Powell River Area Residents Are Aghast After Learning About Wheelabrator's Local Garbage Incinerator Proposal

Waste incinerator in Powell River series - #1

It was standing room only last night at an auditorium full of fellow Powell River BC area residents who'd come to see and hear a presentation by local scientist Mark Biagi about the consequences of seeing a proposed garbage incinerator actually being allowed to proceed in Powell River. We'd all heard about how Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., had come to town last week to show our local Chamber of Commerce and City Council a bunch of glossy photos and even glossier information about the wonders in store for the area once if had drunk the garbage incineration kool-aid.

Needless to say there are many non-kool-aid drinking types in Powell River just as there are in hundreds of other communities worldwide where the garbage incinerator pimps have rolled into town. Today's followup searches by me showed pictures of outraged citizens protesting against incinerators. In every language their signs carried the same message, in the Internet age information travels everywhere quickly giving liars like those from Wheelabrator very few dark corners to hide in.

The crowd included many local politicians, scientists, activists, farmers and assorted malcontents [like me]. The tone was serious, the topic after-all was the future health of every living thing in a huge radius. We learned among other things that air pollution from waste incinerators typically includes dioxins, furans, and pollutants like arsenic, cadmium, chlorobenzenes, chlorophenols, chromium, cobalt, lead, mercury, PCBs, and other heavy metals. We learned about just how few jobs were really created, the Burnaby operation that is half the size of the proposed PR operation created 4 full time jobs. About how garbage incineration is the most inefficient and dirtiest way to produce electricity - even burning coal is twice as clean. We learned about birth defects, and how easily and abundantly garbege incinerators created persistant non-biodgradable dioxin nano particles - the most toxic pollutants know to science - that leads directly to them.

We learned lottsa stuff about how Wheelabrator is in trouble everywhere they go for breaking the regulations they swear to adhere to then, if caught and sued, settle -usually out of court - because its cheaper to settle than follow the regulations. We learned just how difficult it's going to be to STOP WHEELABRATOR because the existing laws and zoning regulations written by industry stooges of an earlier era put private industry in an almost unassailable position. We learned...well, there was so much information to absorb, so many parts to this multi-faceted situation, that none of us could possibly absorb and remember them all.

In the coming days The Mud Report is going to try to eat this elephant of an issue, as the old saying goes, one bite at a time. First up will be the 50km-80km food production exclusion zone around a garbage incinerator stack that health officials recommend. So if you're into backyard gardening, fishing, hunting, having chickens, eating crabs and oysters or buying stuff at your local farmers market anywhere in the Georgia Basin from north of Campbell River to south of Nanaimo, from Gibsons to Lund you're screwed. If they are allowed to build this damn thing we all will be better off buying our food from somewhere like Safeway so we know it comes from a long way away.