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Written Answers - Waste Management

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 342.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  his views or policy relative to the big bin project now being introduced to local authorities throughout the country by an Irish company (details supplied); if in the interest of sustaining and creating jobs he will consider introducing guidelines for local authorities in respect of the concept in order that there is a uniform response from each authority rather than the varied and inadequate response which exists at present; if he will query the negative response from Laois and Limerick councils in order that at least the promoters get the opportunity to make a presentation; if he has been contacted by the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23733/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan Waste management planning is a local authority function, as is the permitting of small scale waste facilities. Under section 60(3) of the Waste Management Act 1996 the Minister is precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to the performance by a local authority, in particular circumstances, of a statutory function vested in it.

It is a matter for local authorities to determine the appropriate controls for facilities such as pay-to-use compactors, having regard to the waste management plan within the region and in line with the requirements of the waste hierarchy as expressed in the Waste Framework [426]Directive. While my Department has engaged with promoters of pay-to-use compactors, I have no plans for the introduction of guidelines concerning such facilities.

The Programme for Government commits to the development of a coherent national waste policy, adhering to the waste hierarchy, which will aim to minimise waste disposal in landfill and maximise recovery. I am prioritising this commitment, as I am anxious to provide early regulatory certainty, in the form of both policy and legislation, to ensure that the necessary actions and investments are progressed to achieve those aims. I expect to be in a position to submit final proposals in this regard to Government in the coming weeks. The new national waste policy will have among its primary objectives the diversion of material from landfill towards more productive uses.

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