48 thoughts on “Incineration (again)”

  1. One can’t help but notice that the authors are Sandymount residents. As such their interest in this issue is likely more local than national. I doubt the nature of the project-costing bothers them as much as their neighbourhood becoming dump-truck-central.
    Would it be at all practical to consider compensating residents in the area? Perhaps through their council budget? It does seem that an externality is being imposed on them…

    As much as they may dislike the project, to present backing out as the best financial option at this stage of development seems ludicrous.

  2. How ironic – John Gormley got Brian Lenihan to intervene against the incinerator (possibly as a trade for this tax thing) and now it looks like Gormleys career is the only thing going up in smoke – some would say it was rubbish anyway!

  3. @Richard,
    That is their main point Richard, that there has been ‘no real consideration of the alternatives’.

    Look at the EIS submitted for waste licence application, section on alternatives, it is as if it was written on the back of an evelope and is stacked with assumptions.

  4. Even if an incinerator is needed, the pre-committal of the city to generate a fixed amount of waste seems to be a bit out of touch. There are a lot of new recycling technologies coming on stream, some will effect our total of final waste, and some will fall on their face, but pre-committing us to a certain level of waste is silly.

    Just this week, a japanese scientist has announced a technology to extract oil back out of waste plastic. Ireland’s biomass potential is constantly being talked about, and we are now amongst the best recyclers of electronics in Europe.
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/weve-tidied-up-our-act-to-top-recycling-league-2297141.html
    http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2010/08/machine_converts_plastic_back_into_oil.html

    These are all actually or potentially impacting on our future waste production which is impossible to predict and certainly should not be precommitted for such an extended period.

  5. But they lay out the alternatives. Mechanical-biological treatment is one. The other (unstated but obvious) one is an incinerator which doesn’t charge as much per tonne. Why not get one like the one in Elbert County, or the one in Wales?

  6. It looks like this project creates all the pitfalls, risks and moral hazard that transparent tendering processes and risk bearing by private operators is designed to avoid. How can Dublin City Council saddle the nation with this without any proper scrutiny or transparency?

  7. @zhou_enlai
    “How can Dublin City Council saddle the nation with this without any proper scrutiny or transparency?”

    In much the same way as loads of dwellings, “development”, NAMA was foisted on us – a focus on grand gestures rather than quiet competence.

    For example see this posting on “the data and evidence deficit in Ireland”
    http://irelandafternama.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/the-data-and-evidence-deficit-in-ireland/

    More of the same is clear for Transport21, including Metro North.

    Whimsical governance is clear in the the current Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) proposal to “join-the-dots” of the two existing LUAS lines. There will be no through passenger services between the existing lines, just an “interchange opportunity”.

    As part of the SMART economy word-smithing, RPA has come up with a new meaning for “network”!

    “Luas City Centre (Line BX) will extend the Luas Green Line from St Stephen’s Green to O’Connell Street and provide an interchange opportunity with the Luas Red Line at Abbey Street, thereby providing an essential missing link, a link critical to the establishment of a Luas network.”

    “This northbound single track line crosses O’Connell Bridge …. crosses the Luas Red Line tracks at Abbey Street where an engineering link (for occasional use by trams out of service) is provided between the two lines. The proposed O’Connell – GPO stop will be located on the median between Prince’s Street North and Abbey Street, allowing passenger interchange between the proposed line and the Luas Red Line.”
    see http://www.rpa.ie/en/news/Pages/RPAAppliestoAnBordPlean%C3%A1laforLuasBroombridgeRailwayOrder.aspx

