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Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste management

Hazardous waste is generated by all sectors of Irish society, from large industry, healthcare to small businesses, households and farms.

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The World Health Organization estimate that global production of chemicals will almost quadruple by 2050 when compared to 2010 production levels.

Latest News and Press Releases

in: Waste Waste
More packaging waste, falling recycling rates for plastic and a heavy reliance on export mean that Ireland is missing opportunities to foster a circular economy.

Date released: September 09, 2021

The EPA has today published its latest figures on packaging waste in Ireland. They indicate that Ireland generated over 1.1 million tonnes of packaging waste in 2019, up 11 per cent on 2018.

EPA announces draft National Hazardous Waste Management Plan 2021-2027 is now open for public consultation.

Date released: July 16, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published the draft National Hazardous Waste Management Plan 2001-2007 and associated Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment. These documents are open for public consultation until 17 September 2021.

Stretch out and save €700 this summer, says EPA

Date released: July 08, 2021

As the country prepares for an outdoor summer of picnics and barbeques, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new campaign to encourage people to reduce their food waste, highlighting simple food storage steps to make their fresh food last longer.

Latest publications in Waste

Bales of waste
Packaging waste in Ireland in 2019

Infographic on packaging

Overview of packaging waste in Ireland in 2019

FAQs on waste

A collection of frequently asked questions about waste to assist you with your queries.


Popular FAQs

  • Who should I contact regarding the disposal of asbestos?

    What is asbestos?  Asbestos is a natural fibrous material.  There were three types of asbestos commonly used.  These are blue asbestos (crocidolite) brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile). 

    Why was it used?   Asbestos was used because it is resistant to heat and chemicals and is strong yet flexible.  It was therefore widely used as a building and insulation material.  Asbestos is no longer used and therefore only items, which have been in place for, or was purchased before 1980, may contain asbestos.  If you are in doubt as to whether an item contains asbestos treat it with care and seek expert advice to identify it.

    What are the risks?  The only risk from asbestos when damaged or if drilled or sawed etc.  It is at this point when fibres are released into the air.  Due to its fibrous nature, it can be breathed in and penetrate deep into the lungs.  This can lead to asbestosis, and possibly lung cancer.  The general rule is that if you have asbestos and it is not damaged, it is safest to leave it in place.  The risk to health from undamaged asbestos is very low.

    Where is Asbestos found?  Asbestos may be found in the following areas around the home:

    • Roofing felts, tiles and corrugated sheets
    • Roof and wall claddings
    • Pipe lagging
    • Flue pipes/gutters/rainwater downpipes/airbricks
    • Window boxes
    • Coldwater cisterns
    • Roof slates and linings
    • Thermoplastic and vinyl floor tiles
    • Storage, catalytic and (LPG) portable heaters
    • Airing cupboard linings and shelving
    • Ironing boards
    • Insulation
    • Filler ropes surrounding oven doors
    • Textured paints


    One of the most common forms of asbestos found is corrugated sheeting – this is mainly used as roofing material for garages and sheds.  

    Relevant Information

    If you think you have come across asbestos in your home or office and you're unsure about whether the material contains asbestos, don't take any chances. Seek expert advice from asbestos monitoring/surveying companies, which are listed in the Classified Telephone Directory.

    A specialist contractor should be engaged to carry out work on asbestos products or to demolish asbestos products, particularly those that are worn or damaged.

    In the case of asbestos products where the fibres are tightly bound (for example, in asbestos cement roofs), and the material is in good condition, specialist asbestos removal contractors may not always be necessary. 

    Always take precautions, and contact the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for advice:

    Health and Safety Authority
    The Metropolitan Building,
    James Joyce Street
    Dublin 1
    Tel. (01) 6147020 or 1890289389
    Fax. (01) 6147020

    Further information can be found at:

    Health & Safety Authority

  • What does the IED specifically mean for Waste licensing?

    In relation to waste activities and of interest to waste licence applicants, the range of waste activities listed in the new First Schedule (class 11) has been expanded.

    There is going to be a major change in the way that these First Schedule waste activities (class 11) will be licensed by the Agency. The First Schedule waste activities will in future be licensed by the Agency under:

    • the EPA Act 1992 as amended; and 
    • the European Union (Industrial Emissions) (Licensing) Regulations 2013

    and not, as has been the case to date, under: 

    • the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended; and 
    • the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004.


  • What are single-use plastic products?

    Single-use plastic products include a wide range of commonly used plastic items that are expected to be used just once, or for a short time, before being thrown away. They are rarely recycled and are prone to becoming litter. Single-use plastic products include: beverage containers and cups, lightweight plastic carrier bags, food containers, plastic cutlery and plates, plastic straws, beverage stirrers, packets and wrappers made from flexible material containing food intended for immediate consumption, cotton bud sticks, tobacco products with filters, wet wipes, balloons, sticks to support balloons and sanitary products.

  • What is a protected area or a designated site?

    You can get more information on protected areas/designated sites at the National Parks & Wildlife Service website

  • What is a wetland?

    Wetlands are defined as: areas of marsh, fen, peatland, or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or salt, including marine waters, the depth of which at low tide does exceed six meters).