Irish unity on waste directive wins recycling award

The waste management scheme that united the North and South of Ireland in a joint effort to tackle domestic waste from fridges and freezers has been presented with a major award.

Launched in April this year, the all-island service deals with the collection, recycling and treatment of waste from fridges and freezers throughout Ireland (see related story).

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Dick Roche, TD, welcomed the “Best Partnership Project for Recycling” award from the UK National Recycling Awards, stating that the accolade had crossed boundaries and strengthened the relationship between the two environment departments.

“This demonstrates the real benefits of North-South cooperation,” Mr Roche said.

Both departments have put in place a free collection service for old fridges and freezers to control the hazardous waste and destroy the ozone-depleting CFCs.

The panel of judges commended the scheme, stating that “significant priority was given to the need for a robust audit trail for each unit managed” and that they “were clearly impressed by the scale of this partnership and the level of cooperation, leading to a clear winner”.

Changes to EU regulations on ozone depleting substances that prohibited fridges and freezers from going to landfill under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive kick-started the project, which has proved popular with the Irish public.

A total of 31 local authorities and 26 district councils have taken part in the initiative.

By Jane Kettle

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