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Durham Region is building a garbage incinerator in the S end of Courtice near Lake Ontario. DurhamCLEAR has been actively fighting this plan since our inception along with other groups. We created a separate campaign website which has recently been archived to DontGetBurned.DurhamCLEAR.ca.


For a blow by blow documentary record of our battle against the incinerator, Kerry Meydam has an excellent website of document links at DurhamEnvironmentWatch.org.

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Durham Environment Watch.org

Zero Waste

In order to defeat the incinerator, Regional Councillors needed to be satisfied that there was a readily available alternative - which in Durham's case, because of prior decisions, could not be landfill.

The EA did only a cursory analysis of Zero Waste and rejected it - this was back in 2005 when Durham's own diversion was at 36%. Numerous councillors scoffed at the idea.

To achieve anywhere near Zero Waste, you need to change the mindset. Garbage is not something to be disposed of , it is raw materials (albeit messy) to be recovered and reused.

The first step is to analyse what garbage consists of. The following chart is primarily from a report prepared by Golder Associates for the Region in early 2009.

The most important take-away from this list is that there is nothing here that is labelled garbage. In fact the vast majority of it would have been less than a year old at the point it was discarded. There is nothing here that we can't identify easily and figure out what it is made of.

The other take-away is that everything here can be recycled and MOST IMPORTANTLY, EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST IS CURRENTLY BEING RECYCLED SOMEWHERE. So if it's being recycled somewhere, why not here. ZERO WASTE IS ACHIEVABLE.

Many municipalities are actively pursuing Zero Waste, most notably San Francisco which is currently at 78% and aiming for Zero in 2020.

In order to ensure that Durham regional councillors are aware that zero waste can be achieved, DurhamCLEAR president, Doug Anderson, made a presentation to Regional Council on April 6, 2011 using these Durham-specific numbers and spelling out in some detail how it could be achieved.

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