'First look' data

 

EPA Waste Data Release - 4  November 2021 for reference period to Q3 2021

In this section we present trend data that are available in a more timely fashion than our complete, validated datasets, which are produced to meet legislative requirements. The data can be from administrative data sources, or they may represent a subset of EPA waste statistics data that, due to reduced scope, can be validated more quickly than the full survey. Initially we present data relating to waste accepted at landfills, municipal waste incinerators and cement kilns, helping to provide policy makers and other stakeholders with an early indication of when capacity issues may arise. This section will continue to be expanded over time to include other datasets of particular relevance to our national users.

 

Highlights

Quarterly Data

  • Five landfills accepted municipal waste in 2017 and 2018. This number declined to three in quarter four of 2019 and remained at three in quarter three of 2021.
  • Since quarter two of 2017, when 205,000 tonnes of municipal waste were accepted at landfill, there has been an overall decrease in the quarterly tonnages reported. The lowest figure, 63,000 tonnes, was reported in quarter four of 2019. Between quarter four of 2019 and quarter three of 2020, the tonnages increased to 84,000 tonnes. The tonnage of municipal waste accepted at landfill decreased to 72,000 tonnes in quarter one of 2021 before increasing again, to 98,000 tonnes, in quarter two 2021. In quarter three of 2021, tonnes of municipal waste accepted at landfill decreased again to 76,000 tonnes. (Figure 1).
  • In quarter three of 2021, energy was recovered from more than 246,000 tonnes of municipal waste (excluding waste imported from abroad) through incineration or co-incineration at municipal waste incinerators or cement kilns in Ireland (Figure 2)

Annual Data

  • The total tonnage of waste accepted at municipal and inert landfills rose between 2013 and 2016 but dropped in 2017 before increasing again in 2018 and 2019 (Figure 3).
  • The increase in waste accepted at landfill in 2019 was due to an increase in construction and demolition waste.
  • The municipal waste stream dropped from 684,000 tonnes in 2017 to 410,000 tonnes in 2018 and declined again to 374,000 tonnes in 2019.

Quarterly Data– Landfill and Energy Recovery from Waste Incineration

Municipal landfills submit quarterly data to the EPA on municipal waste they accept. Both municipal and inert landfills complete annual data reporting which includes information on municipal, construction and demolition, and industrial/other waste they accept and dispose of or recover. The data in this section relates to quarterly data reporting; the data in the next section relates to annual landfill data reporting. Please note that the quarterly data are collected specifically to report on the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) from landfill, which is required by the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC). The criteria relevant for municipal waste under BMW reporting do not always align with those used for annual reporting. This can lead to differences in tonnages reported under the two regimes. In quarter three of 2021, more than 76,000 tonnes of municipal waste were accepted at three Irish landfills.

Energy recovery as a municipal waste treatment option has become increasingly available over the last decade. This effected a reduction of municipal waste disposal to landfill in Ireland. In 2016, more than 800,000 tonnes of Irish municipal waste were used for energy recovery, and half of this tonnage was treated at municipal waste incinerators or cement kilns located in Ireland. These figures underline the important role energy recovery at Irish facilities plays in connection with municipal waste management. To provide early indications of trends regarding this waste treatment option, EPA now compiles quarterly estimates of the amount of municipal waste that underwent energy recovery at municipal waste incinerators or cement kilns in Ireland.

In quarter three of 2021, over 266,000 tonnes of waste (excluding waste imported from abroad) were used for energy recovery through incineration or co-incineration in Ireland. Approximately 246,000 tonnes of this waste originated from municipal sources (Figure 2).

  • Table 1. Quarterly data on municipal waste accepted at landfill

    Open in Excel: First Look Table 1. EPA_FL_2021Nov_Ref2021_3_Quarterly municipal acce (XLS 9KB)

Annual Data

Landfills (municipal and inert) complete annual data reporting which includes information on municipal, construction and demolition, and industrial/other waste they accept and dispose of or recover. In addition, municipal landfills also submit quarterly data to the EPA on municipal waste they accept. The data in this section relates to annual data reporting; the data in the section above relates to quarterly data reporting. Please note that the quarterly data are collected specifically to report on the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) from landfill, which is required by the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC). The criteria relevant for municipal waste under BMW reporting do not always align with those used for annual reporting. This can lead to differences in tonnages reported under the two regimes. The annual data for 2019 are summarised below and in Figure 3.

  • Total waste accepted at landfill (municipal and inert) rose between 2013 and 2016 but dropped in 2017 before increasing again in 2018 and 2019.
  • The municipal waste stream accepted at landfill dropped from 684,000 tonnes in 2017 to 410,000 tonnes in 2018 and declined again to 374,000 tonnes in 2019.
  • Most of the waste accepted at landfill between 2013 and 2019 was construction and demolition waste (Figure 3).
  • The construction and demolition waste accepted at landfill has increased from 975,000 tonnes in 2017 to 1,700,000 in 2019. Note that the previous figure recorded on the First Look Tab for construction and demolition waste in 2018 was 800,000. This figure has since been revised to 1,300,000 tonnes.

  • Table 2. Waste recovery and disposal at landfill, 2013 to 2019

    Open in Excel: First Look Table 2. EPA_FV_2021Nov_Ref2019_Recovery and disposal (XLS 11KB)