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Southern Waste Region, Ireland

Introduction

 Prior to 2013 Ireland was divided into 10 Regions for Waste Management Planning purposes with the Limerick/Clare/Kerry Region been one of the 10 Regions.

As a result of a reform of Irish Local Government structures the number of Waste Management Planning Regions was reduced from 10 to 3 in early 2013. The 3 Regions are as follows: Eastern & Midlands, Southern and Connacht & Ulster.

The Limerick/Clare/Kerry Region has now become part of the Southern Waste Region which in addition to the Local Authority areas of Limerick City, Limerick County, Clare, Kerry also includes Carlow, Cork City, Cork County, Kilkenny, Tipperary North, Tipperary South, Waterford City, Waterford County and Wexford.  The Southern Waste Region has a population of 1,541,439 (34% of Ireland’s population). 

The Limerick and Tipperary Authorities have been appointed as joint lead authority for the Southern Waste Region. Its responsibilities are to facilitate and coordinate the efforts of the partner Local Authorities in implementing the objectives and meeting the targets of the Southern Waste Region Waste Management Plan, when made, and to promote prevention, minimisation, re-use and recycling of waste in association with all relevant stakeholders. The region’s aim is to break the link between economic growth and waste growth.

Southern Waste Region waste management development

The EU Waste Framework Directive was transposed into Irish Law with the publication of the European Communities (Waste Directive) Regulations, 2011 in March 2011. These regulations required that Waste Management Plans in existence had to be evaluated by the 31st December 2012. In the Southern Region there were four plans evaluated and all the evaluations recommended preparation of a New Plan to coincide with the new Southern Waste Region.

The process of the preparation of the new Waste Management Plan, for the Southern Region, has now commenced with the publication of a notice of intention to commence preparation of the New Plan.  Members of the public and all stakeholders had until the 19th December 2013 to submit written submissions, in relation to the preparation of the plan. Preparation of the Draft Waste Management Plan for the Southern Waste Region commenced in the first quarter of 2014 and it is hoped to publish a draft Plan in the 3rd quarter of 2014. There will be a second two month phase of public consultation following the publication of the Draft Plan.

In association with the preparation of the New Waste Management Plans, a Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA) will also be required. These Assessments will also have a public notification phase which will begin in early 2014. It should be noted that until such time as the New Plans have been made the four existing Waste Management Plans, within the Southern Region, continue in force.

As a result of the implementation of the current Regional Waste Management Plans and the publication of numerous Waste Regulations, over the last 10 years, there have been significant improvements in waste management practices throughout country. Ireland has gone from 22% household waste recycling in 2006 to 47 % in 2011. The commercial recovery rate is now 49% (2011).

The quantity of waste send to landfill is reducing as a result of the increased recycling rates, the implementation of the Food Waste Regulations (Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 & EU (Household Food Waste & Bio-waste), Regulations 2013) and the continuing increase in the landfill levy (currently €75/t since 1st July 2013).

Over the next number of years the Southern Waste Region hopes to make significant strides in prevention awareness, continually improve the recycling rates, meet the 2013 EU targets Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) in landfills by increasing the source segregation of BMW for domestic and commercial premises and subsequently reduce their reliance on landfill disposal.

Through the R4R project, the Region hopes to be able to monitor performance by comparing the Region on a pro-rata basis with the other European Partners and compare the tools used by the more successful Regions to tailor future projects and campaigns particularly in relation to waste prevention and behavioural changes.

Southern Waste Region's activities

While the Southern Waste Region has no previous experience in Structural Funds financed projects, it has been part of other forms of cooperation. For example, the four local authorities participated in Phase 1 of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded the Local Authority Prevention Demonstration Programme (LAPD) from 2006 to mid 2009. Each of the local authorities worked with an external partner on a range of projects to study waste and methods of preventing or reducing that waste. In September 2009 the Region commenced participation in the EPA funded Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) programme which has a broader focus and involves promoting waste prevention and resource efficiency across a number of organisations throughout the Region. Participation in the LAPN programme is on-going.

Under the R4R project, local authorities in Southern Waste Region joined other participating authorities in making performance comparisons via a common methodology and exchange of good practices in order to improve their recycling performances. The region has great experience in data collection, having developed a web-based data collection system for all the private waste collectors in the region. During recent years this web-based system was rolled out nationally which has subsequently resulted in nationally agreed waste indicators across all Regions within Ireland, in conjunction with the Irish Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the EPA.

In November 2013, the Region organised a national event to disseminate the content and achievements of the R4R project. Attendees included Local Authority staff from a number of Local Authorities across all 3 Waste Regions, private waste operators and waste consultants.

The Southern Waste Region shared the following good practices with the other R4R partners and developed an implementation plan about R4R results, incorporated in its draft regional waste management plan.

Learn what competences, skills, and experience Southern Waste Region Waste Management Office is bringing to the R4R project, and where it still sees room for improvements.

For more information: Website of Southern Waste Region Waste Management Office

Contact details
Southern Region Waste Management Office
Limerick County Council
Lissanalta House
Dooradoyle
Co. Limerick
Ireland

E-mail: Ms. Philippa King

Telephone: +353 61 496596
www.southernwasteregion.ie

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