Public consultation has commenced on the Draft Statement of Waste Policy, which is intended to map the future of waste management in Ireland for the next decade and beyond. The consultation period extends until 1st October 2010.
”The fundamental aim of the new draft policy is to protect the environment, reduce costs for householders and businesses, while at the same time promoting job creation and innovation in the waste industry,” comments John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. “Waste is not a problem that has to be buried or burned. Waste is a resource that can create jobs and improve competitiveness, and enhance prosperity.”
Last November, the Minister launched a report underpinning the major review of waste management policy. The report, commissioned by the Minister on foot of a commitment in the Programme for Government, examined all aspects of waste management policy, from prevention and minimisation to the management of residual waste. The report was compiled by a group of Irish and international consultants led by Dr Dominic Hogg of Eunomia Research and Consulting.
“This is the next step in developing a resource-based and sustainable waste policy for Ireland. By providing for a strong competitive waste industry, I believe we will see delivery of a cost effective service and high levels of environmental performance,” the Minister adds.
Three Key Objectives
The three key objectives of the proposed policy are to ensure that the environment is protected and enhanced; to ensure that the cost of waste services are driven down for consumers and businesses while at the same time improving the quality of those services; and to provide the policies and incentives and flexibilities that will enable waste firms to continue to invest and innovate in delivering new technologies and additional jobs in the waste sector.
Key elements of the policy include targets to reduce residual waste levels available for landfill and incineration, additional levies for landfill and incineration, and new standards for the types of services consumers should expect.
Food Waste Collections
The Government has also launched draft Regulations which would see a phased introduction of the provision of food waste collections for households. It is proposed that all authorised waste collectors would have to provide such a collection service for the main cities by July of next year, with the service being rolled out to other urban areas by January 2012.