Incinerators limp on as dioxin emissions stay high

Dioxin emissions from almost all of Britain's municipal waste incinerators widely exceed incoming standards - in the most extreme case by as much as 300-fold - according to official data. Many are expected to close as the 1996 deadline for meeting the standard approaches. The UK's chemical waste incinerators may also struggle to meet the tighter dioxin limit set by a new EC Directive.

Most of the UK's municipal incinerators were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They are now nearing a watershed. HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) has required all existing units to meet a 1ng/m3 limit - expressed as the toxic equivalent (TEQ) of 2,3,7,8-TCDD, the most toxic dioxin - by December 1996.

Most incinerators are still a long way from meeting the standard, according to dioxin monitoring data for all municipal

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