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28th May 2009

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Re3 CEO, Professor Deborah Boyd, has backed the recent statements made by Ireland’s Environment Ministers - both calling for more support for waste entrepreneurs.

In the first statement, Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson MP MLA, warned that the province was “drowning under the amount of rubbish it produces” and that “the mindset of many people, who still considered waste as someone else’s problem, had to be changed.”

Speaking at an Institute of Directors lunch, in Belfast, Mr. Wilson said that while progress had been made in reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, everyone from local to central government, the business community and the general public had to play their part.

Under the European Union's Landfill Directive Northern Ireland's 26 local councils face a series of targets and deadlines to reduce the use of landfill. Failure to meet the targets would result in Northern Ireland facing very severe fines, warned the minister.

Concerns about the environmental cost of waste, have also expressed by Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, T.D.

Mr. Gormley has received approval from the Dublin Government to draw-up legislation which he hopes will deter landfill and incineration. The legislation could include a new incineration levy along with a significant hike in the present landfill levy. Mr. Gormley said the levies would be an “essential element in promoting recycling enterprises.”

Mr. Gormley has also announced the creation of a €13m fund to encourage businesses to become involved in manufacturing recycled waste into products. He said thousands of jobs could be created by “waste entrepreneurs.”

“ The creation of wealth from waste is essential as Ireland has to more than double the amount of biodegradable waste that it must recycle by 2016,” he said.

Welcoming both statements, the Chief Executive Officer, Professor Deborah Boyd, described the Environment Ministers’ comments as “visionary.”

“ These statements are proof positive that Ireland - north and south - has the vision and the ability to take a lead in this new industry. But we can’t do it alone. We need more support from politicians and legislators,” said Professor Boyd.

Professor Boyd says that government and local council authorities must become more flexible and receptive to the needs of Ireland’s indigenous waste management businesses. She’s also warned that over zealous bureaucracy and regulation could destroy Ireland’s fledgling environmental businesses.

“They are the seeds of the next, great industry and if we don’t encourage and provide practical support to these businesses today, they won’t be here tomorrow. And, ten years from now, when we see the environmental wealth and jobs that’s been generated by other nations, we will only have ourselves to blame.

“I simply want this island to step up to plate, be less risk adverse, less bureaucratic and take the lead,” she added.


About the Re3 Group: The Re3 Group was established to identify and devise innovative, sustainable and advanced technologies for the treatment of solid waste. The Re3 Group is particularly committed to ongoing research and development into new and innovative applications of technology to waste handling, treatment, recycling and recovery of materials. The Re3 Group is led by Professor Deborah Boyd and is backed by international and Irish investors.

For further information, please contact:

Contact Re3 NI Office
65 Legacorry Road
Richhill, Co. Armagh
N.Ireland BT61 9LF
Tel - +44 28 3887 2020 View Legal Info