His friends in GAIA,

I am on my 79th tour of Italy and I have great news to share with you.
Finally, after a struggle that has gone on for nearly 20 years citizens defeated the proposal to build an incinerator in Florence.

I was extremely happy to join in the celebrations in Sesto Fiorentino (a suburb of Florence where the incinerator would have been built) on May 30 – see pictures below.

Many activists and experts have joined in this battle over the years but the turning point as I see it was when the group “Mothers Against Incineration” was formed several years ago – it is hard to keep track of all the efforts.

Italian politicians (and maybe politicians everywhere) simply do not know how to handle the “momas”. They are so used to negotiating with men behind closed doors – it is a whole new ball game with “momas” defending their children’s future. And these “momas” in Sesto Fiorentino were like little piranha fish snapping at their ankles. One of those politicians who championed incineration for many years was Mr. Rienzi who went on to become Prime Minister and in that role pushed incineration (unsuccessfully) throughout the Country. He is gone now and so thankfully has the Florence incinerator.

A second victory came from Pisa where an existing incinerator was shut down. So there is real hope that Tuscanny (home of Capannori – and Rossano Ercolini – the home of Zero Waste in Italy) as a whole can move towards a Zero Waste future.

I am sure Rossano Ercolini and Enzo Favoino would appreciate – and share with key people- your congratulations. Their email addresses are ambientefuturo@interfree.it and favoinoenzo@gmail.com.

Sadly the stalwart fighters of incineration in Cork, Ireland have not been so lucky. On May 31 An Bord Pleanála (ABP) – the Irish planning appeals board – gave the go ahead for a Belgian (Indaver) incinerator to be built in beautiful Cork Harbor. This came just a few weeks after the same entity gave the go ahead to Irish Cement to burn waste in a cement kiln in Limerick, a stone’s throw from a very populated area including several schools.

Linda and others have been fighting the Cork Harbor proposal for over 16 years – meanwhile the harbor has become more and more beautiful and the decision to desecrate it with this unnecessary polluting eyesore less and less acceptable.

As a frequent visitor to the Emerald isles it is very depressing to see Ireland being sold off to companies whose interest is making money (Corporate looters of the planet) and who have no interest in protecting the beauty of this country or the health and well-being of its people. Nothing proves more that corruption rules than to see incineration being approved in this reckless fashion. I should add that the head of the Irish EPA is a former employee of Indaver!

The good news is that the neither the citizens of Limerick or Cork have given up despite these heartbreaking ABP decisions. I am sure both Claire Keating (Limerick) claire-keating@live.ie and Linda Fitspatrick (Cork) inda.fitzpatrick@eircom.net would appreciate your thoughts and support as they struggle on in their respective battles for their friends, families, communities and the Irish people.

Paul Connett