Waste Ambassadors to facilitate 600 local workshops on household waste management

Published by David Hayden on

July 19th, 2017

A leading Irish environmental group has launched a nationwide recycling campaign to guide people in managing and reducing their waste in advance of new bin charges set to come into effect later this year.

Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) is set to team up with the three regional waste authorities this autumn to roll out an information campaign to resolve confusion and instruct the public on waste management.

Over 600 household waste workshops are set to be held across the country, with the immediate goal to resolve confusion over what can be placed into the waste, recycle and food bins respectively.

Last month, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten announced that the government will phase out flat charges for household waste collection.

There will be no mandatory charge per kilogramme of disposed waste, but waste collection companies will be able to set their own prices based on a combination of standing charges and a rate charged per lift or by weight.

VOICE, which focuses on waste & water issue, will manage 25 ‘Waste Ambassadors’ who will be responsible for running the workshops in collaboration with the regional waste authorities and are currently looking for individuals interested in running the workshops.

In addition to helping to clarify per-lift and weight-based charging models, the campaigns will also guide the public on waste prevention and how to improve their recycling habits.

According to VOICE Coordinator, Mindy O’Brien, the project will help to address public confusion around the three ‘R’s: “reduce, recycle and rot”.

“People are hugely confused as to which bin to put their recyclables and waste,” she added.

“We plan to go out into communities to provide helpful hints on how to reduce household waste streams and how to sort waste properly.

“We are very excited about this hands-on approach and cannot wait to hire and train our new team of waste ambassadors and tackle waste in a real way.”

The regional waste authorities will also launch a website by the end of 2017 to provide households with information about the policies of their local bin collectors.

Last month, the Green Party launched a Waste Reduction Bill which proposes to introduce a deposit refund scheme for glass and plastic bottles.

The plan also calls for Ireland to follow the likes of France, Korea and San Francisco in banning single-use non-recyclable plastics, such as coffee cups and plastic cutlery by January 2020.

Ms O’Brien supports the legislation, which she says would be “a landmark achievement” and would “make Ireland cleaner and greener”.

VOICE, with the support of other environmental groups, recently sent a letter to Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, TD encouraging the government to bring the bill forward for consideration.

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David Hayden

David is a contributor to the Green News. He has a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and French from UCD as well as a Master's Degrees in French literature and New Media from the University of California at San Diego and the Johns Hopkins University.