Written answers

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Waste Management Regulations

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois, Fianna Fail)
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745. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the section in the legislation which gives powers to local authorities to demand proof from residents that they are using an authorised waste disposal service or have another method in place for dealing with their waste; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30289/18]

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
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My role, as Minister, is to provide the legislative and policy framework under which both local authority and Environmental Protection Agency enforcement action is initiated. Enforcement action against illegal waste activity is a matter for the local authorities and the Office of Environmental Enforcement of the EPA as appropriate. Each local authority is responsible for the supervision and the enforcement of the relevant provisions of the Waste Management Act 1996 in relation to the holding, recovery and disposal of waste within its functional area. Local authorities have specific powers under the Act to require measures to be taken, or to take measures directly, to prevent or limit environmental pollution caused or likely to be caused by the holding, recovery or disposal of waste, and to mitigate or remedy the effects on the environment of such activity. Part 19 of the Local Government Act 2001 sets out the powers conferred on Local Authorities to make bye-laws. In addition, section 35 of the Waste Management Act 1996 states that a Local Authority may make a bye-law for the purpose of the proper management of waste or the prevention or control of environmental pollution should it be considered necessary to do so.

Underpinning waste enforcement is state funding for waste enforcement officers. I have made €9 million available from the Environment Fund this year to support the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities and the recruitment and continued employment of a network of local authority waste enforcement officers. This investment is critical in providing an enhanced response on the ground to other infractions of the waste code.

In terms of monitoring how households manage their waste, certain local authorities have already introduced bye-laws which require householders to sign up to a household waste collection service.

The Regional Waste Management Planning Offices have prepared a template to help standardise bye-laws on the presentation of waste. The draft template bye-laws place the onus of proof on the householder to prove that they are managing their waste correctly by signing up to a waste collection service or providing receipts for the deposit of waste in authorised facilities.  

In addition, the Regional Waste Management Plans contain further measures to identify areas of low collection and to work with communities and collectors to address this issue.

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