Two thirds of people in the county surveyed in a poll organised by Fine Gael deputy, John Deasy, say they support incineration. Just under half support waste going to landfills, the survey of 2,000 homes shows.
Waterford is in the midst of a waste crisis, with its landfill in Dungarvan closed and the Tramore site closing at the end of this year.
Most waste in the county is now being transferred to Carlow.
Deputy Deasy says waste is a huge issue in the region and with waste charges hitting a record high in the county, support for incineration as the only viable alternative is increasing.
“The survey also bears out the strong public view that additional steps need to be taken to combat illegal dumping. Some 65% of respondents have experienced illegal dumping in their locality and 86% would support increased fines for illegal dumping,” he said.
“Householders have strongly linked increased illegal dumping with price increases and do not believe there is an adequate number of litter wardens.
“If further increases in bin tags are imposed, people believe it will result in the inevitable wholesale dumping of rubbish over ditches.”
Householders are motivated and enthusiastic about efforts to improve the environment and have readily involved themselves in recycling and composting initiatives, Deputy Deasy found.
Deputy John Deasy is urging Waterford county councillors not to finalise this year’s Estimates until the Government makes its position clear on helping with the €12 million bill for cleaning up the two county landfills.
“Sixty seven per cent of Waterford householders believe current charges are unfair as it is. Only 38% believe the county council’s waste service currently provides value for money.
“However, it is clear from the survey that much of what Waterford County Council has initiated over the past few years has worked. 97% of householders are now recycling and the local authority receives a considerably better rating for its work in the waste management area than the Government does,” Deputy Deasy said.
Waterford County Council Head of Finance Michael Quinn said they are hopeful money will be provided by Government to help meet the cost of capping two of the region’s landfills.
A €140 flat fee is being mooted by some as a way of helping meet the €10m cost of dealing with the landfill sites. Mr Quinn declined to speculate on the possible percentage increase but said it would be larger than in previous years.