04 Dec

Platin Cement Burner- Skyfill is a bad idea.

 


Nov 2017 Submission to ABP Platin 

PLATIN: We’re concerned that this project will stop us recycling

Phosphorus and Nitrogen are needed to grow food , not burn as Fuel for Cement kilns.

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland (ZWAI) are very concerned at the use of recyclable materials as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). We know that this is a dangerous manner of turning Landfill materials into Skyfill pollution. Cement kilns are not designed to manage in an environmentally safe manner the pollutants that arise from the burning of a mix of recyclable and landfill bound materials. We have objected to An Bord Pleanala when such BAD IDEAS are proposed, most recently in Limerick and Duleek.

We made an additional Oral Submission to the Inspector of
An Board Pleanála  on the 22nd November 2017 in regard to  the  Platin Cement Proposal. It is a 10 year permission to facilitate further replacement of fossil fuel with alternative fuels  (RDF) and allow for introduction of alternative raw materials in the manufacturing of cement at Platin Works Platin, Duleek, Co Meath

ZWAI are an advocacy group promoting ways to recycle & recover materials and keep resources away from waste disposal so that they can be sustainably recycled. We are  particularly concerned about materials that are finite or are limited in their natural availability. So naturally, we question the wisdom of burning materials at the Platin Cement Kiln that in particular contain phosphorus and nitrogen.

You can read our Oral Hearing submission here.

Valuable Nutrients are lost.

The waste categories listed by Irish Cement  below are proposed to be incinerated in the cement kiln. Initially almost all of these originally required the use of Natural Gas or Coal to make the ammonia fraction of fertilizer for their growth. By burning in a cement kiln, Phosphorus will be wasted and will not be recovered. This is an essential element that is necessary for fertilizer to produce food.

Categories of waste that are proposed to be burned at Platin cement factory

CLASS

02 01 02

DESCRIPTION

animal-tissue waste

19 08 05

sludges from treatment of urban waste water

02 01 03

plant-tissue waste

02 01 06

animal faeces, urine and manure (including spoiled straw), effluent, collected separately and treated off-site

19 12 06

sludges from on-site effluent treatment other than those mentioned in 19 11 05

02 03 05

sludges from on-site effluent treatment

19 08 05

sludges from treatment of urban waste water

19 08 12

sludges from biological treatment of industrial waste water other than those mentioned in 19 08 11

19 08 14

sludges from other treatment of industrial waste water other than those mentioned in 19 08 13

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland(ZWAI) demands that Sewage Sludge or any of the other similar categories listed by “Irish Cement” that contain Nitrogen and Phosphorus should not be burned in the cement kiln for the following reasons:

  1. The Fossil Fuels (Natural Gas and Coal) that are used to make ammonia gas for fertilizer are finite and will eventually be depleted. We must reduce significantly the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the making of ammonia fertilizer. Any finite material must instead be recycled.
  2. The Burning of Nitrogen (Ammonia) and its loss to the atmosphere results in this resource being no longer available to farmers as part of the fertilizer to grow food.
  3. The emission of NOx will cause ozone in sunlight conditions. At ground levels ozone will cause ambient air pollution and should therefore be avoided.
  4. The energy of the Nitrogen (Ammonia) recovered in the Cement Kiln will not replace or be equal to the total energy required for its original manufacture, its processing as an NPK fertilizer, its transport around the world or the energy for its application on farms.
  5. Because the nitrogen is not being recycled locally to grow food it forces the continuation of this very wasteful energy intensive Harber & Bosch method that is depleting the remaining finite resources of natural gas. This failure to recycle nitrogenous waste as a fertilizer is not sustainable.
  6. The Green House gases that are generated by the manufacturing of Ammonia using the Haber & Bosch process contribute to climate change and must be reduced and eventually avoided.
  7. Phosphorus fertilizer is likely to become expensive in Europe, India and other parts of the world over the coming 20 to 40 years as the resources of the USA and China, two of the three remaining countries with phosphorus rock begin to protect their own national supplies. When “peak phosphorus” is upon us and world demand is greater than the supply then no nation will have cheap phosphorus to sell to Ireland. Unless we recycle nutrients of nitrogen and phosphorus, food prices in supermarkets that are based on fossil fuel and mined phosphorus fertilizer will become volatile, then more expensive, then affordable and eventually will not be for sale at all.
  8. Phosphorus is a finite resource that can be replaced by no other element. If burned in cement kilns this strategically important resource will be lost and wasted forever.
    We must therefore recycle Nitrogen and Phosphorus. We must avoid the possibility of a world population collapse.

