Bosses at the Energy from Waste plant have applied for a temporary licence to burn clinical waste in the main incinerator.
Operations manager John Garrad insisted the Richmond Hill plant’s second incinerator - which is currently used for burning clinical waste - is working and helping to generate electricity.
But plant operators SITA Isle of Man says it needs to be shut down for maintenance and they’ve applied to use the main incinerator instead for burning hospital waste.
The secondary incinerator was designed to process up to 5,000 tonnes of clinical, animal and oil waste.
But with the opening of the next door animal waste reprocessing plant in 2009, it does not need to operate all the time. It handles some 300 tonnes of clinical waste a year.
Mr Garrad explained: ‘The secondary incinerator is working.
‘It runs every 20 to 22 days as it’s only the hospital that supplies it. It ran for two days last week.
‘We need to rebrick the flue in the secondary chamber and that’s the reason we had made an application to burn clinical waste in the main incinerator.
‘It’s actually gone out for tender.
‘If we are able to rebrick the chamber in a shorter period of time we might not have to burn clinical waste in the primary incinerator at all.’
Zero Waste Mann’s Murial Garland said a graph on the SITA website suggested the secondary incinerator was not producing electricity.
But Mr Garrad insisted: ‘It is producing electricity. We don’t differentiate between the primary and secondary incinerators. The secondary feeds into the one common duct that feeds steam to the generator.’
He said when the secondary incinerator was in use, there was a small increase in power produced.
The Energy from Waste plant produces about 10 per cent of the island’s electricity. Opened in 2004, the facility processes some 60,000 tonnes of domestic and commercial waste.
Costs of disposing of waste at the Incinerator are being transferred in phases onto local authority ratepayers.