3rd September 2010
DLRCoCo must get out of Poolbeg deal, if possible – Ward
Councillor Barry Ward (Fine Gael – Blackrock) has today called for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to use a “break clause” to extricate itself from the contract for the Poolbeg Incinerator agreed between Dublin City Council and the incinerator developers Covanta.
The latest revelations aired on last night’s RTÉ Primetime programme regarding the nature of the contract to construct the Poolbeg incinerator raise very serious questions for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown and all four Dublin local authorities. It now seems that contact for the Poolbeg incinerator includes a ‘break clause’ that would allow the Dublin local authorities, this Sunday, to walk away from the agreement to build the Poolbeg incinerator without penalty, if certain conditions have not been met.
Dublin City Council, acting on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, is proposing to build an incinerator at Poolbeg which will have the capacity to burn 600,000 tonnes of waste per year. However, as part of this agreement, the four Dublin local authorities have committed to supplying at least 320,000 tonnes of waste to the facility every year; failure to do so will incur an annual financial penalty.
Concerns have also been raised regarding the impact that this proposed incinerator will have on recycling across the four Dublin local authority areas, if waste that was due to be recycled is now used to fulfil the councils’ obligation to Covanta.
Questioning the deal, Councillor Ward said:
“Dún Laoghaire Rathdown has recently stopped collecting waste and a High Court judgement last December found that private operators own the waste they collect. Since Dún Laoghaire Rathdown no longer collects waste or controls where it goes, how can the Council commit to supplying waste that it does have?
“This deal will open tax payers to a huge liability that may now be avoided. We must take steps to ensure that already hard-pressed taxpayers will not be hit with monetary penalties for each and every year of the 25 years that the Poolbeg incinerator will be in place.
“Whatever Dublin City, South Dublin or Fingal does now, it is imperative that Dún Laoghaire Rathdown ends its association with this contract. I will be raising this as a matter of priority at the upcoming council meeting on Monday the 13th of September.”