Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, together.
My Department follows best practice in recycling and our policy is expressed in our 2003 Annual Report in which it is stated that "The Department continues to seek out and avail of opportunities to recycle waste and, wherever possible, to use recycled paper".
All paper and cardboard waste from my Department is recycled. Paper waste is disposed of through a private contractor. For security reasons, I do not wish to disclose the name of the company. This contractor also removes cardboard free of charge for recycling.
Our current suppliers, Toshiba Ireland, who comply with the EC directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, WEEE, and the EC directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, RoHS, on the disposal of photocopiers, remove redundant photocopiers.
In recent years, my Department has had three main areas of IT equipment disposals, as follows: 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 returned to it for recycling to a charity; hardware that is still useable but not good enough for more recent applications is made available for re-use — in 2003 and 2004, a number of PCs were disposed of to staff in my Department, for a nominal fee, while others were given, free of charge, to a charity called PCs for Africa and to schools-community groups; and hardware that could not be reused was disposed of in 2004 to a company called Systems 2000, following a tendering process. This comprised 62 monitors, 42 PCs, 11 laptops, 12 printers, 47 keyboards, one scanner and two routers. None of this equipment was of any further practical use.
Glassco Recycling recycles glass waste for the Department. We are in the process of putting in place arrangements to recycle cans and plastic bottles. Old mobile phones are disposed of to Temple Street Hospital for use for charitable purposes. Dublin City Council removes general waste. We are continually reviewing the possibility of increasing the amount of such waste that can be disposed of by recycling.