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INTRODUCTION

The increasing pressures of population growth and the rapid rise in consumerism since the 1940s have begun to put the capacity of the earth to assimilate waste under considerable strain. The initial solution was disposal of waste through landfill which soon gave rise to its own problems, as badly located sites have led to contamination of groundwater, infestation by vermin and a proliferation of wind-blown litter.

In the European Union as a whole over two billion tonnes of waste are produced each year of which approximately 30 million tonnes can be classified as hazardous. Some 50-60% of the overall solid waste stream is landfilled, though the proportion of landfilled waste varies substantially in individual Member States and ranges from under 30% in Holland and Luxembourg to virtually 100% in Ireland, Portugal and Greece. EU Directives on waste have for the large part been determined by its various Environmental Action Programmes. In 1989 the EU drew up a policy document entitled ‘Waste Management Strategy’ which set long-term aspirations with regard to the European Union’s waste management legislation and activities. Its main principles were:

- prevention of waste by technologies and products;

- recycling and reuse;

- optimisation of final disposal;

- regulation of transport;

- remedial action.

On 24 February 1997, Council adopted a Resolution on a Community strategy for waste management which is a review of the 1989 strategy. This Resolution underpins the principles of waste prevention first, then recovery and finally, minimisation of final disposal and confirms the current EU policy on the movements of waste. The Resolution gives precedence to the recovery of materials over energy generation and the strongly promotes the principle of producer responsibility.

 

EUROPEAN LEGISLATION

 

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/442/EC (WASTE Framework) laid down the basic principles on the collection, disposal, recycling and processing of waste on a national basis as opposed to a local basis as had been the case before. This was supplemented in 1978 by Directive 78/319/EEC on toxic and dangerous waste.

 

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 78/319/EC (TOXIC AND DANGEROUS WASTE) drew up a list of toxic and hazardous substances, providing a broad framework for the control and disposal of waste containing them and includes the ‘polluter pays’ principle under which the holder and/or previous holder/producer of the wastes are responsible for the costs of its storage, treatment and disposal. (Radioactive wastes, certain agricultural wastes, hospital wastes, explosives and effluents discharged into water courses and sewers are not included under this directive: these are covered in part by Directive 76/464/EEC, a framework directive governing the discharge of dangerous substances to inland, coastal and territorial waters).

A series of directives dealt with such issues as waste oils (Council Directive 75/439/EEC, since updated by Council Directive 87/101/EEC), the treatment and disposal of PCBs and PCTs (76/403/EEC), waste from the titanium oxide industry (78/176/EEC) and the use of sewage sludge in agriculture (86/278/EEC). Council Directive 85/339/EEC required the establishment of national programmes for reduction in the volume of beverage containers disposed as waste. The programmes were to begin on 1 January 1987 and updated subsequently every four years. A heavy emphasis was put on the recycling of such containers.

 

HOWEVER, European Union waste legislation was substantially revised by the adoption of DIRECTIVE 91/156/EEC (WASTE) and DIRECTIVE 91/689/EEC (HAZARDOUS WASTE) which provided a legal framework for the management and disposal of waste as laid out in the Commission’s ‘Waste Management Strategy’. These directives provided more rigorous definitions for 'waste' and 'hazardous waste'; established broad licensing and registration conditions for those who handle, transport, dispose of or recycle waste; and required the relevant authorities to draw up waste management plans with the aim of achieving 'self-sufficiency' (i.e. disposal by Member States of their own waste), allowing the national authorities to control waste movements which do not comply with those plans. Initially an exhaustive list of hazardous wastes was to have provided the legally binding definition of hazardous waste. This proved impossible to compile and Directive 94/31/EC postponed implementation of Directive 91/689 from December 1993 until July 1995 to allow completion of a list. In December 1994 EU environmental ministers approved a core list of wastes which are to be considered hazardous. At the same time, the ministers passed into law the draft directive governing the incineration of hazardous waste. The hazardous waste list is a key component of the 1991 hazardous waste Directive and agreement on the list finally meant that that piece of legislation could be fully implemented. The list contains 200 types of waste divided into 19 main categories.

