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Date released: Nov 26 2009
Ireland is well advanced in achieving most of the EU waste recovery and recycling targets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Waste Report 2008, released today during the first ever European Week for Waste Reduction. However, the report urges continued effort to divert biodegradable waste from landfill, and to prevent waste arisings from all sectors of society. In 2008, municipal waste generation in Ireland fell by 5%, in line with GDP. The amount of biodegradable waste collected at kerbside from households doubled, and was primarily collected by local authorities. Significant efforts throughout 2008 increased the source separated household waste collection in Ireland and the report found that:
Commenting on the report’s findings, Dr. Gerry Byrne, EPA Programme Manager, said:
“While the reductions in waste generation seen in 2008 are welcome, we must continue to focus on resource efficiency to ensure that when economic growth does return, it is not accompanied by a surge in waste generation.”
The EPA report states that for 2008:
Dr. Gerry Byrne said:
“Although significant progress has been made in managing municipal waste in Ireland, the report clearly shows that Ireland is still in danger of missing a key EU target for diverting biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. In particular, we point out that there is a need to divert large quantities of food waste from landfill. Urgent and sustained actions are required if we are to meet the EU target, including the further roll-out of source separate collections, and recovery of organic waste.”
In summer 2009, the EPA published guidance on municipal waste pre-treatment. At the same time the EPA began reviewing the municipal waste landfill licences in Ireland to include appropriate pre-treatment licence conditions. This licence review process is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2009, and will assist in Ireland’s compliance with the Landfill Directive by restricting the amount of biodegradable municipal waste allowed to be landfilled.
Further priority actions for biodegradable municipal waste management in Ireland are recommended in the report. They include the need to:
Dr. Jonathan Derham, Senior Inspector, EPA commented:
“The EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme focuses on breaking the link between economic growth and waste. Through the Programme we are developing waste prevention and resource efficiency capacity in the areas of waste, water and energy. Such actions can assist everyone, households and businesses alike, to improve resource efficiency and significantly cut costs.”
Finally, the report recommends that relevant new waste policy on foot of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government-funded International Review of Waste Management Policy in Ireland should be delivered as quickly as possible. This should assist in providing certainty within the waste industry in Ireland and allow for accelerated investment programmes that are necessary if organic waste is to be treated and landfill avoided.The National Waste Report 2008 is available on the EPA website.
Further information: EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)
Notes to Editor:
Overall recycling rates in 2008:
Industrial waste generation is reported in the National Waste Report 2008. (Industry is surveyed every two years in accordance with the reporting schedule for the EU Waste Statistics Regulation).
National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP):
The NWPP commenced in 2004 at the request of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The EPA leads and co-ordinates the Programme.
A sample of NWPP projects:
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