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News round-up 15/9

NI minister commits carrier bag levy cash to local projects; WRA executive director to retire; Averies fire extinguished; Minister warns Irish waste collection industry

NI minister commits carrier bag levy cash to local projects

Environment minister Mark Durkan has urged local communities and organisations to apply for carrier bag levy funding through the Challenge Fund 2015.

Durkan has committed £1.3m from carrier bay levy receipts to the Challenge Fund 2015 in support of local community environmental projects. The Challenge Fund enables communities and organisation across Northern Ireland to undertake new and inspiring local environmental projects.

Calling for people to take up this years’ challenge, Durkan said: “The fantastic response from shoppers and retailers to the carrier bag levy has led to a massive 72% decrease in ‘single use’ carrier bags and I am determined that the monies raised through the levy goes back to the community. The community pays the levy and I am ensuring that the community gets the benefit of it. I see this as the ‘People’s Fund’.”

Press Release

WRA executive director to retire

Peter Butt is to retire from his position as executive director of the Wood Recycling Association on 16 September.

He will be replaced by Simon Dowson, but will remain “behind the scenes” to help with the transition for a while.

Butt said: “Whether our acquaintance has been fleeting or longer, distant or close up, and irrespective of whether we have found ourselves on the same side of discussion and debate, I can honestly say that our dealings have invariably been enjoyable, challenging and stimulating.”

Press Release

Averies fire extinguished

The fire at Averies Recycling in Marshgate, Swindon, has been put out after burning for nearly two months.

Fire crews will leave the site on 16 September after maintaining a presence there since 21 July when the fire broke out.

Bernie Brannan, chair of the group coordinating the multi-agency plan to tackle the fire, said: “Considerable resources have been used in the process and we shall endeavour, in the interests of the public purse, to recover costs involved. Frontline officers have worked tirelessly to bring this fire to the swiftest conclusion in extremely challenging circumstances and I would also like to thank them for their important work, which has been so vital in reaching this point.”

Press Release

Minister warns Irish waste collection industry

Alen Kelly, the new minister for environment in Ireland, has threatened to introduce a new structure for the country’s waste collection industry unless companies start to comply with their legal obligations in terms of service provision.

The Irish Times reports that Kelly told the Environment Ireland Conference that he was concerned about the number of enforcement actions the Environmental Protection Agency and authorities had to take against “large and high-profile collectors” who were not fulfilling their service obligations.

Kelly warned several companies that they are “in the last chance saloon”.

Irish Times

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