Programme: Bankwatch CEE
Green Action considers plans for a 385 000 tonnes per year waste-to-energy plant in Zagreb to be premature and dangerous, on environmental, economic and legal grounds. Our comments are set out below, including concerns about the lack of sufficient provisions for the disposal of hazardous ash and residues from the plant; air pollution increases; failure of the project to adequately follow the waste hierarchy; the unlikelihood of sufficient monitoring and enforcement, the inefficiency of burning resources, and the excessive cost of incineration.
We are concerned that this project is being viewed as a panacea for the city’s waste problem rather than as a last resort. Even the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which has recently been rejected by the Ministry of the Environment, names a number of important tasks which need to be undertaken before construction of the incinerator begins, most of which are tasks which need several years to be successfully implemented, for example ensuring that Croatia has facilities to safely process and dispose of hazardous waste, and ensuring that re-use, recycling and composting in Zagreb is adequately increased. We insist that the long-overdue work on improvement of waste management in Zagreb must not be carried out hastily and that the City Council must not be tempted by ready-made end-of pipe solutions, but must adhere to the waste hierarchy and utilise the most effective solutions rather than the easiest.