DOWN Cllr Cadogan Enright has spoken out against plans by Down District Council to employ a Public Relations company to promote the incineration of waste.
At a Recreation and Environmental Services Committee meeting on Monday (28th), a motion was presented to Council members calling on them to support a decision to award a tender to a PR company for Public Relations consultancy Services for Residual Waste Infrastructure projects.
According to the Green Party Councillor, this would essentially mean that the Council would be funding a private company to promote incineration plants against campaigns by local communities who would oppose such plans.
Cllr Enright said, “The Council’s job is to represent the community, not fund PR companies to fight local communities defending themselves against incineration. Down District Council’s waste plans, under Arc21, currently support incineration, but this is totally unacceptable and public money should not be spent in promoting this.”
“With the commercial viability of Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) plants, these new technologies have rendered the concept for incineration under Arc21 obsolete”, he said.
Cllr Enright rejected criticism from members in the chamber who belong to other parties. “Some of SDLP colleagues have strongly criticised me for opposing incineration, but I am arguing that if a better deal is available to the taxpayers that also helps the environment- we should be using it.”
Down District Council is one of eleven Councils in Northern Ireland which form a joint waste management policy, called Arc21. The need to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites in order to meet EU targets has resulted in the Councils favouring incineration as a solution. This would involve thousands of tonnes of waste being burned in large incineration plants, potentially situated in Down District.
The Green Party Councillor concluded, “Incineration is not an option for waste disposal. In the Republic of Ireland, the Green Party Minister for the Environment John Gormley has drastically increased landfill and incineration charges to make them unfeasible, this will encourage waste to be treated through more cost-effective, environmentally friendly methods. The business case for incineration is no longer sound – Down District needs to move on and challenge ARC 21’s plans, and not be hiring PR consultants for them.”
Press Cuttings: Enright opposes incineration plans, Opposition to incinerator plan, Green warning over incinerators