Tackling waste top priority for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, has told industry that getting waste right in the country is at the forefront of his agenda.

Speaking at a waste industry forum, Mr Poots claimed Northern Ireland could become a template for good practice for the rest of Europe by setting up a network of clean waste infrastructure.

Delivering the keynote address at Northern Ireland’s Waste Infrastructure Conference held in Belfast, he called for greater collective responsibility in facing the challenges and seizing the opportunities which the £600million waste treatment infrastructure presents to Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: “Waste is at the forefront of my agenda as the Minister for the Environment.

“It is clear now that we will need to reduce, re-use and recycle waste whilst ensuring that all necessary infrastructure is in place to meet current and potential targets for reducing waste sent to landfill.”

The Minister stressed that other European countries have managed to balance good waste infrastructure with excellent recycling rates.

The Minister said: “With the appropriate political and public will, sustainable solutions for managing waste can be implemented.”

The annual conference brought delegates from local and central government, industry and voluntary bodies to examine the key issues facing the waste industry in Northern Ireland.

Procurement is now underway for new waste infrastructure facilities, with the process being taken forward by Northern Ireland’s three local waste management groups.

The overall investment in Northern Ireland’s waste treatment infrastructure, expected to be in the region of £600million, envisages a mixture of waste technologies including energy from waste and mechanical and biological treatment.

Sam Bond

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