The Green Party is pleased to see our growing awareness of the need to adopt a positive, proactive approach to waste management. Sadly, the recent Forfas report found that Ireland came worst out of 10 countries surveyed in terms of waste production. Factors influencing this rating include growing waste production and weaknesses in our domestic recycling infrastructure. We have practical proposals for dealing with these concerns. We can reduce our waste with the following actions:
- Ensure that shops are complying with the law and not handing out plastic bags without charge
- Introduce a beverage container charge to ensure that bottles and cans are re-used
- Establish a Waste Management Agency, which could provide start-up grants for companies making products out of recycled material; this will create jobs and reduce the cost now being incurred by having to export our waste
- Improve the number, scope and opening hours of “bring centres”
- Make provision for kerbside collection of bulky materials, catering particularly for those without access to a car
Introduction of these and similar measure will reduce the amount of illegal dumping
Waste recycling is complicated by the great diversity of facilities provided, both by waste collectors and by local bring centres.
Contact your waste collector to find out what they provide; some companies provide additional services e.g. one-off collection of specific items, confidential shredding, glass collection etc.
Limerick County Council offer a range of services; these are fairly well documented at What can I recycle and where?
For general bulk waste disposal, and particularly for those without a car, there is a Baby Skip facility; you buy the baby skip, which is an easily portable collapsable bag, available in 1 ton and 2 ton sizes, and arrange for collection; pay by card. This is much cheaper than a conventional skip and has the advantage of greater flexibility.
If you have a vehicle the Limerick Civic Amenity Centres offer a good service; the best in the Limerick area is probably Mungret. Be aware that these facilities are very specific about what they will accept and will not generally accept non-recyclable waste; service is either free or very reasonable.
Heggarty metals on the Ballysimon Road offer metal recycling; they now have a domestic section where you can drop off anything metal, including domestic electrical goods and computer equipment; no charge.
If you have a garden, no matter how small, consider starting a compost heap; Limerick County Council have a Home composting mini guide; they also supply compost bins cheaper than garden centres. Composting not only provides a valuable resource for your garden, particularly for growing vegetables, but also reduces your non-recyclable waste – and keeps your waste “cleaner”