CHASE welcomes the 26 January 2017 European Commission reports on the implementation of the Circular Economy Plan and the specific clarification on waste to energy with recommendations which include the phasing out of public money from incinerators, the introduction of a moratorium on new facilities and the introduction or increase of incineration taxes.
The documents provide clear communication on Europes move away from incineration as part of a commitment to move efficiently towards a closed-loop, sustainable circular economy.
Shredding Indavers energy-recovery charade, the document unequivocally states that ‘waste incineration with limited energy recovery is regarded as disposal’ and exempts non-burn technology which also recovers energy from the recommendation that ‘Member States are advised to gradually phase-out public support for the recovery of energy from mixed waste.’
CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said “This is a clear death knell to the incinerator industry. The foundation on which their business plan is built is crumbling. Ireland needs to cut any financial obligations to incinerator operators in the form of energy subsidies and move towards a circular economy and a sustainable future. CHASE fully supports this document and it reflects the direction which we have advocated since the outset of our campaign 16 years ago.
While the Ringaskiddy site is intrinsically unsuitable as shown in this latest and prior Oral Hearings, these latest Commission guidelines mean that Bord Pleanalas duty to the taxpayer is to refuse planning.
Very relevant to Ireland’s current situation, it gives a green light to the movement of cross-border waste as an interim solution ‘while countries with low or no incineration implement the moves towards modern circular systems’ focusing on improving separate collection, increasing recycling capacity, clean production systems and repair and giving more consideration to those processes, such as anaerobic digestion of biodegradable waste, where material recycling is combined with energy recovery.
Ireland clearly needs to reflect this EU direction, embrace the circular economy and shift up the waste hierarchy in accordance with the Commission Guidelines.
The incinerator industry has nowhere left to hide. Europe has stated clearly that incineration is not the future path and it would be imprudent for Ireland to set out on that path at this stage.”
The January 2017 reports relate to the action plan adopted on 2 December 2015 by the European Commission entitled Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the circular economy, which roadmaps a transformative agenda with significant new jobs and growth potential aimed at fostering sustainable consumption and production patterns, in line with EU commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.