Green Party motion aims to make incinerators non-viable

9th March 2009

At its annual convention over the weekend, the Green Party / Comhaontas Glas passed a motion, calling on the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to sign a ministerial order to reinstate the proximity principle for waste management.  The reinstatement of the proximity principle would mean that waste for disposal, incineration or landfill, would not be able to be transferred between any of Ireland’s eight waste regions.  In other words all waste for disposal would have to be dealt with within each region.  The proximity principle was removed a number of years ago by a ministerial order signed by Dick Roche during his time as Minister for the Environment.

The motion, which was put forward by the Cork East Greens, was proposed by the Green Party candidate for the Midleton electoral area of Cork County Council and Midleton Town Council, Malachy Harty.  Commenting on the motion, Mr. Harty said:  “This motion is very important in that it helps to make the proposed incinerators in Ringaskiddy non-viable as they would only be able to take waste from the Cork waste region, and not bring it in from anywhere else in the country.  I am delighted that the members of the Green Party supported this motion at the annual convention by more than a two thirds majority.  This mandates our party leader, the Minister for the Environment John Gormley, to put the ministerial order in place.”

At the convention the motion was also supported by Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council.  Cllr. Donnelly commented:  “I am confident that our party leader will act on this motion very shortly, and this will put a further nail in the coffin for Indaver’s plans to build two incinerators in Ringaskiddy, which are currently before An Bord Pleanála.  For those of us who have been fighting Indaver for the past eight years on this issue, this is great news, and gives us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

Full text of motion:

East Cork Greens propose that the Minister for the Environment should reinstate the proximity principal for residual waste disposal. The proximity principal will require that waste being burned at an incinerator must be sourced within the same county or region that it’s created in. This would dramatically reduce the viability of incineration as a waste disposal method.

East Cork has a rich tourism and agricultural tradition. The area continues to shine in both sectors and has wonderful potential for creating increased value and employment into the future. The area is becoming recognised for its store of good food and culinary mastery. A prominent incinerator on the harbour shores will be detrimental to these sectors.

With good reason, there is a strong fear in Cobh, Midleton and East Cork generally that the proposed incinerator at Ringaskiddy will present a high risk of pollution. These towns lie directly downwind of the proposed incinerator site so that public health, agriculture and tourism will be subject to emissions in the long term. There are also risks from accidents, which happen more frequently that we are asked to believe.

East Cork Greens propose that the Minister for the Environment should reinstate the proximity principal for residual waste disposal. This would apply to waste for landfill or incineration. It would not apply to recyclable or compostable streams. This is something that the Minister for the Environment can do which will make any large scale incinerator in the country unviable, or certainly dramatically reduce its viability. The proximity principal will require that waste being burned at an incinerator must be sourced within the same county or waste region.

The Green Party should promote waste minimisation, recycling and composting, locally. These are growth industries and are ‘Towards a Green New Deal’. Incineration is not.

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