Businesses told to play their part in waste management

Business people in Northern Ireland have a crucial role to play in meeting waste management challenges, according to Environment Minister Arlene Foster.

Speaking at the Confederation of Business Waste Management Seminar, the minister pointed to the big challenges involved in creating a new waste infrastructure and improving recycling rates.

She added that her department had set the framework for meeting these challenges by way of the Sustainable Development Strategy and the Waste Management Strategy.

As well as this, the Strategic Waste Infrastructure Fund (worth £200m) will help local government divert waste from landfill sites and help Northern Ireland meet EU waste targets.

“That fund will also create new construction, engineering and waste management jobs,” she said.

“In its broadest sense, waste infrastructure investment will help to make our lives better by protecting the environment.

“But it will also increase prosperity by adding a new dynamic to the economy. We need not, and should not, view the challenges ahead as something imposed upon us which we have to overcome.

“We should see them as an opportunity to lay foundations for a better environment and a more prosperous community.

“In this case at least, what is good for the community is also good for business.”

Minister Foster also recently announced draft planning guidance on the development of wind energy in the country, which identifies possible areas where wind energy developments could be created.

Ben Meggeson

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