The Minister for Environment in Ireland is considering introducing an incineration levy and increasing landfill tax by the end of the year.
Landfill tax in Ireland is currently €20 per tonne and John Gormley is currently looking at advice that would see the landfill tax double in the short term, and eventually quadruple.
An ongoing independent international review of regional waste plans is currently being carried out.
Gormley told the Irish Times: We need to move a long way from landfill and incineration and through these levies ensure that they enjoy no economic advance.
In a speech last year to the Environmental Protection Agency, Gormley said that he would examine whether it may be necessary to extend the levy to include municipal incinerators. He said: I do not see why incineration should not be subject to the same financial regime as landfills.
He added that he was open to hearing from everybody on the debate on whether landfill levies should be increased and whether an incineration levy should be introduced.
Last month, Eunomia Research & Consulting director Dominic Hogg questioned why no other waste treatment apart from landfill was subject to tax in England (see MRW story). He explained that a broader-based waste tax would encourage more investment in waste prevention and recycling.
Gormley said that his aim is to minimise incineration here in Ireland, and in individual regions, to a level where it does not undermine efforts at reduction and recycling.
A €13million Market Development Programme has recently been launched by Gormley to urge entrepreneurs to transform waste into sustainable products (see MRW story).
The Irish Government will provide funds earmarked to business as part of a market development programme over five years. The money will go towards research and development for firms ready to transform waste such as glass, plastic, paper and organic materials into manufactured products.