Thursday, 26 September 2019

Ceisteanna (160, 161, 162)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

160. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the percentage and estimated weight of recycled waste exported to the UK annually since 2016. [39190/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

161. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the increased cost of exporting recycled waste to the UK has been estimated in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39191/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

162. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a verification system is in place to ensure that all recycled goods exported to the UK are processed in the UK rather than a third country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39192/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 160 to 162, inclusive, together.

Statistics and information on shipments of waste to and from Ireland is maintained by the National Transfrontier Shipments Office (NTFSO) as the National Competent Authority for the export, import and transit of waste shipments under the Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations, 2007. The latest registers compiled by the NTFSO deal with 2018 and are available at http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-water-waste-and-environment-waste-and-recycling-national-tfs-office/ntfso-waste

The Waste Shipment Regulation, Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006, on transfrontier shipments of waste, sets out the procedures to be followed when moving waste within, into and out of the EU. The Waste Shipment Regulation already includes those procedures to be followed when sending materials to “third countries”. Under current UK policy, waste is not permitted to travel between the EU and the UK for disposal and this will continue to be the case after Brexit. This is further enhanced by the provisions of the Waste Shipment Regulation which states ‘all exports of waste from the Community destined for disposal shall be prohibited’. Any waste travelling to or from Ireland to the UK for recycling or recovery will not be affected. In practical terms, there will be no change to current procedures or the paperwork used to organise shipments of waste so additional costs do not arise in this context.

Under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which the UK will remain party to post Brexit, international shipments of waste are controlled through a process of prior written consent. This allows countries exporting waste to verify that the authorities in destination countries are content to accept the proposed shipment and that the waste can be managed in an environmentally sound manner at its final destination. The OECD decision, which again the UK will remain party to post Brexit, provides the control framework for the transboundary movement of waste between OECD countries for energy recovery and recycling. The fundamental purpose of this system is to ensure that not only is waste moved to another country with that country’s advance knowledge, but that wastes from developed countries are not dumped in developing nations.