18 May 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork City and County Councils have been set a number of key targets in relation waste prevention activities under a newly launched plan.
Among the policies and actions included in the Southern Region Waste Management Plan, one of three such plans being launched in Ireland, is a 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the six-year period of the plan, a recycling rate of 50% of managed municipal waste by 2020, and a reduction to 0% the direct disposal of unprocessed residual municipal waste to landfill commencing in 2016.
The preparation of new regional waste management plans for the regions has been underway since late 2013 following an evaluation of the previous plans which covered ten regions nationally. The Southern Waste Region encompasses the local authorities in Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick City & County, Tipperary, Waterford City & County and Wexford.
Welcoming the new plan at a launch event held at LIT Thurles today, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, said: “The Plan seeks to assist and support the community and local business to develop resource efficiency and waste prevention initiatives. I am delighted to see that an extensive public consultation period featured in its development which is important in terms of guiding future waste prevention and management in County Cork. The ‘Do One More Thing’ series of initiatives is also helping to promote the message that members of the public can play a central in preventing waste.”
Anne Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council commented: “The preparation period for the plan extended over 18 months and afforded the Council an opportunity to take stock and evaluate the ways in which waste have been managed in the City, as well as the County. Now that the plan has been published, I would urge householders, businesses and schools to visit www.southernwasteregion.ie and learn how they can directly play a role in boosting household and commercial recycling rates and reducing waste disposal levels in Cork.”
The Southern Region Waste Management Office, which prepared the Plan in conjunction with the Region’s 10 local authorities, says the new plan will build on the progress that has already been made in relation to waste prevention throughout the southern region.
Since the last waste management plans were published between 2004 and 2006, a southern region network of 770 Bottle bank sites and 50 Civic Amenity Sites accepting more than 25 categories of waste has been maintained, while a household recovery/recycling rate of 63% and a commercial recovery/recycling rate of 61% have been achieved.
“The focus of the new plan is to build on these achievements and to ensure that the Southern Region moves its management of waste from a traditional disposal model to a circular economy model so that waste becomes a future resource,” explained Philippa King, Regional Waste Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.
“What we do with our waste will become increasingly important in years to come. As natural resources deplete we will have to reuse, repair and recycle more. The targets set out in the new Plan encourage such action,” added Ms. King.
Other key targets and key measures of the Southern Region Waste Management Plan:
- Encourage more reuse and repair activities in the region, particularly at civic amenity facilities;
- Deliver communication, awareness and on the ground activities which lead to a lasting change in the behaviours of citizens and businesses towards their wastes;
- Increase the level of source- segregated kerbside collections in the region, with a strong focus on ensuring that a three bin system becomes commonplace at household and commercial levels;
- Enforce the regulations related to household and commercial waste to tackle the problem of unmanaged waste and other issues;
- Plan and encourage higher quality waste treatment infrastructure including new reprocessing, biological treatment, thermal recovery and pre-treatment facilities;
- Ensure existing and future waste facilities do not impact on environmentally sensitive sites through proper assessments and siting; and
- Grow the waste management sector into a prosperous and sustainable industry which creates and maintains healthy employment.
For more on the Southern Region Waste Management Plan visit www.southernwasteregion.ie.