EPA research shows community composting works

Date released: Nov 25 2009

Urban community composting has the potential for significant social, environmental and economic benefits, according to the findings of a research project conducted by Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.  The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) research and innovation programme, STRIVE, funded the research.

Dr Brian Donlon of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Assessment said,

“The research demonstrates that community composting works and is an effective and environmentally sound waste management option for organic waste in urban environments.
“The project has established that community composting initiatives, if established in all apartment developments in Dublin alone, have the potential to divert almost 15,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill each year.”

The organic waste-composting project was set up within an urban apartment development in Ballymun, and run over a two-year period.  In-vessel composting technology was used to process household organic waste. The compost produced was used in horticultural trials at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin. There it was analysed to confirm chemical, physical and nutrient composition. Potential applications and marketing opportunities for local compost use were also assessed and defined.

As part of the European Week of Waste Reduction, further details on the project will be also be provided at the Public Reuse Exhibition in the Science Gallery, Pearse Street, Trinity College Dublin on 26 November.

The report “Implementation of an Urban Community Composting Programme” is available on the EPA website. 
The first ever European Week for Waste Reduction is taking place between 21 and 29 November.  In Ireland, a range of activities to highlight waste reduction practices and promote more sustainable consumption and production have been organised by a variety of organisations, and coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The European Week for Waste Reduction website www.ewwr.ie provides details of the other similar events around the country.



  •  The Environmental Research Sub-programmes of the National Development Plan 2007-2013; 
  •  The Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation launched in 2006; 
  •  The EPA’s most recent assessments of Ireland’s environment; 
  •  The EPA’s strategy 2020 Vision – Protecting and Improving Ireland’s Environment; 
  •  A series of workshops organised by the Agency, mainly during 2006, involving environmental policymakers, managers and researchers; 
  •  The experience gained in previous EPA research programmes.
  •  It also takes account of developments at EU level in respect of current environment and research programmes and of the wider international context.
    The purpose of the programme is to protect and improve the natural environment by addressing key environmental management issues through the provision of world-class scientific knowledge generated through a vibrant, competitive programme of research developed supported and co-ordinated by EPA.

The funding for the programme is provided from a number of sources:

  • €93 million provided in the Environmental Research Sub-programme of the NDP 2007-2013;  
  • €8 million provided for research in aspects of climate change, transboundary pollution and earth observation under the Inter Departmental Committee for the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (IDC-SSTI); 
  • Co-funding with other state agencies and funding groups for projects / themes where such an arrangement would deliver synergies and increase the utilisation of results; 
  • EPA core funding for staffing the management of the programme.
  • Other sources of funding for environmental research under the programme will continue to be developed as appropriate

The EPA research programme for the period 2007-2013 is entitled Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) and is based on the following: