Ireland launches helpline to raise recycling awareness

A telephone information line offering waste management advice to all residents of Ireland has been launched this week by Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche.

The lo-call telephone line is part of the Race against Waste campaign, and will offer advice and answer questions about all aspects of waste management to Irish people.

"Our new information line will be especially useful for householders who do not have access to the website of email and who want to learn how to slim their bin before the pay-by-use scheme is introduced next year," Mr Roche explained.

Environmental scientist with close contact to each of the country's local authorities will man the phones so that callers can receive accurate and up-to-date information from anywhere in Ireland.

Topics expected to be given a lot of airtime included how to compost, how to reduce waste, and how, when and where to recycle, as well as general information about landfill and incineration.

Some top tips to help "slim your bin" included:

  • Have a garden composter for organic rubbish to divert a third of waste away from landfill

  • Buy food that does not have unnecessary excess packaging

  • Use a lunchbox for food instead of foil or plastic wrap

  • Chose rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones

  • Take advantage of local kerbside collection services and nearby recycling points

    Mr Roche said that Race against Waste was the most extensive waste information campaign that had ever been run in Ireland.

    "As well as working with householders and small businesses to reduce waste and recycle more, we are now broadening our remit to include large public buildings such as government departments, hospitals, prisons, hotels and others," he said.

    "We have been in discussion with representatives from each of these sectors and the Race against Waste project team is now developing programmes of action for them, which we will begin in implement next February."

    The phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

    By Jane Kettle

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