The Council has been a member of the Southern Waste Management Partnership since its formation in 2000. The Partnership has now been reconstituted into a body corporate and renamed SWaMP, being made up of a cluster of eight local authorities as shown below:
These local authority areas are situated in the southern region of Northern Ireland accounting for 48% of the total area and 26.4% of the population of Northern Ireland.
The Southern Waste Management Partnership (SWaMP) is a voluntary grouping established in response to Article 23 of the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 which requires individual councils to produce a waste management plan. The councils considered that there would be mutual benefits in relation to economies of scale and sharing of resources from a regional approach to waste planning. The cost to the Council of participation in SWAMP 2008 is £21,505 for the year 2008/09.
The SWaMP region borders the other waste management sub-regions within Northern Ireland and all the Republic of Ireland border counties, therefore, the interaction and co-operation with these groups and councils will be an important element for the group. Inter region interaction and cross border co-operation are both discussed in the plan.
The objectives of the Southern Waste Management Partnership are set out below:
|To establish a long term 20 year context for waste management planning in the region, identifying key constraints, criteria and requirements over that timeframe
|To set out a short to medium term action plan, over the 5 year period, as a series of building blocks for the implementation of the waste management plan, whilst ensuring that such actions do not compromise decisions that may be required in the future
|To strive to ensure the Waste Management Plan is: - Acceptable to the wider community - Deliverable with respect to timescales for the implementation of the action points - Practical, building upon existing services and facilities within the region
|To minimise the amount of waste produced within the region
|To ensure all credible technologies are considered in the ongoing assessment and review of waste management technologies, services and options
|To ensure that a 10 year landfill capacity is provided in the SWaMP area for municipal wastes
|To adopt a regional approach with respect to the sharing of targets to ensure that the partnership as a whole is able to meet its targets, with individual actions and targets agreed for each council, taking into account demographic factors, including spread of population and associated costs for the provision of services
|To maximise as far as possible the economic opportunities arising within the region through the implementation of the Waste Management Plan
|To ensure the waste planning process is clear and transparent, offering an informative and consultative approach that gives all sections of the community, including the business and not-for-profit sectors, the opportunity to identify their needs and to put forward their views
Policy and legislation are one of the key drivers for change within waste management practices. Current policy and legislation such as Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland require the improvement from the current dependency on landfill to increased recycling, composting and energy recovery. This is illustrated in the Waste Management Hierarchy, as set out below.
The plan reviews the current policy and legislation relevant to waste management, sustainable development and the procurement and provision of local authority services, in order to establish the key targets that councils are required to comply with. The Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland requires councils to comply with a number of targets that include, among others, the recovery of household waste at a rate of 25% by 2005 and to 40% by 2010. The other key legislative driver is the Landfill Directive which places responsibilities on SWaMP to divert biodegradable municipal wastes away from landfill sites over three key dates, 2010, 2013 and 2020.
- Recovery of 25% of household waste by 2005
- Recovery of 40% of household waste by 2010
- Diversion of 25% of biodegradeable municipal waste from landfills by 2010
- Diversion of 50% of biodegradeable municipal waste from landfills by 2013
- Diversion of 65% of biodegradeable municipal waste from landfills by 2020
The plan addresses the longer-term targets and focuses on short to medium 5-year actions to develop infrastructure and services.
In order to address longer-term issues and statutory requirements, SWaMP will carry out an Interim Review of the Plan and complete a Full Review by the end of 2005. These Reviews will be supported by Annual Assessments, monitoring the implementation and performance of the Plan, as measured against Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
A key target within the 5-year timescale of the plan is the 25% recovery of household waste by 2005 as set out within the Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland. Currently SWaMP produces 250,000 tonnes of municipal waste a year, with the average household waste recovery rate (i.e. the percentage of household waste that is recycled or composted) estimated to be 10%.
SWaMP councils currently have a range of civic amenity sites and bottle banks that have contributed to the recovery rate of 10% already achieved. In addition SWaMP have introduced a number of kerbside collection schemes for materials such as paper, card, garden and kitchen wastes. It is services such as these that will be extended in due course. The group has landfill reserves for the next 6 to 7 years at sites operated by both the councils and the private sector.
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SWaMP have a range of options to help reduce wastes going to landfill and to increase recycling. The options range from education schemes, various forms of recycling and composting through to landfill disposal.
