Why not to expand burning at HERC

Why we should NOT expand Burning our Garbage at HERC…

  • Burning is the most expensive way to dispose of trash, bar none, and we pay as taxpayers to run the garbage burner along with a subsidy of $12/ton to make it more competitive with landfilling.
  • Burning produces more greenhouse gas emissions than coal and 3x those of natural gas.
  • Burning releases all kinds of air toxics and metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, beryllium, copper, cadmium.
  • HERC is the largest source of dioxin in the State, as identified by the MPCA in 2002, representing more than 51% of all the Dioxin released.  The form released was the most toxic form, the same used as the active ingredient in “agent orange”
  • We pay for it not only with our tax dollars, but also with our health.
  • There are currently several “hot spots” of pollution from the incinerator due to a modeling study done for the Ballpark EIS, yet no one has alerted those neighborhoods, like St. Anthony West, that they are in a ‘hot zone’ of pollution.
  • Between 50% and 66% of what is currently going to the burner is recyclable material or compost that could easily be collected today.
  • Recycling rates are flat since the 80’s, Hennepin County is at about 42% according to their report April 8, 2010.
  • The current market value for recyclables is $125/ton collected, whereas we have to spend $55/ton to dispose of the recyclables at HERC.  That’s a net loss of $180/ton to the taxpayers for every ton of recyclables combusted.
  • Recycling materials avoids releasing greenhouse gasses (73%), whereas burning those materials creates them.
  • Burning garbage still results in toxic ash that has to be landfilled, about 20% of the material going in will come back as ash, and the rest becomes air pollution.  That ash is much worse to handle and deal with than the recycling and compost.
  • In the 2010 MPCA report to the legislature it was identified that air toxics are of primary concern and among the ones of most concern are dioxins and furans.  Garbage burning was identified as one of the ‘most important’ sources of these emissions that must be curtailed.
  • Burning unsorted trash is among the least desirable forms of disposal as ranked in the State Hierarchy; reducing waste, recycling & composting all rank above.
  • Goals have been set by the County to greatly boost recycling rates by 2015—to 75%, but all the money and resources are going towards the burner.
  • HERC is currently located in the most densely populated area of the State and right across from an open air ballpark.

Sign up today and tell our elected officials NO MORE POLLUTING POWER from HERC!