Waste management strategy

The revised Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy entitled 'Delivering Resource Efficiency' sets the policy framework for the management of waste in Northern Ireland, and contains actions and targets to meet EU Directive requirements and the Department’s Programme for Government commitments.


It builds on and retains the core principles of the 2006 Strategy, and places a renewed emphasis on the Waste Hierarchy. The new Strategy moves the emphasis of waste management in Northern Ireland from resource management, with landfill diversion as the key driver, to resource efficiency i.e. using resources in the most effective way while minimising the impact of their use on the environment.

The Strategy highlights a number of policy and legislative proposals of which the most significant are:

  • the development of a waste prevention programme
  • the development of a new recycling target for local authority collected municipal waste
  • the introduction of a statutory requirement on waste operators to provide specified data on commercial and industrial waste
  • new and more challenging collection and recycling targets for packaging and waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • the introduction of a landfill restriction on food waste
  • the implementation of legislation on carrier bags
  • the development of detailed proposals for an Environmental Better Regulation Bill

Delivering Resource Efficiency - Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy

All island used tyre report

In March 2012 DOE, in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG), appointed RPS Consulting Engineers to carry out a study to assess the numbers of tyres (new and used) arising on the island of Ireland and to determine as far as possible, how these are managed.

The report draws upon a number of sources of information and data to attempt to produce as robust a report as possible, including;

  • survey of tyre manufacturers, recyclers, collectors
  • collection of data through enforcement notices
  • use of DVA licensed vehicle statistics

The report provides a breakdown of how tyres are managed in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Briefly, in Northern Ireland there were 18,597 tonnes of used tyres in the 2010/11 reporting year of which:

  • the majority (about 72%) were recycled
  • 0.2% were retreaded
  • 6% were used for landfill engineering
  • 5% used for agricultural purposes
  • 7.3% were sold as part worns
  • 9.5% were sent to unknown destinations

For Northern Ireland, this represents a significant improvement in the overall recycling performance for tyres. For example, the waste tyre survey in 2000 estimated that there were about 16,100 tonnes of waste tyres generated annually in Northern Ireland. The main destinations identified at that time were:

  • 32% being sent for retreading
  • 22% for recycling
  • 16% for agricultural purposes

However some 30% of waste tyres were disposed of to unknown destinations.

In Ireland there were 38,673 tonnes of used tyres in the 2010 calendar year, of which 18,254 tonnes were recycled. The report provides further break-down in terms of management routes and tonnages for used tyres.

Waste Framework Directive

The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) ("WFD") lays down measures to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and measurement of waste and by reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use.

In particular it requires that Member States ensure the establishment, by their competent authorities, of one or more waste management plans in accordance with Articles 1, 4, 13 and 16 of the Directive.

While the WFD refers to waste management plans drawn up by Member States, this has been implemented in the UK Member State through the development of national strategies by each of the constituent countries and the preparation, by the relevant waste collection and disposal authorities, of plans to implement the strategies within their areas.

In Northern Ireland this requirement is fulfilled through the Waste Management Plan for Northern Ireland prepared by the Department, which includes the NI Waste Management Strategy and the regional waste management plans prepared by the three district council waste management groups.

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

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