Burying incinerator ash harms our health and environment. Yet, as New England’s incinerators limp on well past their lifespans, several ash landfills across the region want to expand.
I’ve always assumed that because I care about Connecticut’s environment, others do, too. But after volunteering with CLF as a fellow earlier this year, I learned that Connecticut suffers from a waste crisis. Now, the blinders are off.
We have a food waste problem. Each year, the U.S. trashes about 125 to 160 billion pounds of food. And while several factors play into our increasing wastefulness, the good news is, we have readily available solutions at hand.
Incinerator emissions are polluting the air and poisoning our communities. The problem is, clean air laws often favor polluters instead of the people they’re supposed to protect.
The City of Providence took a critical step in creating a zero-waste future and protecting its communities by banning trash incineration. The ban provides a model that other communities throughout the region can follow.
Burning and burying our trash leads to carbon pollution. We need to phase out these old, polluting incinerators and landfills and replace them with zero-waste alternatives. By doing so, we can help lower climate-damaging emissions and protect our communities and the environment.
For too long we’ve relied on outdated and polluting systems to deal with our trash. What we need are new, sustainable systems that aim to reduce the trash in our lives, while protecting our people and our planet. And we can make that happen right now.
Humans have been producing trash for generations. But how we dispose of it hasn’t improved in ages. By implementing zero-waste policies, we can begin to redesign our waste systems and produce less trash – while also protecting our environment and our communities.
The waste industry claims that their so-called “waste-to-energy” technologies can help combat the climate crisis by reducing climate-damaging emissions. But these claims are misleading and inaccurate. Burning trash to create energy will not solve the climate crisis or our growing waste problem.
Last month, we helped raise the alarm about a dangerous proposal for a garbage depot near Washington Park and South Providence neighborhoods. The garbage depot – and the dust, odor, traffic, and water pollution that would come with it – would have forced more pollution on communities already overburdened by other nearby industrial facilities. The reckless proposal spurred weeks of community action and resulted in an unqualified victory for residents.