Thursday, 15 February 2018
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
244. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the compensation that is paid to local authorities for road and road safety improvements as a consequence of the limited number of waste facilities declining and in view of the fact that all but one are in Leinster; the way in which it is calculated and apportioned; if waste regions are penalised for not providing for waste within that region; his views on whether the pattern of movement to landfill and incinerator methods is sustainable; if not, the alternative proposals for residual waste and bottom ash; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7928/18]
Issues pertaining to planning legislation, including matters regarding traffic management and the attachment of conditions relating to individual community gain funds to planning permissions are matters for the statutory planning authorities and do not fall under my remit as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
Waste management planning is the responsibility of local authorities under Part II of the Waste Management Act 1996. In this regard, waste management plans for the Connacht-Ulster, Eastern Midlands and Southern Regions were made in May 2015. The plans comprehensively set out clear strategies, policies and actions to address the prevention, generation, collection and management of waste in the State for the period 2015 to 2021. The development and implementation of the plans will give effect to national and EU waste management policies and legislation.
European, national and regional waste policy are all predicated on the management of waste in line with the waste hierarchy, whereby the prevention, preparation for re-use, recycling and other recovery of waste are preferred (in that order) to the disposal of waste. For instance, collectors of waste must conduct their activities in accordance with the relevant legislation and the conditions of their waste collection permits which, inter alia,require that waste is managed in line with the waste hierarchy.
The Government's policy of increasing the landfill levy to its current level of €75 per tonne has provided a real financial incentive for waste operators to divert as much material as possible from disposal at landfill. The success of the above and many other policy and legislative measures, including the National Waste Prevention Programme and the phasing-out of flat rate fees for household waste collection, which encourage waste prevention, preparation for re-use, recycling and other recovery, has meant that more waste can be put to environmentally sustainable and productive use as opposed to being buried in the ground.
Statistics compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency show that we have come a long way in a relatively short period of time in terms of improving our recycling and recovery rates and reducing our reliance on landfill. In this regard, National Waste Statistics are available to download at /including the State's progress in meeting targets under EU waste legislation including the Waste Framework Directive; the Landfill Directive; and the Producer Responsibility Directives (Packaging, End-of-Life Vehicles, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, Batteries and Accumulators). Of particular note is the reduction in the disposal (landfill) rate of managed Municipal Solid Waste, which fell from 41% in 2012 to 21% in 2014.