5th May 2002
Waste reduction and reusing and not incineration is the answer to the waste management crisis
Sinn Fein Louth Councillor Arthur Morgan today launched the party's proposals for a new zero waste strategy that prioritises the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste. He criticised the government for failing to implement a comprehensive and effective waste management system and for imposing plans for a network of incinerators. Cllr. Morgan said:
``There is a real waste management crisis. Landfill sites are overflowing, illegal dumping is widespread, and litter is out of control. The Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrats Government has failed to implement a comprehensive and effective waste management system. Instead it has imposed plans for a network of waste incinerators around the State as the primary response to the crisis.
``Although the FF/PD Government saw that there was widespread opposition to plans for waste incinerators it still forced the Waste Management (Amendment) Bill 2000 through the Dáil to take powers over waste management away from the elected representatives of the people on local councils. It thus made a nonsense of the supposed public consultation and local authority approval process for regional waste management plans.
``The Government's policy has been driven by its unwillingness to make the main producers of waste pay their fair share and by the incinerator business lobby which stands to make huge profits from the establishment and running of a waste industry in Ireland.
Sinn Fein proposes:-
- A new Zero Waste Strategy that prioritises the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.
- Halting plans for a network of waste incinerators. These will endanger human health and the environment and will require a constant stream of waste in order to operate, thus working against real waste reduction.
- Legally requiring the main industrial and commercial producers of waste to reduce waste production in a planned and targeted manner.
- A comprehensive strategy for agricultural waste, concentrating on biological treatment of waste in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
- Establishing ``recycling and reuse'' enterprises on a community and commercial basis locally and regionally, providing employment and efficient waste management.
- Abolishing local authority refuse charges which penalise the householder. (Household waste accounts only for less than 10 per cent of all solid waste.)
- Reversing the privatisation of local authority refuse services.
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