Government must come clean on waste

Mullen express alarm at recyclable materials being incinerated or ending up in landfill
Senator Ronan Mullen has expressed serious concern on learning that material which Irish householders believe is being recycled is actually ending up in incinerators or in landfill.
He said that he had been contacted by several constituents who had expressed concern to him that materials that households had prepared for recycling were not being sent for recycling. It seems that anecdotal evidence has emerged of recyclable and non-recyclable rubbish being mixed at the collection point by waste companies.
Senator Mullen added that the EPA’s March 2014 Municipal Waste Bulletin has in fact borne out this concern. The amount of waste being sent for recycling by Irish companies has fallen by 22% in 2013 compared to the previous year.  He noted that this fall could not be attributed to the overall fall in the amount of waste being managed which was reported as 7% last year.
He said:
“There is no evidence to suggest that Irish households are recycling less so the question must be asked as to whether waste companies are sending materials which householders are making an effort to recycle to landfill or to incineration.”
“It is a credit to householders across the country that they are enthusiastic about recycling. However, there is absolutely no point in encouraging people to wash and clean materials for this purpose if they are not being recycled.”
Senator Mullen called for greater transparency on this matter and called on the the Government to introduce more stringent rules for Waste Companies to ensure that they publish a detailed annual breakdown of what percentage of waste collected is genuinely sent for recycling.
“Recycling is a necessary part of a sustainable environmental policy and must be encouraged but it is simply unfair to consumers to have them engage in a pointless exercise”, Senator Mullen concluded.