City waste plant faces number of objections

Residents, businesses, and a third-level college are among the objectors to plans for a waste facility on the edge of Waterford City.

The planned waste transfer station and civic amenity site is earmarked for a former cattle market on Waterford’s Old Kilmeaden Rd. It would have the capacity to process 19,000 tonnes of waste every year.

Plans for the operation have been submitted to Waterford City Council by Oxigen Environmental. A decision is due next month but the scheme has already drawn objection from major employers Bausch & Lomb, Genzyme, and EirGen Pharma which between them employ almost 1,800 people at nearby sites. Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) also objects.

The waste company already provides a household bin collection service in Waterford and wants to develop the waste and civic amenity facility on a 2.8-acre site close to the Waterford IDA Industrial Park.

According to Oxigen’s plan, all waste unloading and short-term storage will occur indoors at the location while waste that could cause odours will be transferred off-site within 24 hours.

However, in a submission to the city council, EirGen Pharma say they “strongly object” to the plan and fear that if given the go-ahead, it would lead to traffic congestion, litter in the area, odours, and vermin.

The pharmaceutical company, who say they invested €4.5m in their premises at Westside Business Park, develop products for cancer patients and say they fear the waste station would represent “a very real risk” to their regulatory compliance.

Biotech firm Genzyme expressed “grave concern” about the possibility of having the mooted facility close to their 500-job plant while Bausch and Lomb, who employ 1,200 in Waterford, say they are concerned that the proximity of the Oxigen site to theirs could leave them “vulnerable to airborne and other pollutants”.

Four city councillors — former mayors of Waterford Hilary Quinlan (FG) and Pat Hayes (Labour), along with Davy Walsh (Workers Party) and Dick Roche (Ind) — have also objected to the proposal. They said the “siting of this proposal is in the wrong area”.

WIT president Ruaidhri Neavyn says in the college’s objection that its Carriganore campus “is home to both its major research centre and its sports campus, including the national development centre for hurling and camogie”, and is located 750m from the site.

“It is our considered view that the proposed development would lead to unpleasant odours from both the site itself and from traffic en route to and from the proposed facility. In addition, the increase in the nature and type of traffic to the proposed facility would have a negative visual impact on the area, its amenities, and activities taking place at the Carriganore campus.”

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