AS reported in the Sentinel on Monday (September 30) draft plans for managing waste in the north west have been released for public consultation.
The North West Region Waste Management Group (NWRWMG), the umbrella waste management body for seven council areas in the region, including Derry City Council, is seeking views from the public and industry on its proposals to handle waste between now and 2020.
The Waste Management Plan sets out how NWRWMG will deliver services and infrastructure required for the collection, treatment and disposal of waste.
The overall aim is to develop a waste management system that meets the region’s needs and contributes to economic and sustainable development.
The north west, which accounts for 18 per cent of Northern Ireland’s total population, produced 177,128 tonnes of waste last year.
The area’s recycling rate has risen from 4 per cent to 37.3 per cent (2002-2012), but by 2020 the aim is to reach a recycling rate of 60 per cent for all municipal waste collected by local councils.
Cllr. Evelyne Robinson, Chair of the NWRWMG, said: “Everybody living in the north west produces waste and how we manage it effects everybody too.
“This is the public’s opportunity to voice their opinions on how best we can manage waste in a way which is environmentally sound and sustainable.
“The plan adheres to principles laid down in EU, UK and Northern Ireland legislation and our priorities remain waste prevention and minimisation, recycling, composting, materials recovery and energy recovery.
“The days of simply throwing the majority of our waste into landfill are, thankfully, coming to an end. Our approach now is to treat waste as a resource and in an integrated way which matches best practice elsewhere in Europe.”
In order to achieve new recycling targets being progressed by the Northern Ireland Executive, NWRWMG has identified the need to develop new waste infrastructure and collection methods, plus an on-going education and information campaign.
Additional materials such as glass are already collected from households and new services will include increasing the availability of brown bins for garden and food waste collection.
The delivery of new waste facilities, an Energy from Waste plant at Maydown and a Waste Transfer Station at Letterloan near Macosquin, remain key components of NWRWMG’s plans and a preferred bidder has been appointed to develop the infrastructure.
These new facilities will boost the recycling rate by 6% and generate enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 6,000 homes.
The plan also covers non-household waste, including commercial and industrial waste, construction related waste, agricultural and hazardous waste. The review of the Waste Management Plan, including a Strategic Environmental Assessment and questionnaire, are available to view and comment on at www.northwestwaste.org.uk. Hard copies are also available upon request from council offices. The consultation ends on Wednesday, 27th November, 2013.