We ask  An Board Pleanála to prioritize the long term public interest and put this above the private short term interests of a private business. It is not in the public interest that we should ignore the need for future food security.

01 Dec

Green Bin Rules – are we unpaid recycling workers?


green bin rules

Are we working as unpaid staff for the recycling companies?

It might seem like that when you read the revised green bin collection guidelines given by the Co Councils for household waste recycling. We must sort, separate, loosen, wash, clean and dry our materials before they go in the green bin. That’s hard work and we still have to pay them to have it taken away.

It was a surprise to listeners of Cork’s 96FM Radio station this week when we discussed the apparent ‘new green bin rules’ outlined by the Councils through the Regional Waste Management Authorities. These rules were always in place since 2014 but never policed until the rejection of recycled waste shipments by the Chinese in the past few months put waste shippers under pressure to improve their quality controls. This has resulted in a call going back to consumers here to provide ‘cleaner’ recycled materials. Rejected materials cost the waste shippers dearly and will result in higher prices here to consumers ultimately as they have to re-work the materials before re-exporting. (we don’t really do a lot of recycling in Ireland in actual fact. Our apparent ‘good recycling rates’ are just collection  and export for recycling abroad. We really need to do more real recycling and remanufacturing in Ireland and create the green jobs here. But that’s another blog topic.

More  info: PJ Coogan on Cork’s 96FM Opinion line discusses the issues with waste quality rules now being enforced on households.

Why should the items be clean and dry?

If your container contained food or liquid, then some residues will remain. These will contaminate the recycling process so they must be rinsed clean to remove the matter before going into your recycle bin (green bin). Food and liquid can contaminate the materials in the recycling bin especially the paper recycling process. Wet paper cannot be recycled.

Why is there a new list?

It’s not a new list. It will vary from area to area depending on recycling facilities available. Recycled materials such as paper and cardboard, metals and plastic are sold on the global market, by the recyclers but the prices and demand for these materials constantly change. To get the best value for our materials, they need to be cleaned and sorted. China and India are major buyers of recyclable material from Europe and they use these materials for manufacturing instead of extracting raw materials. As stated above, over the past year, China and India have enforced higher standards on received stocks.  Mixed materials such as plastics, paper or cardboard baled together or contaminated items (or those containing unrecyclable elements)  are being rejected.  To sell our bulk recyclable materials we need to be able to separate these materials quickly and easily at the recycler depots and ensure they are contaminant free.  

The cycle starts with the householder. So there are 2 things to do.

  1. Sort and clean the recyclable items from the non-recyclable ones.
  2. Only put into the green bin those items allowed. Put them in dry, clean and loose.

What about paper food containers. What is recyclable?
Any paper food container that has been soiled with food or become damp is not recyclable and should be put in the residual bin or composted. For example, pizza boxes and other fast food or takeaway containers.  (The contamination will impact the paper recycling & re-pulping process negatively so we must avoid them).

Tip. Remember you can always just tear away or cut out soiled areas of these boxes and recycle the undamaged parts. This is worth the effort if only a small area has become contaminated. 

  • Paperboard food containers such as cereal boxes, paper egg cartons, and cake mix boxes that are unsoiled are recyclable. Just remove the plastic lining and shake out extra food crumbs.
  • Empty frozen food boxes should be placed in the recycling bin  (green bin) along with Milk and juice cartons, once washed.

What About Glass?

Glass does not go in the household recycling bin. Collect all bottles and place in glass bottle banks. You may have a separate glass bin collection in some areas but if not take the bottles to your local community bring centre. Glass can be recycled repeatedly.
Beware that not all glassware can be put in glass banks such as cookware, Pyrex, plates, cups and ceramics. And don’t forget to remove the metal or plastic lids of glass items before recycling them  These lids are generally PP plastic or metal so are recyclable in the green bin.

The recyclable list.

