Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Irish waste plans

Dublin, Ireland - Guidelines on waste management plans for ccnstruction and demolition projects have been introduced in order to achieve a more integrated approach to dealing with the C&D waste. The guidelines are for projects above certain thresholds. C&D waste management in Ireland has historically been landfilled. Ireland's rate of recovery at 85.2% is quite high and is mainly soil and stones; recycling rates for core C&D waste materials is relatively low. The guidelines, first published in draft in September 2004, promote an integrated approach to C&D waste management, throughout the duration of a project. The guidelines respect the waste management hierarchy of prevention and minimisation, reuse, recycling and disposal. The guidelines apply to projects above the following thresholds:
(1) New residential development of 10 houses or more;
(2) New developments other than (1) above, including institutional, educational, health and other public facilities, with an aggregate floor area in excess of 1,250 m2;
(3) Demolition/renovation/refurbishment projects generating in excess of 100m3 in volume, of C&D waste; (4) Civil Engineering projects producing in excess of 500m3 of waste, excluding waste materials used for development works on the site.
While the guidelines are voluntary basis, planning authorities may attach a condition to permissions for the types of development outlined above. Section 34(4)(l) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 permits the attachment of conditions relating to C&D waste management. The guidelines cover tracking, internal auditing, summary audit reports to be submitted to the local authority, and improving information on waste flows in the construction industry sector.

“These guidelines will radically alter the way we manage construction and demolition waste; hopefully they will also change the mindset of practitioners in the industry towards greater recycling of C&D waste,” says Dick Roche, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. “I want the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to be a 'front-of-mind' priority for all practitioners in this industry and I believe that over time they will achieve the necessary change in mindset to ensure further improved waste management performance in the sector.”

“In recent years, the construction industry has been to the forefront in dealing with the complex issue of waste management,” points out Sean Hegarty, chairman of the National Construction and Demolition Waste Council (NCDWC). “The industry responded in a very positive way to the original 1998 Government policy document on waste management in Changing Our Ways. The NCDWC has a very high level of support from all organisations and professional bodies involved in the construction industry and all took a proactive role in contributing to the consultative process which has now led to these Guidelines. The Guidelines which have been formally endorsed by the Council will be a key driver in improving the way we manage this waste stream at a time of high activity in the construction sector.”

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