  8. I have to say that as a committed recycler I have a number of points to make,
    1. It is obvious that the Dublin region only has between 200 – 270kt of material now that needs a home. By the time we have full brown bin role out this may be down at 150 – 230kt of material. Why would we want to be stuck with a 320kt put-or-pay contract for the people of Ireland?
    2. Why would we want to hinder the role out of the waste hierarchy as legally defined in the new Waste Framework directive, which requires us to prevent waste being generated and develop proper recycling systems?
    3. It makes no sense to have 800,000 tonnes (Indaver 200kt and Covanta 600kt) incineration capacity all within 30km of each other to service Dublin. In addition there are two cement kilns that can burn refuse derived fuel within 50km (Lagan and Irish Cement) with a a combined capacity of approx 150,000t for material generated from MBT processes. This seems like complete overkill for the region.
    4. The put and pay contract essentially gives Covanta and Dublin City the ability to sell the additional capacity free of charge which will mean that recyclables are sucked in from the surrounding area instead of being properly returned as feedstocks. This must be prevented at all costs as in the longterm it will reduce consumer choice and return us to higher cost waste management – EG See what life is like now that we’re only dealing with one bank…..

    Have some other points to make but must continue to carry out the day job and earn some money to keep more civil servants paid…..

  9. @Antoin
    The structure of the argument is: “We could do A, but that would cost so and so much, or we could do B.”

    You cannot meaningfully compare the price of a service in three different countries without considering the cost base.

  10. @richard

    I think the argument is more like:
    – We do not know how much this will cost because there is no transparency.
    – There are very good reasons to doubt prudence of this contract from a commercial as well as an environmental perspective.
    – Let’s do this in a transparent manner with the suitable checks and balances, and allowing proper consideration to alternatives.

  11. We are not comparing the costs of a service. We are comparing the cost of a major capital project with financing and technical management attached. Covanta is bearing technical risk and financial risk, but all the commercial risk is in the hands of DCC.

  12. @Richard
    As per others, I think you’re being a bit hard on the authors.

    Other than that, I’d add one point to zhou’s three.

    – alternatives were considered, should potentially have been selected instead of the incinerator solution, and these could still perhaps be used

  13. @zhou
    If you would really believe this, you should challenge the decision. Of course, you would need to reveal who you are, and there is a chance that your appeal will be rejected — but that would at least settle the matter. You should be aware, though, that the IWMA, who are not shy of the courts, have not followed this route.

    Until someone is prepared to follow through on their complaints, I will disregard these.

  14. It’s a classic protest, with complaints about the status quo but no serious consideration of the alternatives.

    Is the ESRI still doing any (ahem) ‘consulting’ work on this for DCC? Slight conflict of interest there?

  15. @Richard Tol

    While I agree with much of your comment, you should really learn to pay less attention to Irish Times drivel and to recognise this absurd newspaper for what it is. If you had lived in Ireland longer, you’d realise that this sort of whipped-up contoversy is what the Irish Times is all about, pandering as ever to Dublin 4 chatterers, who see the evil hand of Fianna Fail conspiracy in everything. The authors of this article are described as having campaigned against e-voting machines. I might have guessed. The e-voting project was a perfectly sensible initiative to modernise the counting of votes in Irish elections. Because of the complex electoral system, it can take many days, even weeks, to complete the count. Those working as counters, tellers etc, often have to take many days off work as a result. With e-voting, the count could be completed in minutes, and it was used very successfully in the 2002 election. That was why Bertie Ahearn tried to introduce it on a permanent basis. But, supported by the Irish Times, the Dublin 4 chatterers launched a campaign against e-voting, claiming ridiculously that Fianna Fail would use them to rig the election results, even though the e-voting machines were manufactured by a perfectly respectable company in your native Netherlands. The campaign succeeded, and then the nutters behind the campaign blamed the Fianna Fail government for the loss of money resulting from discarding the machines. It looks like something similar is happening here. A perfectly sensible initiative to handle waste is launced. The Dublin 4 chatterers rise up against it, supported by the Irish Times. And, of course, if they succeed, they’ll blame the Fianna Fail government for the loss of money, not their own spurious and absurd campaign.

  16. @JtO

    E-voting was a good idea. The disastrous way the project was analysed and implemented was a good example of how good ideas can be destroyed by incompetence, ignorance and lack of accountability. It was an unholy messes from systems analysis, technology, project management, cost control and political perspectives. I expect Dublin City Council are excited with your elevation of the Covanta deal into such august company!