Paper

Newspapers 

Magazines  

Junk Mail
Phone Books
Catalogues
Tissue Boxes
Sugar Bags
Calendars
Diaries
Letters
Computer Paper
Used Beverage And Juice Cartons
Milk Cartons
Egg Boxes
Paper Brochures
School Copy Books
Old School Books (If They Cannot Be Donated Or Reused)
Paper Potato Bags

Cardboard

Food Boxes
Packaging Boxes
Cereal Boxes
Kitchen Towel Tubes
Toilet Roll Tubes

Please remove any plastic inserts from cardboard boxes before placing into bin

ALUMINIUM CANS

Drinks Cans
*Empty Deodorant Cans (Plastic Lid Separate)

STEEL CANS

Pet Food Cans
Food Cans
Biscuit Tins
Soup Tins

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (PET 1)

Mineral Bottles
Water Bottles
Mouth Wash Bottles
Salad Dressing Bottles

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (HDPE 2)

 Milk Bottles
Juice Bottles
Cosmetic Bottles
Shampoo Bottles
Household Cleaning Bottles
Laundry Detergent Bottles
Window Cleaning Bottles
Bath Room Bottles
Containers Should Be Empty When Being Placed Into Recycling Bin

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (PP 5)

Yoghurt Containers
Margarine Tubs
Rigid Food Packaging
Liquid Soap Containers
Fruit Containers (With Netting Removed)

See www.repak.ie for a full list.

What’s NOT allowed in the green bin.

Put wrappers in the residual bin – they’re not recyclable

It’s especially important to know what to leave out. These items shouldn’t be in your recycling bin:

  • Contaminated Packaging (greasy, dirty or with residue). like we said above. (Cut out contaminated areas if you can)
  • Non recyclable plastic wrappings, like sweet wrappers, Tayto bags, plastic shopping bags. These plastics are not recyclable or can damage the recycling processes used for other  recyclable plastics.
  • Nappies and Sanitary Products, medicines, medical waste (including baby wipes) – put in the residual waste bin
  • Food Waste (raw or cooked) – put in your food waste bin (if there is a collection)  or compost the cooked food in your composter.
  • Grass, Garden Cuttings / Soil – put in your composter.
  • Polystyrene (EPS) – there may be separate collection or bring to your civic amenity centre.
  • Liquids/ Oils  – bring to your civic amenity centre.
  • Textiles – including clothes/shoes and home furnishings – bring to your civic amenity centre.
  • Dismantled Furniture – bring to your civic amenity centre
  • Light Bulbs, Batteries &Electrical and Electronic Equipment (remove the plugs and re-use them)
  • Other General waste that should be in the General waste Bin. e.g. building rubble

So there you have the list and you know what to do. So do you still think you’re working for the recyclers, for free? Let us know your thoughts on our FB page .

22 Nov

EU Waste Directive – Ambition needed

OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER NAUGHTON.

To the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Re: Final steps for more ambitious EU waste legislation – your help is needed

Dear Minister Naughton,

The 2018 Climate Change Performance Index highlights Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. (https://www.climate-change-performance-index.org/). The Index is produced annually on the basis of joint analysis by two leading European think-tanks. It places Ireland 49th out of 56 countries, a drop of 28 places from last year.

The expert report lays bare the continuing and disturbing contradiction between the Irish Government’s rhetoric on climate change and the stark reality of very poor progress made here. However, we can redeem ourselves and play catch up. Here is one way to do so if we are serious about our deteriorating Environmental conditions.

At the moment final stage of the negotiations within the European Council’s Working Party on the Environment regarding amendments to the EU Waste Directive is fast approaching.

We in the Zero Waste movement are calling on all environmentally conscious politicians to urgently support ambitious measures in three key areas:

  1. more ambitious recycling targets;
  2. urgent action on tackling marine litter; and
  3. immediate action to curb food waste.

We actively support the ambitions of better resource and waste management in Ireland and the EU and the move towards a truly Circular Economy. However, we are concerned about the obstructing position of the Council, undermining the negotiations of the Waste Directives as well as job creation and environmental progress in the EU.

As the fifth trilogue negotiation approaches, we call on you and the government to support the following three key measures in the Council’s mandate for the Trilogue of 27th November 2017:

Higher targets for preparation for reuse and recycling, and mandatory separate collection:

In order to gain the maximum benefits of resource savings and job creation, it is essential to support a target of 70% of municipal solid waste to be prepared for reuse and recycled by 2030. Countless European countries and municipalities have shown this is possible to achieve.

