Today Galway County Council have announced a decision to grant a permit to operate the Waste Transfer Station proposed for Ballinasloe. Planning permission was granted for a waste transfer facility in Ballinasloe in 2017 without the knowledge of the local community who have challenged the subsequent applications for a permit to operate the facility.
Hundreds of submissions from the community in Ballinasloe and surrounding areas highlighted serious health, safety and environmental concerns with the location of this facility in a built-up area less than 2 kms from the town centre. Close to 3,000 families submitted objections to Galway County Council on campaigns in Sept 2019 and again in January 2021
Ballinasloe Says No are a community group who have been fighting for the town since 2017 and who have had success in the High Court in 2018 and also when Galway County Council refused the permit in January 2020. The group have confirmed that they will be looking at all options to continue this fight for people in Ballinasloe & surrounding areas.
Dr Vincent Parsons, Chairperson Ballinasloe Says No stated
‘This is a bitterly disappointing decision. Access for the rubbish trucks is through the town, passing beside our schools and Portiuncula hospital. It is in close proximity to numerous family homes. Odorous gases, dust, flies and vermin causing multiple health hazards. It is adjacent to the river Suck flood plain. Leachate will contaminate the drinking water and have an adverse effect on the wildlife and migratory birds in the Callows. It would be hard to find a more unsuitable site for a major waste facility’
Senator Aisling Dolan PRO & Secretary stated
‘We are fighting for our town, we have done it before and we can do it again. This is another step in the fight to protect our children and families from hundreds of trucks coming through our town. This is an inappropriate location for a waste transfer station where hundreds of 10 ton, 15 ton & 30 ton trucks have to drive through the centre of Ballinasloe residential and urban areas, past schools, playgrounds, Portiuncula University Hospital to access the site. This proposed site is within 2kms of the second largest urban centre in Co. Galway. There is another 90 acres at stake here with the same operator, this is not a one-off and will have a major impact on our town.
Our team has been in place for over 4 years and we are committed to a vision of a safe & healthy town for all. Thank you to everyone who made a submission, to our clubs, schools, community groups, business community as well as all our public representatives who backed Ballinasloe. As a committee we are reviewing next steps’
Anita Tuohy, Town Team Co-ordinator stated
‘We (the Town Team) feel so let down and frustrated with Galway County Council. We are making great progress developing Ballinasloe as a Sustainable Energy Community. This is one of many exciting projects happening. One of our main goals is to become a low carbon urban community. We are collaborating with one department of Galway County Council and helping the council meet their climate action targets. Meanwhile, on the other hand, a different department of the same council has granted the permit to operate the Waste Transfer Station. The huge additional volume of trucks passing through our town will only result in increases in our carbon emissions.
As a community we are making enormous efforts to improve our town, we need help and support from Galway County Council to achieve our goals.
This latest decision thwarts all the ongoing good work and is leaving a very bad taste in the mouths of locals. In essence its a kick in the teeth to the people of Ballinasloe’
Eamonn O’Donoghue, Local Resident stated
‘Galway Co. Council seem to regard Ballinasloe as the go-to location, the default site for waste disposal. Our town is not a waste receptacle. It is a place to work in, to live in and enjoy the God given nature of our environment. Waste is big business and the companies involved countrywide are increasingly coming together and consolidating their operations. With another 90 acres available to the operator, this new facility has a very real possibility of becoming a colossus which would pollute our communities for generations to come.’