Downstream Stories

United States, Stanislaus County, California


Stanislaus County, California, United States

Communities in the rural west side of Stanislaus County have been historically overburdened by social and environmental injustices. Despite the overburdening of issues like poverty, high pesticide use, contaminated drinking water, and the worst air quality in the country, these communities have stayed united for over 20 years with the fight against environmental injustices of waste incineration. Besides the actual pollution produced by waste incineration, green washing is one of the biggest challenges they face.

In the last 20 years, they have successfully stopped Covanta from burning medical waste. They have influenced the city to no longer accept sponsorship for Earth Day events from companies that pollute the community, specifically Covanta and Boyett Petroleum. They co-sponsored and passed a bill that no longer allows incineration to be labeled as recycling.

Slowly but surely, they pave the way towards justice, where companies will stop polluting the community and jeopardizing inhabitants’ health. 


Downstream Community Stories

Community members drive past Covanta Stanislaus, the waste incinerator in Crows Landing.

Community members drive up to the entrance of the landfill.

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Shot on location with the help of Valley Improvement Projects.

“We say no to incineration of any kind whether its biomass, whether its  garbage incineration, whether its gasification, whether it’s some new technique that hasn’t been proven that you want to experiment on our community.”- John X Mataka



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