The importance of controlled and efficient waste disposal was top of the agenda at the opening by Minister Simon Coveney of Greenstar’s re-furbished waste facility at Sarsfield Court, Glanmire, Co. Cork.
Following a €10m investment (including a €1 million odour abatement system) in the EPA-licensed (Environmental Protection Agency) plant, one of two Greenstar plants in Glanmire, the waste management company opened its doors to its customers, local community groups and environmentalists to demonstrate its commitment to efficient waste disposal in the region. Greenstar’s investment in refurbishing its Cork facilities follows the company being acquired from receivership by Cerberus Capital Management in March 2014, saving 700 jobs, and the appointment of Mr. Mark E. Keough as CEO.
Speaking at the opening, Minister for Agriculture, Food, and Marine & Defence Simon Coveney TD said: ‘As citizens of this country it is incumbent on all of us to insist that our waste is treated and disposed of in a responsible way and where it ends up is a matter of great importance. While Government will legislate, monitor and implement the law, when it comes to waste disposal each of us has a duty to ensure best practice prevails. I am here today to endorse the efforts that Greenstar have made in this regard leading the way with this refurbished facility which is undoubtedly one of the finest in the country. I am also here to underpin our Government’s commitment and responsibility towards ensuring we have a clean environment in which to live, now and most importantly, for the future. The government will encourage companies, such as Greenstar, who put resources behind safe waste disposal; to comply with regulations; and look after communities in a meaningful way and to continue to lead the way when it comes to safe, clean and responsible waste disposal. I congratulate Greenstar on its efforts in this regard’.
Mark E. Keough, CEO of Greenstar said: ‘Many people never think of where waste ends up, all the while assuming that it’s burned, buried or dumped, hopefully in a place well away from their homes. The reality is that waste is rapidly developing into a reusable resource that can be converted into fuel, natural gas, fertilizer, and raw materials for other industries. Our new facility at Sarsfield Court represents the first phase of a multi-phase project to convert waste in the Cork region into alternative products in a safe and efficient manner. Ireland has the opportunity to become self-sufficient in energy through careful management of waste streams, which could save millions of Euro now spent on imported fossil fuels. Greenstar is prepared to play a leading role in the journey to a world-class waste infrastructure in Ireland. As this facility demonstrates, we are willing to put our money on the line to achieve these goals, and to do so in an environmentally sound way in full compliance with the strict requirements of local and national regulators. Greenstar is working hard to maintain its reputation as setting the standard for our industry’.
The company has recently introduced a Brown Bin service which enables organic waste such as food waste and light garden waste to be collected and composted. This system has a considerable impact on the environment, in that it negates issues of landfill, such as liquid leachate emissions and methane gas. Ireland must meet its biodegradable municipal waste diversion targets by 2016 under the National Strategy for Biodegradable Waste, an EU directive; therefore Brown Bins are compulsory for domestic use in highly populated areas and food producing business customers immediately. ‘Responsible waste disposal is a way of life for many concerned citizens nowadays, and the Brown Bin is just another step in the quest for a cleaner environment for present and future generations’ said Mr. Keough.