MPs discussing regulations on building waste aim to find a formula that will protect the environment and jobs, House environment committee president Charalambos Theopemptou said on Wednesday.

He was speaking to the Cyprus News Agency after MPs continued in depth discussion of regulations on construction and demolition waste that incorporate the EU target for 70 per cent of such waste, by weight, being recycled.

Theopemptou said the issue was a complex one, with the committee looking at the regulations paragraph by paragraph and listening to the views of professionals who – such as those who transport skips – have only just recently formed associations.

“It is a complicated issue, a lot of people are affected, even whether they can stay in business, and for this reason we are looking at it with great care so that we can protect the environment and at the same time, for people to keep their jobs and to work within the EU directive,” he said.

One of the biggest problems was finding locations for such operations. Professionals say authorities make it difficult for them to find a location to take the material from demolitions or from a building site, he said.

“There is a big problem in some areas where there is no provision,” he said, noting that a truck from the Famagusta area could not be expected to cross half of Cyprus to take the waste for recycling, as it would send costs spiraling.

“That is why we want to cooperation of the department of town planning that should suggest possible sites. There is no resistance to doing the legal thing, they just can’t find the location,” he added.

Meanwhile, the committee concluded discussion of the bill on single use plastics that Theopemptou said should have been approved and implemented by last July.

The text will be distributed to all MPs. There is a three-week window for them to submit amendments so that it can go before the plenary for approval in four weeks’ time, he concluded.