The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has recently published Draft Regulations which seek to transpose the revised EU Waste Framework Directive into Irish law. Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste was published on 22 November 2008, and is the culmination of a major review of EU waste management law.

The Department has invited interested parties to make comments/submissions by close of business on 26 November 2010, but has pointed out that the Draft Regulations are simply transposing the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC into Irish law, and for that reason, the consultation does not invite views on the substance of the revised Waste Framework Directive or the possibility of a change to that Directive.

The overall aims of the revised Waste Framework Directive are to promote waste prevention, to increase recycling, and to ensure better use of resources, while protecting human health and the environment. It re-enacts much of the existing Waste Framework Directive, and leaves the legal definition of waste unchanged, but it also contains a number of new features.

The main new features of the revised Waste Framework Directive are that it requires Member States:

  • To apply the Waste Hierarchy as a priority order in waste prevention and management legislation and policy;
  • Where it is technically, environmentally and economically practicable, to set up separate collections of waste for at least paper, metal, plastic and glass by 2015. This applies to both household and business waste;
  • To recycle 50% of waste from households by 2020;
  • To recover 70% of construction and demolition waste by 2020.

Member States are required to transpose the provisions of the Directive by 12 December 2010.