Recent Environmental Protection Agency studies show that the dioxins from as few as two burn barrels can equal the dioxins released from a 200-ton-a-day municipal incinerator. That’s right. Because of the pollution scrubbers and the high burn temperature, the municipal generators that handle the garbage of 40,000-120,000 people produce less dioxin pollution than the garbage of two burn barrels.
Dioxins build up in the water and soil and are absorbed by plants and animals. Soil tests around burn barrels show high levels of dioxins. When we eat contaminated plants and animals, it can cause health hazards to us. Dioxins are known to cause skin disorders, have been linked to reproductive problems, immune deficiencies in humans, and have recently been confirmed as carcinogens.
Recycle Instead of Burn
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does not allow the burning of any item that can be recycled, including newspaper, office paper, aluminum, glass, corrugated cardboard, and magazines. It prohibits the burning of plastic, bi-metal cans, glass, tires, used motor oil, and batteries.
What should you do instead of burn? Recycle! Use your garbage service and the landfill. Start composting!