Our Victories

GAIA's members are stopping incinerators and promoting alternatives through a combination of grassroots organizing, strategic alliances, global campaigns, and creative approaches to local development.

Since our founding in 2000, we have achieved many significant victories:

  • Globally, we have built a powerful movement that has grown to include more than 500 organizations and networks in more than 80 countries.

  • In Argentina, we helped to inspire Buenos Aires - one of the world's largest cities - to adopt zero waste legislation that included stipulations for waste picker cooperatives, thus promoting health & sustainability while protecting the livelihoods of the city’s informal recyclers.

  • In the Philippines, we are helping to sustain a 1999 national ban on incineration, which was one of the original rallying victories for GAIA’s creation.

  • In Brazil, GAIA members successfully defended the country's right to ban the import of used tires, thus blocking the flow of this hazardous waste to cement kiln incinerators and winning a major challenge with the European Union at the World Trade Organization.

  • In Malaysia, we supported a successful campaign to stop the monstrous Broga municipal waste incinerator from being built, after a six-year campaign that involved 70% of local residents, a four-year legal battle, 150 grassroots organizing actions, and a great deal of global solidarity.

  • In South Africa, we worked with a broad coalition of public interest groups to defeat a huge hazardous waste incinerator that was proposed for the poor township of Sasolburg – a city already plagued by devastating petrochemical pollution and massive unemployment.

  • In India, we are supporting community-based economic development projects that demonstrate how the principles of reuse can build sustainable livelihoods. One GAIA member’s zero waste pilot project has helped to create livelihoods for more than 100 families, and recently led to the state’s adoption of a “waste-free Kerala” policy and the UN’s creation of a related training program for other tourist destinations.

  • In the U.S., GAIA is supporting local campaigns against the construction of new waste incinerators, the expansion of older facilities, and the adoption of incentives for these polluting technologies at the state and national levels. GAIA’s members and allies kept incentives for trash incinerators out of the 2007 federal energy bill, while activists in Detroit are working to shut down the country’s largest waste burner.

  • In Australia, local activism encouraged the Bayer chemical company to consider investing in non-burn technologies for the treatment of 4,500 metric tons of highly toxic hexachlorobenzene waste, after the export of this waste to Germany was successfully blocked.

  • Globally, we are coordinating annual "Global Days of Action Against Waste and Incineration," hosting intensive Zero Waste Fellowships, and helping to coordinate civil society action around major international treaties.

Learn more about the issues on which we work, the solutions that GAIA members are advancing, and how to join us in working for a just, toxic-free world without incineration.


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