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Green lobby boost with incinerator win

IRELAND'S environmental lobby has claimed a decisive victory over incineration with the rejection by An Bord Pleanala (ABP) of a €150m burner first put forward by Indaver in 2000.

However, the backers of the waste incinerator proposed for Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, have bluntly warned that Ireland's spiralling refuse disposal problems won't go away -- with a looming crisis over toxic waste exports and over-reliance on landfill.

The stark warning came as Indaver stressed it remains committed to the controversial incinerator despite ABP's rejection following a tortuous 10-year planning process.

Environmental campaigners claim the rejection represents a crucial setback for those who want incineration to form part of Ireland's future waste management strategy.

But the ABP rejection was slated by the Irish pharmaceutical and chemical association which queried what Ireland would now do with its waste.

Ireland now faces negotiating with the EU for the continued export of Irish hazardous waste -- a staggering 150,000 tonnes a year -- to countries such as France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Indaver's John Ahern said the firm is bitterly disappointed by the ABP decision -- but remain convinced that the issues identified with the project can be resolved.

His comments came just weeks after Cork County Council admitted that a 250-acre super-dump -- developed at a €50m cost -- is no longer needed given the switch away from landfill due to EU directives.

Cork Harbour For A Safe Environment (CHASE) chairperson, Mary O'Leary, said campaigners had dreamed of the victory for 10 years.

Indaver now faces having to pay almost €500,000 in costs associated with the planning hearing.

Sunday Independent