Thursday 14 December 2017

Transfer of waste from blaze dump sparks new local anger

Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

TWO communities living 30km apart are up in arms over waste from a dump now blazing for almost two weeks.

More than 450 tonnes of waste has been moved from the controversial Kerdiffstown landfill at Naas, Co Kildare, to the Drehid landfill 30km away as part of fire fighting efforts.

Up to 30 local people from the Carbury area staged a protest yesterday outside the Drehid dump over the transfer of the waste.

A clause in the licence for the facility allows it to accept waste in an emergency situation.

A public meeting held on Sunday night in Carbury was attended by 220 people concerned about the move.

The Clean Air Naas (CAN) group, which has been campaigning for the Kerdiffstown dump to be cleaned up and made safe, said they shared the fears expressed by people living near the Drehid plant.

CAN spokesman Joe Friel said: "This waste should first be sent to sorting facilities where its contents can be assessed to see if they are toxic."

Acrid

Up to 100 firefighters are trying to bring the Kerdiffstown blaze -- in a mountain of waste dumped illegally over many years -- under control. Smoke is still billowing across the M7 motorway and enveloping Naas with an acrid smell.

The Environmental Protection Agency has told an Oireachtas committee that more than 1.75 million tonnes of waste were illegally deposited at Kerdiffstown.

The dump had been run by Neiphin Trading, now in liquidation. The holding company operated by businessman Tony Dean is in receivership.

It will cost more than €30m to clean up the landfill, but the money is not available.

The emergency task force said last night that good progress was being made in dealing with the fire.

Smoke emissions were reducing and had stabilised. While the site had been secured, it remained a very dangerous area.

The HSE advised people to stay out of the smoke, and those experiencing health problems should reduce their level of activity, take medications and consult their doctors.

Irish Independent

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