A SHIFT in Government policy toward waste reduction and recycling has bolstered the case against a proposed toxic waste incinerator to be built at Ringaskiddy, Cork, it was claimed by a Fine Gael TD at the public hearing yesterday.
An Bord Pleanála’s oral hearing into the proposed incinerator reconvened in Cork yesterday following a three-week break.
Fine Gael east Cork TD David Stanton said that following the recent polls he was addressing the hearing as a member of the “country’s largest political party” which is committed to “waste management on the prevention and minimisation of waste and the provision of recycling facilities”.
Mr Stanton said there has been a change in national government policy since the incinerator planning process began in 2001, with focus on recycling taking precedence over the need for an incinerator to be built.
As part of a Dáil discussion, in reply to questions, Green Party leader John Gormley said that Government policy supports the principles of internationally recognised waste hierarchy that places emphasis on “prevention, reuse and recycling of waste while minimising reliance on landfill and incineration”.
“Meeting this obligation will entail doubling the existing level of diversion from landfill by 2010 and further increases in diversion in subsequent years. The programme also signalled a move away from mass-burn incineration towards alternative technologies.
“Undue emphasis on incineration as the cornerstone of waste management policy is detrimental to the development of alternative solutions,” Mr Gormley said.
Mr Stanton referred to the recent circular issued by Mr Gormley reiterating a policy move away from incineration toward alternative waste management solutions including “mechanical and biological treatment”.
Chairwoman of Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase) Mary O’Leary presented a 16-page submission against the proposed Indaver incinerator.
“To have this monster in our harbour would always be a constant reminder that it is there 24/7 damaging our environment and health,” Ms O’Leary said.