The landfill site at Gortadroma, the largest in the midwest of Ireland is to be put up for sale by Limerick County Council.

The landfill site at Gortadroma, the largest in the midwest of Ireland is to be put up for sale by Limerick County Council reported the Irish Times. 

The council has advertised tenders for consultants to oversee the sale of the 130,000 tonne capacity site as figures show that waste to be landfilled in the region is to drop by 100,000 tonnes, or 57% over the next five years. 

The council’s move comes after Clare County Council confirmed that it is considering the sell-off or outright closure of its Inagh landfill, which has an annual licensed capacity of 56,500 tonnes.

Explaining the background behind the move to sell, chairman of Limerick County Council Cllr Richard Butler (FG) said yesterday that it was not feasible to hold on to the landfill without a guaranteed continuity of waste to be landfilled at the site. 

Butler said: “There are new ways of dealing with waste, and the council would have to spend millions of euro to upgrade Gortadroma, but the council does not operate its own waste collection service and cannot rely on private collectors, who will go to the landfill with the cheapest rates. As a result, it would be impossible to hold onto the landfill.” 

A spokesman for the council’s environment section said the council has capacity for another half million tonnes of waste at Gortadroma, while space for a further one million tonnes of waste would be subject to a new planning application. 

The council has operated a landfill site at Gortadroma in west Limerick for 20 years. A spokesman said: “The financial position in Gortadroma to date has been positive. However, in common with all other landfills throughout the country, deficits are expected to occur . . . and these deficits are projected to increase in the years ahead.”

The spokesman said the volumes of waste going to landfill were decreasing rapidly. He cited three principal reasons for this: rising rates of recycling; the fact that organic waste has from next month to be diverted from landfill; and that incineration was now being recognized internationally as a superior form of waste treatment to landfill.