Municipal Waste Statistics for Ireland

EPA Waste Data Release, 20 December 2017

Latest Reference Year 2014

Municipal waste recovery increased from 59% to 79% between 2012 and 2014 due to the increase in municipal residual waste used as a fuel.

Municipal waste recycling was 41% in 2014 compared to 40% in 2012.

MSW arriving and being picked for initial sorting

Municipal waste recycled, used as a fuel and disposed to landfill (ktonnes), 2010, 2012 and 2014

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Key Trends

Municipal waste is household as well as commercial and other waste that because of its nature or composition is similar to household waste. Municipal waste includes residual waste, dry recyclables (glass, plastic, paper & board, metals), food and garden waste, bulky waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment and batteries. Municipal sludges and effluents are not included in scope.

  • 2,575 kilotonnes of municipal waste was managed in 2014 (4% increase compared to 2012).
  • 79% of managed municipal waste was recovered (59% in 2012). Recovery includes treatment processes such as recycling, use as a fuel (incineration and co-incineration) and backfilling.
  • 41% of managed municipal waste was recycled (40% in 2012). Recycling includes reprocessing of waste materials into products, composting and anaerobic digestion.
  • 21% of managed municipal waste was disposed (41% in 2012).

Municipal residual waste treatment has undergone significant change in Ireland in recent years, with less disposed to landfill and more sent for use as a fuel. This reflects a similar trend across EU Member States.

The future focus for municipal waste treatment will be to prevent it arising (with a particular focus on food waste), increase preparation for reuse (e.g. waste electrical and electronic equipment) and increase recycling. Ireland’s recycling rate didn’t change significantly between 2012 and 2014. With more challenging recycling rates proposed under the Circular Economy Package, Ireland will need initiatives and policies to improve municipal recycling rates.  

Municipal waste managed (ktonnes), 2007 to 2014

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Open in Excel: Table 1 Municipal waste generated, managed and treatment 2012, 2014 (XLS 11KB)
Open in Excel: Table 2 Municipal waste generated by origin and by type of waste, 2014 (XLS 9KB)
Open in Excel: Table 3 Municipal waste managed 2007 to 2014 (XLS 10KB)