Newtownabbey Alliance Councillor Tom Campbell has hit out at the DOE for its neglect of the environment it is charged to protect.
Referring to a scathing indictment of the DOE over the issue of illegal dumping by the Northern Ireland Audit Office into waste management strategy, Cllr Campbell stated:
“The rest of the United Kingdom was given specific targets establish 5 per cent annual increases in the amount of waste recycled or prepare for use as
compost. The report confirms the dismal fact that in Northern Ireland there were no similar targets or requirements and that we are far behind in the drive to meet European Union mandatory waste management targets. It would appear from this damning report that we lack the vision and the necessary infrastructure to meet these targets.The Department of the Envoronment comes out of this report smelling as sweet as the illegal dumps referred to in the report.”
Mr Campbell concluded, “Not only is there a failure to keep pace with EU legal requirements, the potential loss of revenue for the taxpayer is significant.Whilst the report has pointed to the difficulties in arriving at scientific figures relating to illegal dumping it takes the view that if the volume believed to be illegal dumped had instead been diverted to legal dumps could have increased landfill tax revenue up to 2004 by at least £5.6 million. Where is the accountability when it comes to such losses?”
The report can be found as follows: http://www.niauditoffice.gov.uk/pubs/onereport.asp?arc=False&id=171&dm=0&dy=