The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produces national statistics on waste generation and management to meet legislative reporting obligations and inform policy.

This release reports on biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) disposed to landfill between 2010 and 2016. BMW comprises those elements of the municipal waste streams that will rot or degrade biologically, for example food waste, garden & parks waste and paper & cardboard. Under the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) there are targets for the diversion of BMW from disposal to landfill. Diversion of BMW from landfill will assist mitigation of odour nuisance, reduce the aftercare burden for landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Key points

  • Ireland has met all Landfill Directive targets to date.
  • The tonnage of BMW disposed to landfill decreased between 2010 and 2014 but increased in 2015 and 2016.
  • Three landfills had their annual authorised acceptance limit increased for 2016 to manage the anticipated residual municipal waste arising in 2016.
  • In July 2016, Ireland notified the European Commission of its intention to avail of the derogation for the 2016 target under the Landfill Directive i.e. to defer the fulfillment of the target from 2016 to 2020.
  • Seven landfills accepted municipal waste for disposal in 2016 compared to twenty-five in 2010.
  • It is very important that there is adequate treatment infrastructure in the State to manage the increasing diversion from landfill of biodegradable waste.

BMW landfilled in Ireland 2010-2016

Year Maximum quantity BMW to be landfilled (tonnes, rounded) Actual quantity BMW landfilled (tonnes, rounded)
2010 916,000 860,000
2011 916,000 772,000
2012 916,000 589,000
2013 610,000 381,000
2014 610,000 276,000
2015 610,000 278,000
2016 610,000 390,000

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