, the location of the incinerator had not been decided, and the party chief of the county was scheduled to meet today with representatives of the residents to hear their advice and appeals about the garbage incinerating plan.

Some internet users have called for demonstrations to spread to other cities in the Pearl River Delta. “People of Shenzhen, Dongguan and even Hong Kong should take to the street because incinerator would be so close to their water sources, Dongjiang River,” a person using the nickname Ai Yu Bu Ai said on weibo.

Waste plans limited to incineration

Saturday, 30 August, 2014

Waste plans limited to incineration

I refer to the letter by Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection (“Government serious about tackling waste”, August 18) replying to my letter (“Sustainable disposal solution needed to tackle mounting waste”, July 26).

He used well-worn bureaucratese talking about “blueprints” and “initiatives” to manage Hong Kong’s waste “in the coming decade”.

He says nothing about what is being done now to encourage territory-wide waste separation and recycling. Where is the public education campaign on sorting waste at source? Why is only 0.02 per cent per year of Hong Kong’s rubbish collected in the so-called recycling bins? Why are most of the recyclables collected in the 26,000 bins still dumped in landfills? Why does Au have no accurate figures on the amount of waste recycled? Where is the cooperation among the Environmental Protection, Food and Environmental Hygiene and Housing departments to collect and sort domestic waste? To refute my “unsubstantiated assertions”, he fails to substantiate his own with statistics.

Instead, Au proclaims “strategies, targets and plans” for comprehensive waste management in the future. Similar “strategies, targets and plans”, declared by a previous environment secretary, have yet to be implemented.

Au trumpets the “Blueprint on sustainable use of resources 2013-2022”. It’s largely a rehash of a blueprint issued in 2005, “A policy framework for the management of municipal solid waste 2005-2014”, with strategies and targets for community-wide reuse, recovery and recycling of waste. Nine years later, we’re still waiting.

The Environment Bureau’s only major plan is the mega-incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau, from which toxic ash residue must be shipped across the busy harbour to be dumped in expanded landfills. The bureau has pro-incinerator roadshows and TV ads, instead of a media campaign to educate people on how to properly sort their refuse.

Since 2010, Au has championed this incinerator, paying lip service to waste separation and recycling. The “green community stations” are more window dressing.

After nearly a decade of failure to push anything other than incineration, how can we believe Au’s current “strategies, targets and plans” will lead to comprehensive waste management, especially if the incinerator gets funding? All our waste will then go into this plant, and there will be no incentive to reduce or recycle.

Throw refuse in black plastic bags, dump it in the incinerator and landfills; build more incinerators and expand landfills as needed. That is the bureau’s real waste-management plan, past, present and future.

Kim Chai, Lantau

Bandung govt urged to scrap waste incinerator technology plans

Arya Dipa, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Archipelago | Mon, September 01 2014

The Bandung administratioon should review a tender awarded to a private-sector firm to develop a waste-based power plant (PLTSA), as the planned use of waste incineration technology to generate electricity is incommensurate with the character of waste in Bandung, says a conservationist.

Global Alliance on Incinerator Alternatives member Yuyun Ismawati said that like other cities in Indonesia, waste in Bandung was predominantly “wet.” This wetness” made incineration an inappropriate means of generating electricity — especially through boilers — since it would require extreme heat.

“This would mean burning water by using diesel fuel and coal, such that it’s not the waste that is being burned,” Yuyun said in Bandung on Friday.

The Bandung administration, meanwhile, has been resolute about plans to construct a PLTSA in Gedebage, which lies to the east of the city. The decision was based on a meeting between Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil and the Bandung municipal consultative board in July this year.

Bandung Environmental Management Agency head Eric M. Atthauriq said the government should begin preparing the tipping fee value — also known waste as waste management costs — or the power plant.

Currently, the tipping fee amounts to Rp 37,000 per ton, or around Rp 66 billion annually. Daily production is estimated production to be 700 tons.

“Apart from the tipping fee, in accordance with the mayor’s directives, we must be able to collaborate with the tender winner. A negotiation with the tender winner is necessary. Everything must be completed in two months, after which construction will commence,” Eric said.

Together with the Chinese investor, Hangzhou Boiler Co. Ltd. the Bandung administration awarded the waste management tender to PT Bandung Raya Indah Lestari (BRIL). The decision was announced on July 23, 2013 through the national Development Planning Board (Bappenas). The tender winner was announced during the tenure of former mayor Dada Rosada. Dada is currently imprisoned at the Sukamiskin penitentiary for bribing a judge in a Bandung city-funds assistance scam.

Bandung produces somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 tons of garbage each day. Currently, 1,200 tons of the waste is dumped at the Sarimukti landfill.

“The rest, which is strewn everywhere, would be sent to the Gedebage PLTSA,” said Eric, adding that the tipping fee at Sarimukti landfill stood at Rp 33.500 per ton, or Rp 13 billion annually.

