Limerick councillor not ready to dump landfill proposal

Cllr Ciara McMahon
Cllr Ciara McMahon

LIMERICK Sinn Fein councillor Ciara McMahon, says she is encouraged by the interest shown for the lease on the Gortadroma landfill in County Limerick by two American companies to develop a gasification plant and create 180 new jobs.

Cadence EnvironPower (CEP), are proposing to convert 1,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day into syngas at the Ballyhahill site if their bid for the landfill lease is successful. Gasification converts sustainable feed stocks such as biomass or waste into electricity and is said to generate 100 times less emissions than incineration.

But because the proposed development is still in the very early stages, the Adare/Rathkeale local representative says more needs to be learned about the technology involved. Her main concerns are for the environment and the effects it will have on local residents .

“Gasification is a relatively unknown technology in Ireland and all councillors of the area have voiced concerns regarding this proposal,” Cllr McMahon said.

Despite her concerns, she says she will remain openminded until further information is given from the joint bidders interested in developing this site.

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“As with all developments jobs and investment are a huge factor but one cannot be swayed by numbers. The main focus needs to be residents of the area who have already had to deal with the many factors of living near a dump,” she commented.

She is now urging people to keep an open mind until more is known about the proposal for a gasification plant and the broader implications of the development.

Councillors from the Adare-Rathkeale ward were told earlier this month that traffic and production would both increase “threefold” at the landfill site if the American bid was successful.