All-Ireland strategy required to tackle illegal dumping
Sinn Féin enviorment spokesperson Philip McGuigan MLA has today called for an all Ireland waste management strategy to curb the practice of illegal dumping in the Six Counties.
Mr McGuigan’s calls come after the European Commission threatened to take legal action against the British Government unless it deals with the problem of illegal dumping in a meaningful way.
Speaking today Mr McGuigan said:
“The British Governments response to the practice of illegal dumping across the Six Counties has been woefully inadequate. Whilst the British Government sit on their hands, unscrupulous people are making untold profits at the expense of local communities and the surrounding environment.
“I am aware of a number of incidents where such illegal dumps have been identified to the DOE, yet they have been allowed to operate for some time afterwards. This situation is completely unacceptable.
“Illegal dumping is wrong and must be tackled effectively. Sinn Féin has long called for an all Ireland approach to dealing with this problem and the issue of waste management in general. We are in favour of an Environmental Protection Agency for the whole island. Both the British and Irish Governments have responsibilities towards ensuring environmental sustainability. At present, waste management strategies on the island remain mis-directed. It remains focused on disposal and incineration of waste as opposed to treating waste as a resource which must be recycled and re-used and only disposed of as a last option.
“If the British Government is not prepared to deal with this problem effectively then the EU must step in and take them to task.” ENDS
Note to Editor: Sinn Féin's European Department is organising a delegation of environmentalists and waste management campaigners to travel to the European Parliament in Brussels next Tuesday (6th - 7th June 06). They will be lobbying European Officials and Irish MEPs and calling for a new waste policy in the EU. The delegation will be accompanied by Bairbre de Brún MEP