Dáil debates

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

2:30 pm

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)

For several years a contractor, whose name I cannot mention for security reasons but which is well known, has disposed of waste from my Department. The Department has considered other companies but stays with this one because it provides a secure facility for sorting paper and non-paper waste which the Department requires. I asked about this some time ago and was told no other company provides such an efficient service.

This company has been entirely reliable over a long period particularly in terms of the speed and conditions in which it disposes of the large volume of paper waste the Department generates. Department officials have been to the location to see how the paper is treated and are satisfied that it meets the laws, directives and regulations on this issue.

Empty toner cartridges are boxed and collected by a company called Ergo Services for recycling. As part of this arrangement Ergo Services donates a sum for each toner cartridge received for recycling to the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation, which works out well.

Like everyone, when I open something and dig through boxes and wrapping I wonder why it is necessary, particularly if the contents are wooden or something else unlikely to break. There is far too much packaging on most items. Some new retailers opt for less design and packaging. It must be possible to reduce much of the refuse on the streets outside stores and take-away outlets. Few shops seem to make a serious effort in this direction.

Dublin City Council, and other local authorities which now have enough staff, run campaigns to reduce waste. There must be a way to reduce it significantly once a means can be found to deal with packaging.

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