About 41% of municipal waste produced in Ireland is sent to landfill sites. According to the most recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency the quantity of municipal waste disposed to landfill is falling – approximately 24% less municipal waste was disposed to landfill in 2012 compared to 2011. Our recycling rate of 40% for municipal waste is close to the EU28 average (42%). The percentage tonnage of municipal waste managed for recovery is 59%. This exceeded the percentage tonnage managed for disposal (41%) for the first time in 2012.
More information can be found in the National Waste Report 2012.
Legislation from the EU and the Irish Government has stated that landfill must be the last option for waste disposal. All other options, like recycling, minimisation, prevention and re-use, must first be considered before the landfill option. All landfill facilities are licensed and routinely inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that they are operated correctly and will not cause environmental pollution. A waste licence is a single integrated licence that deals with emissions to all environmental media (eg air, water and soil). The licence also covers the environmental management of the site.
Under the Waste Management (Landfill Levy) Regulations (2002), a landfill levy is in operation. This levy is payable on top of whatever fee the landfill operator charges for use of the site. Money from this levy will go towards the Environmental Fund set up by the government to provide finance for environmental projects. While the levy is standard in all landfill sites, gate fees will vary from site to site. General commercial waste is charged by weight (tonne). The landfill levy has increased significantly from €20 per tonne in 2008 to its current level of €75 per tonne.
Further information on landfill in Ireland may be found on the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment website and on the Citizens Information website.
In Wicklow, there is one municipal waste landfill in operation. The landfill is privately owned and operated by Greenstar at Ballynagran, Coolbeg, Co. Wicklow (Waste Licence W0165-1) and is not open to the general public but is used by the waste industry for landfilling municipal waste.
Wicklow County Council formerly ran a landfill at Rampere outside Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow (Waste Licence WW0066-02). This landfill is now closed but Wicklow County Council operate a Recycling Centre at the location of this former landfill.
The public may also bring waste for landfilling to the Greenstar facility at Fassaroe. This is a transfer and sorting station for waste, where municipal waste materials are sorted for recycling and landfilling. (WL Reg.No WW53-03)
A full list of licensed facilities in Co. Wicklow is available on Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment website