What Is Waste

A waste scene
Copyright Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Waste is defined in law as something which a holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard. There are places to put rubbish so that it doesn't harm the environment.  If we don't put our waste in the right place - if we just carelessly throw it away - it becomes litter. In Ireland, the Waste Management Act sets down the legal definition of ‘waste’ resulting in a broad meaning that includes many scrap materials (such as old metal or broken cars), waste paper and plastic.

Waste can take many forms including man-made materials like glass, plastic, drinks and food cans and paper. Waste can be categorised into:

  • Household waste
  • Commerical waste
  • Agricultural waste
  • Manufacturing waste
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Hazardous waste

A 1998 document by The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government called 'Changing our ways' outlined the state of waste in Ireland. Addressed to local authorities, it urged a modernisation of waste management infrastructure. It emphasised the need for co-operation with neighbouring local authorities. Since 1998 the licensing of waste facilities has been fully rolled out, as has the collection permit system for those involved in waste collection activities.

Recent documents have further progressed waste policy were published in the years following the 'Changing our ways' policy statem. These can be found here and focus on how we can meet EU regulations along with outlining the current state of waste management in Ireland.

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User contributions:

By CNLI | 2016-07-08 22:28:00

Nappies don't have to be waste

Nappies don't have to be waste. Modern cloth nappies are very easy to use and wash! They are much better than disposables in terms of waste and contrary to what one might expect they do not use a lot more water (for washing) than is used in making disposables.