Midwest Shopping Centre Leads The Way With Waste Prevention Project

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Jun 09 2008

Since July 2006, management and retailers at SkyCourt Shannon have also reduced waste disposal and recycling costs by 33%.

The shopping centre is participating in a 30-month waste prevention programme with the assistance of Clare County Council and the Limerick Clare Kerry Regional Waste Management Office. It held a Customer Awareness Day on 29 May to inform its customers of progress.

The aim of the Local Authority Prevention Demonstration (LAPD) Programme, which is being funded by the EPA is to prevent waste being generated in participating businesses and to provide a template for other waste prevention projects nationwide.

Commenting on the initiative, Councillor Brian Meaney, Deputy Mayor of Clare, stated, "It was an honour for me to unveil a plaque in Skycourt along with the Mayor of Shannon. It shows the commitment of the retailers here to the environment and to this waste prevention project. The prevention of waste is a simple concept yet many businesses and householders often overlook it. We are all familiar with "the three Rs – Reduce Reuse Recycle". While considerable emphasis has been placed on recycling, we need to focus more on waste reduction or prevention. Creating less waste means you consume fewer resources and do not need to spend as much money on the recycling or disposal of waste."

According to Cllr. Sean McLoughlin, Mayor of Shannon, "The Customer Awareness Day in Skycourt was very well received by shoppers who were keen to discuss waste prevention tips. Of course, this initiative also contributes to improving our carbon footprint. It is wonderful that SkyCourt Shannon is spearheading waste prevention in Clare. It will only be through the sharing of experiences gained by those involved in that a real change in attitudes to waste can be achieved."

In November 2006, Clare County Council undertook an extensive audit at Skycourt during which waste from individual units was categorised. It was discovered that 31% of generated waste was organic (food) waste and 39% was cardboard.

As a result, the waste management contractors for the SkyCourt Shopping Centre, Clean Ireland Refuse and Recycling, designed a new system for reducing the amount of waste landfilled. A separate collection for organic waste was introduced while improvements were also made on collecting more material for recycling.

"These measures have brought about real change and improvement in waste management with overall waste going to landfill now at 47%, a 27% reduction since the start of the project", explained Ger Dollard, Shannon Town Manager.

He added, "Waste prevention can generate significant financial savings too. Initiatives such as this are also making a difference to waste management costs. For example, so far waste management cost savings of up to €6,500 have been achieved over an 8-month period, and I’ve no doubt SkyCourt and its retailers will work hard to build upon these savings."

Commenting on the LAPD Programme, Mr. Pat Kelly, Manager, SkyCourt Shannon, said, "The decrease in the volume of waste being sent to landfill could not have been achieved without the co-operation of all the retailers with the Facilities Management Team. Clearly the system is working well but there is always scope for further improvement. We are on course to achieving a cost saving of between €15,000 to €20,000 over the next 12 months if all retailers continue with the segregation policy. My hope is that the continued success of the Programme here will influence other members of the business community to implement their own waste prevention plans."

Just some examples of waste prevention initiatives by SkyCourt retailers include:
- Sean Hillery Pharmacy, RX Pharmacy & Unicare receive daily deliveries of drugs from their supplier in re-usable totes.
- Apache Pizza offer "eat in" customers a plate rather than a box for 7inch pizzas
- Holland & Barrett Natural Foods receive up to 50% of their deliveries from the UK in re-usable crates
- Bread suppliers deliver food to retailers using returnable crates including Supermacs.
- McLoughneys Newsagents also receive goods in reusable crates.

Joan Tarmey, Environmental Awareness Officer commented that "Clare County Council and the Regional Waste Management Office will continue to investigate further opportunities for individual retailers to prevent waste. Retailer surveys undertaken in Skycourt have helped gain a better understanding of how they operate and interact with their suppliers and customers. We are delighted with progress on the project so far, and it is important to continue to build capacity. We are keen to assist retailers and their suppliers to achieve resource efficiencies".

Pauline McDonogh, LAPD Coordinator, explained, "Pallas Foods who supply catering products to a number of food retailers within SkyCourt are considering the introduction of a reusable crate scheme for deliveries to the centre, further reducing the amount of cardboard waste arising there".

The Skycourt initiative is just one of four diverse projects being initiated in the Limerick/Clare/Kerry Region while it is also backed up by the prevention policies of the region’s Draft Waste Management Plan.

They include the development of a Waste Action Plan for Kerry Airport in conjunction with Kerry County Council; a Waste Management Plan at a new development in conjunction with SISK Building Contractors and Limerick City Council; and an in-house Paper Usage Reduction Initiative at the offices of Limerick County Council, in partnership with University of Limerick.


Note to Editors:
- For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com
- A high resolution image taken during the recent ‘Customer Awareness’ day is available on request
- The Clare/Limerick/Kerry Waste Management Plan 2006-2011 can be viewed via www.clarecoco.ie/environment/wastemplan/roles_responsiblities.pdf or www.managewaste.ie. Hard copies are available from the Environment section of Clare County Council

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
00353-868534900 (mobile)
00353-656839692 (fax)
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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