THE State faces major challenges to meet EU targets to reduce the amount of household waste being sent to landfill.
A report says the “majority” of waste continues to be sent to dumps instead of being composted or recycled, and there is a risk that 2013 and 2016 landfill targets will be missed.
However, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said there has been marked improvements in recycling rates.
In 2001, some 77pc of all household waste was sent to landfill, which fell to 53pc in 2010.
Norway, Ireland and Poland are the top three countries in reducing the amount of municipal waste going to landfill.
Only by increasing the cost of disposing of rubbish in landfill will targets be met, it says. The cost of using landfill is set to rise to €75 per tonne by 2013, making recycling and composting more attractive.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan has also announced new regulations requiring all households to have brown bins, meaning all food waste must be composted.