Yuyun emphasized that the tender agreement had taken place during the former mayor’s term and as such, suspicions that the agreement was laden with corruption were justified. “It should be revised by annulling the last decision,” she said.

According to her, suspicions of foul play were also why she opposed current Mayor Ridwan’s plan to select PT BRIL to manage waste by applying the PLTSA technology.

“The duty of the government is to protect, not poison the community […] we should apply the anaerobic digester technology, which is more appropriate with the character of waste in Bandung, which is wet and could still be converted into energy,” said Yuyun.

Another solution, added Yuyun, was managing waste from the source. Based on a study of community-based waste management systems in seven cities in Indonesia, waste sorting and composting reduced waste production by up to 50 percent.

“For compost that is left idle, the administration could buy it back to fertilize city parks. Such a mechanism should be introduced so that the volume of waste brought to the landfill can be reduced, thus prolonging its operational lifespan,” added Yuyun.

Responding to the criticism, Ridwan Kamil said his administration would not hastily green-light the incinerator technology.

“It’s better to take a step backwards [if it means we can] get an optimal result,” Ridwan said on Sunday.

Clear the Air says: HKG food impregnated waste is wetter than Indonesia’s !!

Demands of oversized incinerator will stifle the efforts to recycle more waste

Jul 30, 2014

EARLIER this month, the European Commission published a range of new recycling targets for waste which, if accepted by the European Parliament, will be embedded in a revised Waste Framework Directive.

It would mean that local councils would be expected to recycle 70 per cent of household waste by 2030, while the target for packaging waste would be 80 per cent. The Commission is also looking to prohibit the sending of recyclable waste to landfill by 2025.

The proposal has been broadly welcomed by environmental groups, who are working towards a more sustainable approach to waste management and are keen to maximise what we recycle and compost.

I certainly agree that it is ridiculous that thousands and thousands of tonnes of recyclable and biodegradable material is dumped in landfill or incinerated, when much better use could be made of such resources.

The response from the Government, however, has been quite frosty. It has indicated that its representatives will oppose the targets when they are debated, citing the “potential costs to business, householders and local authorities”.

Such a view is in stark contrast to the Wealth From Waste report from the Local Government Association, published a few years ago.

This stated: “The simple fact is that taxpayers would be better off, the economy will benefit, and more people will have jobs if we grow the domestic market for collecting, sorting and reprocessing recycling … recycling actually brings in cash for the taxpayer and we owe it to today’s hard-pressed taxpayers to get as much of their money back as possible.”

The commission’s new targets would certainly need to trigger a step-change in how the United Kingdom deals with waste. According to figures from DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), English local authorities recycle, on average, 43.2 per cent of residents’ waste, though in Wales the figure is over 50 per cent.

But here in Cornwall, the unitary authority is tied into a multimillion-pound “integrated waste management contract” for the controversial incinerator – with an annual capacity of 240,000 tonnes – being built near St Dennis. It will principally deal with Cornwall’s domestic waste.

We have a recycling rate of less than 40 per cent and are generating 180,000 tonnes of residual waste annually – significantly less than the capacity of the incinerator – and I do fear that efforts to almost double recycling efforts in our area will be stifled by the need to fill the over-sized incinerator in Mid-Cornwall.

Port Hope council denies garbage incinerator applications

Todd McEwen

PORT HOPE — Well, bring on the Ontario Municipal Board.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, council denied the applications for a proposed Wesleyville garbage incinerator.

Entech-REM previously applied to change the zoning bylaw and municipality’s official plan in order to build an energy-from-waste facility on a 23-acre site in Wesleyville.

Now, the ball is in Entech-REM’s court.

Council has predicted the company will file an appeal on the decision with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), considering the municipality’s director of planning recommended council approved the applications.

The OMB examines individual cases from a planning perspective, considering whether an application meets provincial land policies and the principles of good planning.

Northumberland News’s calls to Entech-REM for comment were not returned by press deadline.

“I feel very hopeful that REM will not pursue the OMB,” said Councillor Mary Lou Ellis, chairman of the planning committee. “I would hope they know this will not be a good fit for our community and they will try and find a more suitable location.”

“I like to remain hopeful on that,” she said, referring to them not appealing the OMB. “I’m hoping when the (health) studies that the Ministry of Environment are working on come forward, we’ll have a more complete picture and I’m sure (Entech-REM) will too.”

“I’m just happy this part’s done,” she said. “They now clearly know how this municipality and this council stand on that issue.”

“I just want to thank all of you for making this decision tonight,” resident Sarah Sculthorpe told council. “As an individual, as a mother, as a grandmother, as a farmer, as a business owner and as a resident of this amazing municipality, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Many residents were singing a different tune at a public meeting the previous Thursday.

The meeting attracted about 300 people, about 40 of whom blasted not only the four representatives of Entech-REM who attended, but the municipality’s council and staff, accused of not having the best interest of the residents in mind.

