Dáil Éireann - Volume 520 - 30 May, 2000

Written Answers. - Waste Management.

283. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the financial burden on local authorities of operating recycling measures for waste products; if his attention has further been drawn to the low prices available for recycled glass, cans and newsprint in this country compared to prices available in other EU countries; the plans, if any, he has to grant aid specific recycling enterprises; and if he will make a statement on the future of recycling in waste disposal. [15400/00]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. D. Wallace): Regard must be had to the need to give effect to the polluter pays principle, in financing the provision of waste services by or on behalf of local authorities. The October 1998 policy statement on waste, Changing our Ways, strongly advocates that local authorities move rapidly towards full cost recoupment for the waste services which they provide by means of use-related waste charges levied on all waste producers, including households and commercial-business concerns.

Within this overall context, the Government will directly support the delivery of improved waste management services and infrastructure. Some £650 million is earmarked for capital investment in the development of waste management infrastructure under the National Development Plan, 2000-2006. Of this, some £100 million in EU Exchequer funding will be provided to support the development of requisite waste recovery infrastructure over the life of the plan.

It is the intention to expand upon the policy issues and guidance outlined in Changing our Ways with the publication this year of another policy statement focusing on waste minimisation, recycling and recovery generally. This will outline the scope of measures to be undertaken in the interests of a sustained improvement in our recycling performance.