LAOIS County Council plan to spend over €3million on improvements to Kyletalesha dump before they close it in 2016.
If the landfill is closed it will cost the council at least a further €3m in aftercare costs over the next 30 years. The announcement by county hall also confirms the council's failure to sell the landfill or attract the private sector to run the landfill.
Laois County Council have decided to finish constructing a new cell at the site at a cost of almost E2m before they close the facility. The council want to shut down the landill before higher standards for the pre-treatment of domestic waste before being landfilled comes into force.
A report on the future options which the council looked at for the landfill site was presented to councillors at last Monday's county council meeting. Members of the residents group who campaigned against the sale of the landfill were also present.
However, county manager, Peter Carey stressed that this was subject to changes in the market and government policy in the meantime.
The council still owe a capital debt on the facility of €6.38m, which would be reduced by €500,000 per year, if the facility closed. They also have to set aside €1.2m in an aftercare fund for the running of the landfill until the end of 2015, when it will decrease to €100,000 for the next 30 years.
There is a legal requirement on the council to cover the aftercare costs for up to 30 years after the dump closes. Staff in Kyletalesha would have to be redeployed and the €250,000 wage bill would have to come out of other budgets.
In a report on the future of the landfill compiled by director of services, John O'Donoghue claimed that more than €500,000 had been saved on the annual running costs since 2008. The council also plan to manage the construction of cell 11 without consultants or a main contractor and this reduces the capital costs.
Laois County Council have tried unsuccessfully to off load the dump to a private investor over the last two years. Most recently, they tried to sell part of the site. These discussion ended on Monday, November 29 resulting in a withdrawl of interest in any future sale process for the future capacity at the facility.
The council came up with four different options for the future of the Kyletalesha.
1. Continue as they are developing further landfill capacity as normal with increased efficiencies.
2. Use up the existing capacity in Cell 15 (approx. 70,000T) and close facility.
3. Develop a new Cell 11 with capacity of approx 120,000T and then close facility in 2015/2016.
4. Develop a new Cell 11 (as Option 3) but seek private sector interest in alternative treatment technologies from 2016 onwards.
The residents, said they were delighted that the landfill is not going into private hands.
"We had campaigned against the sale of the landfill and handed out leaflets at weekends last year advising the public of the sale and the changes that would occur if it was sold," Sheelagh Coyle said.
"This means the public will be able to continue to come to the landfill with their refuse in their cars and trailers.
The residents thank the public for their support and we have reason to believe that our campaign helped to dissuade some operators from buying the landfill or cells there."