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Written Answers. - Waste Disposal.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 387. Mr. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen  his policy in respect of incineration and landfill waste disposal; the alternative being pursued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24261/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen Local authorities were advised in the Government waste policy statement, Changing our Ways (1998), that achievement of national waste objectives requires, inter alia, a major reduction in reliance on landfill and the adoption of an integrated waste management approach which utilises a range of treatment options to deliver ambitious recycling and recovery targets. Authorities were asked to identify and fully assess the various issues involved with a view to identifying the nature, scale and mix waste of waste treatment facilities which, at a regional level, would maximise recovery of materials or energy and minimise environmental emissions at reasonable cost. Against this background, regional waste management plans were adopted which provide, inter alia, for waste minimisation, materials recycling, biological treatment of organic wastes, thermal treatment with energy recovery and landfill of residual wastes that cannot otherwise be recovered.

The policy statement, Preventing and Recycling Waste: Delivering Change, published in March this year, complements the implementation of these plans. Its basic premise is that only waste material that cannot be prevented, re-used, recycled or otherwise treated should be landfilled. Accordingly, it outlines a range of measures to be undertaken in the interests of minimising waste generation and ensuring a sustained expansion in re-use and recycling performance. An Agreed Programme for Government subsequently set out specific Government priorities in relation to waste management. Among other things, it acknowledges the validity of well regulated thermal treatment, using best available technology and based on the prior extraction from the waste stream of recyclables and problematic materials to the maximum extent possible [1148] and commits to a dramatic reduction in the volumes of residual wastes going into landfill.

Questions Nos. 388 and 389 answered with Question No. 386.

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