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New waste regulations to include incentivised charging and segregation for commercial waste

This change will bring the commercial sector in line with the residential sector, for whom incentivised pricing has been in place since 2017.

MINISTER FOR THE Environment, Eamon Ryan has signed new legislation to introduce incentivised charging for waste collection in the commercial sector which would require waste collection companies to provide a residual, mixed dry recyclable and bio-waste bin to all their commercial customers.

The legislation would also ensure that all commercial customers are placed onto a price plan that ensures that the cost to the customer for mixed dry recyclable or bio-waste is less than the cost of disposal for municipal waste.

This change will bring the commercial sector in line with the residential sector, for whom incentivised pricing has been in place since 2017.

The Waste Management (Collection Permit) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023 will come into effect on 1 July. 

 A study published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2018 found that 70% of the contents of the average commercial waste bin could be diverted to recycling.

This represents a large loss of potentially-recyclable material and an unnecessarily high cost to businesses, whose waste charges would be lowered through proper segregation.

Improved waste segregation in the commercial sector would also make a significant contribution to achieving EU recycling targets.

Ireland faces  targets under the EU Waste Framework Directive for recycling municipal solid waste (MSW) of 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.

The most recent figures from the EPA show that Ireland achieved a rate of 41% in 2020.

Welcoming the regulations, Minister Eamon Ryan said:

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indicated 70% of the material placed in commercial black bins could instead be put in recycling or organic bins. The introduction of incentivised waste collection in the residential sector has proven very successful, and I am confident that the commercial sector will embrace these changes and help Ireland to meet our EU targets for recycling and landfill.”

“Improved recycling of commercial waste will benefit not just the environment but will improve the viability of recycling infrastructure and reduce waste costs for business.” 

There is no change for packaging waste currently collected under packaging waste legislation, as well as no change proposed for food waste or bio-waste currently collected from commercial premises under Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations.

The regulations also require that waste collection companies update their customer charter for households, as well as introduce a customer charter for their commercial customers.

This charter must be published on the collector’s website and must give details such as the frequency of collections, methods of charging and details of the collection service for each type of waste. 

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