PHUKET TOWN: The Mayor of Phuket Town, Phumisak Hongyok, has responded angrily to criticism by environmentalists of the town’s garbage incinerator, which began operations just a couple of months ago. At a recent conference in Phuket Town, organized by such groups as Greenpeace and the Phuket Environmental Protection Group, Dr Paul Connett, chemistry professor from the University of St Lawrence in New York, slammed garbage incinerators as a major producer of poisonous materials. “Incinerators release chemical toxins such as dioxins and furans into the air. And they don’t destroy trash; they just change it into ash that is contaminated with toxins,” Dr Connett said. He said that Phuket should be using recycling to solve its garbage problems, and urged that the incinerator should be just one part of a center for dealing with garbage. “Incinerators don’t go well with tourism,” he added. “But tourists will be impressed if the Thai people try to re-use and recycle materials.” Mayor Phumisak retorted: “I don’t mind having private organizations checking on our work and taking an interest. But if they are going to criticize, they should also come up with some real options that we can use. “Anyone can imagine or dream about solutions, but we have to take action. They tell us not to burn the garbage and not to bury it, but we have to deal with 240 tons of trash every day. “If you believe everything the environmentalists say, you would have to stop using cars. You would even have to stop using bicycles because the manufacture of steel used to make bikes is polluting. You wouldn’t be able to fly any more – if you wanted to go overseas you’d have to swim. “I think there is only one way to preserve the environment, and that is stop people being born. No more sex between men and women, because the more people that are born, the more problems you’ll get later,” the Mayor said.
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