13 June 2009
WYG Ireland, part of the WYG Group, has called on the Government to provide much needed leadership and direction for our entire waste industry, and in particular, to realise the potential of waste-to-energy.
WYG Ireland claims that extracting energy from waste is one obvious solution to resolving two of the critical issues facing Ireland at the moment, namely, the urgent need to divert waste away from landfill and the need to identify and implement alternative forms of energy to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Speaking to delegates at the Energy Ireland conference today, Michael Cunningham, Managing Director of WYG Ireland’s Environmental & Planning business said: “Ireland’s waste management industry is in danger of going into complete disarray if the Government cannot step back from its vested interests in waste collection and disposal and put in place the necessary infrastructure and policy that supports the waste hierarchy as detailed in the Waste Directive 2008. We currently have a situation where the Government is acting as both regulator and operator; this has resulted in legal battles with the private operators over who collects waste and consequently where this waste is disposed of.”
He went on to say: “Extracting energy from waste is a real and sustainable solution available to us today. What we need is infrastructure and a combination of incentives and levies to ensure that the material which can be recycled does not end up in a waste to energy plant or landfill site and the material that cannot be recycled is treated in a waste to energy plant.”
The Waste Directive 2008 makes it explicitly clear that recovery of energy from waste is the preferred solution to disposal at landfill.
Ireland faces substantial fines from the European Commission if it fails to divert waste away from landfill.
The conference, which is Ireland’s national energy summit, is a major annual conference for the energy sector, north and south, and this year was attended by around 300 delegates across its two days. Principal sponsors of this year’s conference included consultants WYG Ireland and the national energy agency, Sustainable Energy Ireland.
The Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, TD also addressed delegates, providing an update on the government’s priorities for moving towards a sustainable energy future.
Photo: from left to right: James Rooney, Director, WYG Engineering, Minister Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources & Michael Cunningham, MD, WYG Ireland.