 

COUNCIL DIRECTIVES 84/631, 85/469/EEC (TRANSFRONTIER ) and DECISION 90/170/EEC deal with the transfrontier shipment of toxic or hazardous waste as defined by Directive 78/319/EEC and Directive 76/403/EEC above. Directive 84/631/EEC requires the use of a detailed consignment note detailing the source and composition of the waste, the routes by which it will be transported, measures undertaken to ensure safe transportation and the existence of a formal agreement with the consignee of the waste. Transportation cannot take place until the Member States concerned have acknowledged receipt of notification of the shipment. Objections from a Member State must be based on Community law or international agreements concerning environmental protection, public policy, security or health protection. The Directive also includes conditions for packaging and labelling the waste.

 

COUNCIL REGULATION 259/93/EEC (SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF SHIPMENTS OF WASTES) entered into force on 6 May 1994 has as its aim the comprehensive regulation of the movement of all waste within, into and out of the EU. The Regulation implements the Basel Convention and OECD Decision on the transfrontier shipment of waste. The shipment of hazardous waste destined for final disposal to non-OECD countries is prohibited. This is to prevent EU and non-OECD operators from dumping hazardous waste in developing countries. Waste for disposal within the EU requires prior authorisation. The principles of self-sufficiency (disposal by Member States of their own waste) and proximity (local waste disposal) will also apply. The treatment of wastes for recovery operations within the EU will depend on the listing of the wastes in question. Those listed as 'green' will be largely excluded from the Regulation; those listed as 'amber' will be subject to a prior notification requirement and those listed as 'red' will require prior authorisation.

 

Regulation 259/93/EEC was amended and extended in February 1997 in relation to waste exports out of the European Union. The amendment inplemented into Commuity law the decision taken under the Basel convention to immediately ban exports of hazardous waste destined for final disposal to non-OECD countries, and to ban by January 1998 all exports of hazardous waste destinged for recovery in non-OECD countries.

 

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 85/337/EEC (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) marked a new departure in the planning of large waste disposal facilities by requiring an environmental impact statement for new sites which will take in excess of 20,000 tonnes of waste per annum. The proposed DIRECTIVE ON LANDFILL (OJEC C 212/93) would introduce licence applications and technical requirements for the design, operation, monitoring, shut-down and post shut-down care for landfills. Under the proposed Directive, landfills would be classified according to the type of waste they take in (hazardous, non-hazardous and inert) and operators would be required to provide a financial guarantee to cover the costs of site operation. The proposed Directive also stipulates that the relevant authorities must be notified of any adverse environmental effects caused by the landfill. It would require sorting of waste prior to landfilling and ban co-disposal (the mixing of different types of waste in the one site). It would also introduce a staged reduction of biodegradable content of waste admitted to landfill.

 

WASTE INCINERATION PLANTS: Council Directives 89/369/EEC and 89/429/EEC regulate air emissions from new and existing municipal waste incineration plants. These two directives came into force in December 1990. Directive 94/67 on the INCINERATION OF HAZARDOUS WASTE was passed into law in December 1994. The directive has as its goals the minimisation of emissions resulting from the incineration of hazardous waste which might be detrimental to human health and the environment. The Directive will set stringent licensing, technical, design and operational criteria for all hazardous waste plants and facilities. Existing facilities will be required to upgrade to meet the new standards within three years of the Directive's implementation.

 

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 91/271/EEC (URBAN WASTE WATER) aims to protect the environment from the effects of collection, treatment and discharge of urban waste waters, discharges from certain industrial sectors and the disposal of sludge. It sets requirements regulating effluent discharges at a common fixed standard, allowing exceptions under specified conditions. It sets deadlines (ranging from 1995 to 2005) for urban areas of different population levels to provide for collection and at least secondary treatment of urban waste waters. It establishes requirements for urban waste water treatment plants and controls on discharges of industrial waste water into urban waste water treatment plants. It also requires that Member States have identified sensitive areas by the end of 1993; sensitive areas are classified as those subject to eutrophication and those waters used for drinking water which might not meet the requirements of other Council Directives.

