The Southern Waste Regional Office, supported by the Environment Section of Clare County Council, has developed the initiative as part of its ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’ to encourage resource efficiency and waste prevention.
The campaign is a key element of a public consultation on a new plan that sets out a framework for waste management in 10 counties across the south of Ireland, including Clare, during the next six years.
Key targets outlined in the Draft Southern Region Waste Management Plan, which is one of three being developed in Ireland, include a 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the period of the plan, a recycling/preparing for reuse rate of 50% by 2020, and the elimination of the direct disposal of unprocessed residual waste to landfill from 2016.
“Junk mail is not only a great source of annoyance for many householders but it is also a huge generator of unnecessary waste,” explained James Barry, Environment Section, Clare County Council.
“Unsolicited mail is mail you receive through your letter box and not via An Post. It generally comprises of items such as local take away menus, local taxi companies, and local companies advertising services such as house or garden maintenance. In Clare, especially around the larger towns, the problem is particularly bad and is a source of annoyance for many,” said Mr. Barry.
“While junk mail can be recycled most householders when asked say they would prefer not to get it in the first place. The ‘No Junk Mail’ stickers we are making available are a polite way to request distributors not to give you the material,” he added.
No Junk Mail stickers are being made available from the offices of the Environment Section of Clare County Council in Ennis. A number of local Tidy Towns Groups are also distributing the stickers.
A series of other ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’ measures are planned for the coming months, according to Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.
“Among the initiatives, which are funded by the EPA, is the repairing and bringing back into use of broken household items, improving the quality of recycling so less recyclable waste is contaminated, and reducing household food waste through smarter shopping, improved food storage and more efficient use of foodstuffs,” stated Ms. McDonogh.
Commenting on the public consultation process for the Draft Southern Region Waste Management Plan, Ms. McDonogh noted: “The draft plan aims to move our management of waste from a traditional disposal model to a circular economy model so that waste becomes a future resource or raw material. Householders, businesses and even schools can kick-start this process by visiting our website at wwww.southernwasteregion.ie and learning how they can directly play a role in boosting household and commercial recycling rates and reducing the level of waste sent to landfill.”
The Southern Region Waste Management Plan is expected to be finalised by mid-April 2015. The Southern Waste Region encompasses the local authorities in Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick City & County, Tipperary, Waterford City & County and Wexford.