This report provides a review of the current
status of Household Waste Recycling in Ireland and makes recommendations
to government based on its findings.
CHASE and several of its member groups participated
in the review, submitting detailed observations, suggestions and recommendations.
Other participants included 34 local authorities and 30 organizations,
community groups and individuals.
The report includes 10 main recommendations,
including a recommendation to review Ireland's overall waste disposal
needs within the context of the Waste Management Hierarchy:
"The Joint Committee recommends
Government undertake a close evaluation of Ireland's waste disposal
needs. ... Particular attention should be paid to the Waste Management
Hierarchy, which promotes avoidance, reuse and recycling, over disposal."
Every Regional Waste Management plan in the
country identifies the potential need for an incinerator. The above
recommendation is a clear call for a shift in priority to prevention,
reuse and recycling as the primary waste management tools and for
a reassessment of the need for incineration in the context of these
The ten main recommendations of the report
are as follows:
- The development of mechanisms to improve
the clean, segregated collection of plastics.
- The introduction of measures to increase and
promote composting of organic material.
- The expansion of kerbside collection, the
extension of Civic Amenity Site opening hours, and the improvement
of Bring Centre maintenance.
- The promotion of producer responsibility
in the area of newsprint (newspapers, magazines, junk mail, etc.),
including a possible levy.
- Improved management of packaging waste, including
investigation of various strategies for enhancing producer responsibility.
- The development of national 'Green Planning
Guidelines' for inclusion of appropriate recycling infrastructure
and services in planning permission conditions.
- Evaluation of international experience of
Resource Recovery Centres and implementation of a pilot scheme.
- A close evaluation of Ireland's waste disposal
needs with particular attention to be paid to the Waste Management
Hierarchy, which promotes avoidance, reuse and recycling over disposal.
- A review of Government procurement policies
to assess the scope for green sourcing and recycled products. Development
of a Green Consumer Guide to aid consumer choice. And funding of
pilot schemes to develop and promote markets for recyclable products.
- Initiation of actions at EU level for the
incorporation of end-of life considerations into product design.
Other interesting findings of the report include:
- Current recycling rates vary widely from 7.2%
to 57%. Cork City Council gets the wooden spoon, with an average
recycling rate of just 7.2%. Longford and Galway City Councils are
the recycling leaders, at 57% and 56% respectively.
This indicates clear room for improvement
in the lower performing local authority areas.
- 89% of Ireland's plastic waste is landfilled,
but we IMPORT 48,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually for recycling.
If this situation arises because Irish
waste is not of a suitable quality, then local authorities must
develop programs to improve the quality of this waste stream, including
community awareness programs around the issue.
- Though up to 61% of household waste is potentially
compostable, only one of the local authorities surveyed currently
provides a 'brown bin' service (i.e. collects wet organic recyclables).
The extension of 'brown bin' services throughout the country should
therefore be a top priority.
for full report.
for Irish Times article.
-- End --
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment,