Ireland - Services

Services

Resource Management

Society has a pressing need to move towards a sustainable production and consumption model with efficient use of natural resources and raw materials. Better waste prevention, re-use and recovery of value from our resource and waste streams are at the heart of growing a circular economy.

As Ireland’s leading resource management consultancy, RPS has helped to shape waste and resource management policy in Ireland over the past 20 years. We have prepared key policy, strategy, planning and technical documents for the EU Commission, the Department of Communications, Climate Change & Environment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Enterprise & Innovation (DEI), Regional Waste Management Offices, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

RPS authored the current Regional Waste Management Plans for local authorities in Ireland. We are now assisting public and private sector clients in implementing these plans through the delivery of key recycling, recovery and residual disposal infrastructure.

Our specialists offer multidisciplinary advice with a commercial focus. We work closely with our clients, adding value at every stage of a project lifecycle, from its initial concept through design, planning and environmental licencing, stakeholder engagement, procurement, construction, finance and operation.

Case Studies

Dublin Waste to Energy

 

Image: courtesy of Covanta

RPS was client representative for the Dublin Waste to Energy Public Private Partnership project, providing project management and technical advice from conception and planning up until construction.

The objective was to determine the optimum procurement route and procure a thermal treatment plant in the Dublin Region utilising the most up-to-date technology.

Our role on this project included site selection; managing the entire process through to construction; managing input and baseline monitoring for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); managing the planning and licensing process including Oral Hearings for planning permissions and waste licence; foreshore and CER licence applications.

The project was stalled during a political hiatus 2009 – 2011. This was followed by environmental and commercial objections to the EU Commission on State Aid and Procurement. These were all rejected by the Commission following detailed submissions led by RPS.

Once cleared by the EU Commission, a Value for Money (VFM) Certificate was issued by the National Development Finance Agency. The four Dublin local authorities then approved the revised Project Agreement with Covanta in 2014 allowing construction to commence. The facility began operating in 2017.

FreeTrade Ireland

 

RPS has developed and delivered the innovative online waste prevention resource, FreeTrade Ireland. The initiative is free, accessible and facilitates a longer life for valuable items that would otherwise have been disposed of or recycled. Users of the service can pass on unwanted items saving the hassle and cost of travelling to a local recycling centre or of hiring a skip. This is a prime example of the new ‘circular economy’ in action using an online platform and social media. The service also enables the EPA and local authorities to quantify waste prevention within their regions.

The service is funded under the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) and is promoted by the local authorities around the country. It has been in operation nationally since July 2010 and has over 60,000 users. The service has enabled the reuse of more than 124,000 items diverting in excess of 1,460,000kg away from landfill through reuse and saving its users more than €9 million.

As well as developing and managing the service, our team is responsible for promotion of the service through the social media channels and manages the annual Upcycling Challenge in conjunction with the three Regional Waste Offices as part of the EPA NWPP. The aim of this competition is to raise awareness of reuse, highlight what can be done with items that are typically discarded and encourage greater participation in reuse activities.

Regional Waste Management Plans

 

The waste management plans for Ireland’s three new waste regions were publicly launched in 2015 providing a roadmap for improving the management of resources and treatment of our waste.

RPS in collaboration with the lead local authority from each region prepared the plans and completed the parallel processes of strategic environmental assessment and appropriate assessments. In preparing the plans, extensive consultations with government, state agencies, industry, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders ensured the final policies and actions were both ambitious and achievable.

Key targets include eliminating unprocessed residual waste going to landfill from 2016, increasing municipal recycling rates to 50% by 2020 and reducing household waste generated by 1% each year.

The implementation phase is underway and RPS is assisting with specific actions; particularly the preparation of waste management facility siting guidelines, establishing a procedure for appropriate assessment screening of waste facilities by local authorities and providing GIS services including the mapping of historic landfills relative to ‘European Sites’.