Hong Kong Environmental "Protection" Dept has downplayed risks with waste incineration, in its zeal to build Shek Kwu Chau "IWMF" [Integrated Waste Management Facility - a fancy term for a giant bonfire of rubbis]
Damning report on issues with incinerator ash:
Toxic Ash Poisons Our Food Chain
This new report was prepared by IPEN to address a major source of POPs contamination of the environment that is often overlooked, underestimated or incorrectly classified in risk assessments, exposure scenarios and regulatory controls on waste. Ash and other residues from waste incineration contain dioxins, furans (PCDD/Fs) and a range of other highly toxic POPs at levels which are a threat to human health and the environment. Current management practices and regulatory threshold levels for POPs that contaminate incinerator residues are not preventing releases of POPs into agricultural settings, the food chain and the broader environment.
Waste incineration is often proposed by industries as a “solution” to waste management problems and a superior alternative to landfill. However, burning waste creates large amounts of toxic ash and other residues (approximately 30% by weight of the original waste volume) which are either dumped in landfill, on open ground and in some countries deep in underground voids. In some jurisdictions ash is incorrectly thought to be benign resulting in its use in agricultural settings and construction leading to significant POPs exposure potential. Municipal waste incineration destroys valuable resources and converts non-toxic material into toxic ash. Hazardous and medical waste incineration generates significant quantities of toxic ash when there are a range of non-incineration alternatives available to treat these wastes without creating POPs contaminated residues.
However, there are currently hundreds of waste incinerators around the world generating millions of tons of toxic ash every year, releasing POPs to the environment either from waste disposal practices or under the guise of valorized “products” such as construction materials, agricultural soil amendment and road base. This report examines POPs pollution that is occurring as a result of these practices....
Read the entire report here