Dempsey bids for faster waste improvements
Irish environment minister Noel Dempsey yesterday attempted to revive momentum towards higher waste recycling. He announced new institutional arrangements and pledged action to strengthen producer responsibility and improve management of biodegradable wastes.
The new steps are meant to kick-start movement towards waste targets set in 1998. Over 90% of Irish municipal waste is still dumped. The government is aiming to recycle 35% of municipal waste and divert 50% of household waste from landfills (ED 01/10/98).
To address \"structural\" problems, a new national waste management board is to \"coordinate, monitor, review and advise\" the government on all aspects of waste policy. A new recycling consultative forum and market development group will support its work. Ireland\'s environmental protection agency is to launch a national industrial waste prevention programme.
Producer responsibility is to be introduced more widely, with initiatives promised for this year on recycling newsprint, batteries and tyres. The government is also to come forward with a national strategy on biodegradable waste policy.
A series of other statements made by Mr Dempsey appear largely to restate previous announcements. A landfill tax will take effect on 1 June, initially at euros 15 per tonne and rising by euros 5 per year. Euros 127m of government and EU funds are to be made available to 2006 to support improvements in recycling infrastructure.
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