Northern Ireland faces a number of economic and environmental challenges when dealing with waste, a conference was told last week.
Department of Environment Permanent Secretary Stephen Peover told the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) Conference the province faced a number of key challenges including reducing the amount of waste produced, promoting greater levels of recycling and developing sustainable markets, and the development of a new waste infrastructure.
He also highlighted at the conference in Newcastle the time pressures facing Northern Ireland in meeting stringent European targets for waste management and stated that it was indeed ‘time to deliver’.
Mr Peover said: “Northern Ireland faces the twin challenges of ensuring economic growth and prosperity together with a protected and enhanced environment. The Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland emphasises the need for effective and visible Government leadership and a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of an integrated network of waste management facilities in Northern Ireland. Another challenge we face is changing our attitude towards waste and promoting a greater awareness of and support for environmental initiatives."
He added: “I am a great believer that the environment and the economy do not need to be competitors, but rather can be partners helping us to build a stronger and better and more sustainable Northern Ireland.”