Loais rejects incineration
This week, several more nails went into the coffin of Dublin Environmentminister Noel Dempsey's plans to meet the EU waste conditions through incineration and/or landfill, rather than by recycling waste.
Laois Cointy Council, in the Midlands Region, withheld approval for the planning and construction of an incinerator for five years. Its failure to approve the plan is very significant in that it is the first of the Midlands local authorities to do this. Councillor and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Flemming proposed the amendment to the plan which imposed three conditions before the council would approve incineration: that further information be gathered on the effects of dioxins, that new technologies should be investigated, and County would see recycling targets being met.''
``There is fear,'' says Brian Stanley, Sinn Féin councillor in Portlaoise, that the incinerator proposed for the Midlands region will be placed beside the landfill site at Kyltelisha, where a number of local farmers fear the effects of dioxin emissions. This explains the breakdown of Fianna Fáil party discipline in opposing locally what their party in Government proposes. But the amendment which Fianna Fail group of councillors passed today may be little more than a smokescreen. The waste management draft plan does not envisage an incinerator being built before 2006. What is needed now is a completely new plan which does not include incineration at all.''
Cork City councillors also blew the City's proposed waste plan sky high, when it voted by 14 to 6 to reject the continuing use of the Kinsale Road landfill site under a new guise of a `waste recovery station'. Local people had previously been given assurances that the landfill was to be closed. The city plan proposal to keep it open is a betrayal of the people who have suffered this landfill for so long,'' said Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O'Brien.
In a very close vote, by 10 to 9, Sligo County Council rejected Sinn Féin Mayor Sean MacManus' motion to defer a decision on the Connacht Waste Management draft plan until the Autumn so there could be further consultation with the people and interested parties on the question of incineration.
``There is fear that after Galway's decision last week to reject the plan entirely, the incinerator might find its way to Sligo or Mayo, both in the Connaught Region,'' said MacManus. ``I am very disappointed, but the closeness of the vote shows how great the opposition is to Minister Dempsey's plan to impose a network of incinerators throughout the 26 Counties.''
Wheeliebin lorry imprisoned
Meanwhile, disruption continued in Drogheda and Cork against the imposition of bin collection charges. Wheeliebins Ltd., Dundalk, were unable, on Tuesday evening, to get their collection truck away from the Moneymore Estate, where householders surrounded the bin in pursuit of their refusal to pay for waste collection charges.
The Drogheda binmen, who are still employed by Drogheda Corporation to collect the bins, using Wheeliebins' lorries, have been ordered to collect waste from only those householders who have paid charges, which is a small proportion of householders in the estate. ``Our battle is with the Corporation and councillors who want to impose charges for a service we have already paid for through taxation,'' says Francis McDermott, a residents' committee member.
``It is a fight to maintain a corporation service and not to allow Wheeliebins to privatise collections, put the Corpo binmen out of their jobs, and charge the householders for a service that the corporation should provide.''