In addition, a key legislative step to reach this target is to remove loopholes around compulsory separate collection and pricing anomalies such as flat rate fees which we see in Ireland

Tackling marine litter: Include a European Union wide marine litter reduction target of

  • 30% by 2025 and
  • 50% by 2030

for the ten most common types of litter found on beaches (mainly plastics), as well as for fishing gear found at sea, with the list adapted to each of the four marine regions in the EU.

Curbing food wastage: Include a European Union wide food waste reduction target of

  • 30% by 2025 and
  • 50% by 2030, from farm to fork.

In parallel, introduce a review clause calling on the European Commission to propose a binding target by 2020 once baseline data and a clear methodology are available, and support the introduction of a standardized food waste hierarchy.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and discussion. Thanks for giving this your consideration,

Best regards,

Sean Cronin,

Director

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland

16 Nov

Zero Waste Lifestyle –What Does It Mean?

Zero Waste Lifestyle

 

Zero Waste Lifestyle– What Does It Really Mean?

The Zero Waste lifestyle is becoming a more popular phrase  But what does it really mean. It’s far more than just recycling your disposable plastic bottle.  The Zero Waste lifestyle is about sending nothing to landfill or thermal treatment (aka Incineration). This does not mean that we do more recycling. In fact, the opposite happens. We recycle less because we find upstream ways to avoid having material to recycle in the first place.

The key to Zero Waste lifestyle is decisions!

Deciding to buy something or not. Deciding to Avoid, Refuse , Switch, Reuse and Reduce. It is a decision rich consumption lifestyle, evaluating the consequences for waste of each decision we make to acquire something. The real goal is to try to avoid landfill / incineration (the destruction of resources) and keep resources in circulation as long as possible in multiple useful life-cycles.

I may never reach ZW nirvana but I feel it is just over the horizon.

Making early choices.

As we consume resources in our daily lives (Food, products, services, stuff) the decisions made in the early part of the lifecycle have the biggest impacts. This applies to the design, manufacture and re-manufacture and support activities (maintenance) of manufacturers and the purchasing choices of consumers. In this decision making top-down approach recycling is a last resort: it is always better to avoid, refuse, reduce, re-use and repair before recycling anything. It is an iterative process because you must re-examine decisions all the time when faced with your residual waste. Simply ask how this waste is still remaining – and examine all the decisions made along the way that got you into this waste situation. Constant refinement of decisions with the end of pipe consequence in mind will ensure you progressive eliminate bad choices and reach as close as possible the Zero Waste nirvana.

I recycle all the time but I’m not at ZW nirvana just yet, It’s a journey and I’m on it, along with many other fellow travellers. ! So as a ‘ZeroWaster I’m always thinking about my residual waste, refining my earlier choices, and aspiring to do better next time. I may never reach ZW nirvana but I feel it is just over the horizon. I’m getting ever so close and I enjoy the company, support and advice of fellow travellers.

What does a Zero Waste lifestyle look like in normal life?

It’s all about doing something more and progressively trying to cut your waste. Zero Waste choices and informed decisions are your tools.

  • SEEK LONGEVITY: It is about choosing the right durable products that are well-made and built to last, that can be repaired or re-manufactured, and won’t end up in landfill/incinerators once life-expired. The Manufacturer or Supplied should have a takeback/recycling programme in force. It may cost a little more at the time you buy but it will save you money in the longer term.

    Choose Re-usable over Disposable

    Choose Re-usable over Disposable

  • SHUN DISPOSABLES: It is about choosing reusable products over single-use disposable items. There is a re-usable coffee cup in the photo below. Which one is it?
  • FAVOUR OLD over NEW: Do you really need a new item. e.g. car? Look to second-hand over new where possible, and valuing resources already in circulation.
  • SATISFY YOUR NEEDS not WANTS? Do you really need the item? Do you really need the amount on offer (e.g. special offers on food quantities than may not be right for you). You need to avoid temptations and impulse purchases and refuse anything not needed.
  • EMBRACE SHOPPING LISTS : Your best ally in the fight to remain focused on what you are going to the supermarket to buy. What’s not on the list is not needed. Make the list at home before you set off. Check your larder/fridge etc for your actual needs and volumes required and stick to it.
  • ASK QUESTIONS and QUESTION ANSWERS: It is about asking questions of the supplier and retailer to find out what they offer for recycling, maintenance and packaging recovery. How much recycled or re-manufactured content is in the product?
  • EMBRACE RE-USE: Think of novel ways to re-use your stuff or components. Find new and better ways of doing things, re-using things and substituting for unsustainable products or processes.
  • DOUBLE VISION: Think ahead. Before acquiring something think about how your relationship with it will end. Then decide the best option for a Zero Waste outcome at the end-of-useful-life point.

