Durham Environment Watch is non-profit and non-partisan, working to ensure that our region becomes a sustainable, healthy community.
DEW is committed to making a positive difference in our urban and rural environment today and for future generations
by helping to educate and reduce environmental pollution.
Environmental pollution is
contamination of air, water and land from man-made waste. Pollution leads to
depletion of the ozone layer and climate change. Air pollution is the
release of chemicals and particles into the atmosphere. Water pollution
includes surface runoff, leakage into groundwater, liquid spills, wastewater
discharge and littering. If toxins are emitted from industrial or
incinerator stacks, spilled on the ground or if an underground storage tank
leaks, soil can become contaminated. Well known contaminants include
herbicides and pesticides and dioxins. Toxic waste is waste material, often
in chemical form from emissions, which pollutes the natural environment and
Right now, our most pressing issue is waste management, due to the pending incineration project, proposed and driven by Durham Regional Council. But we have other important issues facing us as well, including the proposed ethanol plant in Oshawa, right next to Second Marsh; the spreading of sewage sludge on farmer's fields as fertilizer, contaminating our produce; the fluoridation of our drinking water - pros and cons.
Incineration: As municipalities determine the costs associated with their disposal options, it is important that they consider the health and social costs associated with the pollution from incineration facilities. More specifically, these costs would include the cost of global warming, acid rain, and an increase in chemicals in our air, land and water associated with emissions of certain pollutants to the atmosphere and to waterways. The increased likelihood of adverse impacts on human health associated with air pollution emissions and the release of toxic substances to the environment also carry a cost. Studies have calculated the total social cost of incineration and landfill, and their findings show that incineration costs are much higher than landfill, both fiscally and socially.
Video from Zero Waste British Columbia:
Zero Waste is a way of thinking about, designing, and managing products and processes to reduce the volume and toxicity of materials and thus waste, to conserve and recover all resources, and to ensure resources are neither burned nor buried. Zero Waste is not the same as 100 % recycling, since Zero Waste seeks to design waste out of the entire industrial production system, rather than just figure out how to re-use it after the fact. The Zero Waste International Alliance says, "Zero Waste is a goal that is both pragmatic and visionary, to guide people to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are resources for others to use.”
Quote from Al Gore
"The latest scheme masquerading as a rational and responsible alternative to landfills is a nationwide – and worldwide – move to drastically increase the use of incineration… The principal consequence of incineration is thus the transporting of the community’s garbage – in gaseous form, through the air – to neighbouring communities, across state lines, and indeed, to the atmosphere of the entire globe, where it will linger for many years to come. In effect, we have discovered yet another group of powerless people upon whom we can dump the consequences of our own waste; those who live in the future and cannot hold us accountable."
Quote from "Earth In The Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit" - Author Al Gore (Author of "An Inconvenient Truth")
It is well known that recycling in particular reduces the need to use scarce raw materials, reduces primary process wastes and air and water effluents generated by primary processing, reduces energy consumption, reduces the need for landfill sites, and creates jobs in populated areas. Unfortunately, the concrete actions that follow the many supportive statements about recycling made by Durham Region and other municipal governments demonstrate that they are really only paying lip service to the concepts that they publicly promote. They are spending all their time and energy on promoting INCINERATION rather than working aggressively toward more effective waste diversion. Remember that incineration is not diversion. It is destruction of materials with environmental and health as well as fiscal consequences.
Dioxin! What Citizens, Workers and Policymakers Should Know
If you'd like to understand a little bit more about Dioxin, produced by the incineration process, take the time to watch this video. It explains how it gets into our food, water, our bodies, how persistent it is, the health risks and much more.
Durham Region's Council and even the Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle
find this to be 'acceptable risk'.
it's 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake because my great great grandchildren
won't let me sleep my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
surely you did something when the seasons started failing?
as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?