Home / It’s Better to Bury Ash Than Trash

It’s Better to Bury Ash Than Trash

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It appears as though protests lodged by environmentalists against plans to build an incinerator in the southern England county of Sussex have been rejected by the High Court.


Sometimes I honestly have cause to wonder just what these enviro-types put in their tea. Have they thought out their objection to waste incinerators thoroughly?
Incinerators used to be clunky, marginally unsafe operations — true — but technology has moved on.

Incinerators can not only now act as energy suppliers, by tapping the energy given off by the burning of society's debris and detritus, but also, they safely handle all the toxic and biological wastes that laboratories and hospitals create. Are environmentalists honestly saying that we should continue to landfill that stuff? We're talking about some extremely nasty waste here, and burning it seems like a perfectly logical answer.

Think about all the soiled diapers that go into the garbage stream. Gonna procreate?  Then incinerate.  And for all the recycling that some households and companies apparently do, there still seems to be plenty of trash around. Well, it's all plastic. Good ol' plastic. Plastic that can't be recycled or simply isn't profitable to recycle. All the styrofoam and polypropelene (so-called #5 plastics) that abound in cafeterias, makes up drinks containers and in which nearly every single item in the supermarket comes packaged; not to mention all those plastic shopping bags that everyone adores and finds so convenient. All this gets thrown out by the hundreds of thousands of tons in every major city, every day.

Just think of the typical bag of rubbish that a business like Souper Salad, for instance (all those disposable plastic salad trays and forks!), creates, and multiply it by 100 billion. This is the sort of crisis we're facing because we're apparently too stupid as a species to remember how we ever survived without all this "convenience;" before it got invented in the mid 20th century, became ubiquitous in the late 20th century, and started filling every nook and cranny in our lives, as it currently does.

So, until every business, supplier, packager and even — God forbid — the great unwashed public itself grows a conscience and stops relying so much on all this unrecyclable and completely non-biodegradable shit, it seems to me that we have no other option but to burn it all.

Just how much land do these environmentalists think we have available to us to continue to pack it all with the mind-boggling amount of residential, commercial and industrial waste that is created every second? If we don't build that incinerator in Sussex, what's to stop that land from becoming a dump, after all? Would that make the enviro-loonies happy?

Somehow I doubt it.

In fact, in countries like Japan, where space is at a premium — and before long this entire planet will be like Japan in that respect — incinerators are the primary mode of dealing with society's waste stream. Scandinavia, too, has long used incinerators; Sweden still has plenty of land for forests, their standard of living is still high and 8 percent of their energy is supplied from the 50 percent of solid waste that they burn.
And not only can incinerators provide energy these days, but technological advances have helped to deal with the dioxin — a toxic chemical — that incinerators admittedly produce.

In the United Kingdom alone, according to a 2006 BBC news report, incineration of trash and other waste is due to rise; it's no wonder why, given the extremely limited amount of space and resources on this tiny island.

It's time these environmental protestors hitched up their hemp jeans and took on a whole new mantra: "It's better to bury ash than trash!"

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About Nightdragon

  • zingzing

    “Gonna procreate? Then incinerate.”

    um, that has got to be the best slogan for… something…


    ok, back to reading.

  • Condor

    I have a Yellowstone Caldera theory, but if you google the Yellowstone Caldera, you will get the picture. In short…. 2 major eruptions (as far as can be determined) in Geological history buried the North American Continent and of course devestated that landscape, changed the global climate, wiped out all types of flora and fauna.

    It’s only a matter of time…. millions of years, but time nonetheless. Then all this crap is moot.

    But… I do understand the need for babbling brooks, clean air and less noise pollution. I would like to see the stars too, like you can out at sea, deep within the wilderness, or desert.

    Not that those physical attributes are human rights or anything… but it would promote a pleasing environment. Which I believe is the goal; a pleasing place to live.

    Will we get there? It would be nice wouldn’t it.

  • Ever ton of carbon converted from waste to electricity prevents the energy equivalent of a more expensive energy resource such as coal, oil or gas from being exploited. Buried carbon, regardless of how secure the land fill, will eventually oxidize and evolve back into the environment unless we can duplicate billions of years geotechnic compression. Some say converting waste to energy relieves the guilt off of not recycling. The major guilt trip should be placed on using ancient carbon.

  • It would have been one thing if they’d been wanting to plonk the incinerator down in the middle of the South Downs. I’d have had a thing or two to say about that as well.

    But it’s going to be in the middle of the Newhaven docks, for crying out loud. Hardly the epitome of yon green and pleasant land. I’m all for building such facilities on reused urban land, rather than contributing to sprawl.

    I do have one quibble with you though, Mark. Britain is the eighth largest island in the world. At 88,975 square miles, it’s about the same size as Minnesota and it’ll take you about 14 hours to drive from one end to the other (a bit under 900 miles). So it’s hardly ‘tiny’.

  • zingzing

    i could poop 900 miles.

  • All together now…

    Oh I could poop 900 miles
    And I could poop 900 more…

    Come on now, zing… sing!

  • zingzing

    of for fuck’s sake, dread… get out of my head, get out of my head!

  • Clavos



  • Jet

    Oh great, now that song’s going to be stuck in my head all day… thanks a lot

  • Jet

    Dah dalata
    …dah dalata

    Dah dalata
    …dah dalata

    Dat dadalundadlundodlun da da da

    Doc, I swear I’ll get you for this…

  • It must be hard to fully appreciate that song if you can’t do the Glasgow accent.

    How about their other famous one:

    When ye goooooo will ye send back
    A skidmarrrk frrrom Amerrricaaa?
    Tak a poooop doon the rrrail trrracks
    From Miami toooo Canada…

  • Jet