The overarching request from my company would be for a much closer relationship between the industry and whichever party is successfully elected.
As a specialist in construction waste, we would also welcome a more collaborative approach between Governmental departments, something we do not believe is the case at the moment. As an example, tighter control on infrastructure development would help to alleviate peaks and troughs within the construction industry and for all those involved with it.
A closer working relationship between the waste sector and the Government would lead to a better understanding of the overheads associated with running a waste management business. This could then potentially lead to a rethink about costs such as those associated with fuel, which would alleviate pressure on our collective purse strings. At our level of the waste industry, the majority of opportunities to make the most of waste streams are not being maxi mised and this is something that a new Government should look to support.
From a commercial point of view, we need a positive landscape with certainty, leadership and encouragement to invest. We have recently invested in vehicle safety enhancements which will benefit our drivers, customers, the environment and other road users.
So that others can make similar investments, we would urge the Government to introduce tax incentives to encourage fleet updates. As the economy recovers and industries such as construction begin to pick up, the waste industry will rely more heavily on its fleets, and so significant investment in making them as environmentally friendly and safe as possible is favourable. It is more likely that companies of a similar size to us will want to invest in existing stock where possible rather than paying more for new stock.
We would also urge all Government departments to look at encouraging bright new talent to the waste sector. If our industry does not innovate or adapt to changing economic and political environments, it will fail in meeting its ambitious targets. Failure to build skills in the market sector would have far-reaching adverse effects.
To ensure that we do succeed, that we raise standards within the industry and that we all operate at the highest level, we need to have the best people working for us. Attracting new talent is essential, and we would urge the next Government to get behind us with a longterm vision that will inspire new people to join the waste sector.
Jacqueline O’Donovan is managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal