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Urgent Action To Improve Ireland’s Household & Commercial Waste Segregation Performance.

EPA Calls For Urgent Action To Improve Ireland’s Household & Commercial Waste Segregation & Recycling Performance.

  • Over two thirds of wastes in general waste bins could have been placed in the recycling or organic waste bins.
  • Food waste in commercial general waste bins is 30 per cent and in household general bins is 17%.
  • Plastics in the general waste bins are also significant for households (17%) and businesses (15%).
  • The rollout of organic waste bins to all houses, apartments, and commercial sectors needs to accelerate without delay.

he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published the latest National Municipal Waste Characterisation Project. The project results show very little change in Ireland’s household and commercial waste management practices since 2018. Irish businesses and householders are still putting the majority of their waste into the wrong bin. Over two thirds of waste in the general waste bins could have been placed in recycling and organic waste bin.

Municipal Waste Characterisation

Food waste is the most common waste in commercial general waste bins (30%) and household general waste bins (17%). Thousands of households and businesses still do not have an organic waste bin and correct food waste segregation cannot be achieved until this is addressed.

Recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, cardboard and metal account for around 24% of the household general waste bin and 37% of the commercial general waste bin.

Urgent action is needed to improve Ireland’s segregation and recycling performance to achieve municipal recycling rate targets and transition to a circular economy. The waste industry needs to do more by providing organic waste bins to all households and commercial premises and support awareness campaigns to make segregation easier.

Commenting on the results, Mr Micheál Lehane, (Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability), said “The results of the latest municipal waste characterisation are disappointing. Currently businesses and householders are putting recyclables, food waste and packaging waste into our general bins. This is a lost opportunity. Organic waste bins need to be rolled out urgently to businesses and households currently without this service. Implementation of the new commercial waste regulations is needed without delay.”

Access to recycling infrastructure, such as civic amenity sites and bring banks, needs to be made easier for householders to support segregation of special, bulky and hazardous wastes.

The rollout of organic waste bins to houses, apartments, and commercial sectors needs be enforced to ensure waste collectors are providing the same level of service to customers.

Mr Warren Phelan, (Programme Manager of the EPA’s Circular Economy Programme) noted: “Our recycling targets and transition to a circular economy are currently off track. There are significant opportunities to divert recyclable materials from the general waste bin, but householders and the commercial sector need more support from the waste industry to make it easier to segregate their waste correctly. Targeted awareness campaigns on segregation and focused enforcement activities are also needed.”

Further information on what is in our household and commercial bins is available on the EPA Website HERE.


Undeclared Peanut & Sesame Seeds In Batch Of Bombaymix Sweet & Spicy Ethnic Snacks.

Food Allergen Alert, Monday, September 18th, 2023.

Allergen(s): Peanuts, Sesame Seeds
Product Identification: Bombaymix Sweet and Spicy Ethnic Snacks; pack size: 200g.
Batch Code Batch: E/1-25-09; Best before date: 20/03/24.
Country Of Origin: Bangladesh.

The Food Safety Authority, of Ireland [FSAI] have declared the above batch of Bombaymix Sweet and Spicy Ethnic Snacks, (identified by image shown above), contains peanut and sesame seeds, latter which are not declared in the list of ingredients on the packet.
This, for some consumers, may make the batch unsafe for those allergic to or intolerant of peanuts and/or sesame seeds.


New Bill To Establish A Domestic, Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Agency.

  • New agency to drive and co-ordinate the Government’s response to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, including refuge delivery
  • Position of CEO of new agency to be advertised within weeks
  • DSGBV Agency Bill to be taken in the Dáil by the end of the month
  • Agency to be up and running by January 2024

Government approval has been secured to publish a Bill to create a statutory agency dedicated to tackling and reducing domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) and support victims and survivors.

Government approval of the new Bill should see the new agency set up and running by the end of January 2024, with the position of CEO of the new agency to be advertised by the end of the month. Candidates for the position will have three weeks to submit their application to the Public Appointments Service (PAS) following the opening of the competition.

The Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Agency Bill 2023 follows a Government decision that an agency should be established under the remit of the Department of Justice to deliver on commitments under Zero Tolerance, the Third National Strategy on DSGBV, with the Bill being introduced in the Dáil by the end of September 2023.

The new agency will bring the dedicated and expert focus that is needed to tackle the serious and complex societal problem of DSGBV. Its main functions as set out in the Bill include:

  • Planning, coordinating and monitoring the development of refuge accommodation.
  • Providing support, including financial assistance, for the delivery of services to victims and persons at risk of DSGBV.
  • Developing standards for funded services, and monitoring compliance.
  • Co-ordinating the delivery of relevant Government strategies and plans.
  • Delivering public campaigns aimed at raising awareness of DSGBV and reducing its prevalence.
  • Carrying out ongoing research to support the development of future policies and programmes.

In carrying out its work, the agency will also be mandated to engage and consult appropriately with the DSGBV sector and other stakeholders.