    @Richard Tol

    I just disagree with your characterisation of the article as little more than a nimby whinge. It was tightly reasoned. DCC argue that the facts don’t support the assertions. However, we won’t know without the details of the contract and the analysis being made public. One wonders what demographic changes they factored in. One also wonders what limits and caps on their liability they imposed.

    Whilst I could take a case without abandoning the CCP on this blog, I don’t think that would be very prudent. DCC and Cavanta have extremely deep pockets. Private Citizens are better served by relying on elected politicians who can fight such large beasts on an even footing. That is an eminently preferable option to gambling one’s children’s inheritance on a point of principle and a Judge’s ulcer.

  17. @JtO:
    You may not have read the reports (or even the press releases) issued by the Commission on Electronic Voting http://www.cev.ie. Its members — The Hon. Mr. Justice Matthew P. Smith, Chairman; Kieran Coughlan, Clerk of the Dáil; Deirdre Lane, Clerk of the Seanad; Danny O’Hare, Chairman of the Information Society Commission; Mr. Brian Sweeney, Chairman of Siemens — don’t seem to be the sort to be swayed by “nutters”. The Commission’s summary conclusion was:

    “The Commission concludes that it can recommend the voting and counting equipment of the chosen system for use at elections in Ireland, subject to further work it has also recommended, but that it is unable to recommend the election management software for such use.”

    The, er, “nutters” were right; FF hadn’t done its homework. Plus ca change ….

    bjg

  18. @JohntheO
    Eh no. You know nothing about e-voting machines. They were wrong, wrong, wrong. States in the US is busy getting rid of any and all of its paperless e-voting machines.

    Indeed, never mind the software, the hardware is deeply suspect:
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/08/pac-man/

    Replacing a single card and making something operate differently is the stuff of pop sci-fi. It is certainly not the stuff of secure voting methods.

    I’m afraid you expose yourself as a loon with an axe to grind.

  19. @hoganmahew

    Nobody involved with Property Pin should call anyone a loon. Its the ultimate loon website.

    I think you’ll find that opposition, both to the incinerator project, to the e-voting project, and to a host of other modernising projects, comes invariably from the same sources. The reality is that it is not possible to move ahead on any modernising project or any infrastructure project in Ireland, without the Irish Times-reading, Property Pin-posting, Dublin 4 chattering classes rising up against it. This doesn’t happen to anything like the same extent in any other country. Richard Tol, coming from the Netherlands, is obviously bewildered by the strength of opposition from this quarter to the incinerator project. I don’t know exactly how long Richard Tol has lived in Ireland but, if he’d had lived in Ireland longer, he’d know that this is par for the course. Virtually every piece of infrastructure that we now enjoy has only been able to be proceeded with after years of bogus controversy, stirred up by these groups, complete with all the essential elements of ‘the Irish environmental protest campaign’ (marches, petitions, weekly Frank McDonald articles in the Irish Times and so on). Just look at the recent record.

    Every single motorway project south of the border, without exception, was delayed for years by spurious objections (snails, viking ruins, proximity to ancient battlefields, rare breeds of grasses, being among them). North of the border, motorways were being built without fuss as early as the 1960s. Since the defeat of the anti-motorway protestors, which finally allowed the development of a modern national motorway network to proceed, Ireland has experienced the largest fall in road deaths of any developed country. The Dublin Port Tunnel was delayed for a decade by phoney objections – it was even claimed at one time by the objectors that its development would lead to thousands of houses in Dublin collapsing into rubble. Having severely delayed but not prevented modern ring road networks in cities like Cork, Limerick and Waterford, the objectors are currently holding up the badly-needed ring road network in Galway. The same groups tried to stop the new Dublin airport terminal and the new Dublin convention centre. They wrecked plans to give Ireland a proper-sized stadium for soccer and rugby. They have tried to prevent every office block and shopping centre development in the past 30 years. They are objecting to virtually every ESB overhead cable and demanding, ludicrously, that ESB cables be laid underground, a proposal which, if implemented, would result in Ireland having the highest electricity prices by far in the developed world. They continually try to stop people building modern houses for themselves in the countryside, although, since rural Ireland doesn’t give a toss for them, their impact has been somewhat limited here. The incinerator contoversy is simply the latest in a long long line of bogus controversies, stirred up by the serial objectors. When Richard Tol has lived in Ireland longer, he’ll come to understand this. One of the reasons why Fianna Fail are so hated by this quarter is they are the only party which has ever stood up to the serial objectors to infrastructure development, although even they seem to have lost some of their enthusiasm for doing so since they became over-dependent on the Green Party for support.

