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Date released: Sep 09 2010
EPA reports dramatic fall in the number of landfills.Three quarters of a million tonnes of biodegradable waste must be diverted away from landfills to meet EU waste targets.
The EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE) today published its Focus on Landfilling in Ireland report. The report examines the standards of operation and management at landfills in Ireland and charts the progress made since the EPA began licensing this sector 15 years ago.
Commenting on the report, Mr. Dara Lynott, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said:
“Regulation of the waste sector has been a driver for improved standards and better environmental outcomes. Landfills are subject to a rigorous enforcement regime, without which we would have more pollution.”
The report charts the fall in the number of municipal waste landfills over the last 15 years, falling from almost 100 landfills in 1995 to 30 facilities today, all of which are licenced to operate by the EPA. During this time, there has been a dramatic improvement in the performance indicators for landfills - as shown in the table below.
This EPA report also sets out the challenge facing Ireland to divert enough biodegradable waste from landfills to meet increasing targets set by Europe. Additional waste infrastructure will be needed to treat this kind of waste and more markets needed for the resulting compost.
Mr Lynott said,
“Over a million tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste went to landfill in 2008 and this figure has to drop by 750,000 in 2016 to meet EU targets.”
The report highlights the compliance and enforcement issues that remain with this sector in particular the fact that 71 per cent of all complaints against licensed facilities related to odour nuisance.
In response to these compliance issues this EPA reports shows:
The EPA has identified compliance priorities for the landfill sector that will be the focus of its enforcement effort.
Kieran O’ Brien, Programme Manager in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,
“Future EPA enforcement effort will be targeted at compliance priorities to ensure that Ireland fully complies with EU obligations under the landfill directive and achieves successful outcomes for our environment.”
The compliance priorities include:
Download the report Focus on Landfilling in Ireland.
Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Landfill Directive Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 29 April 1999 on the landfill of waste imposes minimum standards for landfilling on EU Member States. The Landfill Directive came into effect on the 16th July 2001 and all landfills were required to comply with its general technical requirements by 16th July 2009 at the latest. The first Landfill Directive target for diversion of biodegradable municipal waste applies from the 16th July 2010 for Ireland. In 2008, 1,196,044 tonnes of Biodegradable municipal waste was landfilled.
Synopsis of compliance priorities
Environmental Liabilities and Financial provision
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