Wednesday 17 June 2009

Incinerator waste to go to landfill site

HAZARDOUS WASTE material generated by up to three incinerators operating around Ireland is expected to be dealt with at a landfill site in the “greater Dublin area”, it emerged yesterday.

The landfill site will accept hazardous “fly ash” generated through the incineration process. Fly ash matter makes up about 7 per cent of all ash residual material created as a result of incinerated waste.

Because of its toxic nature, the fly ash will be disposed of in an airtight cell buried underground at the location of an existing landfill facility in Leinster, according to Indaver Ireland.

The landfill operator, which has not been identified, is in “advance stage” talks with Indaver Ireland – which is currently constructing a €130 million incinerator at Carranstown, Co Meath – to negotiate a deal to accept hazardous waste material from incinerators operating around Ireland.

Director of Indaver Ireland John Ahern said the landfill operator would be in Leinster, where it was geographically predisposed to accept hazardous waste from incinerators at Poolbeg in Dublin, Carranstown and a third proposed toxic waste facility currently planned for Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

At An Bord Plean├íla’s hearing yesterday into the proposed Cork facility, Mr Ahern said the landfill operator would deal with the fly ash in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations.

“We are at advance stage talks with one particular landfill operator with a view to sending hazardous waste material there to be disposed of.

“The operator will deal with this material in the way the EPA has advised by constructing a designated cell for hazardous waste,” Mr Ahern said.

A spokesman for Indaver Ireland confirmed that the company had been approached among others by two landfill operators in the “greater Dublin area” interested in partnering with Indaver to provide a hazardous waste landfill.

The landfill site in question will need to be modified in order to accept hazardous waste, which requires a “particular form of treatment”, according to the spokesman.

The greater Dublin area takes in Wicklow, Meath and Kildare, but Indaver Ireland did not reveal the identities of two landfill companies with which it is in talks other than to specify that the hazardous waste material would be transported to Leinster to be disposed of if licensing is granted.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently seeking tenders from companies to develop a National Difficult Waste Management Facility to deal with up to 100,000 tonnes of hazardous waste landfill per annum.

The waste anticipated to be dealt with by the successful company would “be generally deemed not suitable for disposal by waste incineration or export”, according to the EPA guidelines for prospective tenders.

In information issued to prospective companies interested in the tender process, the EPA states: “The National Hazardous Waste Management Plan recommended that at least one hazardous waste landfill should be developed in Ireland, capable of accepting the wide range of hazardous wastes that would otherwise be exported for landfill.

“Such a facility would be expected to provide a key national resource.”

Meanwhile private consultant engineer Alan Watson, director of Public Interest Consultants, told the hearing into the Cork incinerator yesterday that ash produced from the incineration process should be classified as hazardous.

His report is based on the production of “bottom ash” at the facility, which makes up about 70 per cent of the waste matter generated through incineration.

Irish Times

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