 

DECISION 94/2 — the EUROPEAN WASTE CATALOGUE was adopted by the EU in 1994 with the purpose of providing a common terminology for statistical purposes. The catalogue classifies wastes by their origin and is periodically reviewed. Some difficulty in assigning hazard attribution to wastes initially slowed down the project but the Commission subsequently decided to deal with hazard attribution in a separate HAZARDOUS WASTE LIST — DECISION 94/904/EC of 31 December 1994.

DIRECTIVE 94/62/EC ON PACKAGING & PACKAGING WASTE was passed in December 1994. The Directive sets targets for recovery and recycling of waste from all sources, criteria which packaging must meet, and measures to encourage prevention of packaging waste. It establishes measures for the promotion of return, reuse and recovery operations. The Directive requires 60% recovery and 40% recycling of all packaging waste within five years of the Directive coming into force. Article 8 of the Directive requires that the Commission draw up a marking system to indicate the reusability or recyclability of packaging. This is currently under discussion. In addition, a marking system must also be devised which will identify the packaging material and this is the subject of a separate proposal.

 

In the case of Ireland the targets are as follows:

 

- by 30 June 2001, recovery of a minimum of 25% by weight of all packaging waste, and

- by 31 December 2005, recovery of a minimum of 50% and a maximum of 65% by weight of all packaging waste; such recovery must include:

- recycling of 25% of packaging waste, and

- recycling of a minimum of 15% of packaging waste from each individual packaging material.

 

DIRECTIVE 96/61/EC on INTEGRATED POLLUTION CONTROL aims to "modify and supplement existing Community legislation concerning the prevention and control of pollution from industrial plants” in order to achieve “an integrated approach’ to pollution prevention so as to preserve and improve the quality of the environment, protect human health and to ensure a rational utilisation of natural resources. It lays down the criteria by which Member States will grant operating licences to a range of industries and processes which come within its scope. The impacts of emissions to all media (air, water and soil) have to be taken into consideration and minimised in an integrated fashion, without putting an undue pollution load on any one media. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for the implementation of Integrated Pollution Control Licensing in Ireland under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The Act sets out the guiding principles which must be applied and lists 61 classes of industrial, process and agricultural activities which are subject to IPC licensing. The licensing of established activities commenced in September 1994 and by mid-1997 some 102 activities had received IPC licences in Ireland.

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S PRIORITY WASTE STREAMS: the EU established in 1993 a programme to examine waste streams for particular products, notably health care waste, demolition waste, used tyres, chlorinated solvents and end-of-life vehicles. Project groups were set up review each of these product areas and develop ways of dealing with them. Progress to date has been disappointing — end-of-life vehicles pose problems because the Commission wants to exclude PVC in cars; demolition waste is of concern because of the enormous amount of waste generated; used tyres will be banned from landfill if Member States reach agreement.

 

 

IRELAND

 

Each year more than 28 million tonnes of solid waste are produced in Ireland of which agriculture is responsible for 22 million tonnes. Of the remaining 6.6 million tonnes, 1.6 million are disposed of by local authorities (almost all of which go to landfill sites), 4.86 million are disposed of by private firms and the remaining 140,000 tonnes, classified as special waste, are disposed of on-site, exported for disposal overseas or dumped in local authority tip-sites.

 

HAZARDOUS WASTES

A sizeable percentage of the toxic wastes produced in this country every year are made up of organic solvents which can be recycled and reused. Between 1988 to 1992 there has been a substantial increase in hazardous waste arisings, from 72, 850 to 99,393 tonnes, though this could in part be accounted for by under-reporting in 1988. This has been accompanied by an increase in the amount of wastes recovered and recycled: from 31,462 tonnes in 1988 to 46,981 in 1992. Wastes exported for disposal or recovery abroad have also increased, from 12,081 tonnes in 1988 to 19,591 in 1992 of which 4,000 and 11,040 tonnes respectively were incinerated. Incineration at home accounted for 17,905 tonnes in 1988, increasing to 25,896 tonnes in 1992.

