No EU funds for Czech incinerators
17 October 2011, Recycling Portal
The Czech Republic plans to build three new incinerators with EU regional funds available for big waste management projects in the current EU budget (2007-2013). According to information provided to CEE Bankwatch Network by the Czech State Environmental Fund, a mechanical-biological waste treatment plant (MBT) would be three times cheaper per installed ton capacity to build than incinerators. This difference will eventually be passed on to the households in price for waste management.
180 million Euros of the incinerators’ cost are to be subsidized from EU regional funds, if the Czech application is accepted. By comparison, six new MBTs that the country plans to build as well, and which represent a much more ecological option, will require only 43 million Euros in EU subsidies.
Incinerators are not only three times more expensive but – says CEE Bankwatch – they also produce toxic waste and they are significant sources of air pollution. Furthermore, because they burn waste without any previous sorting, they destroy valuable resources contained in waste. Mechanical-biological treatment plants, on the other hand, enable the recovery of materials contained within the mixed waste and facilitate the stabilisation of the biodegradable component of the material.
“Incinerators are extremely expensive facilities,” says Bankwatch waste campaigner Ivo Kropacek. “Support for such overpriced projects from taxpayer money is not clever. This is thrice true in the case of incinerators, which are three times more expensive than other methods of dealing with municipal waste.”
Bankwatch calls on the European Commission not to allow the Czech Republic to use EU money in such a counter-productive way, which additionally goes against EU waste legislation. Cheaper and more sustainable solutions clearly exist and they must be promoted.
Furthermore, considering that the new Cohesion Policy regulations published last month by the Commission do not exclude the use of EU regional funds for harmful projects in the next EU budget 2014-2020. Bankwatch encourages the European Parliament and Council to amend the regulation texts so that incinerators are explicitly excluded from the types of projects that can be financed with EU money after 2014.
Institution: EU Funds
Theme: Resource efficiency