Ireland is facing daily fines of millions of euro if we don’t
divert significant tonnes of organic waste going to landfill
by 2010, a conference has been told.
The EU will clamp down on Ireland’s organic waste regime
if major changes are not made by the government, according
to Cré - the Composting Association of Ireland. At its annual
- held on 22 May - the association called on Environment Minister
John Gormley to implement 'significant changes' in
order to avoid these hefty fines.
The theme of Cré’s conference was - 2008, Now or Never
- Maximising Diversion - with reference to the issue of
diverting garden and food waste from landfill in order to
meet our obligation under the EU Landfill Directive.
Only 7.9% of food and garden materials are not going to landfill
- but this needs to be increased to 25% by 2010 in order to
meet the requirement and avoid significant fines from the
EU, according to Cré. “If these targets are not met, then
Ireland will have to pay daily fines of millions of euro”
- according to a spokesperson.
Executive administrator, Percy Foster said they were asking
the minister to “urgently address” the issue. “We are outlining
a range of initiatives that are cost-effective, create jobs,
are environmentally friendly and sustainable. These initiatives
will ensure we divert significant tonnage of food scraps and
green garden material going to landfill by 2010 through source
separation composting plants, which produce a range of sustainable
compost products that have high economic value.”
The initiatives that Cré want to see implemented include
- Provision of drop-off collection for garden and landscape
materials at each civic amenity site and disposal facility
open to the public by the end of this year.
- Aggressive establishment of source-separated collection
of domestic and commercial brown bins for all residents
and businesses by the end of 2009.
- A substantial increase in the landfill levy to encourage
- The extension of the statutory instrument for commercial
operators to require the segregation of food scraps.
- A phased ban of organic waste from landfill - starting
with garden/landscape materials by 2010, food scraps by
2013 and mixed waste by 2016.
- Creation of financial incentives for recycling - not disposal
- similar to the REPAK scheme for packaging waste, WEEE
for electronic waste and also the forthcoming battery recycling
scheme - and
- Aggressive promotion of home composting as it prevents
waste from going to landfills.
In 2006, 1.4 million tonnes of biodegradable waste were landfilled.
“The quantity of waste going to landfill is, in fact, increasing
and we urgently need to reverse this trend” - said Mr Foster.
“Most of the composting facilities are already in place in
this country, but are running at half of their capacity due
to the amount of waste going to landfill.”
Mr Foster cited California as an example of how waste can
be diverted from landfill. The state has achieved a 50% diversion
rate and has a “zero waste” policy.
For more information on Cré - the Composting Association
of Ireland - Click