The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Waste Report 2010 released today (March 1) showed that municipal waste generation fell by 3.6% while household waste recovery increased by 11% compared to 2009 figures.

In addition, household waste collected for treatment fell by 5% and commercial waste collected fell by 12% compared to 2009 while use of waste as an energy fuel grew by 20% from 2009 figures to 183,000 tonnes in 2010.

However while Ireland met its 2010 EU Landfill Directive target for diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill, it needs to take action to improve the reuse, recovery and recycling rates for end-of-life vehicles.

The report also found that the economic downturn is having a marked influence on municipal waste generation, which has decreased by 16% since it peaked in 2007.

The quantity of household waste collected for treatment fell by 5% in spite of an increase in population, while the recovery rate for packaging waste increased to 74%.

Commenting on the findings, EPA director general Laura Burke said: “The economic downturn is continuing to have a marked influence on waste generation, particularly in the commercial waste and construction & demolition waste streams.

“When the economy begins to improve, it is important that we decouple waste generation from economic growth.”

Maxine Perella

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