“We’re now in the middle of a billion-dollar (radioactive waste) cleanup, when the leaders of Port Hope simply were not aware of the dangers,” resident Terry Hickey said, referring to the historic low-level radioactive waste left behind by Eldorado Nuclear Ltd. “This council, our current leadership, cannot be unaware of the multiple dangers this project brings to Port Hope. To allow REM to proceed, flies in the face of the phrase once bitten, twice shy, or in this case, stunned.”

Throughout the night, many residents challenged the director of planning’s latest report on the matter, which supported the applications.

Ron Warne and the planning staff’s first recommendation was to defer the applications until the provincial environment screening review has been completed, with the second advising council to approve the applications and place a holding provision on the lands, which suspends any development until the health reports and Ministry of Environment studies are completed.

“Staff are of the opinion that the proposed development represents an appropriate use of the subject lands,” Mr. Warne wrote in the report.

At this point, the future of Wesleyville is still up in the air.

“Go to the OMB, I’m not afraid,” resident Siobahn Kenny said at the public meeting. “The only people who should be afraid of the OMB are the four men (of Entech-REM) sitting at that table.”

Jersey’s toxic waste problem a warning

Thursday, 28 August, 2014

I refer to the letter by Chan Fung-chun (“Superficial platitudes on waste [1]”, August 26) berating Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection, on the limited landfill space in Hong Kong.

Having just returned from my home in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, for a summer holiday, I was perplexed and interested in the similar situation there regarding a recently constructed energy-from-waste incinerator. The disposal of the waste ash does not seem to have been properly addressed.

A report in the Jersey Evening Post [in 2012] said the island may require an additional reclamation site “if a solution is not found to deal with the island’s toxic ash”.

This ash came from burning waste in the incinerator. It was buried in lined pits that were close to capacity.

The paper said that “the move has sparked strong criticism from environmental campaign groups, who fear that the toxic substance could eventually leak into the sea”.

This is becoming a major problem for the tiny island of Jersey, and I have been following the for-and-against arguments for our own incinerator here in Hong Kong with the proposed siting in Shek Kwu Chau.

For Jersey, it may well be that there will be two islands soon, one for the inhabitants and one, getting increasingly large every year, for the toxic waste.

Peter Keeping, Causeway Bay

dynamco Aug 28th 2014


In September TTS started the tender process for the export of air pollution control residue (APCr), this is now well underway. Jersey will be exporting both IBA and APCr, thereby reducing the harmful elements stored in the ground. The Transport & Technical Services Minister, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said “When I became Minister I said I did not want to leave this material at La Collette as a legacy for future generations.” (HINT!)

“Plans to invest in increasing recycling/pursuing the option of exporting Guernsey’s waste have been approved”
HKG ENB officials were impressed with NIMBY incineration method in Sweden- which imports trash to burn to keep its incinerators operational, then it ships the toxic ash back to the trash origin.
In HKG’s case, we are repeatedly told our landfills are almost full. Yet we have no source separation of waste legislation, we have no Govt organised collection of voluntarily separated recyclables o/s housing estates, our alleged recycling figures are ‘cooked’ as revealed when Operation Green Fence stranded imported transit trash ‘recycling stats’ intended for China,here.
So our Govt will have to beg for the building of HKG’s own ‘Pulau Semakau’ island in the sea as the new ash lagoons. Unlike Singapore, HKG is in a typhoon area & no doubt the future super typhoons will wash everything into the sea.
Great thinking – NOT.

Approval for Invergordon waste incinerator quashed

Mohamed Al Fayed Mohamed Al Fayed opposed the incinerator

A decision to approve plans for a controversial £43m waste incinerator in Invergordon has been quashed following a legal challenge.

Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) was given the go-ahead in November 2012 following a public inquiry.

Highland Council and former Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed’s Ross Estates challenged the decision.

Judges have now ruled that the inquiry must be re-opened, but only deal with the issue of what waste is handled.

Mr Al Fayed has spoken out in the past against the incinerator.

Lawyers for both the local authority and the businessman’s Ross Estates had argued that the entire case should be heard again by a public inquiry.

But the Lord President, Lord Gill, who heard the appeal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh with Lord Menzies and Lord Clarke, took the view that was “unnecessary”.

The judges ruled that a condition allowing the plant to accept a maximum of 100,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste from within the Highland Council area, but also some from outside the region, should be examined by a public inquiry.

The condition was one of 16 attached to planning consent granted by a Scottish government planning reporter two years ago.

Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) has offered to place a restriction on the waste, but judges said opponents to the scheme should be given a fair chance to make submissions.

Highland Council has welcomed the ruling.

Councillor Maxine Smith said: “I am delighted that we have the opportunity to go back to inquiry to argue that planning permission should be refused.

“This incinerator is not wanted in Invergordon by the majority of people living here.”

Councillor Martin Rattray added: “I think this is a positive outcome and I am sure the community will welcome this as they have worked so hard and fought with such enthusiasm.”

28 August 2014