The 2011 Act sets a framework for significant increases to the landfill levy, in a move to further divert waste from landfill and to incentivise the development of other types of waste facilities. The 2011 Act also introduces changes to allow greater flexibility to change the plastic bag levy.
Increases to the landfill levy on 1 September 2011 and more to come
On 1 September 2011, the landfill levy increased from €30 per tonne to €50 per tonne. The 2011 Act and the Regulations provide a statutory framework for further changes to the landfill levy. The Minister has announced a series of increases in the landfill levy to rise to "€65 per tonne from July 2012 and €75 per tonne from July 2013." According to the Minister, Ireland sends over 60% of its municipal waste to landfill. This stands in contrast to our EU counterparts, Sweden and the Netherlands, who send 1% of municipal waste to landfill. The new framework to increase the landfill levy responds to what the Minister describes as an "urgent need to make a rapid and significant move away from landfill" as a step on "the road to the provision of more diverse waste treatment options". The 2011 Act sets the ceiling on the landfill levy at a maximum limit of €120 per tonne. The levy may be changed only once in any financial year and by not more than €50 on each occasion.
Waste-to-energy plants – changes
The Regulations introduce a new exemption from the landfill levy regarding the residue from waste to energy plants that goes to landfill. Residual waste accepted at landfill from a waste-to-energy plant, where the plant meets defined energy recovery targets, is exempt from the landfill levy. In a departure from the original intention when the...