Waste Infrastructure Needs Investment and is an Opportunity for Job Creation According To Engineers

Waste Infrastructure Needs Investment and is an Opportunity for Job Creation According To Engineers Report

10 February 2014 at 16:33

Exporting our residual waste is not an outcome Ireland should rely on in the long term which can only result in missed opportunities to generate energy and create jobs according to a report published today by Engineers Ireland.

Marking the beginning of Engineers Week 2014 (www.engineersweek.ie) which runs until Saturday 15th February, the report found that Ireland’s water infrastructure is inadequately maintained as it is unable to meet peak demand and needs investment. Titled ‘The State of Ireland 2014 – a review of infrastructure in Ireland’ the report once again stated that Ireland also struggles to meet peak demand in transport. Both communications and energy infrastructure were found to be properly maintained and of acceptable standard but requiring investment according to the Engineers Ireland assessment.

The report which uses a grading system applied by expert members of Engineers Ireland analyses five key areas of Ireland’s infrastructure: communications, energy, transport, waste and water. Communications infrastructure, allocated a ‘B+’ grade achieved the best mark of the five areas evaluated but remained unchanged from 2013. Energy was also unchanged with a ‘B’ grade. Waste dropped from a ‘B-‘ to ‘C’ and flooding from a ‘C’ to ‘D’. None of the sectors assessed achieved the highest possible ‘A’ grade.

Speaking at the launch of the report, John Power, Director General Engineers Ireland acknowledged the ongoing economic challenges faced by the county and the need to prioritise the recommendations in the report. “Investment in economic infrastructure will always generate a positive payback and the reality is capital investment is vital to meet the Government’s desire to stimulate the economy. This report recognises the infrastructural challenges facing the country but also acknowledges that some of those are opportunities for job creation providing us with a much needed economic boost.”

The report calls for the construction of more waste to energy facilities in Ireland stating that the lack of infrastructure means that Ireland has to pay for its hazardous waste to be exported. Waste to energy facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium and in Scandinavia generate electricity and heat from the waste as well creating green jobs for these economies.

Other recommendations include improved national road networks between cities on the west coast as well as developing initiatives to encourage commuters to switch from their cars to other sustainable modes of transport in urban areas. A new funding mechanism for national road projects has to be developed.

The report calls for the advancement of the Electronic Communications Network Bill and the roll out of the 4G mobile communications network to help increase speeds in satellite towns and alleviate the broadband gaps that exist in rural Ireland respectively. The commencement of the water metering programme should help progress investment in water infrastructure and the launch of the flood studies update portal and the flood maps are called for in the short term future.

The full report is available here to download.

Engineers Week, beginning today and running until Saturday 15th February, is a week long programme of nationwide events run by Engineers Ireland with the aim of celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. Over 500 events will take place nationwide over the course of the week. To find out more information about events taking place near you or to register your attendance, log onto www.engineersweek.ie

ENDS

For further information contact:

Fionnuala Kilbane 086 3688898

Kelley Cousins 01 665 1303 / 086 269 5953

 

Engineers Week 2014 highlights include:

Monday 10th February, publication of the State of Ireland infrastructure report

Tuesday 11th February, ‘industry day’ as organisations across Ireland such as ESB, Eli Lilly and Vistakon showcase their engineering activities to invited members of the public

Wednesday 12th February: Flood Risk Management: Protecting and Planning for Our Communities – seminar in Clyde Road, Dublin

Thursday 13th February: Third level challenge – student engineers solve problems posed by local authorities, at 13 locations around Ireland

Friday 14th February: Engineering challenge game, Dundrum Town Centre – open to the general public