The Bill has already benefited from constructive engagement with relevant Government Departments and State bodies, in particular with the Department of Children, Equality, Integration and Youth and the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) in the context of the transfer of responsibility for funding of DSGBV services from Tusla to the new agency.

The agency will be led by a chief executive to be recruited by open competition, with strategic guidance and oversight from a non-executive board with expertise in relation to DSGBV, organisational management and governance, and other matters relevant to the functions of the agency.
The chief executive will be responsible to the Dept. of Justice for the performance of the agency.


Irish Traveller Family Settle High Court Action Against Tipperary Co. Council.

An Irish Traveller family of six, named as Mr John and Mrs Nikita McInerney, together with their four young children, have now settled a High Court action taken against Tipperary County Council, latter who had opposed their claim.

The family had been forced to reside in a single-berth caravan and to sleeping in a motor vehicle, while camping in a variety of locations, including a retail park and by the roadside. The family had stated that they were under constant fear of prosecution and having their vehicle seized by Gardaí, who continuously sought their removal, which resulted in the family seeking orders and declarations from the court.

The family’s legal representatives had argued that the council’s policy was rigid and failed to meet their basic needs. According to them, the council only provided funding that partially covered the cost of hotel or B & B accommodation. Furthermore, they claimed the caravan given to them was totally unsuitable for their family’s needs. The family alleged that Tipperary County Council’s decision had violated constitutional and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the council’s own obligations under the 2014 Irish Human Rights and Equality Act.

After a legal battle, a resolution has now been reached and the council have provided the McInerney family with a four-bedroom house on an emergency basis, which in turn has resulted in the court case being dropped.

The judge has welcomed the settlement and praised the efforts of both parties in resolving their dispute.
This case further highlights the need for government agencies and County Councils to ensure that their policies and actions remain in line with existing human rights and equality legislation.


Two Enforcement Orders Served On Cashel, Co. Tipperary Food Businesses.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reported that ten Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses during the month of August for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. The Enforcement Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE) and officers of the FSAI.

Four Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

(1) Cashel Curry and Pizza House (restaurant/café), No. 41 Main Street Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
(2) Ginzeng (restaurant/café), Unit 253, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
(3) Bakers and Baristas (restaurant/café) (Closed area: The external dry goods storage area for this premises, housing the cold room and freezer room. Access to the cold and freezer room is permitted), Unit 230, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
(4) D Grill (restaurant/café), No.40 Aungier Street, Dublin 2.

Five Closure Orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on:
(1) Paddy O’Dwyer Quality Meats Ltd. (Butcher shop) [Closed activity: The process of cooling down cooked foods (such as prepared dinners) ], Unit No. 3, Upper Friar Street, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
(2) The Bernard Shaw (restaurant/café) (Closed areas: The basement area of the premises including food rooms, staff facilities and adjacent storage rooms), Cross Guns Bridge, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
(3) McSorley’s Centra, Old Dublin Road, Enniscorthy, Wexford.
(4) Dalesann Haulage Limited, Jamestown House, Jamestown Business Park, Jamestown Road, Dublin 11.
(5) Mizzoni Pizza (Take Away), 12 Railway Street, Navan, Meath.

One Prohibition Order was served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations 2020 on:

(1) M Vape (retailer), 22 Castle Street, Sligo

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in August include: serious flooding in the basement, with damp and mould on the walls; filthy and flooded staff toilets; a defective ice machine leaking down the stairwell into the basement; bags of ice stored in non-food grade plastic bags, risking contamination; bird faeces and dead flies found in multiple locations throughout the premises; evidence of rodent activity in the cold room and freezer room, with inadequate pest control procedures in place; a leaking roof; food stored at unsafe temperatures, with a lack of temperature monitoring records; a failure to provide hot running water at sinks, risking contamination of food and food contact materials; the sale of unauthorised products; a business had not been approved by a competent authority, where it was not possible to verify compliance with food safety legislation; a lack of allergen information, both online and onsite; staff not effectively trained or supervised with regards to food safety and best practice.

Commenting, Dr Pamela Byrne, (Chief Executive, FSAI,) said that food businesses must operate strict food safety procedures at all times and that they need to be extra vigilant during periods of warm weather.

“Warmer weather can bring challenges, and both food businesses and staff must be attentive to potential issues, whether this be increased insect activity or issues with temperature controls. Food businesses have a legal requirement to ensure that hot and cold food is prepared with care and then stored appropriately, maintaining the hot or cold chain throughout preparation, storage and point of sale.

Incidents of flooding were recorded in some of the August Enforcement Orders. These pose a serious threat to public health. Flood water that has entered your food business may have been contaminated with sewage, animal and other waste from drains or surrounding areas. There is then a substantial risk of onward contamination of food, equipment and food contact surfaces with harmful bacteria or even chemicals. Following flooding and the subsequent clean-up operation, it is advisable to speak to your local Environmental Health Officer for more advice before re-opening,” said Dr Byrne.

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website at www.fsai.ie.
Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.