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Just a very quick reply:

I know waste disposal can be a specially tough issue for island
communities, but an incinerator is a very poor idea, will all sorts
of possibilities for creating health and environmental problems. Air
pollution, water pollution, ash disposal, real cost, health of
workers and the general public....all are hard--sometimes
impossible--to manage and it is not to be expected that Anguilla
would have the technical and regulatory infrastructure to deal with
these issues on a continuing basis. Incinerators can be marketed as
the clever, simple, almost magical solution to waste problems, but it
never turns out that way.

To respond to just two points you raise: Heavy metals are elements
and cannot be destroyed at any temperature short of the
nuclear. Medical wastes tend to be loaded with chlorinated plastics
that produce dioxin-family compounds when burned. These compounds
may not be present during high-temperature combustion but may form in
the off-gasses downstream.

Sometimes the real marketing point on air pollution is some version
of "put it on the lee side of the island and all the fumes will blow away...."

More people can be usefully employed in "zero waste" programs than in
feeding burners.....


Alan Muller

At 12:37 PM 9/6/2006 +0000, michael cowing wrote:

>Dear colleagues
>I know that the subject of incinerators is an emotive one at the
>best of times, but I am looking for some advice.
>I am working as an advisor to the Government of Anguilla (small
>island in British West Indies) and an international company has made
>a proposal to provide a small incinerator to dispose of household,
>industrial and medical waste.
>It appears a cheap option, but they are not proposing to provide any
>gas emission equipment to clean the flue gases, advising that at the
>incinerator's high operating temperatures (close to 1,000 C) , all
>items of concern such as furans, dioxins and heavy metals are
>completely destroyed. I am dubious, is this correct ?
>Also, they advise that it is acceptable to dispose of the bottom and
>fly ash within the unlined disposal site, which is adjacent to the
>coast - again I have my reservations, any advice/information would
>be gratefully received.
>Mike Cowing.
Alan Muller, Executive Director
Green Delaware
Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731 USA
fax (302)836-3005

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