EPA Waste Prevention Programme Conference

Date released: May 31 2011

EPA leading Waste Prevention Programme

The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Waste Prevention Programme - cited as best practice by the EU Commission and the OECD - is hosting a conference on Wednesday 1 June 2011 in Dublin. The ResourceWise conference aims to highlight the wide range of work underway in Ireland to minimise and prevent waste, improve resource efficiency, and help organisations to save money. 

The EPA-led National Waste Prevention Programme is a legal requirement of the new Waste Framework Directive from 2013.  Since its commencement in 2004, the National Waste Prevention Programme has developed a successful suite of prevention initiatives aimed at saving costs and resources (waste, water and energy) across a wide range of sectors of Irish society.  These projects have developed significant efficiencies and prevention capacities in a range of business sectors, local authorities, public hospitals and households.  Annual recurrent savings of at least €9m have been identified through these projects.

Speaking ahead of the conference Dr. Mary Kelly, EPA Director General commented:

“This conference brings together people and organisations to explore innovative ways of working and of reducing the consumption of materials, water and energy.  It is organised under the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme.  I am pleased to say that the Programme’s projects are generating real savings for businesses and organisations across many sectors, as well as achieving policy objectives. The Programme has also enabled the development of best practice case studies and know-how in relation to improving resource efficiency practices.”

BeGreen projects

A new umbrella brand for the National Waste Prevention Programme is also being launched at the conference. The BeGreen brand will link all of the National Waste Prevention Programme projects - from Green Business to the Green Hospitality Programme, Green Healthcare, Green Festivals, Stop Food Waste, Packaging Prevention and Green Home - providing a coherent family of projects.

Laura Burke, EPA Director, Office of Climate Change, Licensing and Resource Use explained,

“Waste Prevention is key to waste management policy in Ireland. By not generating waste, we can eliminate the need to handle, transport, treat and dispose of waste. We can also avoid having to pay for these services. Projects developed by the National Waste Prevention Programme now service a range of sectors and their outputs will be marketed under a new BeGreen brand.  We believe that this overall brand will strengthen and link all of the prevention projects so that they support each other as part of a coherent national programme.”

Conference programme

The conference will be opened by Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Ms. Karolina Fras of the European Commission's Environment Directorate-General will set out EU policy ambitions and experiences in relation to sustainable consumption and production, sustainable industry; prevention & recycling of waste, resource efficiency and reduction in raw material use.

Dr. Rory O’Donnell, Director of the National Economic and Social Council of Ireland (NESC) will discuss how the public reform agenda should be informed by the experience of Irish agencies, such as the EPA, that have been engaged in successful EU networks. Through innovative ways of working, partnerships and a focus on results policy objectives can be delivered at this particularly challenging time.

The conference will also hear presentations from IBEC and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, exploring the role of waste prevention and resource efficiency in Irish businesses, effective approaches to promoting energy efficiency and the opportunities and cost savings possible during times of increased economic pressures.

The conference includes case studies by a wide range of businesses and other organisations from various sectors that have taken part in the programme and successfully reduced their use of resources.

The event will offer an opportunity for debate and exchanges of experience and best practice being demonstrated by participants in the National Waste Prevention Programme. It will explore practical ways to save money while minimising and preventing waste and resource inefficiency.

Further information on the Waste Prevention is available on the EPA website.

Notes to the Editor:

The National Waste Prevention Programme, which is being led by the EPA, aims 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.

Further information: Niamh Hatchell, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)