Sunday 7 February 2010

EPA claims landfill breaches licence

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a High Court case against the operators of a landfill site in Co Kildare, claiming they are in breach of a licence granted under the Waste Management Act.

The action is due to be heard by the High Court on March 22nd, having been rescheduled at least twice. People living in the vicinity of the site at Kerdiffstown - between Naas and Sallins - have complained of 'obnoxious' odours emanating from a new composting facility, where brown bin materials as well as 'mixed waste' and garden waste are being treated.

Robert Dunleavy said the “sickening stench of rotting waste” permeates the area on a daily basis, along with the smell of burned rubbish - “complete with accompanying ash showers”. It was so bad that “you must wonder why the locals have not gone mad”.

He has told Minister for the Environment John Gormley that “a constant stream of foul-smelling, rotten, toxic gas emanates from this dump and drifts wherever the wind and air may carry it ... causing the entire surrounding community severe distress”.

However, despite sending five emails to the Minister, all he had received were acknowledgments and he had “yet to receive a single response”. Describing this as “a disgrace”, he called on Mr Gormley to say what action he would take to resolve the problem.

A spokesman for Kerdiffstown Residents Association told the Leinster Leader that it was “really a dreadful smell and it sticks in the back of your throat. You cannot open windows or doors in the house because of the odour” coming from the landfill site".

Members of Naas Golf Club, which is located nearby, have also complained about the odour. Club manager Denis Mahon said it was working with the EPA to resolve the problem, but “the stench has worsened in recent times and had spread to a wide area”.

The site is operated by Neiphin Trading Ltd, a company associated with A1 Waste, which claims to be 'one of the largest waste management companies in Ireland, providing a comprehensive waste management service throughout the greater Dublin area'.

Its website says the firm runs a waste transfer station in Walkinstown and a 'CD (construction and demolition) waste recovery and recycling centre' at Kerdiffstown under an EPA licence with 'stringent environmental and operational conditions'.

It describes the Kerdiffstown site as 'an old landfill which had been used for the disposal mainly of CD waste since the early 1940s'. This in situ waste was now being excavated and processed on site, which has a capacity to deal with 4,000 tonnes per day.

The Irish Times

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