News

1 Million granted to clean up Rathcabbin waste site

Thursday, 15 June 2017

€1 MILLION has been granted to clean the controversial waste site in Coolross Rathcabbin known as Shannon Vermicomposting.
 Cllr Michael O'Meara told the media on Monday morning that the money has been allocated by the Department of the Environment to the County Council and the clean up work will be done in 2018.
The councillor said he had been pushing hard for this result for a long time and he was very pleased with the outcome, as are the long-suffering residents of the area.
A number of residents cannot use their wells because of the pollution caused by the waste's runoff getting into the groundwater. They have used bottled water for several years. 
The fear is that contamination of the groundwater has led to pollution of the nearby rivers and, by extension, the Shannon river.
"At the moment," he remarked, "there are seven and half acres in the Shannon Vermicomposting site which are covered in a compost-type material which is covered by black plastic. This material is inert, stable and non-toxic."
He pointed out that the former owner of Shannon Vermicomposting, Peter Ogg, continues to own 34 acres of farmland adjacent to the Coolross site.
 When this journalist visited the site a couple of years ago I witnessed open drains and a considerable amount of water in the drains which was possibly polluted. Cllr O'Meara said all of this liquid has been removed.
There is 35,000 tonnes of waste material in Shannon Vermicomposting and it will take 1500 lorries to remove it all. Cllr O'Meara said he would like to see a meeting take place between the Council, contractor and locals before the clean-up work starts. "The clean-up work should be done during a reasonable time of the day, not in the middle of the night or when an important local event is taking place. The road network should also be upgraded." He said the clearing of the area will take six months and the waste will be brought to a landfill site.
"Shannon Vermicomposting was an environmental disaster," he added. "There was a bad odour from the place which could be smelled as far away as ten or 15 miles.'
Vermicomposting uses worms to break down waste materials over time, and convert it into organic compost, and when the company in Coolross Rathcabbin opened in 2002 it was supposed to tackle compostable waste only. However, locals claimed that a lot of the material which was brought to the site was not suitable for composting.
Shannon Vermicomposting was shut down in 2005 when Tipperary County Council obtained High Court injunctions, following frequent complaints about the heavy lorries using the small rural roads and the unpleasant smell coming from the site.

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