EPA waste data release Oct. 2020. Latest reference year 2018.
Household waste includes residual waste, recyclable waste and organic waste collected directly from households and waste brought by householders to waste collection centres such as bring banks, civic amenity sites, pay to use compactors and landfills.
Ireland generated approximately 1.576 million tonnes (t) of household waste in 2018; 1.529 million t of household waste was managed and an estimated 47,307 t was unmanaged.
This data release presents key statistics on the generation and management of Irish household waste in 2018. The Household Waste Infographic for 2017 data highlights the key household waste facts, trends and what you can do to reduce household waste generation.
More data on the amount of waste collected from households or brought to waste collection centres within regions and local authority areas are presented in Table 1 and the Figure 2 below.
There are significant variations between counties across Ireland in the overall quantity of household waste collected per person, as well as differences in the amount of waste collected by bin type (see Figure 2 and Table 1). While further analysis into these trends will be undertaken, variations are likely to be linked with differences in the waste collection services and infrastructure provided (e.g. prevalence of 2-bin vs. 3-bin systems in rural vs. urban areas), large variations between counties in the share of the population using authorised waste collectors (as shown in Figure 2), and behavioural factors (such as bin sharing).
As discussed in Ireland's Waste Story, our focus for the future needs to be on achieving a circular economy and waste prevention so we can make the most of our resources while protecting the environment. The rising trend in household waste correlates with Central Statistics Office data on personal consumption of goods and services, both of which have shown an upward trend since 2012 (see Figure 3 below). These data indicate that household waste generation in Ireland continues to be closely linked with lifestyle and consumption patterns.
Improperly segregated household waste results in the cross - contamination of recyclables and inefficient waste management. Due to the nature of residual household waste, it is difficult to segregate recyclables once they are placed in the residual waste bin; and therefore most of Ireland’s household waste continues to be incinerated or landfilled. The brown bin roll out to households has increased the composting rate of organic waste. However, still only 43 per cent of Irish households have access to a brown bin. As a result, the majority of Ireland’s organic waste, including food waste, is not yet being recycled. New EU waste legislation means that the separate colletion of biowaste will be mandatory from the end of 2023.
If Ireland is to meet the EU municipal waste recycling target of 55 per cent in 2025 and eventually achieve a circular economy, we need to do more to support householders to use bins and waste collection centres correctly and expand recycling infrastructure. Food waste produces 8 to 10 per cent of all global carbon emissions. To conserve our natural resources and reduce carbon emissions, we must generate less waste through the promotion of reuse and sustainable consumption initiatives such as Stop Food Waste.
1 The statistics on improperly segregated household waste were calculated by applying the results of the EPA 2018 Waste Characterisation Study to the tonnage of household waste managed in 2017.
Table 1. Household waste (collected and brought) in 2018
|Household Waste Statistics - 2018|
|Waste Stream (tonnes)|
|Local Authority||Mixed residual waste collection (black bin)||Mixed dry recyclables collection (green bin)||Organic waste collection (brown bin)||Segregated glass collection||Bring banks||LA Civic amenity sites||Private Civic amenity sites||Skip collections from households||Other Collections1||Household waste delivered directly to landfill2||Pay to use compactors||Total household waste per local authority|
|Eastern and Midlands Region||344,075||126,045||86,384||918||41,168||67,433||7,036||84,168||5,947||0||0||763,174|
|Limerick City and County||27,670||12,297||6,072||406||3,094||3,203||1,355||6,347||74||-||283||60,801|
|Waterford City and County||19,748||5,931||6,177||134||2,275||5,296||1,453||1,953||727||-||0||43,694|
|Total Household Waste5 (t)||675,764||249,227||137,032||7,045||88,021||137,196||35,678||139,719||11,437||1,418||744||1,528,890|
|This data set includes waste collected from households or brought to local authority or private waste collection centres - 2018|
|1. Other Collections estimated tonnage of house clear outs, bulky waste collections, christmas trees (where not reported at CAS), chemcar collections|
|2. Household waste delivered directly to landfill by householders (t)|
|3. Waste portable batteries collected by compliance schemes at civic amenity sites, retail premises and one-off collection days|
|4. Household WEEE collected by compliance schemes at retail premises, one-off collection days & civic amenity sites.|
|5. Household Waste included municipal & non-municipal|