Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan has said the major fire still being fought at a Dublin recycling centre raises very serious questions over the operation of such facilities and the threat posed to communities close to these centres in addition to the health and safety of workers and fire brigade personnel.
The Workers’ Party Cork councillor said that the latest fire should lead to an immediate review of the operation and licencing of all such facilities including the major recycling centre at Churchfield in the northside of Cork city which is adjacent to large housing estates and playing fields.
Cllr. Tynan said the extent of the Dublin fire and the release of toxic fumes emanating from the site was alarming but predictable given that fires at such centres are relatively common events with up to a dozen similar recycling centre fires in various parts of Britain in the last few weeks.
He said: “The fire at Greenogue in West Dublin is expected to burn for several days with warnings to residents to keep windows closed. Given the presence of large amounts of plastics and other materials sent to recycling centres it is highly likely that such fumes are toxic and dangerous. This is totally unacceptable and unsafe”.
Cllr. Tynan called for much stricter licensing and monitoring of recycling activities in addition to restrictions on where they can be located. “If such facilities are to exist at all it would be best that they be operated by local authorities and away from residential areas. Health and Safety precautions should be paramount with regular inspection and ongoing monitoring of the condition of stored materials. Safety should come first, not after an incident”, he said.