Dáil Éireann - Volume 597 - 09 February, 2005
Written Answers - Waste Management.
Mr. Morgan Mr. Morgan
98. Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the further regulations he intends to introduce under sections 28 and 29 of the Waste Management Act 1996 to bring about waste prevention and minimisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3807/05]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: An effective basis for addressing our waste management responsibilities has been put in place through my Department’s policy statements, Changing our Ways, Delivering Change 1998 and Taking Stock Moving Forward 2004, statutory waste management plans — largely prepared on a regional basis — and the comprehensive regulatory framework now in place regarding waste.
The Government’s approach is based on the internationally recognised waste management hierarchy of prevention-minimisation, significantly increased levels of recycling, energy recovery and, finally, utilising landfill as the last resort for residual waste that cannot otherwise be recovered.
A key priority currently is the development and roll out of a national waste prevention programme. A core prevention team was established last year in the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and drive the programme. A draft programme was published by the agency in April 2004.
Section 28 of the Waste Management Acts 1996 to 2003 provide for a wide range of legislative and economic instruments to be applied in support of prevention initiatives. Where necessary, and as appropriate, the programme will advise and make recommendations with regard to the development and formulation of legislation and the introduction of economic instruments. In the first instance, such advice will relate to waste and material audits. I understand that the agency is currently developing guidance on waste audits and waste reduction planning. It is hoped to conduct a pilot project to test the draft guidance and the agency expects to have this completed by the end of 2005.
A key component of the waste management system in Ireland has been the development of producer responsibility initiatives. I recently made regulations to further streamline the packaging and packaging waste regulations made in 2003. As I indicated when making the revised regulations, my Department is currently reviewing a number of policy aspects of the operation of the packaging recycling regime currently in place. These relate to the registration fees paid  to local authorities by those producers opting to self-comply and the purchasing of packaging waste by such producers. I will consider further streamlining of the regulations should it be necessary to adopt such an approach on foot of this review.
My Department is currently developing regulations for further producer responsibility initiatives under EU directives on waste electrical and electronic equipment and end-of-life vehicles. These directives are based on the promotion of waste prevention and minimisation objectives. Regulations implementing these will be made this year. Work is also underway in developing producer responsibility initiatives for waste tyres which may require the making of regulations and for newsprint.
Dáil Éireann 597 Written Answers Waste Management.