New recycling programme set to be rolled out across the country

Published by Niall Sargent on

November 30th, 2017

A new recycling programme is set to be rolled out across the country in a bid to educate and encourage the public to recycle more effectively and reduce poor recycling habits.

The aim of the Recycling Ambassadors Programme (RAP) is to reduce the amount of non-recyclable material being deposited into the recycling bin through a year-long community-based scheme.

Managed and rolled out by environmental charity VOICE, RAP will host 650 workshops across the country to clarify what items should now be placed in the recycling bin.

The workshops will be led by trained Recycling Ambassadors who will educate, support and encourage the public to recycle more effectively.

 An awareness campaign will also be launched across radio, social media, and print, and a list of acceptable recyclables is now available online

National Waste Campaign

Waste Collectors, who are members of the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA), will also help to spread the recycling message by providing information directly to their customers.

The Programme is the first time the government, industry and the environmental community have embarked together on a national waste campaign.

Launching the RAP yesterday, Environment Minister Denis Naughten said that the initiative will ensure that everyone clearly knows what materials are now acceptable in our recycling bins.

He added: “Removing confusion will play a huge role in improving the quality of the material that goes in the recycle bin. This will help to ensure that these items are actually recycled, as opposed to being contaminated accidentally by householders and sent to landfill.”

VOICE Co-ordinator, Mindy O’Brien said that she hoped the “face to face workshops” will change the way people view waste and manage their recycling.

 “We believe that this type of interaction is the best way to start the conversation and lead individuals towards a better understanding of what goes into our recycling bin and why,” she said.

“We are looking to link up with community groups and urge them to get in touch with us. We have 30 ambassadors throughout the country ready to run these free workshops.”

Launch of RAP Photo: DCCAE

 Recycling Confusion

According to the EPA, 983,380 tonnes of packaging waste was generated in 2015, the majority of which was recycled.

A 2016 survey found that 28 per cent of all material placed in household Mixed Dry Recyclable (MDR) bins is incorrect. A further 12 to 38 per cent of recyclable material in household MDR bins was found to be contaminated.

“This contamination was caused by dirty packaging, or was as a result of liquid, food and other items that belong in the general waste being deposited with the recyclable goods,” said Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak Ltd.

 “Waste disposal contractors have indicated contamination continues to grow in 2017, with one major recycling operator reporting up to 40 per cent loss of recyclable MDR material this year.”

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Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London