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MURPHY DEMANDS THAT SYSTEMIC FAILURES IN WASTE DISPOSAL MARKET BE ADDRESSED TO STOP FUTURE KERDIFFSTOWN LANDFILL SCENARIOS RECURRING

Press Release 18th April 2011

 

Catherine Murphy, TD during the debate on the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 highlighted the desperate need for a full appraisal of the waste disposal market due to the very worrying situation at Kerdiffstown Landfill along with the various costly inefficiencies in the present system.

The Kildare North TD spoke in the Dáil about the difficulties of a fully deregulated waste market where private operators “cherry pick” the areas they wish to work in, often towns in which there is a high density of users, while leaving the Local Authorities to take up the slack on the more remote areas. 

“Competition in the waste market is more acute in the towns, so there is cherry picking taking place.  It is not unusual for a refuse collection provider to commence work in the same estate every morning of the week often at 5am or 6am in the morning”

Throughout her speech, Murphy spoke about the practical problems with having several private operators collecting from housing estates throughout the week leading to a situation where everyday was bin day and early morning noise is now a real problem for some households.  She  went on to highlight the environmental concerns associated with the increased movements of bin trucks throughout the county as each operator was going in and out of the same areas to serve different clients.

More worryingly however, Murphy highlighted the grave dangers of incineration being trumpeted as the way forward in waste disposal.  She spoke of the controversial Poolbeg incinerator and the costs that the taxpayer is likely to incurr as a result of its construction. 

“The contract entered into between Dublin City Council and Covanta requires 325,000 tonnes of waste to be delivered every year for 25 years or a penalty will be incurred to compensate Covanta in the event of a shortfall.  The SLR review concluded that the proposed Poolbeg incinerator was obversized and that a plant with 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes would suffice rather than the 600,000 tonne plant that is proposed.”

This, according to Murphy is just another example of a waste disposal system that is costing the taxpayer multiples of what it should be.  In the case of the Poolbeg incinerator the taxpayer will pay the fines to Covanta if enough waste is not sent to the plant and, in a deregulated market where private waste operators are not instructed on where they dispose of the waste they collect there is no guarantee that enough waste will be sent to the plant.  This, according to the Kildare TD will not only cost the state in terms of fines but it will also act as a disincentive towards recycling as all available waste will be required to be sent to the incinerator.

Another issue with the various private operators in the market is that of the waiver system operated by Local Authorities.  In this system those who cannot afford to pay waste collection fees obtain a waiver from the Local Authority to use their service however private operators are not compelled to do this so they get to benefit from profitable routes but do not have to absorb the type of loss that the Local Authorities do.

Finally Murphy spoke about the cost of environmental cleanup operations once again falling on the taxpayer.  This ranges from the increases in illegal dumping that fall upon a combination of community organisation’s,  such as Tidy Town’s committee’s,  and  local authorities to be cleaned-up to the most drastic of scenarios that we see at the Kerdiffstown Landfill where the cost to the final cost to the state will be in the region of €30million.

Murphy has called on the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD to consider the bill in terms of it’s practical application and to address the practical problems with the current system as a matter of urgency.

 

ENDS

 

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Posted by on April 18, 2011. Filed under Environment,Kill,Naas,Planning & Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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