13 November 2018

Press Statement 

CIWM’s new President highlights infrastructure as a key future challenge

Speaking at his inauguration today as CIWM President 2018/19 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Enda Kiernan highlighted the importance of future infrastructure development, noting that “the poor quality of infrastructure in Ireland has been identified as the most problematic factor for doing business in this country.”

With the population of the island predicted to reach 8 million people by 2040, he said: “Planning for an extra 1½ million people, their homes, places of work and the infrastructure required to support this growth, whilst at the same time ensuring environmental quality, poses many challenges.“

Linked to this topic, Mr Kiernan introduced his Presidential Report ‘RDF trading in a modern world’. In choosing this theme for his report, he said it recognises that RDF exports now play a significant role in the management of residual waste in the Republic of Ireland and the UK. “However, uncertainties exist around the future of the industry. Pressures include the possible impact of rising recycling rates coupled with growing domestic energy from waste capacity, as well as ramifications of Brexit on the economics of export from the UK. In this context, CIWM commissioned the 2018 Presidential Report to assess the current state of the RDF exports, and consider how the sector may evolve out to 2030,” he explained.

He introduced the headline findings from the research and modelling, carried out for CIWM by SLR Consulting Ltd, which show different situations emerging across the Republic of Ireland and the four UK countries in response to these developments:

  • The Republic of Ireland is likely to see a significant reduction in RDF export tonnages as new domestic EfW capacity is developed, and recycling rates increase.
  • On a per capita basis, Northern Ireland has the greatest reliance on RDF exports, and this reliance is likely to continue until domestic EfW projects are successfully developed. Current exports to the Republic of Ireland may be impacted by the post-Brexit border settlement.
  • In England, build out of domestic EfW capacity may erode RDF export tonnages, while future recycling levels are pivotal to the long term outlook for exports. In the current absence of a national strategy to increase recycling levels, it is not possible to project the recycling rate ultimately achieved by England with any certainty –however it is clear that, accounting for expected domestic EfW capacity, achievement of circular economy recycling targets in England implies the cessation of large scale RDF exports.
  • Scottish local authorities may look to expand RDF exports to meet the 2021 ban on landfill of biodegradable waste – though some may also opt to comply via haulage of residual waste to EfW facilities or landfills in the North of England. In the longer term, Scottish residual treatment requirements are likely to be met by emerging Scottish EfW capacity.
  • With strong recycling performance and two major EfW facilities in the North and South, Wales is likely to have limited reliance on RDF exports. By specifically targeting residual waste treatment funding to domestic EfW projects, Welsh Government disincentives export.

Mr Kiernan also took the opportunity of his inauguration to highlight the dynamic community of professionals that CIWM represents and the value of the contribution that members make.

“I applaud and salute every one of our members for their voluntary work on which the Institution depends to function effectively. In turn, CIWM gives our members a vehicle through which we make an impact on society,” he said.

Biographical details

Enda is a Civil Engineering graduate from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, and a Chartered Waste Manager, becoming a Fellow of the Institution in January 2011. He is also a General Councillor and a Trustee of CIWM and was a Non-Executive Director of CIWM Enterprises from 2012 – 2015.

Enda has been involved in delivering local authority services since 1997, specialising in waste management and in waste operations in particular. His experience includes the permitting, design, tendering and project management of waste related infrastructure, including landfills and civic amenity facilities. Other areas of include waste enforcement and street cleansing and he was also project manager for the introduction of the Pay By Weight system and the kerbside collection of dry recyclables in South Cork.

During his career, he has advised LARAC, WRAP, DEFRA and CIWM in consultations on ‘pay as you throw’ charging systems. He was involved in an operational sub-committee established by the Irish Department of the Environment in 2004 on the implementation of the WEEE Directive and again in 2015/2016 on the implementation of Pay By Weight.

A summary of the findings and the Presidential Report can be found here.


Notes to Editors: 

  1. CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,500 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at www.ciwm.co.uk
  2. The 2018/19 CIWM Presidential team comprises:

President: Enda Kiernan
Senior Vice President: Trevor Nicoll
Junior Vice President: Dr Adam Read

Press contact:

Pat Jennings
Head of Policy & Communications
Tel: 01604 620426 
Mob: 07912 228260 
E-mail: pat.jennings@ciwm.co.uk