John Gormley, minister for the environment, heritage and local government, said: “At present 83 percent of the waste in Ireland collected for recycling or recovery is exported abroad.

“This includes almost all cardboard, paper and plastic collected at our recycling facilities around the country.

“The movement of such large volumes of waste needs to be properly policed and controlled to prevent against illegal waste activity. This initiative is designed to do just that.”

The new European Union regulations on waste shipments, called Transfrontier

Shipments (TFS), came into effect on Thursday, July 12.

They will deal mainly with the shipment of waste, hazardous and non-hazardous, outside of Ireland and lay down rules to protect the environment when such waste is moved to other countries.

The aim of the new regulations is to prevent the illegal shipment of waste abroad and to help firms engaged in legitimate waste export.

An example is the requirement for the return to Ireland of waste found to have been shipped abroad illegally with the Irish firm having to pay the full cost.

Mr Gormley also designated Dublin City Council the sole authority responsible for enforcing the new rules, pledging €500,000 (£337,000) to help it set up a National TFS Office.

The move is designed to streamline the current system, where each local authority is responsible for policing the export of waste abroad from its council area.

David Gibbs

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