EPA helps develop network of prevention experts

Date released: Jun 03 2010

The EPA is today hosting a national conference showcasing waste prevention and resource efficiency programmes being carried out by local authorities as part of the National Waste Prevention Programme.

Over the last 4 years, the EPA has funded 17 local authorities working in the Local Authority Prevention Programme. The objectives of the programme are to build capacity in local authorities for the promotion of resource efficiency and waste prevention at a local level for the benefit of their localities.

Laura Burke, EPA Director said:

“Experience has shown that the key to success is having people with local expertise driving waste prevention at grassroots level. The EPA’s aim is to help to develop a network of prevention experts in Ireland’s local authorities that have the expertise and motivation to work with business, public organisations and communities, to reduce the volume of waste generated.”

The conference will hear how local authorities have been successfully demonstrating resource efficiency techniques and the associated savings opportunities, in relation to waste, water and energy.  Highlights from the programme so far include:

  • More than 2,300 tonnes waste prevented or diverted;
  • Over 37,500 m3 water consumption reduced;
  • 1,530,000 kWh energy savings;
  • €873,000 direct cost savings;
  • 85 different premises involved in prevention, 295 audits conducted;
  • 1,100 people trained (26 have completed the HETAC Accredited Waste Prevention Course).

Projects include waste prevention and resource efficiency in a wide range of sectors including community, commercial and business organisations - such as shopping centres, a regional airport, hospitals, construction, farms, a university, public organisations, pubs and schools.

Best practice case studies and prevention know-how are now emerging from each project and are available for dissemination and implementation throughout the country. A number of guidance booklets aimed at certain sectors are available to download from the EPA website, including:

  • Farming the Environment prevention guide ;
  • e-Guide on 7 steps to waste prevention , including 5 sector specific guides:
    • e-Guide to Effective Construction Waste Management
    • e-Guide to reducing office paper consumption
    • e-Guide to Effective management of shopping centre waste
    • e-Guide to developing an environmental action plan for a regional airport
    • e-Guide to waste prevention in apartment complexes
  • Calling Time on Waste - a prevention guide for publicans;
  • A guide to improving environmental performance in business.
“With the financial difficulties now being faced by many Irish businesses, public sector organisations and households generally, the time is ripe for the promotion of resource efficient methods of conducting business and personal activities,” said Dr. Gerry Byrne, Programme Manager, EPA.

“Local authorities are now working to encourage these organisations to reduce their consumption of materials, water and energy and to make sure that they are getting the best value from the resources they do use. Promises of potential cost savings from no-cost or low-cost resource efficiency or waste prevention measures need to be clearly demonstrated through this programme with case studies from peer organisations in order for them to be more widely adopted.”

Further information on the Local Authority Prevention Programme is available on the EPA website and also on the Local Authority Prevention Network website.
Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)

Notes to the Editor:
The programme is one of a whole family of National Waste Prevention Programme projects including Green Business, Green Hospitality Award, Green Healthcare, Packaging Prevention and Green Home. The aim of the prevention programme, which is being led by the EPA, is to deliver substantive results on waste prevention (including water and energy) and to  integrate a range of initiatives addressing awareness-raising, technical and financial assistance, training and incentive mechanisms.