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Waste Management.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 22 November 2005

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Ceisteanna (555, 556, 557)

Jerry Cowley

Ceist:

600 Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his Department intends to introduce a range of additional measures to the polluter pays principle to reflect the reality of poverty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35565/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jerry Cowley

Ceist:

601 Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if additional measures will be introduced in the polluter pays principle for persons on a lower income (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35568/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 and 601 together.

The polluter pays principle, which underpins national and EU policy in the area of waste management, seeks to encourage all of society to reduce, reuse and recycle waste to the maximum extent possible. To ensure that charging systems more fully embody the polluter pays principle, my Department asked service providers to move to a system of use based charging from the current year. Use based charging acts as an incentive for individuals and families to change their behaviour by effectively rewarding those who minimise their waste output through recycling. In support of this more proactive approach to the promotion of recycling, my Department operates a capital grants scheme which is targeted towards the provision of waste recycling-recovery infrastructure, the need for which is identified in local authority waste management plans, or is otherwise considered to support the attainment of the recycling and recovery targets specified in these plans. My Department also makes grant assistance available to local authorities to offset the operational costs of operating existing recycling facilities.

In accordance with section 52 of the Protection of the Environment Act 2003, the determination of waste management charges is a matter for the relevant local authority, where it acts as the service provider. Similarly, where a private operator provides the collection service, it is a matter for that operator to determine charges. However, in order to assist individuals and families with lower incomes, I have asked local authorities to engage with commercial waste collectors with a view to agreeing on a scheduling of payments, that is, a phased pay as you go system, rather than a periodic lump sum payment. I am also giving consideration to the overall regulation of the waste management sector including whether, and to what extent, there might be a need to identify public service obligations appropriate to service providers.

John Deasy

Ceist:

602 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the details of any EU fund for environmental risk protection works aimed at rehabilitating contaminated sites; if his Department is applying for such funding; the projects which will benefit from the fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35577/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

My Department is not aware of any EU fund which is currently dedicated solely to the purpose of securing rehabilitation of contaminated sites. Among the priorities for the European Regional Development Fund for the next programming round will be the protection of the environment. My Department is contributing to Ireland's case for such funding. Until this process is concluded it is not possible to determine the level of funding which may be available to Ireland from the fund or the projects which might be supported in this way.

Question No. 603 answered with QuestionNo. 586.
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