Pictured L- R: Commissioner Karmenu Vella with Mrs Anne & Mr Michael Maher, Anner Hotel.
“If our oceans are not healthy, our economy will be sick.” – Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment.
The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella, together with leading business people from Thurles, visited the Anner Hotel for a business lunch last week.
Commissioners Vella’s present EU responsibilities include protecting our environment while maintaining Europe’s competitiveness, harnessing the potential of our land and seas to create sustainable jobs that preserve our natural resources, implementing the new Common Fisheries Policy and leading the task of defining the management and governance of our planet’s oceans with our global partners.
Commissioner Vella is also part of the Project Team which promotes Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Energy Union, Better Regulation and Inter institutional Affairs and Budget and Human Resources.
Commissioner Vella later travelled to the Co. Cork hosted national maritime festival ‘Seafest 2015’ where he spoke of the progress being delivered through the Harnessing of our Ocean Wealth strategy, which positioned Ireland as a world leader on Ocean Governance.
The invisible side of our oceans wealth
“The seas are a new frontier”, stated Commissioner Vella. “New technologies such as underwater robotics and DNA sequencing mean that marine resources have become ever more accessible. Today, perhaps more than ever before, the seas offer new opportunities and new types of jobs.
The seas can deliver food. The UN reckons that aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food-producing sectors. The seas can deliver medicine. Scientists wondered why certain marine sponges caused a decline in nearby species – and found a substance that inhibits breast cancer.
The seas can deliver energy. Some 13% of new wind turbine capacity was installed offshore in 2014. And this is creating new jobs: since 2008, employment in offshore wind has grown at an astonishing 30% a year.
The seas are the destination of choice for our holidays. Some 45% of all nights spent by tourists in paid accommodation are in coastal areas. The turnover of the European cruise industry has grown at 3% a year since 2008. Surfing schools and yachting marinas are thriving.
As islanders, the Irish people understand the importance of the sea, adept at making the most of the opportunities that it provides, from aquaculture and marine biotechnology to coastal tourism. Taking the risks that go with a drive for innovation, for instance in ocean energy, is part of the make-up.
But as a people who are so closely linked to the sea, the Irish also understand the importance of preserving this shared resource for the future. Our seas are a huge economic asset. Europe’s maritime economy employs around 5 million people and contributes with around 550 billion Euros to our wealth. The Irish maritime economy is growing nearly twice as fast as the overall economy: by 9% between 2010 and 2012 and by over 8% for 2012 to 2014.
But there is also the ‘invisible side’ of our oceans’ wealth. Our oceans regulate the climate, their wetlands and dunes protect our coasts. If we are to preserve these benefits it is crucial that we preserve our natural assets. If our oceans are not healthy, our economy will be sick”, stated Commissioner Vella.
Tipperary 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.
Tipperary’s Lough Derg shore line.
The new Lough Derg (On the river Shannon) Nature Trail will be officially launched at a seminar being held at The Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway, next Thursday, April 30th .
This event, which takes place from 10.30am to 1.15pm, will feature presentations by Dr. Alan Mee on the ‘White Tailed Sea Eagles on Lough Derg’, consultant ecologist and writer Dr. Janice Fuller on ‘Going Wild on the Lough Derg Nature Trail’, and Lorcán O’Toole of the ‘Golden Eagle Trust’, on the effectiveness of existing tourism policies for rural communities.
A detailed guide to accompany the Nature Trail will also be launched on the day. Cllr. Michael Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach, Tipperary County Council, Cllr. Mary Hoade, Cathaoirleach, Galway County Council & Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, will be in attendance.
This seminar is hosted by County Councils representing Tipperary, Clare and Galway, as well as the Heritage Council and Lakelands & Inland Waterways, Ireland.
The people of Co. Tipperary are being urged not to discard broken household items, but instead bring them along to a free pop-up fixing clinic; latter taking place at the Scout Hall in Nenagh, North Tipperary, on Saturday April 18th from 11.00am to 2.00pm.
The Repair Café is part of a growing international movement, first initiated in Holland in 2009, which encourages people to repair things rather than simply throw them away.
The Southern Region Waste Management Office, in conjunction with Tipperary County Council and Nenagh Mens Shed, are inviting people to drop in to the ‘Cafe’ with items such as tools with broken handles, wooden furniture, bikes or electrical equipment, where they will learn to fix them.
“The concept is really simple,” explained Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, who continued: “The ‘Café’ brings together local businesses from the Nenagh area that have a range of skills and knowledge about fixing items. Householders bring along their broken items, sit with the experts and watch and learn from when the item is taken apart to when it is put back together again.”
Ms. McDonogh added: “Repair Cafe organisers find the majority of people who show up bring items they feel are too expensive to repair and would simply throw them away; shovels, lamps and children’s toys being popular examples. Often however, these items are easily repairable.”
Next week’s event in Nenagh is the final in a series of three Repair Cafés being held across the Southern Waste Region with other events already taking place in Tralee and Kilkenny.
The Southern Waste Region, which is administered by the Southern Region Waste Management Office (SRWMO), covers counties; Tipperary, Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford.
For more Information see wwww.southernwasteregion.ie .
Electrical and Battery Recycling
A reminder to all Tipperary residents regarding recycling of old electrical appliances!
WEEE Ireland (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) will be collecting, free of charge, old and broken electrical appliances, county-wide over the next 4 week period.
Remember WEEE material is anything with a plug normally attached and WEEE Ireland will be making their next collection on Saturday May 2nd 2015 between the hours 10.00am and 4.00pm. Central collection areas chosen on the above date for North Tipperary are: – Thurles – from the Mid-Tipperary Mart Yard, Stradavoher, Thurles, and Templemore – from Templemore Town Car Park, Main Square, Templemore.
In South Tipperary the next collection will be Saturday April 23rd 2015, again between the hours 10.00am and 4.00pm. Central collection area for South Tipperary on the above latter date will be in Tipperary town at Dan Breen House, Tipperary.
Remember: TVs and their Aerials, Radios, Microwaves, IT Equipment, Dishwashers, Cookers, Fridges, Freezers, Power Tools, Vacuum Cleaners, Battery Operated Toys, Electric Toothbrushes, Kettles, Toasters, Batteries and all other associated items are totally acceptable.
So here is the perfect opportunity to bring along your old electrical appliances, currently left clogging up your shed /garage and have same recycled. Remember this is a completely FREE service, which eliminates that temptation to dump illegally in our most beautiful of Irish counties, Co. Tipperary.