  20. @zhou_enlai

    E-voting was successfully implemented for the 2002 general election, although, if memory serves me right, it was only for some constituencies, as it was being done as an experiment. It worked brilliantly. The results were available within minutes of the polls closing (with manual counts, it sometimes takes a week before the final results are known in Ireland). It was very cost-effective as vote-counters and tally-people did not have to remain off work for days on end. There were no allegations of fraud or anything untoward at all. There was little objection to it at the time and it did not figure at all as an issue in the election campaign. It was widely seen as another instance of how the Celtic Tiger was making Ireland one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. The Dutch company that manufactured the machines was using Ireland as a showcase for their product to sell worldwide and even talking about setting up a manufacturing plant in Ireland to produce them. The campaign against e-voting began some time after its successful implementation in the 2002 general election, when the serial objectors to everything, reeling from their defeat on the motorways issue, found yet another grievance. It is, of course, a fact that no system is 100 per cent foolproof against fraud. Paper voting certainly isn’t. I myself voted six times for Bernadette Devlin in the 1969 Mid-Ulster bye-election, as did many of my friends.

  21. @JohntheO
    I’ve never made any bones about being a loon. I just happen to recognise a kindred spirit.

  22. @JtO

    There was no audit trail with e-voting. There was no way for people to check manually that the software algorithms had been properly applied. No paper records were generated. There was no proper provision for storage of the machines. It had not been fully tested.

    The project was treated as if it were the computerisation of an accounting taks rather than the computerisation of the primary democratic process whereby the sovereignty of the people is asserted. There were copious other errors following on from the initial misunderstanding of the policy. I cannot recall them all and I don’t want to rely on faulty recollection. A report was carried out which highlighted them. The implementation of policy was a total debacle. There is no two ways about it.

    Minister Dempsey gave Minister Cullen one of the worst hospital passes in the history of the Irish politics. Whilst Minsiter Dempsey’s policy may have been correct, his inability to recognise valid criticism or to alter his position led to Fianna Fail being associated with incompetent governance. E-voting is not impossible. Mistakes or failures of implementation are nothing to be ashamed of. It is ignoring valid criticism that gets one in trouble.

  23. @JohntheOptimist
    “The Dublin Port Tunnel was delayed for a decade by phoney objections – it was even claimed at one time by the objectors that its development would lead to thousands of houses in Dublin collapsing into rubble.”

    As I was involved in that campaign, perhaps you might be interested in some reflections on how things are done here in this Republic. Although I have not followed the details of the incinerator/waste management issue, my experience may throw some light on this.

    Living in Drumcondra and at one stage chairing a Residents’ Association which covered an area which included about 45 houses (many of whose owners were members of the Association), I have some experience of the Dublin Port Tunnel (DPT) campaign. Our Association actually proposed a tunnel in the late 1980s (instead of a surface-only Eastern ByPass).

    We then actively supported the campaign to build the DPT (as the twin-bore 4-lane road it now is) as part of a set of mutually reinforcing measures which would enhance our area and improve traffic management. Among those measures was on-street LUAS up through Drumocondra and onto Ballymun, the Airport and Swords – which was actually explicitly mentioned as a measure in the DPT EIS. I personally still support that option as one of two LRT lines needed for North Dublin. I am completely opposed to Metro North. BTW, the Irish Times has refused – time after time – to publish articles I have submitted expressing my alternatives to Metro North.

    Suffice to say that the way in which the public authorities went about the DPT left a lot to be desired, partricularly for those under whose homes the DPT passed. IMO, that lack of managerial and political plain speaking – by local and national politicians and public servants – and dealing with genuine concerns led to the strenght of the opposition. Yes, the Irish Times gave voice to the opposition, which as a self-proclaimed paper of record it obliged to. The Green Party was the only party that voted en-bloc against the DPT in the City Council.

