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New Waste Management Plan For Co. Tipperary

WasteTipperary County Council has been set a number of key targets in relation to waste prevention activities under a new plan launched today.

Among the policies and actions included in this Southern Region Waste Management Plan (one of three such plans being launched in Ireland) is a 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the six-year period of the plan, a recycling rate of 50% of managed municipal waste by 2020 and a reduction to 0% the direct disposal of unprocessed residual municipal waste to landfill, commencing in 2016.

The preparation of these new regional waste management plans for the regions,  have been under-way since late 2013, following an evaluation of the previous plans which covered ten regions nationally. The Southern Waste Region encompasses the local authorities in counties Carlow, Clare, Cork City & County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick City & County, Tipperary, Waterford City & County and Wexford.

Welcoming the new plan at a launch event held at LIT Thurles today, Cllr. Michael Fitzgerald, (Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council), stated: “This Plan seeks to assist and support the community and local business to develop resource efficiency and waste prevention initiatives. I am delighted to see that an extensive public consultation period featured in its development, which is important in terms of guiding future waste prevention and management in Co. Tipperary. The ‘Do One More Thing’ series of initiatives is also helping to promote the message that members of the public can play a central roll in preventing waste.”

Mr Joe MacGrath, (Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council) commented: “The preparation period for the plan extended over 18 months and afforded the Council an opportunity to take stock and evaluate the many ways in which waste have been managed in our County. Now that the plan has been published, I would urge householders, businesses and schools to visit www.southernwasteregion.ie and learn how they can directly play a role in boosting household and commercial recycling rates and reduce waste disposal levels in Co. Tipperary.”

The Southern Region Waste Management Office, which prepared the plan in conjunction with the Region’s 10 local authorities, say the new plan will build on the progress that has already been made in relation to waste prevention throughout the Southern Region.

Since the last waste management plans were published between 2004 and 2006, a Southern Region network of 770 Bottle bank sites and 50 Civic Amenity Sites, accepting more than 25 categories of waste has been maintained, while a household recovery/recycling rate of 63% and a commercial recovery/recycling rate of 61% have also been achieved.

“The focus of the new plan is to build on these achievements and to ensure that the Southern Region moves its management of waste from a traditional disposal model to a circular economy model so that waste becomes a future resource,” explained Philippa King, Regional Waste Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.

“What we do with our waste will become increasingly important in years to come. As natural resources deplete; we will have to reuse, repair and recycle more. The targets set out in this new plan will encourage such action,” added Ms. King.

Other key targets and key measures of the Southern Region Waste Management Plan:

(1) Encourage more reuse and repair activities in the region, particularly at civic amenity facilities.

(2) Deliver communication, awareness and on-the-ground activities which lead to a lasting change in the behaviours of citizens and businesses towards their wastes.

(3) Increase the level of source – segregated kerbside collections in the region, with a strong focus on ensuring that a three bin system becomes commonplace at household and commercial levels.

(4) Enforce the regulations related to household and commercial waste to tackle the problem of unmanaged waste and other issues.

(5) Plan and encourage higher quality waste treatment infrastructure including new reprocessing, biological treatment, thermal recovery and pre-treatment facilities.

(6) Ensure existing and future waste facilities do not impact on environmentally sensitive sites through proper assessments and siting.

(7) Grow the waste management sector into a prosperous and sustainable industry, which in turn creates and maintains healthy employment.

For more on the Southern Region Waste Management Plan visit Southern Waste Region (SRWMO) @ www.southernwasteregion.ie.

SUSI – Student Grant Awarding Authority

img-susi-logoSUSI – Student Grant Awarding Authority Open For Business For Academic Year 2015 / 2016.

Tipperary parents and ‘would be’ 3rd level students should note that SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), the online application system charged with awarding grants to students, has announced it is ‘open for business’ for the academic year 2015 to 2016.

