The Market Development Programme for Waste Resources 2007 – 2011 was published by the Market Development Group and aims to promote more recycling in Ireland of materials recovered in this country. The widespread provision of segregated collections for dry recyclables, the increase in the number of bring banks and civic amenity sites, the increased awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling and the roll out of pay-by-use charging for refuse collections have contributed to a surge in materials recovery in recent years. Materials reprocessing capacity in Ireland has contracted in the same period. As a result, much of the materials recovered for recycling is currently exported as Ireland has become increasingly reliant on overseas recycling infrastructure.
The Market Development Group was established in 2004 and is representative of the relevant public and private sector stakeholders. It is tasked with developing markets for recyclables in Ireland in line with a commitment contained in the policy statement, Delivering Change (2002). The Programme identifies new applications and markets for recyclable material and secondary recycled products. While the Programme’s primary focus is on paper, plastics and organics, there is scope for initiatives in respect of recycled materials derived from other waste streams.
Among the key issues addressed in the Programme are promoting stable demand for recovered materials, supporting the achievement of economies of scale in the production of products made from recycled materials and the need for more recycling infrastructure in Ireland to reduce reliance on overseas markets. The effective implementation of this Programme is an important priority for this Department and measures to effect its implementation will be announced in the near future.