Dublin’s waste management plan unveiled

Ireland's recycling infrastructure will double under the Dublin Waste Management Plan, proposed by Dublin City Council this week.

The plan will support the policy of recycling 59% of municipal waste, reducing waste going to landfill by 16%, and using the remaining 25% to generate energy for local heating and electricity.

Dublin’s four local authorities are currently spending over €30 million each year on developing recycling facilities and services in order to raise local rates, but a further €300 million will be required to fully deliver the waste infrastructure outlined in the city’s new plan.

“We concentrated from the start on improving recycling facilities and making it easier for everyone in the Region to start to recycle, and we’re delighted with the huge progress we’ve made in providing facilities, as well as the whole-hearted support we’ve received from the public,” chairman of Dublin Region Waste Steering Group, Matt Twomey stated.

“Preventing and reducing waste is the key to the success of any waste plan. Every household needs to reduce the amount of waste they produce by buying goods with less packaging, as well as home composting, if they have a garden.”

He said that Dublin was making great progress on waste, with the proportion of waste going to landfill in the area had already been reduced from 93% down to 74%. Moreover, 26% of household, commercial and industrial waste was recycled in 2003 – compared to only 7% in 1997.

According to the plans, central composting facilities will be next to come on stream, with two new plants being developed at Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and Fingal County Council’s administrative areas.

“We will be introducing a separate collection and biological treatment of fruit, vegetable and garden waste from households and businesses, with the aim of producing clean, high-quality compost,” Mr Twomey continued.

All waste collectors in Dublin now have to have a waste collection permit to collect and dispose of waste legally, and the local authorities have set up regulation and enforcement teams to monitor the industry.

According to Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council, once the fully integrated approach to waste management is implemented, waste costs will begin to level out.

By Jane Kettle

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