On Wednesday, the Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology (CESTA – Friends of the Earth El Salvador) as member of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) launched the campaign “Incineration is not the solution”. The goal of the campaign is to phase-out all types of waste incineration processes in the country.
At the press conference held by CESTA in San Salvador, the capital of the country, the negative environmental and social consequences of waste incineration on the population were exposed.
Ricardo Navarro, director at CESTA, explained: “with incineration, what we do is transform pollution from a solid state to a gaseous state, toxics are sent to the air, which makes it more difficult to control pollution”. He also said that in El Salvador "there is a practice of burning things, and people believe that by burning things you get rid of the problem". “If someone has a heap of leaves, they burn it”, he added.
Navarro also stated that there are appropriate ways to handle waste, whether solid or other types, especially tires.
In El Salvador, the main company that promotes the burning of tires is cement company Holcim, that burns over 80,000 tons of tires per year on average, an activity approved and promoted by the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry.
CESTA is requesting the authorities to not support the incineration of tires and to promote bills that favor the recovery of tires and their reutilization in a clean way. In addition, the environmentalist organization called on the population in general to make a good use of waste.
CESTA has been carrying out an important education strategy in San Marcos municipality to promote the reuse of waste generated at schools and homes, said the activist in charge of the new campaign, Josefina Ramirez. The students participating in this educational project will present their sustainable waste reuse prototypes, a measure that will help San Marcos reduce the impacts of incineration.
“We hope this campaign raises awareness on this issue”, said Ramirez. “Burning agricultural and industrial waste, toxic substances and tires (…) destroys life and the environment”, highlighted CESTA’s representative.
“Este triunfo de Uruguay debe ser un llamado urgente a analizar, revisar, renegociar o anular cuando corresponda todos los tratados bilaterales de comercio y de protección de inversiones que ha suscrito el país, antes de exponernos a nuevas demandas en las que podemos correr con distinta suerte que en la recién finalizada”.
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