Concerns raised over ash disposal at planned Cork incinerator

Using Bottlehill landfill will bring waste through residential areas, says Green Party

The proposal to build an €160 million waste incinerator in Cork Harbour could pose serious problems in terms of transporting residue ash from the facility to landfill, a Green Party activist has said.

Speaking at a Bord Pleanála hearing, Oliver Moran, secretary of the Cork Greens, and who ran for the party in Cork North Central in the general election, expressed concern that sending residue ash from the proposed incinerator in Ringaskiddy could cause serious problems if it is sent to Bottlehill near Mallow for disposal.

An Bord Pleanála inspector Derek Daly said Indaver's planning application was for the disposal of residue ash to a licensed landfill site and given that Bottlehill is not currently a licensed landfill site, he could not see the relevance of raising it at this point in proceedings.

But Mr Moran argued that Indaver had confirmed it was in discussions with Cork County Council with a view to using the €48 million landfill which has been mothballed since completion in 2007 and he believed it was important to look at the road network connecting it to the Ringaskiddy site.


He pointed out that Bottlehill's location off the N20 Cork-Mallow road was considerably closer to Ringaskiddy than the alternatives at Drehid in Co Kildare, Knockharley in Co Meath and Ballinagran in Co Wicklow.

The problem with the Bottlehill site is that the R625 which connects the N8 with the N20 is not a Northern Ring Road but rather a distributor road running through residential communities in Tivoli, Mayfield, Ballyvolane, The Glen and Blackpool on the northside of Cork city.

“Along with Ringaskiddy, these are the other major built up communities that will be affected by the transport of waste from the proposed incinerator. However because the application fails to include where waste ash will be disposed, these communities were unaware they would be affected.”

According to Mr Moran, Indaver in its application projects that 1,600 trucks will carry bottom ash from the proposed facility per annum which, taking into account the return journey, works out at 12 journeys per day based on a five day week and 50 weeks a year.

"As my colleague in the Green Party, Lorna Bogue has already highlighted, and was echoed by Donnchadh O Laoghaire of Sinn Féin, it is not known if sealed vehicles will be used to transport bottom ash," he said.

“This raises a health risk from airborne hazards for residents and schools along the route and for the public travelling through the residential areas, including those using the supermarkets that these trucks would pass by,” he said.

The hearing continues.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times