The first National Waste Characterisation study in ten years was published by the EPA in December, 2018. The report provides a very important insight on our waste management practices and will prove invaluable in terms of supporting current and future waste policy decisions. The report further highlights areas where improvements can and must be made if we are to keep achieving our targets under EU legislation and transition to a circular and resource efficient economy. Details of the report are available at http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/waste/wastecharacterisation/.
My Department has funded a range of initiatives to support people to prevent, segregate and mange their waste more sustainably, including through the development of a single national recycling list for households, a 'Master Recycling programme, the 'Stop Food Waste' programme and information on how to use the organic bin appropriately, at www.brownbin.ie.
To further assist in the provision of information to the public, my Department, in conjunction with the Regional Waste Management Planning Offices, launched a new website in November 2018, www.mywaste.ie. This website has been developed by the Regional Waste Management Offices with support from my Department, to provide consumers with a single information resource on all aspects of domestic waste management in Ireland and in particular it focuses on the provision of advice on managing waste more responsibly and efficiently.
Material collected as litter, street cleanings and from on-street refuse bins make up 3 to 4% of Municipal Waste based on current best estimates, but it is an element of waste about which we need to know more. The EPA is currently preparing tenders for work to include characterisation of litter, street cleanings and street bin collected material, with the expectation that this work will begin in quarter 2 2019.