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Irish Examiner - 16/04/05
Government abdicates responsibility on waste

THE Government and local authorities would seem to have taken a position of not wanting people to recycle. The lack of facilities is now being compounded by spiralling charges.

This is very much at odds with the image that is being presented by the Race Against Waste campaign. The Government needs to indulge less in superficial, glossy and dishonest PR and work harder to provide a credible system of waste management.

This would involve tackling the problem at source rather than putting ordinary people in the position of subsidising big business.

The Green Party’s assertion that the Government and local authorities are allowing a crisis to develop in order to force citizens down the path of incineration is understandable in the circumstances.

The problem is the waste mentality or, more accurately, the belief that waste is inevitable. This may be true, but we are hardly in a position to assert this, as we have not even approached the idea of waste reduction.

This inaction provides an ideal opportunity for opportunistic, so-called ‘waste management’ companies to offer to deal with the crisis.

Government, locally and nationally, is abdicating responsibility and is enthusiastically opening the door for incineration, a technology with an appalling health and environmental record, whose purveyors sole motivation is profit, not an altruistic desire to help us with our ‘problem.’

Are we sacrificing the health of future generations because our Government lacks the imagination and, more importantly, the courage to deal with the problem at source? Incineration is not the solution.

In fact, burning waste - which is basically what incineration is - only adds to the problem, creating bottom ash for landfill, super-toxic fly-ash, deadly emissions, high risk of a major catastrophe and the destruction of all attempts at sustainability. Now that we are a ‘rich’ country, why do we still have a Third World attitude to the environment and, consequently, human health.

John Russell
10A McCurtain Street


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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