Tipperary County Council's plan to reopen dump raises concerns

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Tipperary County Council's plan to reopen dump raises concerns

Tipperary County Coucil is to reopen Ballaghveny landfill site from April 2021

Tipperary County Council has announced plans to reopen its former main landfill site at Ballaghveny.

The site, which catered for all domestic and commercial refuse as well as recycling in North Tipperary, closed in 2011 when the then North Tipperary County Council declared it was not viable.

However, one cell had remained unfilled and the council is preparing that to accept over 200,000 tonnes of waste, including 35,000 tonnes from the former Shannon Vermicomposting site at Rathcabbin outside Borrisokane. That site needs to be rehabilitated.

Residents around the site have expressed concerns over the reopening, saying they have yet to be contacted by the council. They also have concerns around truck movements and littering.

When the county council landfill site at Ballaghveny between Toomevara and Moneygall closed in 2011, the impression was that that was it, according to Cllr Ger Darcy.

Now, however, Tipperary Council County has revealed that it is planning on reopening the site in April 2021, with preparatory work already under way. It will stay open for up to six years.

“It was losing money. There was a big debate about it at the time. All the big waste companies were heading up the Midlands where it was cheaper and we were told it was not viable,” said Cllr Darcy.

Tipperary County Council has had two in-committee meetings with local councillors and Cllr Darcy said the point was made that it was viable, they were then told it was not viable, but now it was viable again.

Cllr Darcy revealed that there were plans to dump 35,000 tonnes of rubbish from the controversial former Shannon Vermicomposting site in Rathcabbin at Ballaghveny.

“That may seem like a lot, but it will only account for 14% of what will go in,” he said.

Over the years, concerns have been raised by residents and councillors over what material may be dumped in Rathcabbin, with the Department of the Environment agreeing some years ago that it needed to be rehabilitated.

Cllr Darcy said that the waste from there can’t be put into landfill on its own and must be mixed with other materials.

Some residents around Ballaghveny have already raised concerns over the number of truck movements that will be in and out of the site, not just coming from Rathcabbin, but from surrounding counties as the council is to open the site to commerical, construction / demolition and green waste.

The planned route for trucks from Rathcabbin is through Borrisokane, Ardcroney and on to the N52 before joining the M7 and then taking the exit for Ballymackey and past Ballinree National School.

Truck movements will be limited to between 8.30am and 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.

Previously, residents had concerns over fly tipping in the area outside of opening hours as well as material coming from the waste trucks themselves while en route.

Tipperary County Council’s environment and climate action section has written to some residents living in the immediate vicinity of Ballaghveny informing them that the landfill will be accepting waste from April 2021 for the purposes of filling the current empty space and it will operate for six years.

They stated that the site closed temporarily in 2011 and a portion of the site needed to be filled so that the area was stabilised before it was permanently closed and remediated in accordance with its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licence.

Prior to accepting waste at the site, some preparatory civil work is required and Tipperary County Council has appointed contractors to start work this month, for approximately nine months.

During the reopened period, Ballaghveny waste licence permits the acceptance of non-hazardous waste types, including municipal and commercial waste construction and demolition waste, including soils, green waste for composting and pre-treated sludge.

They said that the council will hold a public information and consultation event for the Ballaghveny community at the landfill offices later in July.

The council briefed Nenagh district councillors last week on the rehabilitation and closure of Ballaghveny.

There is 225,000m3 of empty space in the landfill that needs to be filled before its closure can commence. Based on current trends, it is predicted that it will take six years to fill the landfill to capacity after which it will close permanently.

The council said that it will be working with the local communities to assure them that disruptions will be kept to a minimum.