Waste Storage at Edenderry Industrial Estate

Part of Question for Urgent Oral Answer — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:00 pm, 21st July 2020

I am certainly happy to look at how we can strengthen laws and ensure that we can have the appropriate responses. For example, we still have waste that was dumped here that needs to be repatriated to the Republic of Ireland. When I was previously Minister, we got an agreement from the then Republic of Ireland Minister that waste would be removed from 20 sites. I was somewhat surprised, when I came back into office, to discover that waste from only nine or 10 of those sites had been repatriated. That is a matter that I will raise with the new Minister, now that I finally have a Minister to deal with in the Republic of Ireland. There was an absence of that for a period of time. They had a Government who were carrying on but, clearly, were not going to be the eventual Government. I will raise the issue of having that repatriation completed with my ministerial colleague.

There are issues around waste. Money can be made from it. Individuals engage in the waste business inappropriately because of that. A lot of good operators out there want to see the laws strengthened, because they are doing the job right. On a regular basis, NIEA calls with them to check that they are doing the thing right, and then these other people pop up and do things entirely illegally. We need to ensure that we can clamp down on illegal operators quickly, effectively and efficiently.