The current system of regulation needs an overhaul to take into account recent changes in the industry, said Minister Dick Roche, which has seen a dramatic rise in the private sector while local authorities continue to play a major role as both service providers and regulators.

“In recent years we have put in place a robust system of environmental regulation to ensure that the waste management sector can operate in a sustainable manner,” said Mr Roche.

“The time has now come to examine whether there is a need for a better system of socio-economic regulation to complement this.”

“We now have a waste management marketplace which, unlike other similar sectors, has not got an independent regulator. It is timely to consider if such independent regulation is now warranted and, if so, the form it should take.

“I have an open mind on this and wish to hear the concerns of the various stakeholders, most particularly the public, articulated.

“When I have done so I will bring proposals to Government which will be rooted in my commitment to ensuring that the vital waste management sector delivers not just in environmental terms but also in broad support of sustainable development of our rapidly expanding economy, and having regard to the need to maximise service to the public.

The Minister concluded: “The waste management sector is hugely important in environmental, social and economic terms. This public consultation allows all those concerned with it to make an input into its future regulation. I urge the local authorities, the industry itself and all other stakeholders to make their views know to me and thus to inform future Government policy in this area.”

The public consultation paper will soon be available on the department’s waste management pages and responses should be emailed to [email protected] by October 6.

Sam Bond

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