IBEC's strongly-worded statement follows a decision by Galway county council, to close a key landfill site to industrial waste from 1 February, leaving no industrial waste disposal options at all in the county. The association warns that the situation is likely to be repeated in other parts of the country as "landfill sites face closure without an alternative being proposed".
Industry's frustration appears to be shared by Irish environment minister, Noel Dempsey, who last autumn pressed local authorities to come up with waste plans as required by EU law and criticised many that had already done so for putting forward "politically correct" proposals that depended on unrealistic recycling rates and success in waste minimisation (ENDS Daily 24 October 2000).
IBEC's key complaint is that councils are showing a strong reluctance to endorse any expansion of waste incineration. "Ireland will be unable to meet its international obligations" without "some measure" of thermal waste treatment, says IBEC. The country "willingly agreed to accept EU requirements in this regard, but when hard choices have to be made everyone runs for cover".
Meanwhile, the Irish Times newspaper reported today that Mr Dempsey is to propose legislation to allow county managers to push through construction of new waste management facilities, including incinerators, if plans agreed by local elected officials do not provide sufficient facilities.
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