Hundreds of tonnes of waste farm plastics, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and waste batteries are expected to be collected for recycling throughout County Clare during the coming weeks.
The Irish Farm Film Producers Group (IFFPG) and ERP Ireland, who operate national compliance schemes for farm plastics and WEEE/waste batteries, respectively, have come together, to organise an extensive network of temporary bring collection sites throughout the County during May.
The initiative is focused on farmers who are being provided with a facility, at designated collection points across Clare, to deposit their household waste electrical and electronic equipment and waste batteries, at the same time as they deposit their waste farm plastics. Household WEEE includes large household appliances such as fridges and washing machines, as well as TVs, small electrical goods and fluorescent bulbs.
As the winter fodder season ends, significant quantities of waste farm plastics have built up on farms throughout the County. The waste farm plastics include silage bale wraps; silage pit covers; bale netting and twines; plastic packaging for fertiliser and meal ration; and agricultural chemical containers.
According to recent records, approximately 1,400 tonnes of waste farm plastics has been collected annually by authorised waste collectors in Clare through temporary collection bring centres and on-farm collections. To put this in context, the amount of waste farm plastics collected and recycled each year is equivalent to 650,000 silage bale wraps.
Clare is one of the top-performing counties when it comes to the recycling of WEEE and waste batteries. Nearly 760 tonnes of WEEE was collected for recycling in Clare alone in 2013, equating to almost 7kg of WEEE for every person in the County.
Members of the public are also being reminded that WEEE and waste batteries from households can be deposited free-of-charge year-round at any of the 5 Council-operated civic amenity sites in Ennis, Inagh, Shannon, Lisdeen and Scarriff. In addition, ERP Ireland organise once-off collections of WEEE and waste batteries during the year at various locations in the County.
Joint waste farm plastics and WEEE/waste batteries temporary collections will take place at the following locations in Co Clare during May: Ennis Mart on 17 May; Ennistymon Mart on 19 May; Kilfenora Mart on 20 May; Inagh Central Waste Management Facility on 21 May (from 8.30am to 4pm); Kilmurry Ibrickane GAA Grounds on 22 May; Kilrush Mart on 23 May; Labasheeda GAA Grounds on 24 May; Scariff Mart 27 May; Queallys Yard in O’Callaghan’s Mills on 28 May; Sixmilebridge Mart on 29 May; Lissycasey GAA ground on 30 May. Household WEEE and waste batteries will be accepted free-of-charge, while charges will apply for the acceptance of waste farm plastics.
All nominated bring centres shall be operated within the hours of 9am to 5pm, with the exception of the bring centre at the Central Waste Management Facility, Ballyduffbeg, Inagh, which shall operate within the hours of 8.30am to 4.00pm.
Meanwhile, Clare County Council is reminding farmers who are not availing of the IFFPG temporary bring collection sites that they must manage and recycle their waste farm plastics in an environmentally safe manner. This can be done by ensuring that only waste collectors with a valid waste collection permit are used and that waste farm plastics are brought to facilities or temporary bring sites that have appropriate authorisation. Farmers are advised to contact Clare County Council or visit the Council’s website www.clarecoco.ie for further information on authorised collectors and facilities in operation in Clare.
When a farmer purchases farm plastic for use in wrapping of silage bales or covering of silage pits from a compliant retailer, there is an in-built charge, known as the recycling levy, which is applied to the sale price of farm plastic product. This recycling levy is used by IFFPG to help fund and operate the temporary collection bring centres and on-farm collections throughout the country, in order to ensure that waste farm plastics are collected and recycled in an environmentally safe manner.
The sale of all levied plastic is recorded, using a special labelling system, allowing IFFPG and Clare County Council to monitor and track the sale of farm plastic. When farmers purchase farm plastic from a compliant retailer, they are provided with a sales receipt and a valid label code as proof of payment of the recycling levy. It is through providing proof of this valid label code, in conjunction with the sales receipt, at a bring centre or on-farm collection operated by IFFPG, that a farmer may avail of the subsidised collection rate on waste farm plastics. Currently, the IFFPG levy system is the only compliance system for the supply of farm plastic in Co Clare.
Commenting on the supply of farm plastics, Mayor of Clare, Councillor Joe Arkins, stated, “It is important farmers support the farm plastics compliance system because a failure to pay the appropriate recycling levy on farm plastic purchased will result in a reduction in funding to the collection scheme and increased costs to farmers when seeking to dispose of waste farm plastics following the winter fodder season.”
Director of Services for the Transportation, Water Services and Environment Directorate in Clare County Council, Anne Haugh stated: “Clare County Council will continue to work proactively with the farming and agri-business communities in order to ensure that waste farm plastics are managed and recycled in an environmentally sound manner and that farm plastic products are supplied in compliance with farm plastics regulations.”
Further information on the bring site locations, dates and times of operation and charges that apply for the collection of waste farm plastics may be obtained from the IFFPG website, www.farmplastics.ie. Further information on the recycling of WEEE and waste batteries is available on the ERP Ireland website, www.erp-recycling.ie.
Further information on the supply, purchase, collection and recycling of farm plastics or general queries concerning WEEE and waste batteries may be obtained from the Clare County Council website, www.clarecoco.ie, or by contacting the Waste Enforcement Section of Clare County Council by telephone on 065 6846331.