Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin makes a major submission to the review of waste management for Dublin

9 September, 2004


Sinn Féin today made a major submission to the review of the waste management strategy for Dublin. Attending the event were Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Councillor Daithí Doolan. Speaking after the launch Councillor Daithí Doolan called on the four Dublin local authorities, ''to adopt a Zero Waste Strategy for the region." The document will be available in the special features section of the newsroom on the Sinn Féin website at www.sinnfein.ie/news/special_features.

Councillor Daithí Doolan said:

"Waste management is one of the major challenges facing us all. We can no longer simply brush the problem under the carpet or indeed burn or bury the problem. We must view waste as something that is of value, something that is in fact a resource. Only then, will we as a society stop burning and burying it and start reducing, reusing and recycling. The fact that 80% of waste in the Dublin City Council area, since the adoption of the current waste management plan in December 1998 is still going to landfill shows that little progress has been made. Given that 136,000 householders in the Dublin City council area are now using green bin or bag service it raises questions regarding enforcement and compliance with the bye-laws regarding segregation.

"All that a reliance on incineration will do is perpetuate the throwaway society, do nothing to create a public understanding of waste as a resource and fail to adequately tackle over-packaging and over-consumption. This needs to be fundamentally revised.

"Another matter of huge concern is the removal of key powers from local government. The fact that the responsibility for Dublin‚s waste management has become an executive power of the city or county manager, is bad for democracy in this city. We are demanding that this power is returned to democratically elected local representatives.

"In this submission Sinn Féin hopes to highlight this. We realise we do not have all the answers nor all the solutions. But we do realise that any waste management strategy must have guiding principals. These principals must be:

  • No incineration.
  • Phase out landfill.
  • An all Ireland Waste Strategy.
  • Consultation with, and inclusion of local communities.
  • Waste Strategies must be a reserve function of local authorities.

"Sinn Féin believes that Dublin as the capital can and must lead the way for the rest of the country in the drive towards a zero waste solution. Sinn Féin aim to continue to work with NGOs, other political parties and our communities to ensure that no incinerators are built in Ireland, land fill becomes a thing of the past and our society becomes a Zero Waste society." ENDS

Summary of recommendations

Incineration:

  • Phase out land fill
  • Abandon plans to build an incinerator in Dublin and use capital to invest in reducing, reusing and recycling of waste.

Reduction:

  • Greater emphasis on reducing the amount of waste that is created.
  • Medium and long-term targets set to reduce paper, card, plastic and metal packaging.
  • Greater resources to be put in to prevention schemes.
  • Dublin regional local authorities to make representations to Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to introduce regulations to bring about waste reduction.
  • Labelling to identify specify the composition of the product and it‚s packaging.
  • Sales outlets to provide facilities for removal of packaging by customers.

Reuse:

  • Dublin regional local authorities request Minister for Environment introduce refunding mechanism.
  • Comprehensive strategy for treatment of agricultural waste.

Recycling and composting:

  • Distribution of free pre-sort bins to householders.
  • Distribute compost bins to householders.
  • Breakdown of waste currently provided for collection in green bins.
  • Investigate the possibility of switching to co-collection.
  • Enforcement through incentives, warnings and fines.
  • Central government must intervene to create markets for recyclables.
  • Review of Repak.

Service Charges and polluter pays principle:

  • Service charges not to be used as fundraising mechanism.
  • Implementation of "polluter pays" principal within industry.
  • Situation of low income families must be addressed in line with NGOs research.

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