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Urgent Action To Improve Ireland’s Household & Commercial Waste Segregation Performance.

EPA Calls For Urgent Action To Improve Ireland’s Household & Commercial Waste Segregation & Recycling Performance.

  • Over two thirds of wastes in general waste bins could have been placed in the recycling or organic waste bins.
  • Food waste in commercial general waste bins is 30 per cent and in household general bins is 17%.
  • Plastics in the general waste bins are also significant for households (17%) and businesses (15%).
  • The rollout of organic waste bins to all houses, apartments, and commercial sectors needs to accelerate without delay.

he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published the latest National Municipal Waste Characterisation Project. The project results show very little change in Ireland’s household and commercial waste management practices since 2018. Irish businesses and householders are still putting the majority of their waste into the wrong bin. Over two thirds of waste in the general waste bins could have been placed in recycling and organic waste bin.

Municipal Waste Characterisation

Food waste is the most common waste in commercial general waste bins (30%) and household general waste bins (17%). Thousands of households and businesses still do not have an organic waste bin and correct food waste segregation cannot be achieved until this is addressed.

Recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, cardboard and metal account for around 24% of the household general waste bin and 37% of the commercial general waste bin.

Urgent action is needed to improve Ireland’s segregation and recycling performance to achieve municipal recycling rate targets and transition to a circular economy. The waste industry needs to do more by providing organic waste bins to all households and commercial premises and support awareness campaigns to make segregation easier.

Commenting on the results, Mr Micheál Lehane, (Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability), said “The results of the latest municipal waste characterisation are disappointing. Currently businesses and householders are putting recyclables, food waste and packaging waste into our general bins. This is a lost opportunity. Organic waste bins need to be rolled out urgently to businesses and households currently without this service. Implementation of the new commercial waste regulations is needed without delay.”

Access to recycling infrastructure, such as civic amenity sites and bring banks, needs to be made easier for householders to support segregation of special, bulky and hazardous wastes.

The rollout of organic waste bins to houses, apartments, and commercial sectors needs be enforced to ensure waste collectors are providing the same level of service to customers.

Mr Warren Phelan, (Programme Manager of the EPA’s Circular Economy Programme) noted: “Our recycling targets and transition to a circular economy are currently off track. There are significant opportunities to divert recyclable materials from the general waste bin, but householders and the commercial sector need more support from the waste industry to make it easier to segregate their waste correctly. Targeted awareness campaigns on segregation and focused enforcement activities are also needed.”

Further information on what is in our household and commercial bins is available on the EPA Website HERE.

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