Waste management strategy

The revised Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy entitled 'Delivering Resource Efficiency' was published in 2013 and set the policy framework for the management of waste in Northern Ireland until 2020. During the period it was active it set actions and targets to meet EU Directive requirements and the Department’s Programme for Government commitments.


The strategy built on and retained the core principles of the previous 2006 Strategy, and placed a renewed emphasis on the Waste Hierarchy. The 2013 Strategy moved 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 highlighted a number of policy and legislative proposals of which the most significant were:

  • 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

New Waste Management Strategy Development

Following the publication of the closure report, DAERA is currently in the process of developing a new Waste Management strategy.

As part of this, on the 29 September and 13 December 2022, the department held stakeholder events at Greenmount. The events were an opportunity for interested stakeholders and key policy leads to meet and discuss the direction of waste for Northern Ireland.

These events included updates from the department’s waste policy leads on the ongoing developments in their areas, including Extended Producer Responsibility, Waste Prevention, the carrier bag levy and UK-wide Digital Waste Tracking.

The slides and information from the events can be found at Waste Management Strategy Development. In addition to the video above, webcast sessions for each event have been published on DAERAs YouTube channel.

Closure Report: Delivering Resource Efficiency – The Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy 2013

Published in June 2022 the report formally closes Delivering Resource Efficiency - Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy. In doing so the report formally concludes governance arrangements for the 2013 Strategy including completion of its monitoring and reporting arrangements. Overall the report finds the vast majority of the actions and targets of the 2013 Strategy have either been achieved or significant improvements have occurred over the lifetime of the Strategy.

The closure report also represents the starting point for DAERA’s work to develop a new Waste Management Strategy by 2023.

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

Waste Framework Directive and Waste Management Plan

The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) ("WFD") as retained domestically post EU Exit 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 the Member State ensure the establishment of one or more waste management plans in accordance with Articles 1, 4, 13 and 16 of the Directive.

As the retained WFD refers to waste management plans drawn up by Competent Authorities, this has been implemented through the development of national strategies by each UK constituent country 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 currently fulfilled through the Waste Management Plan for Northern Ireland prepared by the Department and published in 2019. The Plan includes the NI Waste Management Strategy and the regional waste management plans prepared by the three district council waste management groups.

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