Minister for the environment, John Gormley, said last week he was opening a public consultation on a Draft Statement of Waste Policy.

As he launched the draft policy he said it aimed to protect the environment, reduce costs for householders and businesses, and at the same time promote job creation and innovation in the waste industry.

Key elements of the policy include targets to reduce residual waste levels available for landfill and incineration, additional levies for landfill and incineration, and new standards for the types of services consumers should expect.

The minister also launched draft regulations which would see a phased introduction of food waste collections for households.

It is proposed all authorised waste collectors would have to provide such a collection service for the main cities by July of next year, with the service being rolled out to other urban areas by January 2012.

Mr Gormley said: “Waste is not a problem that has to be buried or burned. Waste is a resource that can create jobs and improve competitiveness, and enhance prosperity.

“This new draft waste policy is ambitious, and it will have consequences. It will create jobs and enhance environmental protection.

But I have to be clear that it will inevitably have consequences for the size and location of residual waste infrastructure.”

“The policy decisions which will be taken by Government at the end of this process will affect everyone so I look forward to receiving a wide variety of views as part of the consultation process.

A third consultation was reopened on an environmental report aimed at informing the policy making process for waste management in respect of a proposed Section 60 on a planned cap to incineration capacity.
All three consultations will be open until October 1, 2010.

Luke Walsh

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