New Minister for The Environment, Community and Local Govrnment. Mr Alan Kelly TD.

Cré Conference on September 8th 2014

“Race to The Bottom” In Waste Collection has to End – Minister Kelly

Speaking at the Environment Ireland Conference, Croke Park, Thursday, Sept 11th, 2014, Minister Kelly said, “I am an advocate of competition for the market and I make no secret of that fact. I believe that a system of competitive tendering operated by local authorities, either individually or working on a regional or sub-regional basis, can help to provide a robust structure for the collection of household waste in Ireland” I am also very concerned that some operators appear to be ignoring some of their statutory obligations in certain areas by, for example, failing to roll-out brown bin collection services, despite the requirement to do so under the 2012 Household Food Waste Regulations.  All of these factors suggest to me that we have an industry that needs to be radically shaken up, modernised and professionalised. And it is my intention to do this and end this “race to the bottom”. In that regard, the waste industry needs to be clear though: the new regulatory framework is the “last chance saloon” for the industry to demonstrate that they can work individually and collectively to improve performance, standards and levels of service and compliance records. I will give consideration to introducing a different market structure in the future if this does not occur”.

Full statement can be found here

Message from Minister Alan Kelly, T.D., to the Cré National Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Conference – 8 September 2014

“Regulations governing the treatment of household and commercial food waste and the rollout of the “brown bin” are assisting in the diversion of food waste towards more beneficial uses, including the production of compost and the generation of electricity through anaerobic digestion.

These are important instruments and send a clear signal that we are seeking to use resources in the most effective way while minimising the impact of their use on the environment. However, the ultimate success of these will depend on proper implementation. This, in turn, will depend on education – so that households and businesses know and can appreciate the value that can be derived from this resource – and enforcement.

Enforcement is key not just for purposes of punishing environmentally irresponsible behaviour: it is essential also for ensuring that the raw material – what used to be considered a waste but is now regarded as a resource – is being recovered in sufficient quantities so that it the full potential can be exploited.

This will underpin investment decisions already taken in the sector and will encourage others into the sector. Proper implementation, including enforcement is therefore about economic growth and about job creation. This will be an important focus for me during my time as Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government”.

“According to the latest EPA National Waste Report, waste collectors are collecting less brown bin waste. Of the potential available brown bin waste, waste collectors are collecting 23% of it. If I were marking an exam paper and I awarded 23%, I would classified this as an F- a failure”.

“I will have no hesitation in increasing the amount of enforcement grant aid link to performance of food waste regulations enforcement in 2015”  Philip Nugent (Principal Officer) Waste Policy, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government