The Programme for Government commits to the development of a coherent national waste policy, adhering to the waste hierarchy, which will aim to minimise waste disposal in landfill and maximise recovery. In addition, Ireland must comply with strict limits under the Landfill Directive for the volumes of material which are landfilled. I published A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland in July 2012 which clearly signalled my intent ion to raise the landfill levy in July 2013 in order to provide certainty, in the form of both policy and legislation, so that the necessary actions and investments are progressed to achieve the policy’s objectives.
The National Waste Report for 2011 reported the quantity of biodegradable municipal waste disposed at landfill in 2011 as 771,551 tonnes. This is 161,551 tonnes in excess of the July 2013 EU Landfill Directive limit and 344,551 tonnes in excess of the 2016 limit. Therefore, effective economic instruments, such as the landfill levy, are key to encouraging more sustainable management of our waste.
Charges applied by waste management companies are a matter between those companies and their customers, subject to compliance with all applicable environmental and other relevant legislation, particularly the conditions attached to each waste collection permit issued under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2007 as amended. The increase in the landfill levy is €10 per tonne of leviable waste disposed of to landfill and in that context, the National Waste Report for 2011, published by the Environmental Protection Agency records a figure of 0.163 tonnes of residual household waste per person being disposed of to landfill in that year.