Muslim community opposes plans for a waste-to-energy plant
On 13 January 2023, the Pollution-Free EARTH, a pollution watchdog group in Thailand, reported on the first public hearing for a newly proposed waste-to-energy plant near a Muslim community in Tha Bun Mi, Koh Chan district, Chonburi. More than 160 community members joined this first public hearing held at a local mosque.
The community is concerned that the plant will skirt safety controls and cause pollution as it is planned to be built only 150 metres away from the nearest house, 350 metres from the mosque and only several kilometres away from the irrigation canals used to provide water for this agricultural community.
The majority of the attendants objected to the plant that will turn communal waste into refuse-derived fuel for energy.
Waste-to-energy projects have become a growing concern for local communities and environmental advocates across Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries because the technology is being introduced as a “green solution” to waste problems. However, many projects are small-scale, do not require Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and located too close to communities creating fears of pollution.
According to the investigation by Energymonitor.ai, Thailand plans to build 79 waste-to-energy plants totalling 600 Megawatt this year, taking the lead among its neighbouring countries.
Source: Pollution-Free EARTH