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Irish Times - 31-05-05
Irish recycle most drink cans per head in EU

The Republic recycles more aluminium drink cans per capita than any other EU country and is expected to turn over almost 1,700 tonnes of cans this year. That is according to the British based company Novelis, which handles aluminium cans from the Republic's commercial and local authority "bring" centres.

The company, which hosted a Department of the Environment Race Against Waste study group at the weekend, described the Republic's recycling efforts as "spectacular".

Addressing the study group, commercial manager Kevin Guest said each tonne collected contained 65,000 drink cans, giving a projected total of more than 110 million cans this year. The represents 54 per cent of the Republic's consumption of cans.

The reason for Ireland's strong performance was that more money is paid by the recycling industry to Irish and British collectors than any other European country.

Irish collectors are paid 113 cent for every 65 cans. Mr Guest cited commercial sensitivity and declined to say how much this was above the amount paid in other European countries.

Collectors also receive a subsidy from the industry-financed recycling promoter Repak.

Mr Guest warned, however, that his company was concerned that Ireland would begin to incinerate its waste as aluminium extraction was more complex after incineration.

The company, which handles 8.5 billion drinks cans from around the world each year, said it would have no difficulty in accepting the entire output of Ireland's waste aluminium drink cans.

In the Republic, Repak promotes can recycling through companies, schools and public bring centres.

While much of the money raised goes to charity, Repak still has to fund transport costs out of Ireland.

The Government is also planning to introduce regulations on the recycling of electrical products this August.

Under a new EU directive, retailers will have to accept a wide range of household electrical appliances when customers buy new ones.

How much extra this will add to the cost of new products and who will pay is being worked out between manufacturers, retailers and the Department of the Environment.
Tim O'Brien
© The Irish Times

     

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