[Sinn Fein]

14 August 2002

Cullen's refuse levy plan ``outrageous'' - Ó Caoláin

The leader of the Sinn Fein TDs in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as ``outrageous'' a plan by the Minister for the Environment Martin Cullen to put a levy of ¤5 per week for refuse collection on all households in the State. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``This outrageous plan has nothing to do with waste management and would simply be another form of tax collection by the government. Once again the government plans to make the householder and not the polluter pay. The last government and its predecessors failed miserably to manage our massive waste problem. They have presided over the lowest levels of waste reduction and recycling in Europe.

``This government and its predecessors have failed to put in place a national strategy aimed at reducing the output of waste by manufacturers, the packaging and retail industries and the construction industry. They have failed to create an infrastructure to recycle the maximum possible volume of waste. Instead they stood idly by last month while the State's only glass recycling plant - the Irish Glass Bottle company in Ringsend - was closed with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

``Rather than target the producers of waste the government has based its waste management policy on a network of incinerators which will need a constant stream of refuse to operate. And now it plans to penalise even further the householders who find themselves at the end of the waste chain, having to dispose of waste they did not create. Minister Cullen's plan must and will be resisted.''

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