Summary: This report presents information on waste generation and management in 2002, on waste management infrastructure and initiatives towards waste prevention and recovery. It covers waste generated by householders and commercial premises, as well as waste exported abroad.
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The Environmental Protection Agency carried out a series of surveys on waste generation and management for the calendar year 2002. Local authorities, recycling organisations and landfill operators were issued questionnaires and responses were received during 2003 and 2004. The findings from these surveys are presented in this Interim Report and represent a snapshot of waste management and export in 2002.
Overall, the trends highlighted in the Interim Report are positive and are moving in the right direction. The following are the principal conclusions to be drawn in relation to municipal waste management and waste exports in 2002, compared to 2001:
While increased recycling rates are good, the data show that as recycling rates increase, Ireland becomes more and more dependent on recycling facilities in other countries.
Progress is good towards the achievement of three waste management targets:
The target is 50% recovery by 2005. Reports from Repak indicate a recovery rate of 40% was achieved in 2003;
The national target is for the diversion of 50% of household waste from landfill by 2013.
In each of these cases, the actual increase in terms of tonnes is not fully reflected in the
recovery rates above. By weight, packaging waste recycling actually increased by 34%, municipal waste recycling by 63%, household waste recycling by 77% and commercial waste recycling by 58%.
The target for diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill remains challenging (65% diversion by 2016, based on 1995 generation). Finalisation of the Government strategy for biodegradable municipal waste will undoubtedly have an impact and will accelerate progress.