The Limerick/Clare/Kerry Regional Waste Management Office this week attended an international convention in Greece to discuss how local and regional authorities can improve their waste collection and recycling policies.
Regional Waste Co-ordinator Philippa King travelled to Athens for the meeting of ‘Regions 4 Recycling’ (R4R) project partners, the first overseas meeting to be attended by the Office since it joined the European wide waste recycling project in April 2012.
Under the Interreg IVC European project, local authorities in Clare, Limerick and Kerry have joined participating authorities in 12 other European regions in making performance comparisons via a common methodology and exchange of good practices in order to improve their respective recycling performances.
According to Ms. King: “European municipalities are subject to common EU waste management regulations but have taken different approaches to reach the recycling targets. Differences between the recycling performances are evident, ranging from less than 10% to more than 70% from one region to another. Some of the differences can be accounted for by different data compilation practices between regions.”
Ms. King explained that the meeting in Athens was aimed at sharing the expertise of the R4R project partners with Greek municipalities and regions. It also showcased the project’s first results relating to the local instruments required to reach high recycling performances.
She said the initial project results would help to guide local authorities in Limerick, Clare and Kerry about future waste management practices.
“The Landfill and incineration taxes, local authority waste collection services, differentiated pricing systems and awareness-raising campaigns are some of the instruments used by cities and regions to organise their waste collection and recycling schemes. The right mix leads to impressive selective collection and recycling rates, as in Flanders for instance, where 70% of waste is separately collected, with a high quality level of the collected waste (ensuring a high recycling rate as well),” Ms. King stated.
She continued: “Over the next two and half years, the Limerick/Clare/Kerry Region, through the R4R project, is aiming to optimize its waste management practices, through the continued exchange of good practices and to achieve higher recycling rates with the ability to benchmark Ireland with the partners across Europe.”
The 3-year R4R project aims to work on a common framework for waste data observation, selective collection and recycling rates where by assessing the local instruments (technical, economic or legal) with the aim to reduce the recycling performance gap between the EU regions. The project was officially launched at a conference on 18th April in Paris.
The 13 partners are: Ile-de-France Region Waste Management Observatory (France), ACR+ the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (Belgium), OVAM the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (Belgium), Odense Waste Management (Denmark), Municipality of Lisbon (Portugal), EFXINI Poli (Greece), Limerick County Council (Ireland), Province of Styria (Austria), Municipality of Tallinn (Estonia), Waste Agency of Catalonia (Spain), Municipality of Sofia (Bulgaria), Municipality of Zagreb (Croatia), Ilfov County Council (Romania).
For more visit www.regions4recycling.eu or www.managewaste.ie.
Philippa King, Regional Waste Co-ordinator
Limerick/Clare/Kerry Regional Waste Management Office
Tel: 061 496596