Opinions sought on draft waste proposals

The State plans to develop an extra 300,000 tonnes of thermal recovery or incinerator-type waste treatment capacity to halt the export of our rubbish abroad — a practice which is costing the economy millions.

A new plan has now been published which calls for the development of the extra thermal recovery capacity for non-hazardous waste, and for the provision of an extra 40,000 tonnes of capacity for food and green waste to tap into the waste’s potential for energy generation and job creation.

However, there is enough capacity in the existing pre-treatment waste facilities in the southern region to cope with projected waste levels up to 2021.

And local authorities will also consider the future use of closed existing landfill sites which are not economically viable to operate at the moment.

These are among the key objectives of the draft Southern Region Waste Management Plan which has been opened up for public consultation this week.

It covers counties Carlow, Clare, Cork City and county, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick City and county, Tipperary, Waterford City and county and Wexford — an area which accounts for just over 40% of the country — and will set out the framework for how the region manages its waste up to 2021.

It is one of three draft regional waste management plans which have been published this week.

Philippa King, regional waste co-ordinator for the southern region, invited the public to comment on the plan.

“There are 57 separate actions but a key plan target is to achieve a 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the period of the plan,” she said.

“In tandem, the plan identifies measures to develop a circular economy where waste management initiatives stop being confined to treating and disposing of waste, instead supporting initiatives that value waste as a resource or potential raw material.

“Most importantly the plan seeks to assist and support the community and local business to develop resource efficiency and waste prevention initiatives.

“We want to hear your views on achievements to date and about what more needs to be done,” she said.

The public consultation period closes on January 30 with the finalised plans expected by the end of March.

The total amount of waste collected in the region in 2012 was 2.553m tonnes — of which 455,000 tonnes was household waste.

It is forecast that the region will generate a maximum of 1.09m tonnes of waste by 2021.

A feedback form and the draft plan is available on southernwasteregion.ie


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