Social Democratic and Labour Party member Alex Attwood has replaced Edwin Poots in the role of environment minister following elections in the Northern Ireland Assembly
Attwood who is member of the Legislative Assembly for West Belfast, has already emphasised the importance of waste and recycling policy in Northern Ireland.
He said: “There is no doubt that Northern Ireland has been rethinking waste in ensuring we reduce, re-use and recycle. But we need to do much more especially on an all-Ireland basis. Put simply, we have to stop sending waste to landfills. And I am acutely aware in taking over this portfolio that we face big European fines if we don’t get this right.
“I will be considering very carefully how we can tackle all of these issues to achieve a continuing improvement in performance and create the basis for the sustainable and dynamic economy that we need.”
Attwood, who was appointed social development minister in May 2010, described the environment portfolio as “exciting and diverse”.