The potential options, which include waste minimisation and reduction, re-use, recycling, composting, energy recovery and landfill are outlined below:
Waste Minimisation and Reduction -can play an important role by limiting the growth in waste production. Local authorities can play a vital co-ordinating, facilitating and leadership role for the various waste producing sectors in their area. This is likely to include long-term education programmes and publicity campaigns.
Re-use - involves putting an item to another use after its original function has been fulfilled. Examples include reusing milk bottles and taking clothes to charity shops for resale.
Recycling - is the processing of recyclables into a raw material in order to allow the material to be remade into the same or another product. Councils can collect these materials in civic amenity sites, bottle banks and through provision of second wheeled bins for recyclables to households. Materials such as glass, paper, card, plastic and textiles are often collected for recycling.
Composting – this involves converting organic (garden/kitchen) wastes into reusable compost by an aerobic degradation process. Composting can be undertaken in the home by using home compost units, or garden and kitchen wastes could be collected from sites or in second wheeled bins from households. Should these wastes be collected then the Councils are required to centrally compost these materials.
Energy Recovery - Energy recovery techniques include thermal treatments such as waste to energy and gasification and other techniques such as anaerobic digestion. Thermal treatments require the burning of wastes with recovery of energy in the form of heat or gas, with the energy being subsequently converted to electricity. The scale of these facilities have until recently been substantial, however more smaller scale facilities are being brought on line to deal with municipal wastes. Anaerobic Digestion is the degradation of organic wastes in the absence of oxygen and has been used for many years for the treatment of agricultural and sewage sludges. Although generally more expensive than composting, the process does have the advantage of producing gas for energy recovery in addition to a usable end product.
Landfill Disposal -Whatever combinations of integrated waste management options are developed, Landfilling will continue to be required. Modern landfills accepting municipal solid waste will be designed to meet the requirements of the Landfill Directive. However, costs are increasing rapidly due to the reduction in the number of landfill sites and hence availability of space, the escalation of the Landfill Tax and demands for higher standards of operation.
In order to determine the preferred options needed to improve waste management practices SWaMP undertook a process to select the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO).
SWaMP concluded from the BPEO process that a range of education, recycling and composting schemes would be undertaken over the next 5 to 10 years. This will require the development of various facilities and the commencement of enhanced collection services as follows:
- Home composting
- Kerbside collection for mixed dry recyclables and compostables
- Education and awareness raising
- Encouraging the reuse of materials
- Processing of collected mixed dry recyclables and materials recovery facilities
- Centralised composting
- Provision of new and enhanced civic amenity sites and bring sites
The implementation phase of the plan outlines when, how and by whom the various infrastructure and services will be provided over the next four years.
Key to the implementation of the plan is the provision of central government funding. The costs associated with the successful implementation of the plan, over the next four years, will be in excess of £10 million. The key actions, issues and an implementation action programme are shown below:
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Under development presently are proposals for dealing with residual waste for the entire region, the development of the Mechanical Biological treatment of Waste at Drummee being an integral part of the strategy.
KEY ISSUESSuccessful implementation of the plan will require support from organisations external to the councils associated with SWaMP. A number of these key issues are identified below:
1. SWaMP would emphasise the importance of central government support by the provision of adequate funding to assist in implementing waste management plans and encouraging central government to make available funding in the short, medium and long term for waste management needs.
2. The introduction of extensive recycling schemes will further support the need to identify and develop sustainable markets for materials collected for recycling. SWaMP would support central government in developing suitable markets on an all Ireland basis.
3. SWaMP would support the work being undertaken by the Waste Advisory Board in line with its Terms of Reference as set of in the Waste Management Strategy.
4. SWaMP would support the development of a robust planning development framework to assist waste management facilities through the planning system within reasonable timescales.
5. SWaMP would support the implementation of legislation associated with The Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997 and the Landfill Directive on a timely basis to allow councils to prepare for, and implement plans to meet legislative requirements.
6. SWaMP would support the collection of reliable data for wastes to assist in implementing and assessing the effectiveness of waste management practices.
7. SWaMP would support the introduction of a plastic bag levy and the continued enforcement of the Producer Responsibility Obligations for Packaging.
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Southern Waste Management Partnership
Wake up to Waste
For further details on any of the above, please contact:
Fermanagh District Council
Technical Services Dept.
152 Tempo Road, Killyvilly
Telephone (028) 6632 3533
Facsimile (028) 6632 6360