Proposals to introduce a ban on all biodegradable waste being sent to landfill by 2025 is part of the soon to be published Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy, Delivering Resource Efficiency (the Strategy). The Strategy moves the emphasis of waste management from resource management towards resource efficiency. It has a renewed focus on waste prevention, preparing for re-use and recycling in accordance with the waste hierarchy set out in the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC).
Not all waste can be prevented, re-used or recycled, and some residual waste has value in the form of recoverable energy and other by-products. The Strategy therefore supports efficient energy recovery from residual waste in accordance with the waste hierarchy which can deliver environmental benefits, reduce carbon impacts and provide economic opportunities.
It notes that thermal treatment facilities, including anaerobic digestion, provide energy from waste which can contribute to meeting our non-fossil fuel obligations and Government‟s policies on renewable energy. It is within this policy context that the Department is consulting on legislative proposals to introduce restrictions on the landfilling of food waste. This honours a commitment to consult on the issue in the Strategy.