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EPA Publishes National Criteria For Recycled Aggregates.

  • Construction waste is Ireland’s largest waste stream, and current recycling rates are too low.
  • Implementation of new national end-of-waste criteria will reduce construction waste going to landfills, and increase recycling rates.
  • Use of end-of-waste criteria for recycled aggregates will support green procurement in the built environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published National End-of-Waste Criteria for Recycled Aggregates*.
*Aggregates meaning materials formed from a mass of fragments or particles loosely compacted together.

The criteria apply to aggregates recycled from construction and demolition waste, including soil and stone, concrete, bricks and ceramics. These criteria will allow for the safe reclassification of recycled aggregates from a waste to a product, which can be subsequently placed on the market.

There is a strong demand for recycled aggregates in Ireland to support development of new infrastructure with a low carbon footprint. The criteria allow for the replacement of virgin aggregates with recycled aggregates, in uses such as general fill, road construction, railway ballast and other non-structural uses.

Keeping materials in use is one of the fundamental elements of a circular economy. These criteria support and facilitate increased recycling in the construction, demolition and waste sectors.

Commenting on the criteria, Mr Micheál Lehane, [Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability], said: “The publication of national end-of-waste criteria for recycled aggregates is a significant milestone for both the EPA and industry. The criteria will help tackle construction waste, the largest waste stream in the country and support the development of markets for recyclable materials. This is the type of progress which is needed if Ireland is to move in a meaningful way from the linear to the circular economy.”

End-of-waste criteria for recycled aggregates will also support national green procurement ambitions. A publicly-available register on the EPA website will enable buyers to confidently choose a registered supplier of quality recycled aggregates.

Mr Warren Phelan, [Programme Manager of the EPA’s Circular Economy Programme] noted: “The publication of the criteria show the EPA’s commitment to streamlining the regulation of secondary products. This represents a shift away from the assessment of case-by-case applications to a national criteria available to all authorised producers. These criteria will introduce a level playing field for industry and introduce a single set of rules that are easy to implement.”

The EPA calls on industry and the waste sector to now adopt, implement and build upon the criteria established.

Further information on the national end-of-waste criteria and other initiatives of the circular economy programme are available on the EPA website HERE.

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