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SIPTU Criticises Environment Minister Over Potential Privatisation Of Bord na Mona Recycling

SIPTU's Adrian Kane from Athy said representatives requested an "urgent" meeting with Minister Ryan on May 24th.

SIPTU has expressed strong criticism towards Environment Minister Eamon Ryan over the potential privatisation of Bord na Mona Recycling, headquartered in Newbridge.

SIPTU's Adrian Kane from Athy said representatives requested an "urgent" meeting with Minister Ryan on May 24th to discuss reports of the state’s intention to sell Bord na Mona Recycling, the last publicly owned recycling and waste company in Ireland.

"Regrettably, we have received no confirmation or date for such a meeting," said Kane.

He added: "Minister Ryan needs to engage with the representatives of the Bord na Mona Recycling workers. Our members must be shown some respect, and he should also hear the very real benefits of maintaining this utility in state ownership."

"Waste management in the Republic of Ireland is an outlier to the rest of Europe. In most countries, the state or local authorities maintain an interest in this vital public service or tender it out to the private sector on an area-by-area basis, to avoid the situation we have where several different companies have their lorries travelling the small routes," he said.

He added: "This chaotic system of waste service provision has led to increased traffic congestion and fly-tipping. This along with a failure to tightly regulate providers leads to environmental damage which could be easily avoided. Bord na Mona Recycling was also meant to be part of the Government’s planned so-called ‘Just Transition’, providing jobs for the workers formerly employed in the peat production industry.”

He emphasised the need for the Minister to meet with SIPTU representatives to discuss the benefits of keeping Bord na Mona Recycling in the public sector, which he believes would ensure well-paid jobs and prevent a decline in waste sector standards.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said: "Bord na Móna is a commercial State body under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications. The Department understands that Bord na Móna is currently carrying out a strategic review of its recycling business, which is an operational matter for Bord na Móna."

They added: "In accordance with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, all State bodies are required to seek the approval of the relevant Minister in advance of any acquisition or disposal of material assets. No such request has been received by the Department."

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