See more on Zero Waste lifestyle on our video page.

What does your Zero Waste lifestyle look like? Have you started your journey yet?

Take action on disposable coffee cups. Grab yourself an eCupán re-usable, collapsible coffee cup.

Photo Credits David East via Unsplash
01 Nov

Dirty Water : Wastewater treatment opportunity.

Image courtesy Peter Hershey

The recent EPA report on the Quality of our Wastewater treatment in 2016  highlights that there’s  a lot to be done.  The EPA 2016 Wastewater Report’s Summary findings are stark. It’s embarrassing to contemplate!  But challenges need to be faced and very soon.

Here’s a very brief summary of the top 5 urgent issues.

  • 50 /185  of Ireland’s urban areas did not meet European Union (EU) standards.
  • The final deadline to comply with these standards was 2005 (12 Years Ago).
  • Ireland is being taken to the European Court of Justice for not treating wastewater properly.
  • Raw sewage in wastewater is released into the environment from 44 urban areas.
  • Improvements are needed at 148 urban areas to address the priorities listed in the report.

It is clear that we need significant capital investment to upgrade deficient wastewater treatment systems, improve water quality and avoid financial penalties.

Opportunity hidden in the wastewater.

While the scale of our ‘dirty water situation’  is great, there are opportunities open to mine our wastewater for nutrients. ZWAI have previously sent submissions on this topic and it is now very pertinent to look at our proposals again. There are benefits in acting in sync with the new capital investment programme that will be needed.

See our Submission details here and others on our submissions page .

Unfortunately, Irish wastewater policy is focused solely on “treating wastewater” in an effort to minimise the detrimental effects of wastewater discharges on the aquatic environment.

Our view is that a better policy would be to place equal emphasis on wastewater “segregation” as well as on “the treatment of wastewater”. This would greatly facilitate “wastewater pollution avoidance”, “nutrient resource recovery”, more efficient use of water, and water recycling where appropriate.

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland calls for a very radical revision of the EPA Code of Practice and Part H of the Irish Building Regulations.

Phosphorus Mining.

The world’s finite phosphate resources are limited and this limited resource will be unable to keep up with the world’s growing and increasing demand for phosphorous fertilizer over the coming decades.
In economics, for any amenity, product or service where there is a growing
shortage, prices will begin to rise. Since there is no alternative to phosphate as
a constituent of fertilizer we can only expect very serious price rises – resulting
in food shortages, and increased prices which hit the poor worst.
To soften the economic threat of rising phosphate prices, Ireland must be much more efficient in recycling phosphorous. It is of strategic importance that phosphorus should not be wasted, methods should be found to conserve and recycle it. If waste of phosphorus can be avoided, and phosphorus recycled as much as possible, this will be a “win-win” outcome, coinciding with our ZW policy of reducing and eliminating waste

Rationale of our  ‘Dirty Water Mining’  proposals

  • In nature, the waste products of every living organism serve as raw materials to be transformed by other living creatures, or benefit the planet in other ways; and human communities must follow this ecological principle as far as possible;
  • “Zero Waste” is a realistic whole-system approach to addressing the problem of society’s unsustainable resource flows – and it applies equally to domestic wastewater and to solid wastes;
  • Discarded materials and substances do not necessarily become “waste”, as long as there is a possibility of re-use, recycling or re-incorporation into the biosphere (e.g., by composting, anaerobic digestion or other biological transformations) without causing ecological or environmental damage; but these desirable processes become more difficult or even impossible when discarded substances or materials are mixed to form a combined “waste stream”;
  • For most of humanity’s existence on this planet, our excreta served as nourishment for other animals, or were returned directly to the soil; providing valuable nutrients or fertiliser for agricultural or horticultural use;
  • This practice carried a risk of spreading faecal-borne diseases but our current knowledge of microbiology can be applied to ensure that this risk is reduced to negligible proportions;

Septic tanks and Flushing.