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTES

Almost all municipal and industrial waste is disposed of by landfill and a further 18% of our sewage sludge is mixed with domestic refuse and disposed in the same manner. The potential for pollution from these sites is substantial. Until recently, many were situated in the more inexpensive and easily accessible areas such as former quarries, cutaway bog areas, old sandpits and low-lying land close to rivers or marshy areas. The main problems have been wind-blown litter, pollution of groundwater by leachate, vermin and odours. Outdated design on older sites (some of which have been in use for more than 25 years) and lack of expenditure on remote, low input sites by local authorities have contributed to unsatisfactory standards. It is only recently that sites have been chosen and designed with the aim of reducing such environmental problems.

There are a number of options available in the disposal of non-hazardous waste which can reduce the landfill volume required and control other pollutant elements:

 

INCINERATION: Incineration offers virtually a ten-fold reduction of the volume of waste to be disposed. However, capital and operating costs associated with incineration are extremely high and air pollution can result from emissions unless appropriate pollution control equipment is used.

 

COMPACTION: Reduction of waste volume by compaction greatly increases the life-span of landfill sites. In Dublin, the Corporation has a compacting machine for compressing packaging and other commercial waste while a number of local authorities in the country have bought compacting equipment to reduce the volume of waste on landfill sites.

 

BALING: High density baling reduces volume after compacting by as much as 6-1, increasing landfill capacity and reducing transport costs.

 

PULVERISATION: In the pulverisation process waste is shredded or milled to a mix of small particles. Pulverisation can reduce landfill volume requirements by half and contribute to lower transport costs.

 

RECYCLING

There is now growing recognition that waste elimination at source is the only long-term solution to our waste disposal problems. Industry is beginning to realise that real savings can be made by changing raw materials or production processes so that wastes generated are either reduced, eliminated or converted into non-hazardous or recyclable materials.

For the large quantities of domestic and municipal wastes which are generated, reduction and recycling again provide the only effective long-term solutions. By international standards, our levels of recycling in Ireland are low, (only 7.4% of household and commercial waste is currently recycled) though we have made some significant advances in recent years. For example, the proportion of glass recycled has increased from around 7% in 1988 to 21% in 1996 while that of paper has increased to 15% over the same period. Other recyclable materials include engine and lubricating oils, plastics, paper, clothes and rags and organic rubbish for use as compost. An added benefit can be a reduction in energy used in processing materials — e.g. the use of recycled aluminium in the manufacture of drink cans can save over 90% of the energy used in the processing of cans from raw materials.

At present disposal to landfill of solid wastes by local authorities costs IR£7-8 per tonne (excluding collection costs which account for 75% of sanitary authority expenditure on waste disposal). This could treble by the late-1990s because of the need to meet higher environmental standards. Recycling costs around £200 per tonne gross, and probably around £100 per tonne when the value of recovered material is taken into account. Clearly, to make recycling effective in Ireland there is an urgent need for changes in legislation and monetary policy.

In July 1994, the Government published a strategy document "Recycling for Ireland" which set out Government policy for waste recovery up to 1999. The strategy has an overall objective of diverting 20% per annum of the combined commercial and domestic waste from landfill through recycling initiatives, and a 30% target rate for recycling packaging waste.

 

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT

The Waste Management Act was passed in 1996. The Act is intended, among other things, to allow the transposition of current and future European waste legislation into national law. It refers to 16 different EU Directives and Regulations which will be more fully transposed under the Act. The Act gives significant new powers to the EPA and local authorities, to help them enforce the legislation. Its objectives are to provide for:

 

a. a more effective organisation of public authority function in relation to waste management, which involves new or redefined role for the Minister, the EPA and local authorities. For example, the EPA is required to prepare a national hazardous waste plan and it will be able to made specific recommendations to local authorities arising from the plan. County Councils and CBCs will have to prepare detailed waste management plans (dealing primarily with noon-hazardous wastes). All plans will have to address the scope for waste prevention and recovery (including recycling).

