Dáil Éireann - Volume 527 - 07 December, 2000

Written Answers. - Waste Management.

187. Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the measures he has taken to prevent dumping of scrapped cars; and the measures that have been taken to prevent the selling of cars to minors and to stop the selling of scrapped cars or the selling of cars to those who cannot be insured to drive. [29105/00]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): It is incumbent on the owner of an end-of-life vehicle – ELV – to dispose of it in a responsible manner, by transferring it to one of a number of facilities that have been permitted under the Waste Management (Permit) Regulations, 1998, to undertake the dismantling and recovery of such vehicles.

Section 32(1) of the Waste Management Act, 1996, prohibits the holding, transport, recovery or disposal of waste in a manner that causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution. This general duty of care applies, inter alia, to the owner of an ELV. Section 71 of the 1996 Act specifically prohibits the abandonment of vehicles on any land and empowers local authorities to deal appropriately with abandoned cars. The enforcement and implementation of these provisions is a matter for individual local authorities.

My Department is engaged with the Society of the Irish Motor Industry – SIMI – and other concerned parties with a view to the development of a producer responsibility initiative in relation to end-of-life vehicles. It is intended that such an initiative would, in particular, take account of an EU Parliament and Council directive on end-of-life vehicles. This directive entered into force on 21 October 2000 and member states must implement its requirements by April 2002.

The directive incorporates a number of signifi[1346] cant proposals, including measures aimed at ensuring that relevant economic operators establish collection systems for all ELVs; ensuring that all ELVs collected are dismantled and recovered in a manner which does not cause environmental pollution; preventing waste from vehicles; increasing the recovery and recycling rates of ELVs and their components; and minimising the use of hazardous materials-substances in vehicles.

My Department recently responded to SIMI regarding its initial proposals for an ELV management system for Ireland and will seek early discussions with the society and other concerned parties to progress the development of a practicable industry-led scheme. It is my objective to secure agreement on an acceptable vehicle recovery scheme as soon as possible.

The Road Traffic Acts focus primarily on the use of vehicles in public places. A prohibition on the supply of vehicles to certain classes of persons would not be appropriate under the Road Traffic Acts.