Alternative to landfill was proposed at Belfast City Council nine years ago, but Sinn Fein blocked move
I read with interest the article entitled 'Why City Hall chiefs are wrong to unleash the black bin police' by Eilis O'Hanlon in your issue of April 5. The subtitle read 'Council's controversial move ignores the real problem - that we are sending waste to landfill at all'.
As I read the article I was intrigued to find what her alternative would be. And there it was, in the fourth last paragraph: "We should be burning it."
I would like to remind your readers that nine years ago, when I was serving on Belfast City Council, a lengthy process took place to investigate the possibility of introducing an alternative to landfill. Different methods of incineration were identified and the information carefully scrutinised. It was privately agreed by all parties that this was the way to go. Every household in the city was canvassed and the returns were in favour of installing an energy from waste facility (incinerator).
A site on the North Foreshore was identified as being the most efficient. As mentioned in the article, cheap energy would be produced and it was intended that this should benefit north Belfast.
A meeting was called on Monday, June 22, 2009 to discuss the proposal by Sinn Fein that "a mechanical biological treatment facility only on the terms to be agreed by the directors of improvement and legal services" be agreed.
An amendment was moved by the Alliance Party that there should be "either or both a mechanical biological treatment or an energy from waste facility on terms to be agreed…"
The amendment was defeated by Sinn Fein, whose constitution opposes incineration. And so the waste management department, to this day, sends rubbish to landfill.