Tuesday 26 September 2017

Amount of waste we create down 17pc since boom

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE amount of waste being generated by households and businesses has fallen by almost 20pc since the height of the boom.

New figures show the recession and cuts in personal consumption have resulted in the amount of waste being generated falling by 17pc since 2007, and that Ireland now produces less waste per person than the EU average.

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns we are "at risk" of missing EU targets on reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills.

This is because of a lack of recycling and incineration facilities, and because people are not recycling paper, plastics and cardboard or composting organic food waste in sufficient numbers.

"Ireland is well advanced towards achievement of all of its EU obligations across a broad range of waste legislation, in particular in relation to recovery and recycling," said EPA spokesman Dr Jonathan Derham.

"However, Ireland continues to show a substantial reliance on recovery of municipal waste abroad."

The National Waste Report, to be published today, shows:

• Some 40pc of all waste is now being recycled.

• Just over 2.8 million tonnes was produced in 2011. This compares with almost 3.4 million in 2007.

• The bulk of waste recovered (73pc) is exported for treatment and recycling.

• 53pc of household waste is disposed of in landfill.

Repak, which recovers packaging waste, said it processed 668,000 tonnes of waste in 2012, an increase of 2.5pc.

"Since Repak was established in 1998, it has helped divert nearly seven million tonnes of used packaging from going to landfill," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent

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