South Tipperary Co. Council has decided to initiate legal action against Mr Binman over its alleged failure to comply with the conditions of the waste permit issued for its Carrick-on-Suir municipal refuse depot.
One councillor expressed concern at last week’s Co. Council meeting about the impact this legal proceedings could have on the future of the depot, which he pointed out employed more than 100 people.
But Co. Council management assured him that there wasn’t any question of the facility being closed down.
The Council’s decision to issue legal proceedings against the Limerick based waste company over the way it’s operating its depot at Pill Road, Carrick-on-Suir was revealed at that meeting.
In response to a query from Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan, Denis Holland of the Co. Council’s Environment Department, explained that the Council issued two waste permits for Mr Binman’s Carrick-on-Suir facility last year but the company was appealing them to the district court and the case was ongoing.
In the meantime, the Council inspected and audited the depot to ensure it was complying with the conditions of the permits and felt the issuing of legal proceedings was warranted at the moment due to the company’s alleged non-compliance.
The senior executive engineer stressed that the enforcement legal proceedings were totally separate to the district court appeal.
Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan (FF) told the meeting that residents living close to the depot were “extremely concerned” that the waste permit conditions weren’t being enforced by the company.
But Cllr Joe Brennan (FG) pointed out there were more than 100 people working at the depot and he hoped their livelihoods were respected. He knew certain residents were concerned about the site but he argued that far more people were employed there and it was felt generally that Mr Binman was providing a good service. “I hope that you only close it down as a last resort,” he said.
Mr Holland responded that there was no question of the site being closed down. The Council only wanted to ensure that the company complied with the conditions of its waste permits for the facility.
Cllr Cooney-Sheehan took issue with Cllr Brennan’s comments. She said consideration had to be taken of the residents in the 300 houses located near the depot. The site originally took only dry recyclable waste but was now taking “wet” waste.
“Cllr Brennan lives out in Grangemockler and doesn’t live in a housing estate near those people”, she added.
The two waste permits the Co. Council issued last year for Mr Binman’s waste depot in Carrick-on-Suir restricted the type of waste it can handle to dry recyclable refuse and the quantity of that waste it can handle to 24,5000 tonnes per year.
This fell far short of the quantity and type of waste Mr Binman had sought to secure permission to handle at the site in its waste permit applications.
The company had sought approval from the Council for permits to allow it deal with 50,000 tons of dry recyclable waste including plastic bottles and to handle non-recyclable municipal refuse, commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste as well as small quantities of electrical waste and batteries at the depot.
The Co. Council received objections to Mr Binman’s waste permit applications from people living in the vicinity of the depot and from some members of the Town Council concerning alleged environmental nuisance.
Foul smells from the depot was the primary complaint.
A previous permit issued for the depot that expired in 2008 permitted the site to handle small quantities of non-recyclable refuse, construction and demolition waste.