Waterford City Council’s compost facility at Kilbarry could double its capacity if plans for its extension get the go-ahead.

City Manager Michael Walsh said that the proposed conversion of the existing plant is expected to increase the intake at Kilbarry “by one and a half to two times our existing volume only”.

He added that the site would also cater for composting material from South Tipperary and Wexford.

Cllr David Cullinane suggested that members should visit a plant similar to what’s been proposed at Kilbarry, where planners envisage a completely indoor processing unit.

Mr Walsh said that a visit to any such site, composed of Councillors and some local residents, could be arranged.

Cllr Tom Murphy struck a cautionary note, given that residents in the area have contacted him with complaints about the smell emanating from the current facility.

In response, Mr Walsh said the proposed indoor unit would quell any local fears as part of City Hall’s efforts to ensure “an appropriately controlled environment” at the site.

“This is just the start of the process,” he added. “This is a very different operation from the existing operation. The primary objective we want to achieve on the site is environmental sustainability.”

Work at Kilbarry can only commence once the Part 8 planning mechanism is enacted by the Council. This would be followed by a 12-week public notice period detailing the proposed works.