  1. The widespread adoption of the relatively simple technology of the flush toilet throughout rural Ireland in the 20th century, and the building of large numbers of houses in unsewered areas, has led to a huge increase in the numbers of individual on-site wastewater treatment systems for domestic sewage and other wastewaters from houses and other buildings outside towns;
  2. The adverse environmental effects and public health risks associated with unsuitable location and inadequate maintenance of these single house wastewater treatment systems have been well documented by local authorities and by the EPA;
  3. These effects include surface water and groundwater pollution by faecal bacteria and sewage-derived nutrients; with consequential difficulties in complying fully with the Water Framework Directive

The principal response to this problem has been to develop a registration and inspection regime, carried out by local authorities under the supervision of the EPA, with the aim of bringing all single-house wastewater treatment systems under control, and preventing further pollution of groundwater and surface water;

Though satisfactory in other ways, this registration and inspection scheme does not consider wastewater as “waste” to be prevented, reused or recycled; and does not address the need to recover and re-use the valuable nutrients contained in domestic wastewater;

ZWAI advocates:
  1. separation of different types of wastewater produced in houses. i.e., “black water” (highly contaminated with faecal micro organisms), and “grey water” (discharge from bathing, showering, clothes washing, dish-washing and other similar uses); and,
  2. separation of urine from faeces, with urine being used as a source of nitrogen and phosphorus.

• In order to become truly sustainable in the long term, society must practice the re-use and recycling of wastewater to a much larger extent than is done at present; and source-separation of human urine is one promising technology which can be used to achieve this objective.

  • Source separation Toilet Swedish style

    Source separation Toilet Swedish style

    Source-separation of human urine has the added advantage of conserving and re-using phosphorus. It is not a new technology, and can be relatively easily installed, as shown by examples from Sweden and other countries.

Actions to take now.

  1. This objective may be best achieved by an amendment to Part H of the Building Regulations; and,
  2. A further step in the direction of resource conservation would be to encourage the more widespread adoption of modern composting toilets which do not require water for flushing.
21 Oct

Tyre kickers needed?

We need your help and fast.

stand up for tyre recycling

We’re tired of the slow progress towards real, verifiable Tyre recycling and re-manufacturing.

But your help will speed up progress with our lawmakers.

We need you to ‘kick some tyres’.

Here’s how to make a difference.

The Background

Remember the Minister for the Environment (and other things, such as Communications, & Climate Action ) Mr Denis Naughton planned to introduce a Producer Responsibility Initiative to attack the widespread illegal dumping of used tyres.  Well, things are moving along (slowly as usual but at least rolling along in the right direction). The Joint Oireachtas Committee (JOC) on Communications , Climate Action and Environment are currently scrutinising the Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2017 (SI 400 of 2017).

These regulations are finally delivering on recommendations stemming from a report in 2013 which looked specifically at how the tyre industry was operating producer responsibility schemes. The report revealed inadequacies  and found that:

  1. up to 50% of all used tyres were unaccounted for  – i.e. LOST
  2. there was a significant rate of non-compliance with the previous regulations and
  3. there was a lack of consistent and accurate data on tyres.

The scale of the problem with waste tyres is now so bad that the Minister has made €1m available this year to the 23 local authorities who have reported illegal stockpiles of tyres dumped within their jurisdictions.

What do the new regulations do?

The regulations signed by the Minister enable the establishment of a full compliance scheme for tyre producers, distributors and retailers, which is financed by a visible Environmental Management Cost (vEMC).   This new Tyre Tax will help plug the gaps and eliminate the 50% losses we currently experience, as tyres get illegally dumped or burned.

Similar compliance schemes have operated very successfully for other waste streams like packaging, waste electrical and electronic goods (WEE), batteries and farm plastics. The introduction of the vEMC charge will standardise and formalise a charge that tyre retailers already apply to purchases of new tyres by consumers. It will ensure that the fee they pay actually goes towards what it is supposed to support – the correct environmental treatment of waste tyres. Currently they charge consumers but do not deliver fully on the proper disposal of up to 50% of the used tyres. So the charges are pocketed by some unscrupulous operators as extra profits. We want this to end.

What Can you do to help?

The Dail Committee (JOC) are meeting again next Tues 24 October and they need to be aware of the level of concern we, the citizens who pay the costs, have about the scheme operating well.

It must eliminate the illegal dumping of tyres.   It would be of particular benefit to the Committee if they could be given evidence of the scale of the problem with dumped tyres and the benefit to us all of a system that traces the movement of all tyres on and off the road.

But we’re aware that the tyre industry is trying to persuade the Dail Committee to block this regulation! Yes, it’s hard to believe but they seem to be winning. So we all need to get in a submission to assert our support for the new regulation  ASAP.

