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Irish Examiner - 24/02/05
Ireland ‘exports too much waste’
By Mary Dundon, Political Reporter

THE EU Commission will get tough with Ireland if we fail to build our own toxic waste incinerator to burn the 75,000 tonnes of hazardous waste we currently export annually, Indaver Ireland warned yesterday.

The company is proposing to build Ireland’s first toxic waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

Indaver Ireland managing director John Ahern said yesterday that Ireland has to stop being an exporter of hazardous waste and decide where it wants to build a toxic waste incinerator.

“The EU Commission wants us to do it ourselves, they are aware of the Ringaskiddy project and if it does fail, the commission will have to get tough,” Mr Ahern told the eighth day of an oral hearing into the proposed €93 million toxic waste incinerator.

Mr Ahern said incineration is just part of Ireland’s Integrated Waste Management system and if we had proper systems for collecting dry recyclables, bring sites and central composting we could divert between 50% and 70% of our domestic waste from landfill.

But we will still need incineration because Belgium, which has the highest rate of diversion from landfill - 70% - still needs it, Mr Ahern said.

Ringaskiddy and District Residents Association spokesman Joe Kelleher asked Mr Ahern if 60% of hazardous waste produced in Cork was part of Indaver’s projected commercial performance.

Mr Ahern said he could not discuss this but said that 58% of the toxic waste originating in Cork would be sent to the new plant.

“The five top pharmaceutical companies in Cork are already our customers because we export waste for them and they will also be our customers in the future,” Mr Ahern added.

But Cork Environmental Alliance spokesman Nick Loughnan said the letter which the pharmaceutical industry’s umbrella group, Pharmachemical Ireland, wrote to the Irish Examiner gave a cool recommendation to the proposed Ringaskiddy plant and did not say they would use it.

Mr Ahern said they did not have to write the letter and the fact that they put it in writing shows support.”

Mr Loughnan replied: “If I got a love letter written in that tone, I would look somewhere else for love.”


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