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Sinn Fein scuppered a sensible solution to waste problems at Belfast plant and set us all back years

letter of the day: incinerator debate

The recent furore about dealing with waste and the decision to locate the energy from waste plant at Hightown was predicted about 10 years ago, when I proposed the motion at City Council to use land reclaimed from the wastelands at Belfast Lough.

After about 10 years of study, arc 21, the body set up to evaluate the best solution, decided on the type of plant which was needed, the location which would create the least traffic issues, the savings due to access to cold water, the ability to give cheaper electricity to homes in north Belfast and the best use of land, while creating no smells or pollution.

Many councillors who visited several sites in cities in France, Holland and other countries saw what was proposed for Belfast. At that time they could have chosen to visit up to over 400 such plants. They all agreed that the proposed solution was good.

I even had some influential Sinn Fein members agree that the proposed solution was sensible, practical, economic and desirable.

At the vote all Sinn Fein councillors were apparently corralled into voting against a modern, sensible, safe solution to a problem which still is with us. That effectively delayed the solution to this problem for years and will cost us, the taxpayer, more to solve and to run.

An irony is that the reasons given by SF for opposing the energy from waste solution were just ill-informed and the alternatives were just bonkers.

tom ekin (Former lord mayor)

Belfast

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