Welcome to Galway County Councils waste prevention page. This page aims to introduce waste prevention and what you can do in the home or in the workplace to contribute to successful waste prevention.
It is generally accepted that the excessive generation of waste is bad for the environment and therefore we should try to reduce as much waste arising as possible. This will limit excessive resource use and will assist in reducing on environmental damage.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT WASTE?
Preventing waste can be difficult so we must remember that every choice we make in our daily lives can have either a positive or negative impact on our environment – therefore – the choice is ours but remember it’s easy to make a difference. Prevention means identifying the various options you have when choosing a product, for example, instead of buying 4 pre-packed apples, why not buy 4 loose apples, which results in not bringing home a polystyrene or cardboard container covered with plastic wrap. Household Environmental Information packs are available from the Environment Section or can be downloaded here.
WASTE PREVENTION IN BUSINESS
Galway County Council run a Green Business Programme which assists SME's improve their environmental performance and save resources. Areas covered include waste management, food waste, energy conservation and water conservation. Managing your environmental performance in your business means putting systems in place that will allow you and your staff identify areas where excess waste is produced, or where excess energy or water is consumed in the course of your day-to-day activities.
Changing Behaviour Saving Resources is a booklet which aims to provide you with the information required to implement good environmental practices in your workplace that will not only assist in improving your environmental performance, but should also help you to save some money. Environmental improvements can be achieved by employing best practice techniques in efficiency and resource use. This can be achieved relatively simply by studying and monitoring the consumption of resources during a specific period and quantifying the business outputs at the same time.
TREE (Tool for REsource Efficiency)
A free online resource has been launched to help SMEs identify areas where savings can be made through improved environmental practices.
The new tool called TREE (Tool for REsource Efficiency) is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and provides free, expert and confidential advice to SMEs to help them to achieve cost savings through greater efficiencies in water, waste and energy.
The tool, which allows business to carry out a quick assessment of their current business practices and awareness, takes less than 15 minutes to complete.
From the short questionnaire businesses receive a tailor made report with recommendations of where efficiencies relating to the management of their energy, water and materials within their business can be made.
Green Business has worked with hundreds of companies throughout Ireland and identified more than €9 million worth of potential cost savings for businesses large and small.
The Tool for REsource Efficiency is available on the Green Business website: greenbusiness.ie
Based on studies carried out by the Clean Technology Centre Cork, on average wasted food costs each Irish household €700 a year. For some households this can be over €1,000! This is an unbelievable waste of money and food - think of the holidays you could have instead of throwing all this food out. Consider whether you really need every product you buy, every appliance that’s on or on standby, every tap that’s running, every journey in a car or a plane. Follow our top tips for waste prevention:
- Less waste going to landfill and recycling means, fewer trucks on the road, fewer landfills and less energy usage
- Less waste means savings in CO2 and other greenhouse gases which causes climate change
- Less waste means we can conserve valuable resources like trees, oil and metals.
What is Waste Prevention?
Waste prevention is to be preferred to any other waste management option. Waste prevention is based on either not creating waste in the first place or secondly extending the life span of a product or material through reuse.
Waste reduction and prevention is top of the waste management hierarchy. There are lots of ways we can reduce our waste and with simple changes we really can make a difference.
Tips for waste prevention
- Preventing waste at source is the best option – be aware of what you create.
- Reuse items before you throw it away?
- Compost organic material and divert up to 33% of your waste
- Avoid packaging where possible, for example bananas don't need a bag.
- Buy in bulk where possible to further reduce packaging.
- Replace plastic wrap such a cling film with a reusable container.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Plan meals and use a list when shopping.
- Reuse leftover food.
- Use reusable shopping bags.
Galway County Council has participated in waste prevention projects since 2007 is a member of the Local Authority Waste Prevention Network which is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through the National Waste Prevention Programme.
Waste Prevention is to the forefront of all waste management messages and community based environmental initiatives promoted by Galway County Councils reflect that. Sample initiatives include the Community Food Waste Prevention Programme; the Household Hazardous Waste Prevention Initiative; Waste Prevention for Schools in addition to a vast array of information leaflets listed below.
Contact Person: Tony McInerney, Senior Executive Engineer