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Irish Times - 29-04-05

Madam, - The Irish Times, along with certain radio programmes, has opted recently for one-sided reporting of our waste mismanagement crisis and the possible solution to it.

It reminds me of Minister for the Environment Dick Roche who calls regularly for a national debate yet refuses to meet people with opposing views who are offering viable alternatives to the Government's policy on incineration.

Now a commercial report in your edition of April 26th lauds the Danes for their waste strategy. However, it doesn't question them on the hundreds of tons of ash they export yearly to be stored on the island of Langoya in the Oslo fjord (so much for the proximity principle), nor the cost of that- over 4 million kroner in 2002. Nor does it question why 62 per cent of household waste was incinerated in 2003 and only 31 per cent recycled.

Proper reduction and recycling policies should make it unnecessary for any household waste to be incinerated. We know exactly why prevention and minimisation policies are not strongly implemented in waste management strategies. Your report doesn't question how much energy is needed to produce these discarded resources and balance that against the heat and energy produced by incineration plants.

It doesn't mention health risks or health monitoring and it fails to see the madness in a policy which continues to burn finite resources.

"What Denmark has to teach us" is that we don't have to follow its path because alternatives to incineration are now available to us and we have the benefit of recent health studies which show that the risks inherent in incineration are not worth taking. - Yours, etc,

ROMA FULTON, Innishannon, Co Cork.


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