Ireland's Environment Indicators

WasteStatus / Trend
Biodegradable Waste Diversion from Landfill Smiley_Green
Household Waste per Capita Status for Indicator at Amber
Recovery and Disposal of Municipal Waste amber face
Recovery and Recycling of Packaging Waste Status for Indicator at Amber

Biodegradable Waste Diversion from Landfill

Landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) results in high emissions of methane which is a greenhouse gas and a potential source of odour nuisance. There are targets under the Landfill Directive to divert BMW from landfill. Ireland has met all targets to date and is on track to meet the final diversion target (due December 2020). Ireland’s national waste statistics can be found here.

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Household Waste per capita

In 2018, Ireland generated 1.58 million tonnes (Mt) of household waste; 1.53 Mt of household waste was managed and an estimate 50 Kt was unmanaged. The quantity of household waste managed in Ireland in 2018 equates to 315 kilograms per person.  There has been an overall increase in the amount of household waste managed per capita in Ireland since 2010. Ireland’s national waste statistics can be found here.

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Recovery and Disposal of Municipal Waste

Municipal waste is made up of household waste, as well as commercial waste that is similar in nature to household waste.  In 2018, Ireland generated 2.9 Mtonnes of municipal waste.  Over three quarters (85 per cent) of municipal waste was recovered in 2018. This increase from 77 per cent in 2017 was driven by a rise in the quantity of municipal waste that was incinerated with energy recovery. The recycling rate was 38 per cent in 2018, which is lower than the 40 per cent in 2017 and 41 per cent in 2016. This indicates that Ireland’s recycling rate for municipal waste has started to slip in recent years. Ireland’s national waste statistics can be found here.

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Recovery and Recycling of Packaging Waste

In 2018, Ireland generated 1.04 Mtonnes of packaging waste.  Ireland has met all statutory packaging recovery targets set since 2001.  Our recycling rate in 2018 is 64 per cent and our recovery rate is 91 per cent, exceeding the EU targets of 55 and 60 per cent. However, much higher EU recycling targets will apply from 2025 and 2030, which will be challenging for Ireland.  Ireland’s national waste statistics can be found here.

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Open in Excel: Waste Indicators (XLS 21KB)