A waste incinerator will be constructed in Velká Dobrá near Kladno, however, neither inhabitants nor the authorities agree to it

11.2.2010 - Prague, Kladno
A project of a new waste incinerator, proposed by the company AGMECO LT, will have to undergo environmental impact assessment. Both the Arnika Association and local inhabitants and authorities objected to the plan. Because of that, the so-called fact-finding procedure will not be sufficient for the decision, but the project will have to undergo the complex environmental impact assessment (EIA). "In spite of the fact that the investor tries to hide the project under a different name (1), it is nothing else than a pyrolysis incinerator. The project comprises a number of inconsistencies. For example, it neglects emissions of hazardous substances and their control, and also further data on environmental impacts of the incinerator are lacking," stated RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík, head of the Toxics Free Future campaign of the Arnika Association. Arnika submitted a statement disagreeing to the plan (2). Objections to the plan were filed also by the municipality Braskov, and complete environmental impact assessment is required also by the Region of Central Bohemia (both the Regional Authority and the self-government authorities), and the Metropolitan Authority of the city Kladno.

"The notification of the plan does not deal at all with the possibility of production of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (3), namely of dioxins (4) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (5), often produced during waste incineration. The documents also lack description of flue gas cleaning and a dispersion study. From the submitted notification, there is also unclear exactly what waste, and in what amounts, the operator intends to incinerate in the plant," summarized RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík the main Arnika's objections.

Moreover, the authors of the notification stated that the plant would be in accordance with the emission decree, which, however, does not concern emissions of harmful substances into the air, but emissions of bonds. They did not take into account a limit of dioxin emissions at all, similarly as limits valid for waste incineration. "The whole plan makes an impression that the supplier of the American technology Ambient Energy LLC intends to test waste incineration which it does not have experience with in its plant in the USA yet," added Petrlík.

"The incinerator is small, but it can have serious impacts on the environment in Velká Dobrá and its surroundings. Also the inhabitants of this municipality and its neighbourhood noticed this, as it may be seen also from objections to the plan and disagreeing statements," added Arnika's press agent Mgr. Zora Kasiková.

Similar plants (pyrolysis incinerators) were assessed as highly questionable in Canada, both from the point of view of emissions of substances hazardous due to their impacts on human health, and from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions.

Incinerators are often perceived as a simple solution of the problems connected with wastes. However, the waste does not disappear in the incinerators, it only changes its composition and nature. In the case of incineration of wastes comprising chlorine (for example, PVC), dioxins are produced. If they are captured by a filter, they may end in fly ash, which is often further used, for example, for construction purposes. But dioxins damage human immune and hormonal systems, and may be also carcinogenic. "However, the problem does not concern only dioxins by far, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Scientists have identified hundreds of hazardous organic substances in flue gases from incinerators. Majority of these substances are not monitored within the framework of regular measurements," pointed out Jindřich Petrlík.

The Arnika Association is engaged in the issue of waste incinerators in the long term within the framework of its Toxics and Waste programme. For example, in its project Waste is a Raw Material, it draws attention to the need to look for solutions reducing waste production and ensuring also thorough waste separation and subsequent further use of the separated waste.



(1) The investor AGMECO LT entitled the pyrolysis incinerator "Laboratory and demonstration line for waste disposal by means of vacuum pyrolysis method". The supplier of the technology should be the US company Ambient Energy LLC.

(2) The fact-finding procedure concerning the plan of the company AGEMCO LT was notified by the Regional Authority of the Region of Central Bohemia on December 11, 2009 (http://tomcat.cenia.cz/eia/detail.jsp?view=eia_cr&id=STC1198). The fact-finding procedure is carried out in the case of plans for which full-scope environmental impact assessment is not automatically obligatory according to the Act. If sufficient number of statements requiring full assessment are filed, then the competent authority usually decides that it is necessary to assess the plan in the whole scope of the EIA process. The process of environmental impacts assessment (EIA) is regulated by the Act No. 100/2001 Coll. in the Czech Republic. For more information on the EIA process, please see http://eia.arnika.org.

(3) POPs are probably the most toxic compounds ever made by man. They include, for example, dioxins, DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In very low doses already, they cause disorders of hormonal and immune systems, and endanger reproductive abilities of animals, including humans. In nature, they decompose very slowly, and accumulate in animal bodies. Due to its chemical stability, they persist in the environment for a long time, and, because of that, they "travel" even thousands of kilometres from their sources of origin. They do not dissolve in water, but in fats, to which they bind - they are bioaccumulative.

For more information in these compounds, please see:

(4) Dioxins (PCDD/PCDFs) - the usual abbreviated term dioxins covers two extensive groups of chemical substances: polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). These substances are tricyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with different level of chlorination. Due to very high toxicity of certain representatives of this group of substances, their presence in the environment is regarded as an important environmental problem.
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(5) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - due to their ability to persist in the environment for a long time, and due to seriousness of their health impacts (they show toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic properties), they are regarded to be typical representatives of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). For more information, please see:

For more information on waste incineration, please see:

We will be glad to send to you Arnika's statement to notification of the plan  "Laboratory and demonstration line for waste disposal by means of vacuum pyrolysis method in Velká Dobrá", on request.

The conclusions of the fact-finding procedure of the Regional Authority of the Region of Central Bohemia are available on the pages of the EIA Information System, namely at the following link:

  • Arnika: Toxics and Waste Programme

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