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Scrap the Waste-to-Energy Bill

Waste-to-energy incineration is sometimes promoted as a zero-waste and low-carbon solution to both solid waste pollution and climate change.

However the reality is opposite.

Waste-to-energy will only encourage generation of more waste because and will undermine the proper waste management practices such as reusing, repurposing and recycling.

It also runs contrary to our aspirational goal of keeping the temperature rise of climate to 1.5 degrees because waste incineration especially plastic waste still produce significant greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, it will only convert ordinary wastes to poisonous residues and fumes and persistent organic pollutants including dioxins and furans enough to cause serious health problems such as cancers and will affect future generations.

Tell the members of the 18th Congress of the Philippines to scrap the Waste-to-Energy Bill and instead uphold the incineration ban stated in the Clean Air Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Say no to false climate solutions

On 16 June 2020, the Senate Technical Working Group for Energy convened to discuss the salient points of the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Bill (SB 363) filed by Sen. Win Gatchalian. The bill intends to address the growing solid waste management problem in the country through converting non-recyclable waste materials into usable heat, electricity, or fuel. The bill claims to “encourage the development and utilization of environmentally sustainable new and alternative technologies in resource recovery, resource conservation, processing, treatment, and disposal of solid waste” by supporting the utilization and establishment of WTE technologies in the country.

However, several experts have argued that WTE technologies do more harm than good as burning waste to produce energy is essentially incineration, a waste treatment process that has been scientifically shown to pose huge health and environmental risks to nearby communities. In addition, the bill undermines real Zero Waste solutions as LGUs are encouraged to consume more materials and produce more waste in order to meet the waste volume quotas determined by profiteering WTE contractors. Finally, the said bill clashes with existing environmental laws such as RA 8749 or the Clean Air Act, which prohibits incineration; RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which promotes more environmentally sound waste management solutions; and RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act , which excludes non-recyclable and non-biodegradable waste in its definition of renewable energy resources.

The legalization of WTE Incineration will also undermine our contry's commitment to international treaties such as the Paris Agreement, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, we do not see this proposed law as our response to the climate emergency which has been severely impacting our country and the vulnerable sectors of society since the past 10 years.

We hope that your genuine concern for the environment and your constituency will translate to rejecting false solutions such as WTE incineration and thermal technologies, and will move towards supporting more people-centered and environmentally sound solutions.

Say no to false climate solutions

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