Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (436)

Arthur Morgan


577 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the percentage of waste which is recycled in this State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25095/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The latest comprehensive data on waste arisings and recovery in respect of all waste streams are contained in the National Waste Database Report for 2001, published by the EPA in July 2003. No aggregate recycling rate for all waste streams is indicated in the report.

Agriculture is the single largest source of waste in Ireland, accounting for an estimated 76.5% of all waste arisings in 2001. As it is assumed that agricultural organic waste is managed by spreading on land with a consequential benefit of improving soil conditions for crop growth, the management of this waste is considered to be recovery.

The following are the recovery rates for the main non-agricultural waste streams in 2001, as estimated by the EPA: municipal (household and commercial) waste — 13.3%. industrial waste — 25.5%; hazardous waste — 64.5%; construction and demolition waste — 65.4%.

In the Interim National Waste Database Report for 2002 — which deals primarily with municipal waste and was published by the EPA in June 2004 the recycling rate of this waste stream is estimated to have advanced to 20.7% in 2002.

In the two EPA reports mentioned, the recovery rate of packaging waste, which is a significant waste stream, accounting for over a third of all municipal waste arisings, was estimated to have increased from 27.2% in 2001 to 34.9% in 2002.