THE €48 million Bottlehill landfill site – which never opened its doors and which costs €200,000 per year to maintain – may now be used as an 'eco park'.
At the council meeting on Monday, Director of Environmental Services Sharon Corcoran put forward Cork County Council's draft plan in relation to waste management plan for the southern region.
As part of the draft proposal, Ms Corcoran said CCC is looking into the "real potential" of developing Bottlehill as an eco park. It was outlined how Bottlehill is a significant piece of existing infrastructure with approximately 660,000 tonnes of landfill void space built, from a total estimated available void space of 5,400,000 tonnes.
"We're currently looking into a lot of options as Bottlehill is a state-of-the-art engineered site," she said.
"We're looking at anaerobic digestion, whereby food can be broken down and used as fuel, to also upgraded recycling to alternative power – for example, windpower. The site is so big and it's also near a power line.
"These are all ideas that we have, but nothing is for definite. We're looking into lots of options"
She also said there would be "public consultations" throughout any process which is being taken by CCC.
She said the public consultation process for the waste management plan has commenced and, if adopted in 2014, it will last until 2020.
The draft plan put before the councillors also contained detailed information on climate change, shoreline litter and 'the waste hierarchy'.
The waste hierarchy confirms the prevention of waste as a priority measure to protect the environment with regards to the production and handling of waste in the region. The four stages include prevention, preparing for re-use, recycling, other recovery and disposal.
At the meeting, Mallow based Cllr Dan Joe Fitzgerald (FF) said it was nice to see Bottlehill being mentioned and that, hopefully, something will be made of it.
"Bottlehill must be dealt with as it's costing a lot to maintain in its current mothballed state," Cllr Alan Coleman (FF) added.