Gormley must go because he is simply not worth the price. (x2 extracts from the Irish Independent)

The behaviour of John Gormley as Minister for the Environment on the issue of the Poolbeg Incinerator has displayed evidence of incompetence, petulance, recklessness with public money, disrespect for the position of public officials and a failure to recognise the difference between an intended programme for government and an enacted law. The question is the gate price per tonne of incinerator waste. The price includes the cost of recycling the fly waste to German salt mines and the bottom ash to the manufacture of asphalt. This recycling is an export operation. Thus incineration is considered recycling in Eurospeak. The money earned from the heat to electricity system is, after an initial profit, then shared 50/50 with the councils and Covanta. Covanta now want out of the contract and John Gormley has been outrageous. Meanwhile the two reports following from the indo give you the flavour

Burning issue turns to farce

Friday November 12 2010

THE uniquely Irish farce surrounding the proposed waste incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin, orchestrated by an obdurate Environment Minister, is about to have its first expensive consequence for the taxpayer.

By the end of next month, there will be no more landfill space available in the Dublin area for waste collected by Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council. We now face the ridiculous situation whereby Dublin rubbish will have to be sent to dumps in Cavan, Kildare and as far afield as Limerick, Galway and Monaghan at an estimated cost of €20m.

The insane exercise is a consequence of John Gormley’s opposition to the building of the new incinerator in his constituency.

According to Mr Gormley, even in these recessionary times, a number of Irish companies are “poised” to invest tens of millions of euro in new environmentally friendly waste disposal technologies which will create thousand of jobs.

By this assertion, Mr Gormley is implying that even if the US firm behind the Poolbeg incinerator pulls out of the project (with an incidental loss of 500 jobs), it doesn’t really matter much.

The company, Covanta, announced recently that it has written off its $23m investment in the project and considers it has no obligation to proceed. From the start, Mr Gormley has obstructed progress on this project. And he has made it clear he will oppose it for as long as he can. At first he persistently refused to issue an offshore licence. When that obstruction was circumvented he commissioned a report into the project contract, and he plans to introduce levies on waste companies which, again, could sabotage the project by making it too expensive to use.

Taxpayers will face a massive compensation bill if the minister goes on like this. The country will face huge fines, a consequence of our continued overreliance on landfill, which is in breach of EU directives.

What other country would tolerate an Environment Minister hindering a vital environmental project which had been approved by his department and by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Planning Board, the Commission for Energy Regulation and every other relevant agency?

Mr Gormley cannot be allowed to continue obstructing progress. He is the King Canute of Dublin Bay.

Irish Independent

€20m cost of spreading Dublin waste around
By Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent
Friday November 12 2010

DUBLIN’S rubbish is to be sent to landfill sites around the country at a cost of €20m to taxpayers because the capital’s dumps are now full.

The hold-up in building the incinerator at Poolbeg was last night blamed for the deepening waste crisis, as Environment Minister John Gormley continues to oppose the project in his constituency.

The extra cost to taxpayers of sending the rubbish by trucks to dumps in as many as 10 other counties will be as much as €20m over the next 12 months, the Irish Independent has learnt.

Dublin City Council last night confirmed the landfills in its area are now completely full, and the council is now being forced to send all of its rubbish to dumps in Cavan and Kildare, but can extend this to Limerick, Galway, Offaly, Wicklow, Carlow, Louth, Monaghan, and Meath. From the end of December there will be no more landfill space available in the Dublin region for waste collected by Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council.

The two local authorities have initially awarded contracts to Oxygen and Bord na Mona to dispose of the household and commercial waste in landfills in Cavan and Kildare.

The Dublin Waste Plan envisaged that the Poolbeg incinerator would be up and running by now, so that no household waste from the Dublin region would have to go to landfill.

It was all to be thermally treated, generating energy and providing district heating as well as creating 100 jobs.

Private waste company Oxygen will treat up to 25,000 tonnes of the waste collected by the two Dublin local authorities between January and June next year. Bord na Mona has been awarded a similar six-month contract and will dispose of up to 120,000 tonnes of waste.

It had been planned that all non-recyclable waste in Dublin would be sent to the Poolbeg incinerator.

The waste was to have generated energy for up to 80,000 homes and district heating for another 50,000 homes.

Mr Gormley has come under fire from Covanta, the company involved in the Poolbeg project, for refusing to issue a foreshore licence. The incinerator has already been approved by his own department, the Environmental Protection Agency, An Bord Pleanala, the Commission for Energy Regulation, the Department of Finance and the National Development Finance Agency as good value for money.

The Dublin Waste Plan aims to recycle 59pc of Dublin’s waste, thermally treat 25pc at the Poolbeg incinerator and only landfill the remaining 16pc.

Last night a spokesman for Mr Gormley said the move to send the waste outside Dublin only showed the council had “failed” to deliver essential services for the city.

“The fact that Dublin has to contract out for waste disposal is a clear indication that the councils’ waste management plans have failed to deliver the infrastructure required to deal with the waste,” he said.

“It should be noted that the vast bulk of the capital’s waste has been disposed of outside of Dublin for more than a decade in the Kill landfill in Kildare, and it is of course disappointing to see that the council is continuing this policy.”

– Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

Irish Independent