Hopes that the former V&W Recycling centre in Ardee could be reopened and run by Louth County Council have been dashed – with council officials citing the notion as “not feasible.”
Independent councillor Jim Tenanty tabled a motion at last Thursday’s January meeting of the Ardee Municipal District committee asking that the local authority consider opening the recycling centre and running the plant as a facility for the mid Louth area.
The closure of the V&W Recycling centre at Ardee Business Park has left Ardee and the greater Mid-Louth area without a dedicated site for recycling and has increased the capacity on the smaller bring banks around the town and in other locations such as Collon and Philipstown.
In addition, continuing instances of illegal dumping and flytipping around the Ardee have been blamed partly on the V&W closure with local representatives urging people not to dump rubbish and recyclable goods in and around the town.
“I spoke to the owner of the property. The property is on sale at the minute but they are holding off until this meeting because they would rather have the facility run as an amenity for the Mid-Louth area,” councillor Tenanty told the meeting last week.
“They thought the council would be the body to run it. I know we haven’t got the funds but it is of urgency that we get a recycling facility in the town. It was doing a great service while it was in operation and with it closed, it’s leading to illegal dumping, it’s leading to flytipping and dumping in multitudes – on our bogs, in our fields, in our gateways.
“Letterkenny have their own facility and its running at a profit. If it’s not sorted, it will lead to more trouble. It will cost the county council more to clean up after people if we don’t get a facility.”
Pearse McGeough said that the privatisation of the recycling industry has shown it to be a hugely lucrative sector and felt that Louth County Council should become involved.
“I can’t understand why local authorities can’t be involved in this issue themselves,” he said. “The profit that is involved in this industry is massive. Dumping is going on, it is disgraceful. It needs to be addressed and the local authorities have to be involved in it.”
The bring banks operate on a waste collection permit but a centre such as V&W Recycling require a license dependent on the volume of waste collection based on EPA thresholds.
Councillor Tenanty told the meeting that the current owner of the site has a potential buyer lined up but was keen to learn of the council’s intentions, given the owner’s preference for the facility to be used as a community recycling amenity.
He said the owner was willing to give the facility to the council at a reduced rate. However, Director of Services Joe McGuinness confirmed that due to licensing restrictions – as well as possible funding issues – the suggestion was “not feasible.”