SUSI, as stated, is the single national ‘Awarding Authority’ for all new and continuing student grant applications. Keep in mind that applications for ‘Student Grants’ are assessed under a criteria set out in the Student Support Act 2011, Student Support Regulations and the Student Grant Scheme.

Applications are made online and are subject to necessary supporting documentation. This online application system provides you with a quick, user friendly way to apply for your student grant with this year the fourth year of operating this online system. This upcoming academic year SUSI expect to process more than 110,000 student applications, so do set about filling up your siblings application online details early, thus avoiding any future delays.

SUSI are at pains to state that they have introduced a key number of improvements to their operating system, including an earlier application opening date and a redesigned website. You will remember that the system came under much criticism in the past, after it emerged that they had granted some €4m worth of grants to ineligible students during their first year of operation.

Thurles Can View Partial Sun Eclipse Friday Morning Next

At least 90% of our earth’s Sun will be covered by the Moon on Friday next, (March 20th, 2015), thus creating something of an unusual spectacle for Thurles viewers, weather permitting of course. Indeed Met Éireann claim that the south of Ireland could be the best region from which to view this partial solar eclipse.

Since Ireland resides in that zone where the Sun is not totally obscured by the moon, we will therefore only experience a partial eclipse, rather than, as in some areas of the globe, a total eclipse. An area running north through the middle of the Atlantic and up over the Arctic will in fact only experience a full solar eclipse.

Here in Thurles this phenomenon should starts around 8.23am and run until 10.36am, with the peak of the eclipse reached at around 9.27am. If our skies are very cloudy, it will not be possible to observe same, although its effect will be felt as it will get somewhat darker and it will also feel much colder. If our sky’s are clear however it will be possible to see the very distinct outline of the moon passing slowly across the shape of the Sun, from right to left.

The last time an eclipse was visible from Ireland was in 1999 and it will be 2026 before yet another partial one is seen here in Thurles again. Indeed it will be 2090 before a total solar eclipse is next visible from this part of our globe.

Warning: Do not personally look directly at this upcoming Friday spectacle and in particular impress upon your children that direct eye contact can severely damage eyes and even lead to blindness. You may be lucky enough to own a pair of special Solar Glasses or welding goggles or welding shield, all of which have sufficient filtration to fully protect your eyes from any such harmful effects of the Sun’s rays.

Of course for those of you anxious to view and who own none of the above, best to line a bucket with a black plastic bin liner before filling the bucket to the top with water. This done; view in safety the eclipse reflected on the surface of the water only. Latter is a safe and an ideal method of viewing this spectacle by groups of children, especially in a supervised educational setting, while using several such bucket apparatuses spread out.

Irish Gaming Industry Under Spotlight In Thurles Tipperary

Ireland’s growing status as a location for digital games research and development will be highlighted tomorrow (11/3/2015) when three of the biggest names in the industry participate in Games Fleadh 2015.

gamesLIT Tipperary, whose alumni have worked on some of gaming’s biggest titles including Call of Duty, StarCraft and Guitar Hero, will host Ireland’s largest gaming event at its campus in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Games Fleadh will feature games development and research talks by prolific American games designers and developers Brenda and John Romero and Electronic Arts (EA) Chief Operating Officer Bryan Neider,  who will also assist in the judging process for the various undergraduate competitions involving third levels students and games developers from all over the island of Ireland.

Bryan Neider is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Electronic Arts (EA), which is responsible for producing some of the best-selling video game titles of all time including The Sims, FIFA, Battlefield and Madden NFL.

Brenda and John Romero have each more than 30 years experience working in the gaming industry, over 150 game titles such as DOOM and Quake to their credit, dozens of awards and have collectively founded nine game companies.

Supported by Microsoft Ireland, EA Games and the Irish Computer Society, the 12th annual Games Fleadh will feature the ‘Direct X’ Endless Runner challenge, Robocode and the Game Studio ‘Endless Runner’ competition, the winners and runners up of which will present their games to Brenda and John Romero and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Greenlight Committee.

