Waste Management Policy

Waste management policy is set by the Government and is detailed in a set of four policy documents produced since 1998

Government policy is generally to apply the polluter pays principle.  This means that the generator of the waste is obliged to ensure that the waste is properly managed.  This applied equally to householders and Irish businesses.  In pursuit of the polluter pays principle, the Irish government has imposed producer responsibility obligations on several sectors and waste streams, most notably packaging, farm plastics, waste electrical and electronic equipment and end-of-life vehicles.  New producer responsibility obligations on batteries and tyres are in development.

A large number of legal instruments govern the management of waste and outline the responsibilities of waste generators, waste management organisations (private companies and local authorities), waste planning authorities and waste regulators.  The principal law is the Waste Management Acts 1996 to 2005.  A series of regulations have been made under the Acts in relation to, for example:-

  • the licensing of waste facilities
  • the licensing of waste collection activities
  • the imposition of a landfill levy
  • waste management planning
  • packaging waste
  • hazardous waste
  • farm plastics
  • waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • end of life vehicles
  • the movement of hazardous waste
  • the import and export of waste

Learn More

Download more on waste management planning

Read more about the biodegradable waste strategy

Read more about the waste managment plans