THE decision not to extend the Derryclure landfill and provide additional income for Offaly County Council was sharply criticised by some local authority members.
Pat Gallagher, the County Manager advised members at their December meeting that given the uncertainly in the waste market and the legal requirement to divert waste away from landfill, Offaly County Council decided not to extend the life of the current waste cells at Derryclure landfill.
As a result, land filling of waste at Derryclure ceased in October 2011. However, the Council continues to operate a waste acceptance facility at the site where waste from domestic customers and local businesses is accepted and transported off site for reprocessing.
Councillors were advised that the Council will see a loss in landfill new revenues of €1.1 million in 2012.
Noting the reduction in the landfill income, Independent councillor, Dervill Dolan was critical of the decision not to extend the life of the cell at Derryclure. “It is terrible to think as a council we are not in a position to operate out landfill. This is a huge source of income, just gone.”
He said that this issue was questioned by the members some time back and believed it is an issue of “bad planning” that there is no facility to provide an additional cell at Derryclure.
Pat Gallagher, the County Manager, pointed out the lack of clarity on this issue on a national level. He said that investment in landfill could be an “risky option” due to the uncertainty of the market.
He said the Council are currently waiting for further information on the matter from the Minister. However, Mr Gallagher said that the Council did give consideration to increasing the investment in landfill. He explained that the Council’s EPA licence did allow them to open a further cell at Derryclure but there was no guarantee that the income would cover cost of another cell.
The County Manager said they will be keeping an eye on the issue while waiting for further information on the national policy on the issue.