Waste Management

Author:Ms Louise Wright
Profession:Dillon Eustace

Introduction The primary legislative provisions that govern the recycling and disposal of waste in Ireland are the Waste Management Acts 1996 – 2008 (the "Waste Management Acts") and the Environmental Protection Act, 1992 (the "1992 Act") (collectively the "Acts") and the regulations made under the 1992 Act. The Acts have been implemented, among other objectives, to facilitate the transposition into national law existing and future European waste legislation which has and continues to strongly influence domestic legislation.

Main Objectives Of The Waste Management Act 1996 (The "1996 Act") The main objectives of the 1996 Act are to:

ensure a more effective organisation of public authority functions in relation to waste management, involving new or redefined roles for the minister, the Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA") and the local authority; introduce measures designed to enhance performance in relation to the prevention and recovery of waste; set down a detailed and up to date regulatory framework for the application of higher environmental standards, particularly as a response to EU and national waste disposal management requirements; prohibit the transfer of waste to a person other than an authorised person; prohibit the recovery or disposal of waste at an unlicensed facility; require any person who carries on activities of an agricultural, commercial or industrial nature to take all such reasonable steps as are necessary to prevent or minimise the production of waste; and impose substantial penalties for offences to include fines and/or imprisonment plus potential liability for clean up costs. Under the 1996 Act and associated regulations, all major local authorities are responsible for devising and reviewing the local waste management plans in relation to non-hazardous waste authorisation and control of commercial waste collection activities and the EPA is empowered to licence and monitor the performance of waste management activities and to make a national plan in relation to hazardous waste.

Regulations Under The 1996 Act The regulations made under the 1996 Act includes;

the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations, 1997 (S.I. No.133 of 1997) which provides a system of licencing by the EPA in relation to waste disposal facilities; the Waste Management (Planning) Regulations, 1997 (No.137 of 1997) which specify the matters to be addressed in waste management plans and the bodies to which proposed plans must be...

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