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Irish Times - 15/12/05

Madam, - In her article (Dec 1st) Susan Philips praised the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to license the Ringaskiddy and Carranstown incinerators.

She criticised the community groups who had opposed the incinerators, and dismissed their alternative waste management proposal, zero waste, saying that it was ". . . as ridiculous as telling Mary Harney that the answer to crowded hospital corridors is zero illness".

To my mind this indicates a major misunderstanding of the zero waste concept.

Zero waste is in there right at the top of the waste management hierarchy that Ms Philips refers to. It is waste prevention at its very best.

It is an aspirational goal whereby a serious commitment is made by everybody to reduce each and every type of waste to an absolute minimum.

Take manufacturers for example, whose products and packaging end up in our bins. With zero waste they would be required to design their products so that at disposal time they could be easily mended, composted, reused or recycled, and need no longer be thrown out. Government would have to put in place the appropriate laws, and we, the public, would have to separate our wastes and recycle diligently.

I would suggest to Ms Philips that not only is zero waste preferable to incineration, but, in fact, it is an imperative if we are going to be able to survive in a civilised way on this planet.- Yours, etc,

NATASHA HARTY, Jamesbrook, Midleton, Co Cork.


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
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