| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

Analysis/Comment Last Updated: Jun 14, 2011 - 7:57 AM

Ireland, waste incineration and gombeenism
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Jun 13, 2011 - 6:32 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
The Austrian delegation outside The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, after the Austria Showcase on Waste Management Technology, June 2009.

The latest installment of the long-running waste incineration saga in Ireland was delivered on Friday and it looked like another triumph for contemporary gombeenism.

The Sunday Independent reported that "Ireland's environmental lobby has claimed a decisive victory over incineration with the rejection by An Bord Pleanála of a €150m burner first put forward by Indaver in 2000," to handle the burning of hazardous waste in Ringaskiddy by Cork Harbour - -  the nucleus of the crucial American-owned pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.

The term 'environmental lobby' can include a spectrum of interests including the selfish who want a modern life as long as the risks are located elsewhere.

We have objectors to the Corrib gas project who want their cars fuelled by products coming on a dangerous supply chain from thousands of miles away and regular payments from Brussels via the Common Agricultural Policy are also a help but they object to the harnessing of an energy resource under their noses.

In Germany, the government has agreed to phase-out the nuclear industry but the NIMBYS (Not in My Backyard Syndrome) are ramping up campaigns against wind farms and the routing of a new grid that will carry electricity from the north.

Almost 50% of Irish hazardous waste is exported and the pharmaceutical/ medical devices sectors account for 60% of merchandise exports and 33% of total tradeable exports.

These statistics are likely of no consequence to the zealots who may be making a living from the State or from sources distant from commercial realities.

While Indaver has not helped its case with the issue of the risk of flooding raised by the planning board, in common with the saga about the proposed municipal incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin, it's not difficult to see a link between what caused a collapsed economy and those who want to have their cake and eat it - - a modern life without the downsides.

Barry Roche reported in The Irish Times: "In April 2003 then Cork county manager Maurice Moloney proposed a material contravention of the county development plan, but a month later councillors voted by 30-13 against allowing rezoning, and in June 2003 Indaver appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

The harbour alliance and more than 20 other parties lodged counter-appeals, and the alliance demanded an oral hearing which the board granted. In September and October 2003 both sides made submissions at the hearing in Neptune Stadium in Cork.

Senior planning inspector Philip Jones recommended refusal of planning on 14 specific grounds, but in January 2004 the board decided to override his recommendations and grant planning to Indaver for a hazardous waste incinerator."

There is a startling contrast between Ireland and Austria in many ways including economic management. Austria has an unemployment rate that is almost as low as 4% but dare we have the vision to emulate their national waste management policy.

We love to talk and argue but fix broken governance systems and ending pervasive gombeenism, is another story.

Vienna has three municipal waste incinerators and one of them supplies more than a quarter of a million houses and over 5,000 industrial consumers, with heating.

Austria had 42 operating waste incineration facilities and 17 MBT (mechanical and biological treatment plants for waste) in 2009, which are part of a sophisticated waste management and recycling system.

In 2010, Austria was estimated to have generated 78.1% of its electricity from renewable sources - - the highest in the EU - - compared with 13.2% in Ireland.

Germany landfilled 0% of municipal waste in 2009 while 62% of Irish municipal waste was landfilled. The comparable rates were 1% in Austria and the Netherlands.

In 1999, Greenpeace Austria said: "The Austrian incinerating plants have a high environmental standard as far as air and water emissions are concerned. Compared to other sources (industry, traffic,...) air and water emissions are relatively low."

A delegation from the Austrian waste management industry visited Dublin in 2009.

The delegation said the Austrian experience shows that successful waste management requires the implementation of both incineration and. Not all waste can be treated with MBT and this is where incineration takes over.

Irish NIMBYS would prefer to export what is only suitable for incineration.

The Austrian delegation said the debate around incinerators in Ireland has been dominated by the notion of the negative impact caused by emissions, which spurred strong opposition among residents groups. However, this view is said to be misleading as emissions can be easily controlled with effective filter media. "The air that comes out of the incinerators is actually cleaner than the air sucked in," Volker Bilandt from Lenzing Plastics, a leading manufacturer of filter components for removing dust from incinerators, pointed out.

The zealots and selfish will never be convinced by facts.

We need EU directives to be forced to provide quality water and end conventional landfilling which endangers that water supply.

Then some wonder why an unaccountable system where problems are only addressed when they morph into a crisis, result in an economic crash.

This is where politicians should have a role in facing down the gombeenism.

However, experience says that they're likely to be jellyfish, despite the economic challenges including hundreds of thousands of unemployed.

Maybe the 'environmental lobby' will provide the jobs?

Related Articles
Related Articles

© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Disastrous 44-year War on Drugs and ignoring the evidence
HSBC & Tax Evasion: France/ Belgium issued criminal charges; UK/ Ireland nothing
Analysis: Germany world's top surplus economy; UK tops deficit ranks
Facts do not always change minds - can even entrench misinformed
Finfacts changes from 2015
Facts of 2014: Guinness not Irish; 110 people own 35% of Russia's wealth
In defence of dissent and Ireland's nattering nabobs of negativism
Dreams of European Growth: France and Italy facing pre-euro economic problems
Globalization's new normal needs permanent underclass - Part 1
MH17 and Gaza: who is responsible?
Israel vs Palestine: Colonization set for major expansion
Aviva Ireland's 'fund' runs dry and life cover to die for
We wish Martin Shanahan - new IDA Ireland chief - well but...
Ireland as an Organised Hypocrisy is in lots of company
Dr Peter Morici: Friday’s US jobs report won’t alter Fed plans to raise interest rates
Own Goal: Could FIFA have picked worse World Cup hosts?
Ireland: Spin and spending will not save bewildered Coalition
Irish Government parties set for 2-year vote buying spending spree
European Parliament: Vote No. 1 for Diarmuid O'Flynn in Ireland South
Dr Peter Morici: US April jobs report may show 215,000 added in April
Dr Peter Morici: Hardly time to call Obamacare a success
Celtic Tiger RIP: Change in conservative Ireland six years after crash
Dr Peter Morici: Five things to know about the Fed’s obsession with inflation
In age of acronym/ Google, Trinity to rebrand as 'Trinity College, the University of Dublin’
Hoeness case part of ‘painful’ change for Swiss bankers
Dr Peter Morici: The Cold War was only on vacation
Dr Peter Morici: US economy drags on Obama's approval ratings; Don’t look for changes in Washington
Dr Peter Morici: Bitcoin debacle shatters the myth of virtual money
Dr Peter Morici: US Tax Reform: Eliminate the income tax and IRS altogether
Wealth threatens the simple life in Gstaad, Switzerland
Irish journalists get cash payouts over 'homophobic' defamation claim
Irish academics get lavish pension top-ups as private pensions struggle
Dr Peter Morici: Inequality is President Obama’s highest priority, but solutions are naive
The Finfacts Troika: Better times ahead and a hangover to forget?
Dr Peter Morici: Volcker Rule arrives with the hidden jewel in Dodd-Frank financial reforms
Ireland's toothless fiscal watchdog threatens to bark
Analysis: Germany's current account surplus - - Part 2
The end of western affluence?
Bono's hypocrisy on Africa, corporate tax avoidance in Ireland
France like Ireland is run for the benefit of the old