Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) Reporting 

Municipal waste is made up of household waste and commercial waste that is similar in nature to household waste. Biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) is the fraction of municipal waste that will rot or degrade biologically. The main constituents of the biodegradable proportion of municipal waste are typically parks and garden waste, food waste, timber, paper, card and textiles. 

If BMW is placed in landfills, it causes or contributes to a number of environmental problems, including 

  • generating noxious refuse odour which, if allowed to escape from the landfill, can cause severe impact to adjacent residential and amenity areas 
  • generating “landfill gas”, which is mainly methane and carbon dioxide, both potent Greenhouse Gases, though anaerobic decomposition in the landfill; landfill gas also contributes to landfill odour pollution
  • generating highly polluting leachate which is difficult to manage and treat
  • wasting valuable material which, if properly segregated, could be recovered by composting or the generation of biogas  

The EU Landfill Directive set out obligations on member states to reduce over time the quantities of BMW going to landfills.  As part of Ireland's strategy to comply with the Directivethe EPA modified landfill licences in 2009 to insert limits on the acceptance of BMW at landfills.  

Beginning in 2010, the operator of each active landfill is required to report to the EPA, on a quarterly basis, the quantity of Municipal Solid Waste (MSWin practical terms, the mixed waste, which includes BMW, accepted by landfills for disposal) and BMW accepted at the landfill.  The EPA assesses compliance with the BMW limits in the licence on an annual basis. 

BMW Reporting 

The EPA’s Protocol for the Evaluation of Biodegradable Municipal Waste Sent to Landfill instructs operators how to determine the amount of BMW contained in the MSW that they send to landfill. 

The EPA’s BMW Online Reporting Module is accessible on the EDEN portal.  Landfill operators (or persons authorised to act on their behalf) can log in to upload new BMW data for a particular landfill or to view previously uploaded data for a landfill under their control. 

Guidance on how to register and sign into EDEN and how to use the BMW reporting system. 

Any queries in relation to the use of the BMW Online Reporting Module should be sent to 

Learn more 

EPA Approved Factors to Calculate the BMW Content of Municipal Waste Streams 

EPA National Waste Statistics 

Municipal Solid Waste - Pre-treatment & Residuals Management - An EPA Technical Guidance Document 

EU Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC 

EU Landfill Directive (EU) 2018/850 amending Directive 1999/31/EC