    Let me add that we then had to contend with the Government (FF-PD) trying to change one key feature of the DPT after all the Ministerial orders were signed, the contracts signed and the work was in process. This was the issue of the tunnel height which is now what was in the EIS. This operating height of 4.65m is standard throughout Europe.

    When I asked the Dept of Transport – using FoI – what powers the then Minister (the late Seamus Brennan) had to spend public funds on even looking of the feasibility of changing the DPT height, I got a bland and incomplete answer.

    This was an example of arbitrary interference by Government in something that was agreed and settled. This was a political response to a very small pressure group (supported by a PD Senator) none of whom had questioned the height of the DPT during the public consultation and public enquiry phases.

    The lesson I learnt from the DPT that that even where Government decided on something, our government (elected and appointed) cannot be trusted to carry out, thoroughly and sytematically, what they have decided on. Why should we, citizens, have to involve ourselves in yet another public consultation on the height of the DPT?

    It is but one small example of the corruption of institutions, the consequences of which we ar now living with and will do so for years.

  24. @Richard Tol

    I have not suggested there is illegality. I have suggested there is unjustifiable secrecy and consequently a lack of transparency and accountability. It is ironic that you are arguing for recourse to the law and I am arguing for recourse to economics and good governance!

  25. @Richard Tol

    The opposition have had a majority on Dublin City Council for a term and a half now. The Government is the only thing standing between Ringsend and this project. Phil Hogan, FG Environment Spokesman, has come out baldheaded in favour of the incinerator in its current guise. Lucinda Creighton seems to have no influence on her party’s policy on this issue.

    Opponents of the incinerator are hardly likely to vote for the opposition in those circumstances!

  26. @Richard Tol

    BTW – good governance is not a reference to the State Government. “Good governance” extends beyond the State and central government. By way of illustration, Niamh Brennan of the DDA is often described expert on corporate governance.

  27. @Donal:
    “IMO, that lack of managerial and political plain speaking – by local and national politicians and public servants – and dealing with genuine concerns led to the strenght of the opposition.”

    Same story with the Kildare Bypass, in the objections to which I had a small role. Nobody I knew had any objection to the Kildare Bypass per se; the problem was its possible effects on the Pollardstown Fen (main supply of water to the Grand Canal, which is where I came in. And the famous snail was merely a canary in a coal-mine.). The only reason that the Fen was affected was that the bypass was to be put in a cutting around Kildare, not on the surface, where you might expect a road to be built.

    Kildare County Council justified this by saying “Where the route passes through the northern area of the National Stud and adjacent to the built up area of the town it is depressed in order to diminish the effects of severance, noise, air pollution and visual intrusion.” I felt that there were cheaper ways of safeguarding the town (not that there were many houses close by) and I asked the National Stud about its position.

    I was told that the Stud had not proposed the cutting but that it had said it would be unhappy with a surface-level road because:

    (a) traffic might disturb the horses. I felt that it might be cheaper to relocate the stables than to put the motorway in a cutting

    (b) a vehicle might crash off the motorway and kill a (presumably blind, deaf and crippled) horse. No risk analysis had been conducted; nor had the effectiveness of motorway barriers been assessed

    (c) horse-owners might not like their horses being seen from the motorway (but the Stud advertised to attract visitors, and folk don’t usually stop on a motorway for sightseeing).

    The case was not in the least convincing. The project was delayed, and the builders ended up putting the motorway in a plastic bag, for exactly the reasons that you have identified. If we have many protests about new proposals, it is because we cannot trust what we are told.

    bjg

  28. It appears to be a perfect storm situation where the DCC political majority is happy to support incineration to maximise the embarressment for Gormley.

    Economic sense or environmental logic doesn’t come in to it.

  29. I wonder if the anti-incinerator whingers (aka local property owners) had to pay for the abandonment of the contract directly out of their own pocket would they seek it’s abandonment so glibly?

