Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme (NILAS)

NILAS was introduced in 2005 and translated the Landfill Directive targets into annual allowances for each District Council in Northern Ireland for each year to 2019/20.


For Northern Ireland, as with the rest of the UK the targets are to reduce the amount of bio-degradable municipal waste sent to landfill to:

  • 75% of 1995 levels by 2010
  • 50% of 1995 levels by 2013
  • 35% of 1995 levels by 2020

The allocations are based on local authority collected municipal waste and this equates to:

  • 470,000 tonnes by 2010
  • 320,000 tonnes by 2013
  • 220,000 tonnes by 2020

The Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 established the Department of the Environment as the allocating authority for NILAS.

As the allocating authority the Department has responsibility for :

  • allocating allowances
  • the monitoring and reporting of these allowances and the Scheme
  • delegating powers and responsibilities in relation to District Councils
  • developing a strategy for reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) monitors the Scheme. Each year the NIEA publishes the NILAS Annual Report which among other things details each district council’s performance with regard to their landfill allowance allocation. Reports can be viewed below.

Annual NILAS Reports

Each annual NILAS report covers a scheme year of the Landfill Allowance Scheme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004 (as amended) and summarises district council and landfill compliance with the scheme during the scheme year.

You can view these reports on the DAERA publication section of this website using the below link:

Public register

NILAS legislation

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004 introduced the Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme with effect from 1 April 2005 and set out the conditions and provisions of the Scheme.

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 amended the NILAS 2004 Regulations (above) by reducing the level of penalty to which a district council is liable from £200 to £150 for each tonne over a council’s allocated allowance.

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 also amended the NILAS 2004 Regulations (above) by reducing from 71% to 64% by weight (rounded up to the nearest tonne), the assumed amount of biodegradable municipal waste in an amount of collected municipal waste in Northern Ireland.

This followed the completion of a NI waste compositional study in February 2008.

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 also amended the NILAS 2004 Regulations (above) to take account of changes to the interpretation of “municipal waste” and in particular introduce the term “local authority collected municipal waste”.

They make consequential changes to reflect the revised interpretation of municipal waste.

Should you require further information, please feel free to contact:


Forms are available for landfill operators to make returns under the NILAS regulations and for District Councils to request the borrowing and transfer of landfill allowances:

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