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Letter to Irish Times - 05-01-10
Scrapping Poolbeg
incinerator plan

Madam, – Dublin City Council members concerned about the costs of scrapping the Poolbeg incinerator should balance such figures against the vastly greater and unsustainable long term costs of proceeding with this destructive project (Front page, December 30th). Among these costs would be those in relation to climate change emissions, health, resource depletion and energy wastage, not to mention gate fees under the financially disastrous “put or pay” arrangements.

With regard to carbon emissions alone, it would be wise to scrap the project. European environmental consultant Eunomia has calculated that the carbon cost of incineration with combined heat and power would be £10.21 per tonne as compared with £6.01 per tonne for mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) with anaerobic digestion generating heat and electricity. The equivalent euro savings on a 600,000 tonne facility would more than justify the costs involved in cancellation.

With regard to health costs, cutting edge reports from Prof Vyvyan Howard and other eminent physicians and toxicologists are now in the possession of An Bord Pleanála and the Department of the Environment. These all strongly advise against the building of new incinerators,warning of the toxicity of ultra-fine particulate emissions and their ability to be blown large distances, contaminating farm and pasture lands and passing through the pulmonary cell walls. Proceeding with the development in the knowledge of these reports would amount to a crime against the people of Dublin.

In terms of resource protection, scrapping the incinerator is a no-brainer. We know that if we wish to survive on this planet we need to design our products and processes with energy efficiency and the environment as a sine qua non.

By having the courage to do the necessary U-turn on Poolbeg, this Government can take the vital first step in the opening up of new job opportunities in expanded reclamation industries, while putting in place incentives for more intelligent product design for the preservation of natural resources for future generations. – Yours, etc,

Compass Hill,
Kinsale, Co Cork


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