2 November 2000 Edition

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Another Council victory against incineration

At last Tuesday's meeting of the Longford Council, councillors threw out the regional waste plan for the Midlands. Longford joins seven other councils, Louth, Donegal, Laois, Roscommon, Wexford, and Galway County and Corporation, which have rejected Minister Dempsey's plan for regionally based incineration.

In a statement this week from the Buncrana Environmental Group, which is part of the North West Environmental Alliance set up to oppose the Cross border incineration plans for the North West region, Jim McMenamin called on Minister Dempsey to withdraw his waste proposals for thermal treatment.

Last Saturday, it was announced that the `model incinerator', Thermoselect, that councillors were escorted off to see at Karlsruhe in Germany, has had to be shut down because of its toxic emissions.

A Louth County Councillor who visited the plant points out: ``We were told that this incinerator was the last word and was totally safe. Now we hear it has polluted the city and countryside, and must be closed.''

``The millions of pounds earmarked by the government to construct regional incinerators should be used to fund composting and recycling projects, with the aspiration of zero waste. And we need to start now, on a 32 county basis,'' says Jim McMenamin.

Last week in the Assembly, Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin proposed such a zero waste strategy to form the basis of waste management strategy in the Six Counties. What is already in place in many regions in the world, including America and Oceania, was rejected by the Assembly as `too idealistic'. The battle against incineration is only just beginning, says campaigner and Louth County Councillor Arthur Morgan.

Minister Dempsey has already made clear that he doesn't intend to retreat, or cancel the plans which people have rejected through their councillors.

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