Recycle NI launched to represent waste management industry

A new industry body has been launched for Northern Ireland’s waste management sector.

Launched today (2 July), Recycle NI is the first trade body for the waste, recycling and resource sector in Northern Ireland, representing the views of member businesses to policy makers, the media and other stakeholders.

Recycle NI launched to represent waste management industry
(L-R) Joseph Doherty of Re-Gen Waste, Owen Lyttle of DEARA, Glyn Roberts and Allison Townley of Northern Ireland Environment Agency
As well as acting as a representative body, Recycle NI’s policy priorities include aims to improve infrastructure for better resource management, improve understanding of funding and of hazardous waste policy, and to assist in developing planning policy around recycling and waste management.

The organisation also states that it aims to work collaboratively to eliminate the growing waste crime problem; the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) revealed recently that in the last two years it has cleaned up 306 illegal waste sites across the country at a cost of half a million pounds.

Sitting on the first Board of the organisation are representatives from a number of recycling and reprocessing companies, with Joseph Doherty of Re-Gen and Andrew Billingsley of Plaswire both taking on a Vice-Chair position, while Simon Stringer of Nipak (the Northern Ireland packaging waste compliance scheme) will be Treasurer.

Other companies which have so far signed up as members include Bryson Recycling, ReCon Waste Management, McQuillan Envirocare and ISL Waste Management.

Chair of the Board is Glynn Roberts, who is also Chief Executive of Retail NI, previously the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association. Commenting on the launch of the new trade body, Roberts said: “Our membership consists of conscientious business owners who recognise the many challenges within the resource and waste management sector. We seek to work collaboratively with decision-makers and political representatives at all levels to achieve positive change, benefiting the environment and the economy.

“Recycle NI will have a strong policy focus and we will ensure that we will bring solutions to government, rather than problems.”

He continued: “As the current Programme for Government [the strategic document setting out the actions and priorities of the NI Executive) rightly says, treating waste as a resource with a value, rather than something simply to be disposed of, can result in a society that uses finite natural resources more efficiently. It can help ensure that our economy is more competitive, creating opportunities for investment and job creation through sustainable production and resource efficiency.

“We [...] want to be ready to engage with a restored Executive and Assembly and ensure they hit the ground running with policy priorities which support the sector.”

Owen Lyttle, Head of Waste Policy at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), was also present at the launch, and spoke on the important contribution the waste management sector makes to the Northern Irish economy, adding: “To realise the full economic potential of recycling and the circular economy, and to adapt to today’s global and local challenges, the sector needs to be fully engaged with decision-makers.

“The founding of Recycle NI, the sector’s new industry group, is therefore important. It provides the sector with a unified local voice to engage and collaborate with stakeholders, including government policy makers, which should result in benefits for the industry, the economy and the environment.”

Membership of Recycle NI is open to all companies holding a valid waste management licence, with fees of £1,000 per annum for any business with a turnover of less than £5 million, £1,500 for a turnover of £5-£10 million and £2,000 for those with annual profits of more than £10 million.

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