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Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan, TD has launched the Government’s new waste management policy, ‘A Resource Opportunity’.

This new policy sets out a number of actions including: A move away from landfill;  aBrown Bin Roll-Out  diverting ‘organic waste’ towards more productive uses; the introduction of a new and strengthened regulatory regime for the existing competition model within the household waste collection market; new service standards to ensure that consumers receive higher customer service standards from their operator; placing responsibility on Householders to prove they use an authorised waste collection service or manage their waste in an environmentally acceptable manner; the establishment of a team of Waste Enforcement Officers; a reduction in red tape for industry; a review of producer responsibility will be examined; and finally, significant reduction of planning regions from ten to three.

The policy, according to the Minister, “brings certainty to industry and other participants in the sector following five years of review. The policy also incorporates current thinking on market structures and competition in the sector, and reflects the Competition Authority’s revised assessment of franchise bidding and existing market structures.” He added: “We must protect the environment, not only for its own value and our well-being, but for our green image, for the tourism and food sectors and to attract foreign investment.  The underlying principle of this Policy is protecting that vital asset. It is about minimizing the amount of waste we produce, eliminating landfill and maximising waste as a resource to produce new products and renewable energy.”