  30. @Ciaran,
    ad hominem,

    Many of us ‘whingers’ are concerned that proceeding will cost us much much more in the long run (Paying for the incineration of 320,000 tonnes per year is a lot of money to pay for 25 years if your waste disposal business is bust).

  31. @Ciaran Daly

    – Do you have details of the costs which will be incurred if the contract is frustrated?
    – Do you have details of the costs which will be incurred if Dublin City Council fails to fulfill the conditions necessary to get the project off the ground?
    – Have you examined the termination and default provisions in the contract?
    – Is there a cap on Dublin City Council’s liability if the project does not proceed?
    – Do you have a reliable assessment of the best-case, worst-case and probable cost to Dublin City Council if the project does proceed?
    – Have you capitalised such sum for comparison with the costs of abandoning the contract now?

  32. I have been following the blogs for the last few days and note that people seem to think this discussion is about e- voting or roads – its neither. Its about incineration in Poolbeg – or at least that seems to be the heading at the top.

    So:
    If there is insufficient waste for the put-and-pay contract, which would appear to be the facts.
    If we are not going to be hit by penalties for missing landfill targets (and anyway Poolbeg wouldn’t be on line for 3 more years anyway) as the Minister confirmed this morning
    If government policy has changed – which it plainly has due to the legal implementation of the Waste Hierarchy.
    If the private waste sector can meet the challenge which they claim they can – ref Lagan, Irish Cement, Greenstar and Panda et al
    If we want to protect and develop our recycling industry.

    Then – Logic proclaims; Do not proceed with a plan conceived and developed in 1997. Just cos it might have worked then does not give any good reason to proceed with it 13 years latter when a blind person can see that all has changed in this space.

    Yes build something but for goodness sake make it is the right animal for the new market.

    And finally Pat’s comment on the radio this morning about sizing for the future i.e. the M50 analogy – this doesn’t apply to an incinerator – You MUST fill it when you switch it on as otherwise you will have emissions issues. Therefore it will immediately impact recycling and other sectors.

    Could we please stay on point folks….

  33. “You MUST fill it when you switch it on as otherwise you will have emissions issues.”

    Perhaps a long forgotten typographical error led to Dublin City Council applying that policy to the ringsend waste water treatment facility rather than to the incinerator!

    It’s a big fat Phil-Hogan sludge-sandwich for Ringsendians after the next election.

    Is the sludge counted by most people when calculating the deliverable tonnage? One way or the other the people of DCC will pay for it. In fact, the incinerator contract may well be the thing that makes domestic rates in Dublin unavoidable. Maybe that is why DCC wants it so badly!

  34. @Richard
    Thanks for posting about our article.

    Given that DCC have spent over € 25 million on consultant’s fees for this project it is a bit rich of you to expect us to provide a fully developed alternative. Remember we are not remunerated for doing this research or for our time attending at the oral hearings and we had to pay for the FoI requests from our own pockets.

    @zhou_enlai

    The question of sewage sludge goes to the heart of DCC’s obfuscation regarding this project.

    They had one sentence in the EIS regarding the burning of sludge – no detailed plans, no quantities, no analysis and no actual application for planning permission for it. The Inspector specifically excluded the burning of sludge from his draft conditions but the ABP Board removed his clause – we wonder why?

    Then, since the application process for this large plant is split across many agencies, DCC’s application to the EPA for a licence DID include the burning of 80,000 tonnes of sludge.

    Why would DCC make application to one agency and not the other while using the one EIS for the both applications? They never provided any analysis of the engineering, mass balance or energy balance impact of burning the sludge.

    The effect of burning sludge on the electrical output of the incinerator is detrimental to the extent that the plant becomes a substantial contributor to global warming.

    We believe that the necessity to find a solution to the sewage sludge from the Ringsend WWTW is the reason DCC placed the incinerator on the next door site in Poolbeg. The actual “centre of gravity” for waste arisings in the Dublin region is near Ballymount – just look at the route of the M50 near which all three waste baling stations are located.

