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New report cautions against garbage incineration in Ontario

Monday, March 26th 2007 8:06:19am

Media Release - For Immediate Release

(Toronto, March 26, 2007)  With renewed calls for garbage incineration in communities such as Hamilton, Durham Region (Clarington) and Ottawa, Ontario needs a comprehensive waste management strategy, according to a new report released today by the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP).

Titled Ontario's Waste Management Challenge - Is Incineration an Option? the report emphasizes waste reduction and diversion, while calling on the provincial government to fund an independent assessment of incineration technologies to better understand the true costs and benefits of incineration before their implementation.

"We're at an important crossroad in the energy-from-waste debate in Ontario," says Anne Mitchell, Executive Director of CIELAP.  "This research makes an important contribution by exploring where incineration might fit into an environmentally sustainable waste management strategy."

In the report (available at www.cielap.org), CIELAP makes the following key recommendations to the Ontario government:

    * Develop and implement strict packaging regulations to prevent and reduce unnecessary packaging;

    * Introduce strong policies and regulations on extended producer responsibility requiring industry to manage its waste itself, and strengthen the powers of Waste Diversion Ontario through amendments to the Waste Diversion Act to increase the role of industry stewardship in reducing and recycling waste; and

    * Fund an independent, fair and impartial scientific assessment of the risks and benefits of incineration technologies and provide this information to the public.

Maureen Carter-Whitney, CIELAP's Research Director and author of the report, states that, "Without an adequate diversion policy, we are merely turning to a quick fix.  Communities have a range of options to reduce and divert waste which ought to be explored and improved before investing in a technology that is controversial and may not even be necessary."

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Copies of the report and a Quick Facts sheet are available at www.cielap.org.

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Carolyn Webb at 416-923-3529 ext 26.

Founded in 1970, the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) is an independent environmental law and policy research and education organization.