National Waste Statistics

The EPA produces national statistics on waste generation and management in the Republic of Ireland. The figures are published in the National Waste Report and in bulletins to present the most up to date information available. These data include waste generation and management, and waste exports and imports. Waste data are collected through surveys of waste operators, local authorities and other bodies as necessary. These surveys gather information on municipal waste, construction & demolition waste, hazardous waste and waste streams subject to producer responsibility initiatives (e.g. waste electrical and electronic equipment, packaging waste, end-of-life vehicles, tyres, batteries). Data collected by the EPA are validated through desk-top studies and audits. The waste data collected for the National Waste Report are also used for Ireland's legal reporting obligations under various EU Directives and Regulations.

View latest waste statistics reports and bulletins 

Ireland's progress towards EU waste recovery and disposal targets (WEEE, ELVs, BMW, Packaging, etc.)

Waste Characterisation

Municipal waste characterisation surveys provide up to date information on the composition of household and non-household municipal waste, which in turn is used to calculate national statistics. Waste characterisations have to be repeated due the changing nature of municipal waste streams. Changes result mainly from the introduction of legislation which affect waste presentation. For example, food waste arising in the commercial sector is required to be segregated and made available for separate collection since the 2009 biowaste and food waste regulations, and householders will have similar obligations under regulations introduced in 2013. 

The characterisation of mixed waste kerbside bins is key – namely mixed residual waste, mixed dry recyclables and mixed organic waste (i.e. kitchen and garden) – whether from household or commercial sources. These kerbside bins and municipal waste sources are generally referred to as black, green and brown bins respectively. 

In 2004, the EPA commissioned a project to characterise household and non-household municipal waste arising in Ireland, building on the municipal waste characterisation methodology developed by the EPA in 1996. The project developed an updated methodology for the sampling of municipal waste, bearing in mind the evolution in waste management and collection systems.  

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Download Waste Characterisation Reports