(Dublin, Ireland) The former Irish Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, commissioned an independent report into the proposed Covanta incinerator at Poolbeg to the financial expert John Hennessy, who estimated that if the incinerator is built, the city of Dublin will face around €350 million on penalties for not fulfilling Covanta’s demands on waste amounts. The Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) has consistently argued that what is proposed for Poolbeg will harm recycling, lead to up to 1,000 job losses, cost the taxpayer millions and kill investmen in waste alternatives that the region is working on develop. More information here.
(Connecticut, USA) Wallingford and other four Connecticut towns that send waste to be burned by a Wallingford Covanta facility are creating a security fund of $540,000. The fund would be used to pay for future changes at the facility if they are dictated by changes in environmental law. Covanta, the facility operator is protected from paying more than $30,000, while costs beyond that would be paid for by the five towns. Watchdogs call this a public insurance policy for Covanta.
(Hennepin County, MI, USA) For the second time in two years, the county and Covanta are seeking permission to operate the garbage burner at full capacity, that would increase the amount of waste burned annually now at 365,000 tons, by 40,000 tons, about 11%. Part of the argument that Covanta holds is that expanding the incinerator would minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills, but as state Rep. Frank Hornstein explains “It’s not a choice between incineration and landfilling, because incinerating is a form of landfilling” in that the resulting ash winds up there.
Together, officials and neighbours are working hard to make garbage burners ineligible for renewable energy credits and encourage the County to look harder at real alternatives such as recycling and composting.
For more news articles in this case click here.
For more information on Local Environmental Groups against the expansion, click here.
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA) Covanta filed suit against Harrisburg’s government seeking more than $1.9 million in missed loan repayments after the city failed to make three straight quarterly payments of $637,000. This debt started in 2007 when Covanta lent the city $25 million in plant upgrades necessary for the incinerator to run efficiently and turn a profit, as well as purchasing the facility. Covanta now owns the incinerator as well as millions of dollars in a debt that the city can’t pay. Covanta is calling for payment from Harrisburg “out of the next tax dollars or other revenues that the city receives”. History on these conflict here.