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Galway Advertiser - 16-02-06
Incinerator not needed if other local authorities follow Galway says Ó Brolcháin

If other local authorities in Connaught had the courage to follow the Galway City Council's successful waste recycling scheme, there would be no need for incineration according to Green Party Cllr Niall Ó Brolcháin.

At Monday's city council meeting, councillors heard that 56 per cent of the city's waste was being recycled. Of that, 47 per cent was compostable, 37 per cent was dry-recyclable, and 16 per cent was collected from bring banks.

In his report Tom Connell, the council's director of services, said the figures were "unsurpassed by any other city or county in the country and are testament to the commitment of the staff of Galway City Council and the households working in partnership together."

However Cllr Ó Brolcháin is asking why incineration is still being considered. In his submission to Draft Replacement Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region 2005 - 2010 he asks why it "persists with the incineration option despite the high recycling rates achieved in Galway city".

"I am well aware that these rates could be further improved," he wrote, but added, "I would strongly recommend that the system developed in Galway city be examined and implemented in all local authorities in the region. This would obviate the requirement for an incinerator."

Cllr Ó Brolcháin also points out that he is also against incineration on health grounds and because he feels it involves the "unnecessary destruction of resources".

The Green councillor also calls for the "successful source segregated composting system" to be applied to the commercial sector and be implemented in all local authority areas. "The draft plan should recommend that the bylaws in each local authority area be changed to ensure that a source segregated composting system be used by all commercial and domestic waste collectors," he wrote.

Cllr Ó Brolcháin feels that instead of incineration, the plan should instead focus on dealing with the 'waste hierarchy from reduction to reuse before anything else is considered'. He also calls for recycling processing facilities for Connaught. "The fact that many of our recyclable goods are ending up in developing countries is unacceptable," he wrote.

Cllr Ó Brolcháin said all local authorities should have bottle banks, bulky goods collections, and facilities to collect household hazardous waste. He says a greater level of environmental education in relation to waste management is needed and he also called for more encouragement of home composting in rural areas.

He added that greater enforcement is necessary in terms of ensuring all households and businesses dispose of their waste products in an environmentally sustainable way.

     

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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