19 October 2020, Monday
By Mary Bermingham
Cork Waste Awareness Week is here, this week, from Monday to Friday
Did you know that in April, at the height of the Covid-19 restrictions, glass tonnage at the county’s Bring Banks increased by 46%!
Today is the first of a 5-day virtual event organised by Cork County Council, in association with the Southern Regional Waste Management Planning Office, which will highlight the role of the county’s 11 civic amenity sites, inform citizens on what they can do to correctly dispose of their waste and will provide up-to-date information on reusing, reducing and recycling.
Cork householders are just nine percentage points off reaching the EU Waste Framework Directive 2025 Recycling Rate Target and with a little more information and encouragement, Cork County Council believes this goal can be achieved.
Providing information and tips that will help the Rebel County achieve this target is just one aspect of Cork’s Waste Awareness Week, which begins on Monday next October 19, 2020.
The 5-day virtual event organised by Cork County Council, in association with the Southern Regional Waste Management Planning Office, will highlight the role of the county’s 11 civic amenities, inform citizens on what they can do to correctly dispose of their waste and will provide up-to-date information on reusing, reducing and recycling.
The majority of County Cork’s citizens are already involved in some form of waste segregation. Even since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, further changes in the county’s recycling patterns have been observed. In April, at the height of the Covid-19 restrictions, glass tonnage in the county’s Bring Banks increased by 46%, a trend that continues six months on. The Bantry Bring Bank, off Wolfe Tone Square has proven to be the most popular of Cork County’s 141 Bring Banks so far this year, followed by the Mallow Bring Bank on Carmichael Lane and the Bring Bank in the Lidl carpark in Charleville.
Cork’s Waste Awareness Week is not just about highlighting the many things householders are doing to improve their waste management, the week will also outline areas for improvement and offer advice on how best to achieve this.
Through a series of online videos, a social media campaign, workshops and leaflets, Cork County Council will provide information, tips and fun facts each day, relating to different topics of interest or concern, including;
- Monday, October 19 Household Hazardous Waste
- Tuesday, October 20 Reuse of Textiles
- Wednesday, October 21 Food Waste
- Thursday, October 22 Recycling in Cork
- Friday, October 23 Services available at Cork County’s 11 Civic Amenity Sites
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said engaging with people on how best to manage waste is essential.
“Waste Awareness Week in Cork will help people become more aware of the civic amenities and services available in the county and how best to avail of them, as well as encouraging people to be more conscious of their responsibilities in the fight against waste. We can each play our part by reusing, reducing and recycling our waste. I urge everyone to join this virtual event and follow Cork County Council’s Environment Department on Facebook, for all the content and highlights associated with Waste Awareness Week. This platform, along with mywaste.ie will continue to be a resource for the people of Cork County, helping them to stay informed about the county’s waste management plans and our progression in this area, long after this week’s events are over,”
Director of Services for Environment at Cork County Council, Louis Duffy added, “Cork County Council is delighted to host Waste Awareness Week, with the support of the Southern Regional Waste Management Planning Office. We have seen in the past the positive outcomes that can be achieved through such initiatives.
“For example, at a special one-day collection of household hazardous waste at Mallow Recycling Centre in 2017, 1,840kgs of waste paint was brought by householders for disposal. A year later a further 25,308 tonnes were collected from Civic Amenity sites in Cork County. Events like this can have a significant knock on effect, and we look forward to the impact Waste Awareness Week will have.”
Michelle Green, Environmental Awareness Officer with Cork County Council, explained that Waste Awareness Week in Cork has two key aims, to make people aware of how far the county has comes in terms of waste management and how the county can improve even further by forming simple everyday habits.
“There is no doubt that since the introduction of the Regional Waste Management Plan 2015 the rates of recycling and waste segregation in Cork has improved significantly, but we still have a way to go if we are to reach EU recycling targets. For example, in 2015 a total of 43% of Cork households did not have a domestic bin collection. Last year that number fell to 32%, and while we are on a downward trajectory, we would like to see this number improve further during the lifetime of the next Waste Management Plan.
“We are also aware that of householders with a collection service 50% have a three-bin system yet only 75% of all households present their food waste bin regularly for collection. It is also estimated that more than 5,000 tonnes of textiles are discarded in Cork County alone every year,”
Phillipa King, Regional Waste Coordinator, explained that events like Waste Awareness Week play a key role as the region prepares for the next Waste Management Plan.
“The Regional Waste Management Plans efficiently and collectively represent and protect the obligations of the Local Authority Sector under the Waste Management Act. The Regional Waste Management Offices ensure the three headline targets of the plans are met; 1% reduction in the quantity of household waste per annum; a recycling target of 50% for Municipal Waste; and reduce to 0% direct disposal of residual waste to landfill. To achieve these goals the Regional Waste Management Offices liaise with and co-ordinate the activities of a wide range of stakeholders, including the local authorities and the public, to ensure delivery of the headline targets and to ensure all the objectives and policy actions of the plan are met.”
Cork County’s Waste Awareness Week takes place from October 19 to 23, 2020. Further information is available on www.corkcoco.ie, on Cork County Council’s Environment Department Facebook page @corkcocoenviro or by following the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #greeningcorkcounty and #managingwaste
Further enquiries in relation to events and information relating to Cork Waste Awareness Week can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org