How to submit your opinion.

So we want as many people as possible to contact their TD’s and those TDs and Senators on the Dail Committee (JOC).   We want you to send in submissions tomorrow, Sunday or Monday at latest.

It could be as simple as welcoming the Regulations and referencing the success of the earlier examples below or just a plea to end the curse of illegal dumping and mention any personal experience you had with illegally dumped tyres.

Maybe send a photo or two. We have a template to help you below. Just take it and copy what you want and add a personal note. Then email it to the chosen targets. You can also cite references from the other PRI schemes listed below.

There are reference material and articles that you might find useful to make extra points but a very simple one-pager is all that is needed to alert the Committee members to the mood of their electorate.

There is Zero cost to doing it. Just send an email (click on the name to get the email address). We really appreciate your time and effort.

Who should you contact with your submission?

Please send your submissions to any or all of the following people :

Chairman: Deputy Hildegarde Naughton hildegarde.naughton@oireachtas.ie

Committee Member Party     / Group  
 Deputies:
Timmy Dooley  Fianna Fáil
James Lawless  Fianna Fáil
Michael Lowry  Rural Independent Group
Hildegarde Naughton  Fine Gael
Eamon Ryan  Social Democrats – Green Party Group
Bríd Smith  Solidarity – People Before Profit
Brian Stanley  Sinn Féin
Senators:
Terry Leyden  Fianna Fáil
Tim Lombard  Fine Gael
Michael McDowell  Independent Group
Joe O’Reilly  Fine Gael

SAMPLE TEXT ON WHICH TO BASE YOUR SUBMISSION.

 

Dear Mr/Ms /Deputy/Senator xxxxx,

REF: Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2017 (SI 400 of 2017).

I am alarmed and concerned to see that the rapid implementation of the Producer Responsibility Incentive (PRI) is not proceeding through the Oireachtas quickly. Similar schemes are now well established e.g. Repak Packaging Waste scheme was established on 10 June 1997, 20 years ago, WEE scheme exists since 5 July 2005. An effective recycling management scheme for used tyres is long overdue.

We have to make progress with used tyres as they offer new opportunities and jobs in recycling and remanufacturing activity e.g. crumb rubber makes playground surfaces, running track surfaces, road noise barriers and flexible concrete walls (http://www.ruconbar.com is a good example) 

The waste of these recycled tyres in illegal dumping and burning activity is a complete failure with respect to today’s strive for a Circular Economy and the Government’s stated EU commitment to reduce our Nation’s contribution to Greenhouse Gases.

The legacy of non-recycled tyres littering our countrysides, waterways and seas should not be contemplated. Nor should we allow used tyres to be used as fuel for cement kilns, as recent An Bord Pleanala applications have sought to do.

So I urge you to proceed with all haste to bring the SI 400 of 2017 into effect.

It must be implemented thoroughly, quickly and transparently and the recycling monies collected used for environmental projects exclusively.

Yours sincerely,

Name &  address

When done, why not post your submission on the ZeroWasteAllianceIreland Facebook Page, so we can all clap your effort.

Thank you.


Useful references:

PRI Models used as basis for the new Tyres PRI

Farm Plastics:  The PRI scheme for the recovery and recycling of farm plastics was established by Minister Dempsey on 14 July 1997. [FF-PD Govt]

Packaging/Repak:  The PRI scheme to organise and finance the environmental management of packaging waste was established by Minister Howlin on 10 June 1997. [FG-Lab-DL Govt]
The regulations were consolidated, in order to bring improved clarity, transparency and accessibility to the packaging PRI, by Minister Gormley on 7 December 2007 [FF-GP-PD Govt]

WEEE Ireland:  The PRI scheme to organise and finance the environmental management of household waste electrical and electronic equipment was established by Minister Roche on 5 July 2005. [FF-PD Govt]

Tyres: A scheme to track/collect data on tyres, but not fund or subsidise the collection and treatment of tyres, was approved by Minister Gormley on 27 September 2007. [FF-GP-PD Govt]

Batteries:  The PRI scheme for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries was implemented by Minister Gormley on 16 July 2008. [FF-GP Govt]

Other info/articles you can use in your email:

  1. Plastic from tyres ‘major source’ of ocean pollution
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_fire
  3. http://www.ruconbar.com