The restoration of the Tramore landfill at the Back Strand has now been substantially completed under the terms of the EPA licence to remediate the closed landfill site, the budget meeting of Waterford County Council was told in Dungarvan.

Work relating to the leachate collection system on the Dungarvan landfill site and the permanent flaring of methane gas remained to be completed, the members heard. It was anticipated that this work would be completed in 2009 but a lack of funding resulted in the project being temporarily suspended. It was anticipated that the work would now be completed in 2010 subject to the approval of the Department of the Environment.

Director of Services Denis McCarthy said the overall cost of both projects was estimated at €12m and the budget for 2010 included the sum of €439,623 from the local authority’s own resources to cover construction costs. Continued monitoring of surface water, ground water, leachate and gas was required on an ongoing basis as part of the EPA licence. The cost of that for 2010 was estimated at €159,725 and was included in the budget.

Two of the Council’s three Civic Amenity Sites at Tramore and Lismore, which have been operating at a loss, are to be closed down in the coming year.

The Council heard that the operational costs of the facilities were high and were only partly covered by State grants. In order to ensure the overall viability of the waste collection system it became necessary to reduce the number of facilities available to the public. The sites at Tramore and Lismore were those less frequented and had to be closed.

The collapse in the market for recycled materials and the general economic downturn provided significant challenges in maintaining the success of the new South East Regional Materials Recovery Facility in Dungarvan, which employed 16 people. It was important to note that the sustainability and viability of the facility in 2010 was dependent on the support of the other local authorities in the South East, a subvention from the Department of the Environment and waste management policy.

The total cost of waste collection services in 2010 was estimated at €3,524,475, compared to €4,448,479 for 2009. The current landfill levy of €20 per tonne was expected to increase to €30 from January 1.