 

b. measures — mainly regulatory powers designed to improve national performance in relation to the prevention, minimisation and recovery/recycling of wastes.

 

PACKAGING AND PACKAGING WASTE

Under the Waste Management Act, the Waste Management Act (Packaging) Regulations, which came into effect in May, 1997, impose strict measures governing the recovery of waste packaging on companies whose turnover exceeds £1 million or who handle over 25 tonnes of packaging in the domestic market. The object is to achieve a rate of 25% by the year 2001. Under the regulations companies are required to pay an annual fee of £5 per tonne of packaging handled (with a minimum requirement of £200 and a maximum of £1000); they must put in place facilities for accepting and segregating packaging waste equal to that which they have placed on the market in any month (this does not need to be material used by the company but can be of the same type as that used by the company); companies must collect the used packaging supplied by them to another producer within one week of being requested to do so by the producer; packers/filers must recover at least 40% of packaging waste. Companies must either send packaging waste back up the chain to the companies who supplied it in the first place; they can recover or recycle the waste or have it done on their behalf; or they can make the material available for recovery or recycling. Under the regulation, detailed statistics on the amount and type of packaging placed on the market must be supplied to the local authority and this information will be made available to the public.

 

Companies who join REPAK (which is an approved scheme under the Waste Management Act (Packaging) 1997), are granted exemptions from the requirements above. Their obligations under the scheme are as follows:

 

• that they contribute to funding REPAK activities;

• that they provide information (which is confidential) on their packaging waste supply and recovery;

• that they commit to deal responsibly with the packaging waste they for which they are responsible — this involves segregating recyclable waste and putting it into the recycling chain.

 

REPAK was launched in 1996 by the Industry Task Force on Recycling and is coordinated by IBEC (The Irish Business and Employers Confederation).

 

EUROPEAN LEGISLATION

BASEL CONVENTION on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439/EEC of 16 June 1975 on the DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 (WASTE FRAMEWORK).

COMMISSION DECISION 76/431/EEC of 21 April 1976 setting up a Committee on Waste Management.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/403/EEC of 6 April 1976 on the DISPOSAL OF POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS AND POLYCHLORINATED TERPHENYLS.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 78/176/EEC of 20 February 1978 on WASTE FROM THE TITANIUM DIOXIDE INDUSTRY.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 78/319/EEC of 20 March 1978 on TOXIC AND DANGEROUS WASTE.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 82/883/EEC on procedures for the surveillance and monitoring of environments concerned by WASTE FROM THE TITANIUM DIOXIDE INDUSTRY.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 84/631/EEC of 6 December 1984 on the supervision and control within the European Union of the TRANSFRONTIER SHIPMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 85/339/EEC of 27 June 1985 on CONTAINERS OF LIQUIDS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 85/469/EEC of 22 July 1985 adapting to technical progress Council Directive of 6 December 1984 on the supervision and control within the European Union of the transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 86/278/EEC of 12 June 1986 on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when SEWAGE SLUDGE is used in AGRICULTURE.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 86/279/EEC of 12 June 1986 amending Directive 84/631/EEC of 6 December 1984 on the supervision and control within the European Union of the transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 87/101/EEC of 22 December 1986 amending Directive 75/439/EEC on the disposal of waste oils.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 87/217/EEC (ASBESTOS) requires Member States to ensure that emissions of asbestos to various media (air, water etc.) and solid asbestos waste are as far as possible prevented by means of reduction at source. Monitoring methods for emissions of asbestos to air and water are established. This Directive is intended to supplement restrictions on asbestos set out in Directive 76/769/EEC.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 89/369/EEC of 8 June 1989 on the PREVENTION OF AIR POLLUTION FROM NEW MUNICIPAL WASTE INCINERATION PLANTS.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 89/429/EEC of 21 June 1989 on the REDUCTION OF AIR POLLUTION FROM EXISTING MUNICIPAL WASTE INCINERATION PLANTS.

WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY (1989).

