Dáil Éireann - Volume 402 - 13 November, 1990
Written Answers. - Cork Waste Disposal Facilities.
Mr. Garland Mr. Garland
171. Mr. Garland asked the Minister for Health if he will outline in relation to St. Finbarr's Hospital, Cork (a) where most of the hospital waste for the Cork area is being incinerated and the proportion which is being incinerated at St. Finbarr's Hospital; (b) if he has satisfied himself that this incinerator is functioning properly; (c) if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the stack of this incinerator collapsed recently due to overload; (d) if his attention has been drawn to the fact that residents in the area are distressed by ash and fume emissions from this incinerator; (e) if the Garda Drug Squad from the Cork area incinerates its confiscated drugs in this incinerator; (f) if his attention has been drawn to the fact that radiology waste is kept in a vault adjacent to this incineration facility and his views on the dangers of such storage; and (g) his views on whether the Southern Health Board should improve its waste disposal facilities; and if he will outline his proposals  and recommendations on the operation of these facilities.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon) Rory O'Hanlon
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): The incineration arrangements at St. Finbarr's Hospital, Cork, are a matter for the Southern Health Board in the first instance. Inquiries have been made of the board in relation to the points raised by the Deputy and the position is as follows: (a) most of the hospital waste from the Cork area is incinerated at the Regional Hospital and St. Finbarr's Hospital, the division between the two hospitals being approximately equal; (b) and (d) complaints have been received in the past by the Southern Health Board and steps have been taken to improve the situation; (c) the stack from the incinerator buckled in September this year due to the high temperature of the flue gases and the stack was replaced; (e) a small quantity of drugs, largely vegetable matter, is incinerated at St. Finbarr's Hospital on behalf of the Garda authorities once or twice per year and this is not considered to represent a hazard; (f) low level radioactive waste is buried in sealed concrete manholes in the grounds of St. Finbarr's Hospital. It is monitored by the Nuclear Energy Board which is satisfied with the safety of the storage arrangements; and (g) waste disposal policy is kept under constant review by the Southern Health Board and any improvements which are identified in these reviews are carried out as soon as possible.
Dáil Éireann 402 Written Answers. Cork Waste Disposal Facilities.