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Councils must find landfill alternative


Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Your report, "Revealed: Northern Ireland's greatest wasters" (News, April 28), names and shames the levels of waste going to landfill in our council areas.

Perhaps we should also be shining a harsh light on the councils themselves, which have failed in their attempts at waste management (one of the very few major functions councils deliver).

Landfill is not a long-term option, but councils have been adept at placing the onus for waste-management on the consumer alone - witness the black bin restrictions in Belfast and elsewhere.

Of course, there are other options than landfill. In the halcyon days of 26 councils, no fewer than three consortia of councils in Northern Ireland vied to procure incineration, or gasification, of waste utilising biomass energy - an entirely sensible long-term approach.

These attempts failed, ramping up collective consultancy debts of around £30m in the process.

The reason these procurements failed was an inability at a political level to agree on the type of incinerator or their location.

Perhaps councils should get their collective act together and start providing long-term solutions to landfill, rather than having their staff grub around in bins looking for someone to fine.

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