Draft study on alternatives to burning green waste expected next month

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A draft report on alternative methods to the burning of agricultural green waste should be submitted in early December.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) said Agriland that a draft version of an ongoing feasibility study on alternative disposal practices can be expected next month.

“Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) commissioned a feasibility study to explore the sustainable management of green waste in Ireland.

“A team from this department and from the DAFM followed the progress of the study, a draft of which should be delivered in early December,” he said.

The study was commissioned as it emerged that an existing derogation on the burning of green waste, which has been extended five times, is likely to be not be granted Again.

This would mean farmers would be banned from burning brush, bushes, tree trimmings and other green waste from January 1, 2023.

A range of environmentally friendly practices, which are implemented in regions comparable to Ireland, will be taken into account in the study and a public consultation will also be included.

Despite the survey of practical alternatives, a group of rural TDs said that “the fanatical ban on bush burning is another blow to rural communities”.

Rural Independent Group leader Deputy Mattie McGrath said failure to extend the waiver would leave farmers unable to manage the overgrowth and burn green waste between September and February.

“Banning this practical agricultural practice is ridiculous and shows how completely out of touch this government is with agricultural practicality.

“Failing to extend the waiver, which has been granted annually since 2009, indicates the extent to which extreme environmental activists control government policy.

“It also highlights the weakness of Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue in standing up for farmers on such issues,” he said.

Deputy Rural Independent Group Leader Mattie McGrath

The Tipperary TD added that the burning of green waste is “a vital management tool for farmers”, but if the derogation is not extended, any farmer who burns bushes or trees on their land during the new year could face heavy fines and penalties.

He concluded by calling on Minister McConalogue to speak with Environment, Climate and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan and urge him to extend the waiver for 2023.

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