    In fact, via the M50, Killiney is just 22 km from Ballymount whereas Poolbeg is 30 km. The incinerator could have been sited on the coast in Killiney – they land might have been cheaper and it could have become an architectural monument to the management in DCC / RPS / Covanta.

    J&V

  35. @Joe & Valerie
    Newspaper space is limited and you do not have the same resources at your disposal as others in this debate. However, I do not think it is constructive to say let’s not do this, without considering what would happen if we do not. It is not as if we can travel back in time and undo bad decisions. Like it or not, contracts have been signed and must be honored or bought out. Time and money already invested would be in vain. Ireland has been in breach of the landfill directive for a few months already. Any alternative to the Poolbeg incinerator would need to designed, planned, financed and build, which will take years.

    None of this is to say that, once a train has been set in motion, it should keep running. But I think you should consider the full range of implications of your proposal.

    You mistakenly propose MBT as an alternative. MBT does not dispose of waste, it just processes it for later disposal.

  36. @RT

    “Like it or not, contracts have been signed and must be honored or bought out.”
    “But I think you should consider the full range of implications of your proposal.”

    It is impossible to consider the full range of implications while the contract remains secret. I think the need to consider the full range of implications is at the heart of Joe & Valerie’s argument.

    I was mulling over this again and I must say that I can see no justification for keeping the details of this contract secret now or in the past.

    “Time and money already invested would be in vain.”
    “None of this is to say that, once a train has been set in motion, it should keep running.”

    I think this is a massive psychological hurdle for DCC.

    Anyone would be revulsed at the idea of 10 years’ of their work and millions of euros which they authorised be spent being flushed down the drain. It would be a serious blow to their reputation, ego and credibility notwithstanding that the main reason would be that changing circumstances over-took them.

    However, the right decision (taking account of all implications including the time needed [by the market or the City Council] to deliver an alternative) is always the right decision. Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court has written that the lawyer who fights a trial should usually not be engaged again in the appeal. He is too clouded and too compromised. The same applies to DCC here.

  37. @Richard ”Ireland has been in breach of the landfill directive for a few months already”.

    Brown bin is being implemented in the DCC catchement area. The EPA have decided that the residual waste (black bin) where this is in place as a BMW content of 47%. MSW waste with BMW of 47% can be landfilled in full compliance with the landfill directive.
    DCC say this themselves in their recent tender document for the disposal of this waste until the incinerator is built.

    Brown bin reduced the BMW content and is considered a form of pre-treatment.

  38. @Sam
    Brown bin coverage is far from complete. The directive is about the total BMW share in landfilled MSW; it is not about the BMW share in components of the waste stream.

  39. @Richard,
    DCC have implemented ‘brown bin’ to the satisfaction of the EPA (who don’t say the exact coverage that has to be achieved), so the BMW in thier waste is 47%.
    The EPA are enforcing that on average only 47% of waste going to landfill is BMW, they have calculated that this will meet the target.
    DCC’s waste will therefore not cause Ireland to be non-compliant with the Directive. There is draft household food waste bill that will become law towards the end of the year which will make brown bin coverage complete (as far as practicable).

    This scare mongering about EU fines is getting tiresome. The EPA control the waste going to landfill (all the licences) and are controlling the TOTAL BMW share by limiting the proportion

  40. @Richard,
    It seems there is a break clause in the contract (tonights Prime Time)

    This makes void your main argument which was basically to say that the contract is signed and there is nothing we can do about it, that breaking the contract would be costly and bad for Irelands reputation.

    Can we expect you to start based on this, or is it just ilinformed IT articles that warrant a re-opening of this debate on this blog?

    Where do you stand now? What would you do if you were Dublin City Manager?

  41. Sorry missed a few words, meant to say
    Can we expect you to restart a new thread based on this, or is it just ill-informed IT articles that warrant a re-opening of this debate on this blog?

  42. @Joe & Valerie,
    Very sorry, your article was good.
    i was making the point that Richard usually starts these threads based on poor articles in either IT, INDO, or Examiner when he could just start by making a point himself.

    Anyway, we’ve moved on

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