THE Whiteriver landfill will now remain open to the public until Wednesday October 5 when a special meeting on its future is held between councillors and officials from Louth County Council.
The Philipstown dump was due to close to members of the public earlier this month after reaching capacity for the year but following represenations from the wider community, County Manager Conn Murray agreed to keep it open until October 1.
That deadline has now been extended by four days after a presentation on the landfill, due to be given at last week’s county council meeting, was postponed. A special meeting of the council has now been called for October 5 to deal with the matter.
Residents in and around the Whiteriver site have expressed their fears in recent weeks over the impending disposal of incinerator ash there after the local authority signed a deal with Meath-based Indaver Ireland to dispose of the material.
While the slight extension of its opening will be welcomed by some, Director of Services Des Foley told last week’s council meeting that traffic to Whiteriver has “decreased considerably” since the announcement of its impending closure. He said figures were down some 15pc, a sign that “people are making other arrangements.”
A recent public meeting in Philipstown between residents and officials from the council and Indaver saw residents object vehemently to the idea of ash being disposed of there with Cllr Pearse McGeough asking the authority last week to reconsider their decision to take the waste on.
He said: “The residents don’t want to take the ash at all and I think it’s appropriate that we listen to them and therefore I propose that we review the decision.”
Cllr Peter Savage asked why they didn’t want it to which Cllr McGeough replied: “They’re fearful of the implications on their quality of life.”
He added that people in the area had always been “very tolerant” in relation to the facility.
Cllr Finnan McCoy asked that the EPA give the council a letter stating that the incinerator ash was safe and asked whether the material could instead be disposed of in some of the disused quarries in Drogheda.
Cllr Frank Godfrey echoed it saying Whiteriver had done “more than their fair share.”
Mr Foley said that the EPA would be examining the material but pointed out that burning was only starting this week and “robust testing” would be carried out then.
County Manager Conn Murray said a detailed report would be given to councillors on the matter and asked debate on the matter be deferred until the special meeting on October 5.