Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 21 Jun 1994

Vol. 444 No. 1

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Waste Bill.

Seán Barrett


6 Mr. Barrett asked the Minister for the Environment when the waste Bill will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

(Wexford): The general scheme of the waste Bill was approved by the Government last November. Drafting and other work has been in progress since then, taking account of developments at EU level, but, because of the length and complexity of the Bill, it will not be possible to complete its drafting in time to allow it be published this session. I now intend to publish the Bill during the summer recess so that it can be given early consideration in the next session.

That reply is disappointing since this country is devoid of a waste policy. We cannot deal with waste unless we have a national waste management policy. What has the Minister done in terms of endeavouring to minimise the amount of waste produced? Second, what has he done to maximise recycling of waste that arises and, third, how does he intend to dispose of the remaining waste? Surely he will accept that we cannot deal with waste unless we have management proposals? Will the Minister please produce a management plan to demonstrate clearly that we will encourage a reduction in the amount of waste produced and do something about promoting its recycling before even talking about its disposal since one cannot dispose of something when one does not know how much will be produced?

(Wexford): Waste minimisation is our first priority. There has been a dramatic increase in glass and paper recycling and the recycling strategy will be announced within the next two weeks. The forthcoming waste Bill will contain some 70 or more sections and obviously will take time to draft. I am disappointd that we will be unable to deal with it this session but it will be published during the summer recess and taken very early in the next session.

We have been promised this waste Bill for months. As the Dáil will be going into recess soon will the Government publish its national waste management policy or programme — if it has one — so that the public can be given guidance or direction in this matter, ensuring that we continue to impress on those waste producers to be very conscious — prior to the introduction of this Bill — of the need to do everything possible voluntarily to reduce the present level of waste which we cannot continue to handle? I am pleased to note that an extension of the recycling process will be announced. I sincerely hope that will be a detailed proposal taken up by all those involved in waste production.

(Wexford): I assure Deputy Barrett that the waste Bill to be produced in the summer recess will be progressive since it will deal with waste prevention, minimisation, recovery, the collection and transport of waste, its control, recovery and disposal activities and many EU directives by which we are now bound within the European Union.

The time allocated to dealing with questions nominated for priority is exhausted.