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New strategy to tackle Northern Ireland waste problem

A network of new waste disposal and treatment facilities including Energy from Waste is needed if Northern Ireland is to meet EU landfill diversion targets.

That is the view of chief executive of environment and heritage services Richard Rogers who has launched a new Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland, entitled Towards Resource Management.

He said: “The Department of Environment and Local Government face complex issues. I also recognise that energy from waste will be a necessary component of the mix of technologies required, particularly in light of the urgent need to develop energy from renewable sources.”

Rogers emphasised the importance of waste prevention and of breaking the link between waste production and economic growth.

He also highlighted the need to increase waste recycling and recovery through a mixture of approaches, including the introduction of recycling and recovery targets, focused awareness campaigns and the possible introduction of incentive schemes.

“Waste management policy and technology have advanced considerably in recent years with successive EU directives increasing the challenges and targets we must meet.

“We need a new network of waste disposal and treatment facilities to deal with the increasing quantities of waste diverted from landfill and the new strategy sets out how we propose to identify and procure the infrastructure that we need”, Rogers said.

Government is seen to have a crucial role to play in both leading and driving forward the actions contained in the new strategy, with the province of Northern Ireland undergoing enormous changes that will be reflected in its implementation.

Rogers concluded: “As evidence of our commitment, the minister intends to chair a high level strategic waste board tasked with overseeing the strategy delivery programme.”

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