The time has come for Dublin City Council to exercise the break clause in the contract for the Poolbeg Incinerator with Covanta. It is time for the City Manager to bring this long running charade to an end. It has cost the taxpayer over €80 million over more than a decade, and we can no longer afford this unnecessary white elephant.
When the deadline of February 29th passed, council management stated that the final extension was to allow regulatory issues to be finalised and give Covanta time to have project funding in place by August 31st
These conditions have not been met; and according to recent media reports Covanta has not secured investment to allow it to start construction by November. Further, it has been clarified that Government will not bring forward legislation which have allowed local authorities to dictate the final destination of waste collected by private operators. This means the 600,000 tonne incinerator would not get the waste it needs and the put or pay clause would be activated, costing the taxpayer up to €120 million.
I call on the City Manager to consign the Poolbeg Incinerator to the dust-bin with other failed Celtic Tiger projects and remove this albatross that is hanging over the recycling sector. It is time to redouble our efforts to expand the recycling sector and be proactive in reduction of waste.
There was no need to locate an incinerator in the heart of the city, and the lack of certainty surrounding this project has resulted in other waste management companies holding back on investment in waste recycling and recovery projects.
Copyright Kevin Humphreys 2013