Second incinerator needed after Poolbeg
A second incinerator will be needed to burn more of the nation's rubbish, according to the country's waste managers.
The nation's first incinerator is due to open at Poolbeg in Dublin in three years time to deal with 600,000 tons a year.
Several years of opposition and controversy dogged the development of the Dublin facility.
But now, Ireland's three regional waste management plans published this week have called for the construction of a second incinerator plant capable of burning 300,000 tons of waste.
Concerned Residents Against Incineration (CRAI) are one of the leading groups remaining opposed to the Poolbeg incinerator which is under construction at Ringsend.
The plant has been named Dublin Waste to Energy - a public-private partnership between Dublin City Council (DCC) and American energy contractor Covanta.
The three major plans which deal with the nation's overall waste disposal needs, covering the Eastern-Midlands, Connacht-Ulster, and the Southern Region, all stated that the Poolbeg facility will not be big enough to meet Ireland's requirements.
Kevin Swift, waste co-ordinator for Connacht-Ulster, said none of the three plans have specified the location of the second incinerator.
He said Ireland is now producing 2.2 million tons of waste each year.
The building of a second incinerator would cost from €400m to €600m, he said.
Ireland has met many of the European Unions targets for waste with recycling being carried out very successfully, he told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland programme today.
"Ireland has successfully moved away from landfill … but we're still heavily dependent on exporting waste," he told the programme.
"We don't have the necessary infrastructure to deal with the waste that is arising," he said.
The exported waste is being turned into electricity and is heating homes in Europe as Ireland cannot do so.
Processing priorities are prevention, then reuse, and then recycling.
After that, thermal options are using waste to replace the burning of fossils fuels and then outright incineration, he said.