COUNCIL officials in Dublin have denied suggestions they will be unable to meet obligations to supply household waste to the controversial Poolbeg incinerator. But officials have declined to reveal exactly what financial penalties they would face in the event of any such shortfall.
Green councillors in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council believe that an increase in recycling trends and in private waste collectors who are more 'green minded' may lead to difficulties in the future for councils having to supply certain levels of waste.
At a recent meeting, Cllr Tom Kivlehan asked the county manger to "report and discuss the consequences and penalties" facing the authorities in the event of such a shortfall. However, an official response noted that the "Dublin regional authorities fully expect to meet their waste commitments under their contract."
In 2007, 470,000 tonnes of waste was generated in the Dublin area and was growing at an annual rate of 1.3%.
"The contract for the waste-to-energy plant guarantees a minimum of 320,000 tonnes per annum from the Dublin region and as can be seen from the above figures there is little reason to believe that the minimum level of waste delivery will not be achieved."
But Cllr Kivlehan said that there are concerns surrounding what effects recycling initiatives will have on the level of waste brought to the incinerator.
"With recycling, in real terms what you are left with ... [is] the organic faction and badly soiled recyclables," he said.
"If recycling gets stronger, they wouldn't be able to meet their quotas or else they would have to start dragging in rubbish from other areas."