Zero Waste Europe: Hidden emissions from waste incineration

Zero Waste Europe released today a new case study on the Reststoffen Energie Centrale (REC) in the Netherlands, revealing how even state of the art incinerators emit dangerous pollutants far beyond EU toxic emissions limits.
Foto: stefan/

The study run by ToxicoWatch shows emissions of dioxin, furans and persistent toxic pollutants in breach of EU air pollution limits. These excess emissions are not exceptional, and rather constitute a regular feature for the plant.

Analysis of backyard chicken eggs sampled within a 2 km radius from the plant show dioxin and furan contamination exceeding the limits for consumption.

The study also exposes how breaches have been hidden thanks to non-reliable testing which seriously underestimates the emissions level.

Janek Vahk, Development and Policy Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe, said: “The short term sampling of emissions currently required by the EU shows serious shortcomings and allows hidden emissions. We must urgently revise the rules for emissions monitoring for waste incineration, to protect people’s health and safety”.

For Zero Waste Europe, the study confirms the need to move away from waste incineration, a practice which puts public health and the environment at stake while exacerbating climate change, and to end public subsidies to incineration plants.


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