Games Fleadh presents a fantastic opportunity for students to create a prototype game, meet people from industry and make a name for themselves within the Irish game sector,” said Dr. Liam Noonan, Lecturer at LIT’s Game Design and Development degree in Thurles at the launch of Games Fleadh 2015.

“In terms of career development, participating in this competition is invaluable as students are adding to their portfolio of creative content and networking with students from other colleges and people from the games industry. It is these up and coming game developers and their innovative ideas that will act as the catalyst for job creation in the Irish game development sector,” added Dr. Noonan.

LIT Thurles Showcases Irish Gaming Industry

Leading gaming experts including Head of EA to participate in LIT/Microsoft Ireland event in Thurles.

games_fleadh_3

Shannon Mostert and Ciara Bull from Nenagh, Co Tipperary

Some of the biggest names in the gaming industry will gather at the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) campus here in Thurles later this month to participate in Games Fleadh 2015, an all-island games design and development competition for third-level students.

LIT Tipperary, whose alumni have worked on some of gaming’s biggest titles including ‘Call of Duty’, ‘StarCraft’ and ‘Guitar Hero’, has announced it will host Ireland’s largest gaming event on Wednesday March 11th.

Supported by Microsoft Ireland, EA Games and the Irish Computer Society, the 12th annual Games Fleadh will feature the ‘Direct X’ Endless Runner challenge, Robocode and the Game Studio ‘Endless Runner’ competition, the winners and runners up of which will present their games to Brenda and John Romero and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Greenlight Committee.

Games Fleadh 2015 – Open to the public for free

Brenda and John Romero have each more than 30 years experience working in the gaming industry, over 150 game titles such as DOOM and Quake to their credit, dozens of awards and have collectively founded nine game companies.

Games Fleadh will also feature games development and research talks by industry veterans such as Bryan Neider who will assist in the judging process for the various under graduate competitions. Neider is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Electronic Arts (EA) labels, which collectively are responsible for producing some of the bestselling video game titles of all time including The Sims, FIFA, Battlefield and Madden NFL.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students to create a prototype game, meet people from industry and make a name for themselves within the Irish game sector,” said Dr. Liam Noonan, Lecturer at LIT’s Game Design and Development degree in Thurles at the launch of Games Fleadh 2015.

“In terms of career development, participating in this competition is invaluable as students are adding to their portfolio of creative content and networking with students from other colleges and people from the games industry. It is these up and coming game developers and their innovative ideas that will act as the catalyst for job creation in the Irish game development sector,” added Dr. Noonan.

According to Dr. Noonan: “We were delighted and privileged to work with the Fulbright U.S. Specialist Award scholar Brenda Romero and her husband John back in September in our Thurles campus and they were very supportive of our Games Fleadh initiative. They suggested that the 2015 theme should be Endless Runner as this would allow students flexibility in designing either a 2D or 3D game.”

Commenting about Games Fleadh 2015, Brenda and John Romero said: “We are really excited to be involved in Games Fleadh this year. Having travelled all over Ireland and met hundreds of students and game developers, we know how much talent the country has and are looking forward to seeing this year’s results.”

Speaking ahead of his visit to Ireland, Mr. Bryan Neider stated: “I am looking forward to meeting the games design and development students at LIT Games Fleadh 2015, discussing their “Endless Runner” games and sharing our experiences at EA Games in the design and development of future titles.”

Stephen Howell, Academic Engagement Manager, Microsoft Ireland commented: “Microsoft is delighted to be on board sponsoring the Games Fleadh once again in 2015. We have demonstrated our commitment to the competition over the long term as it represents a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on the immense third level games design talent in this country. It also plays a unique role in promoting knowledge-sharing, with international experts taking part and the latest research in the field up for discussion.”

Games Fleadh 2015 is open to the public for free. Online registration is available at www.gamesfleadh.ie.

For more visit www.twitter.com/gamesfleadh or search Twitter #gamesfleadh.

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