Environmentalist group slams plans to build a major waste incinerator in Sisak

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Source: Tomislav Miletic/PIXSELL

Croatian environmentalist group Green Action called on Tuesday on the country's Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to reject the plan to build a waste and sludge incinerator in the post-industrial central Croatian town of Sisak, concerned over possible effects on the local environment as the area is known to be prone to quakes.

Joined by a local group of activists, they issued a press release reminding the public of past successes in grassroots activism “in defense of public interest” when similar groups had organized protests in Zagreb years ago which stopped plans to build a waste incinerator there. They said they planned to do the same in Sisak.

They also said that the project’s environmental impact study – required by law – which they say had justified the plan to build an incinerator in Sisak, was only made public and put up for legally required debate on 2-31 August, a period of summer holidays, implying that the intention was for it to go unnoticed.

The project is intended to become a major waste disposal spot for northern Croatia, which, the activists warn, could have “unforeseeable economic, ecological and health hazards,” state agency Hina reported.

Instead of these outdated ways of waste processing, they argue, Croatia should look to the EU’s Green Deal investment program, which offers incentives encouraging more sustainable solutions, including processing waste so it could be turned into a resource used in industry.

Incinerating waste would also pose a potential threat to the local environment and the health of Sisak’s residents, because the environmental impact study “ignored the fact that waste incinerators throughout the EU have been prone to fires over the years, and many produce excess levels of hazardous gas emissions,” they said.

“It is necessary to change the way combined waste is managed and follow the principles of circular economy that treat waste as a resource – not as mere rubbish destined to be turned into toxic waste,” the NGO said.

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