The compilation of detailed statistics on waste generation, recovery, recycling and final disposal are a matter for the Environmental Protection Agency which prepares the national waste database, NWD, every three years. The most recent such report published in 2003 in respect of waste arising in 2001 is available from the EPA.
The agency will in future be compiling the NWD every two years which will facilitate the closer monitoring of waste generation, recovery, recycling and disposal patterns across all sectors. Current indications are that the rate of municipal waste generation has slowed, which, coupled with a significant increase in recycling rates, has led to a reduction for the first time in the amount of municipal waste going to landfill. While this is a positive development, there is a need to continue and build on these trends to achieve the ambitious targets set out in the 1998 policy document, Changing our Ways, and reaffirmed in Taking Stock and Moving Forward published earlier this year.