Call for review of waste facilities after fire

Monday 03 February 2014 21.00
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The call comes in the wake of a fire at the Oxigen plant in Ballymount, Co Dublin
The call comes in the wake of a fire at the Oxigen plant in Ballymount, Co Dublin
Explosions were caused by the combustion of argon and propane cylinders stored in the plant
Explosions were caused by the combustion of argon and propane cylinders stored in the plant
There were reports of 'toxic smoke' in residential areas
There were reports of 'toxic smoke' in residential areas

Dublin city councillors have called for a review of waste facilities following last month's fire at the Oxigen recycling plant in Ballymount, Co Dublin.

West Dublin councillors complained that there are around 20 such facilities posing a health hazard near some of the most densely populated areas of the city.

The council's monthly meeting heard a report from Dublin's Chief Fire Officer, Patrick Fleming, who said it was a difficult fire to deal with because of wind gusts and the amount of combustible material stored at the plant.

He said violent explosions were caused by the combustion of argon and propane cylinders stored in the plant's workshop.

Mr Fleming said there was asbestos and around 15,000 litres of diesel stored in the facility but neither were involved in the fire.

Many councillors said there had been "toxic smoke" hanging over residential areas following the fire on 25 January.

Independent councillor Vincent Jackson pointed out that there had been fires at Thornton's recycling plant in Ballyfermot in Co Dublin and another Oxigen premises in Co Meath.

"It’s unacceptable that these places are burning down at this rate. There has to be a rethink of the positioning of facilities like this," he said.

People Before Profit councillor Brid Smith called on the EPA to withdraw licences for waste facilities found to vulnerable to combustion or cause air pollution.

The meeting heard the EPA is preparing a report on fire.

Councillors passed motions calling for a review of waste licences and the siting of recycling plants near populated areas.

Draft housing plan for Travellers agreed

Separately, a draft accommodation plan for Travellers in Dublin city has been passed by councillors at the meeting.

The plan will involve the provision of 141 housing units and 171 other types of accommodation and refurbishments over the next five years.

It will come back to councillors for final approval at the end of April.