Cork City residents angry over plans for waste facility

Residents have expressed concerns about plans to develop another waste management facility in an industrial estate on the northside of Cork City.

Greener Families Ltd, a sister company of Country Clean Recycling, which already runs a waste transfer station in the Churchfield industrial estate, unveiled plans to local residents last night for a new civic amenity facility on an adjoining site.

The industrial estate, off John F Connolly Rd, is close to housing estates, a soccer club and shops.

The proposed facility will accept dry recyclables, newspapers, magazines, glass, garden waste and green materials, timber, furniture, cardboard, scrap metal, mattresses, construction and demolition material including soil, stone and concrete, clothing, textiles, as well as aluminium and steel cans.

Country Clean Recycling was fined €12,000 three years ago after pleading guilty to six breaches of the licence for its existing waste transfer station in the industrial estate between May and August 2014.

The EPA said infrastructural deficiencies and poor management resulted in the production of nuisance odours, which were likened to the smell of vomit.

Last night, Country Clean executives said their sister company plans to develop a 0.882 hectare civic amenity site in the industrial estate in an area zoned for light industrial use, including material recovery and recycling facilities.

They said the facility will provide a much needed public amenity on the northside of city.

“The only other city-based amenity centre is located at Kinsale Road on the southside of the city,” they said.

The company said the new facility will adhere to strict environmental standards and regulations; that it will have a full-time environmental officer and a cleaning operative on-site; and will have a comprehensive pest control system in place. They said all skips will be covered and material will be constantly removed from the site.

“There are approximately 86 civic amenity sites located in towns and cities around Ireland. None of these sites have had reported environmental issues,” the company noted.

They also outlined how Country Clean Recycling has invested more than €3m in its existing waste transfer facility over the past two years, including the replacement of the waste storage building with an air-tight building, the installation of fast-opening interlocking doors, the installation of a new air treatment unit to combat odours, and new weighbridges to allow trucks to be weighed internally.

New perimeter fencing was installed to improve the appearance of the site, and extra washing points were installed for increased site hygiene.

But Joe Browne, who was part of the Northside Says No To Rubbish group, which raised concerns about the existing County Clean operation in Churchfield in 2014, said residents plan to object to the latest project: “They have invested in the facility, which has led to improvements over the last few years, but it should never have been allowed in this location in the first place.

“They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to expand this kind of operation here. There is already a lot of heavy truck movements through residential areas and that shouldn’t be allowed to increase.”

A planning application for the civic amenity site is expected in the coming months.

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