Monasterevin composting facility suspends operations

Work at a composting plant at the centre of controversy in Monasterevin has been effectively suspended by the EPA.

Work at a composting plant at the centre of controversy in Monasterevin has been effectively suspended by the EPA.

Smells from the Cleary Composting and Shredding facility, run on the family farm of Pat Cleary at Larchill, Monasterevin had prompted locals last week to hold a public meeting and to attend a meeting with officials at Kildare County Council.

This week, the Leinster Leader has seen documents which indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn permission for the transfer of waste materials to the facility.

In a letter to a major waste company, Greyhound, the EPA states that they made that decision after they became aware of changes to Cleary Composting’s waste permit and what they said was “confirmation by the Department of Agriculture that the facility is not on the list of authorised treatment process to use animal by-products as a feedstock”.

The Monasterevin residents investigating the smell have, in the course of their campaign, uncovered inadequacies in the regulation of the facility by Kildare County Council.

They discovered that the facility has been deemed to be exempt from planning permisson.

And despite a lengthy meeting with Council officials last Thursday that was attended by public representatives, the residents are none the wiser as to why such a significant facility shouldn’t need planning permission.

They also discovered that the reference number on the waste permit for Cleary Composting actually refers to a different composting facility, based in Carlow. This was blamed on a typographical error.

Speaking with this reporter recently, Pat Cleary from Cleary Composting said he would be making no further public comment on the matter.