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EPA warning on hazardous waste sites

The Enviormental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned that sites where hazardous waste was disposed of in the past should be identified, assessed and, where necessary, remediated.
It is one of the matters addressed in the National Hazardous Waste Management Plan for the years 2014-2020, unveiled this week. The plan sets out the priorities to be pursued over the next six years and beyond to improve the management of Ireland’s hazardous waste.
Dr Jonathan Derham, EPA programme manager said society has an important role to play to reduce the risks posed by hazardous waste to human health and the environment.
“We need improved collection and treatment of hazardous wastes from households and small businesses. In addition, product manufacturers and distributers of products that are hazardous when discarded need to take a greater role in the life-cycle management of these wastes, including prevention,” he said.
The plan makes 27 recommendations, including the one in respect of remediation of sites where hazardous waste has been dumped. Other key issues identified include:
· Hazardous waste collection facilities need to be provided by local authorities for householders and small businesses. Local authorities need to be resourced to provide these services.
· Given their potential for environmental pollution, a take-back scheme for expired household medicine is needed.
· Farm hazardous waste should be collected using take-back schemes.
· Improved collection of hazardous waste is required for a number of smaller priority sources including vehicle servicing garages, ports and harbours, and healthcare risk waste from individuals.

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