Different Wastes

Household waste is produced within a home setting, while Commercial waste comes from premises used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a trade/business or for sport, recreation, education or entertainment. Both of these wastes together are labelled Municipal Waste.

The quantity of municipal waste recovered in 2011 increased by 5% on that reported in 2010 (from 42% to 47%, as a proportion of waste generated). The landfill of municipal waste decreased by a corresponding amount. The total managed municipal waste arisings comprised 1,406,576 tonnes of household waste, 1,114,829 tonnes of commercial waste and 25,172 tonnes of street cleansing waste (EPA, 2013). In the EPA's 2017 state of the environment report the most significant change highlighted since 2012 is that more residual waste is now recovered (i.e. used as a fuel) than sent to landfill. 

Between 2007 and 2012 the quantity of municipal waste generated dropped each year, falling to 2,692,500 tonnes by 2012, a decrease of over a fifth. The amount of municipal waste generated in Ireland in 2014 is estimated at 2,730,000 tonnes, an increase of 6% since 2012.

The latest waste generation figures show that 11.91 Mt of waste was generated in 2014. 23% of this was municipal waste, 28% from construction and demolition waste and 49% from other sources. These other sources are typically industry and agriculture. 

Biodegradable municipal waste includes items like wood, paper and cardboard that can undergo biological decomposition. Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) is combustible materials that can be converted into energy in an industrial furnace.

Agricultural waste comes in both non-natural and natural forms. Non-natural waste includes packaging, non-packaging plastics (silage wrapping), animal health products (syringes) and waste from machinery (oil, tyres and batteries).

Manufacturing  is the second greatest source of waste. The waste includes: food, beverages, basic metals, paper products, wood products and chemical products.

Construction and demolition waste is the unwanted material that arises from construction, renovation and demolition activities. 

Litter Constituents
Copyright Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

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