The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, has accepted that his new proposals on waste may financially undermine plans for incineration in Ireland.

At a major EPA conference in Dublin, the Green Party leader argued that landfill and incineration are the same and he wanted to encourage alternatives.

Mr Gormley announced a review on waste policy and said he wants to introduce a levy on incineration, like at landfills, so they are used as a last resort.

Speaking to RTÉ, the Minister accepted that such proposals could financially undermine incinerators, but claimed current policy gives incentives to waste collectors to use them and this was wrong.

Mr Gormley also expressed concern over contracts in which Local Authorities guarantee a set amount of waste to incinerator operators, and agree to pay-up if the specified target is not reached.

Mr Gormley said he hoped the review parameters would be published by December and review completed before the end of 2008.

John Ahern of Indaver Ireland, which has secured planning for incinerators in counties Meath and Cork, said science does not back-up the Minister's contention that incineration and landfill are the same.

Mr Ahern said incinerators were much better at limiting the production of greenhouse gases which cause global warming and backed-up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC.

Mr Ahern contended that if the Minister attempted to charge the same amount of money on a waste collector to use an incinerator as a landfill - this would be illegal under EU law.