COUNCIL DECISION 90/170/EEC of 2 April 1990 on the acceptance by the European Economic Union of an OECD Decision/recommendation on the control of transfrontier movements of hazardous wastes.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 91/157/EEC of 18 March 1991 on BATTERIES AND ACCUMULATORS CONTAINING CERTAIN DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning URBAN WASTE WATER TREATMENT.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 91/689/EEC of 12 December 1991 on HAZARDOUS WASTE.

COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) 259/93 of 1 February 1993 on the SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF SHIPMENTS OF WASTE, INTO AND OUT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 92/112/EEC of 15 December 1992 on procedures for harmonising the programmes for the reduction and eventual elimination of pollution caused by waste from the titanium dioxide industry.

COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 93/86/EEC of 4 October 1993 adapting to technical progress Council Directive 91/157/EEC on batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances.

COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) 259/93 of 1 February 1993 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community.

COMMISSION DECISION 94/3/EC of 20 December 1993 establishing a list of wastes pursuant to Article 1 (a) of Council Directive 75/442/EEC on waste.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 94/31/EC on HAZARDOUS WASTE.

Council Directive 94/67 on the incineration of hazardous waste.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 94/62 on PACKAGING AND PACKAGING WASTE (the Packaging Directive). Adopted by the European Union in December 1994 and came into operation on 30 June 1996. The Directive requires that Member States attain specified targets for recovery and recycling of packaging waste.

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 94/67/EC of 16 December 1994 on the incineration of hazardous waste.

COMMISSION DECISION 94/575/EC of 24 November 1994 concerning the standard consignment note referred to in Council Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community.

COUNCIL DECISION 94/904/EC of 22 December 1994 establishing a list of hazardous waste pursuant to Article 1 (4) of Council Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.

Council Decision 95/580/EC on the conversion into grants of special loans provided under the Second and Third LomŽ Conventions.

Council Decision 95/881/EC of 20 December 1995 on the provisional application of certain provisions of the internal agreement (eight EDF) relating to programming of the Agreement amending the Fourth ACP-EC Convention.

Council Decision 5/95 of 3 November 1995 updating the list of least developed ACP States in Article 330(1) of the Fourth LomŽ Convention.

COMMISSION DECISION 96/302/EC of 17 April 1996 establishing a format in which information is to be provided pursuant to Article 8 (3) of Council Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste (Text with EEA relevance).

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 96/59/EC of 16 September 1996 on the disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCB/PCT).

Commission Decision of 28 January 1997 establishing the identification system for packaging materials pursuant to European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.

Commission Decision 97/283/EC of 21 April 1997 on harmonised measurement methods to determine the mass concentration of dioxins and furans in atmospheric emissions ii accordance with Article 7(2) of Directive 94/67/EC on the incineration of hazardous waste.

 

IRISH LEGISLATION

Local authorities are responsible for the management and disposal of waste in their areas. EU directives on waste were introduced in line with EEC (Waste) Regulations 1979 which replaced existing statutes. Other relevant acts include the Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878, the Public Health Amendment Act 1907, the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1948 (No. 3 of 1948), the Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts 1963 and 1976, Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977, Dumping at Sea Act 1981 and the Litter Act 1982.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (WASTE) Regulations, 1979, (S.I. No. 390 of 1979). Local authorities responsible for the planning, organisation, authorisation and supervision of waste operations in their areas and are required to prepare waste management plans. Permits to treat store and tip waste are also provided for.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (TOXIC AND DANGEROUS WASTE) Regulations 1982. (SI No. 33 of 1982). Local authorities are responsible for the planning, organisation and supervision of operations for the disposal of toxic and dangerous waste in their areas, and for the authorisation of the storage, treatment and depositing of such waste. They are required to prepare special waste management plans. Permits for the storage, treatment and depositing of toxic waste are also provided for.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (WASTE) Regulations 1984 (SI No. 108 of 1984). Provide for the safe disposal of and transformation operations necessary for regenerating polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated terphenyls and mixtures containing one or both.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (TRANSFRONTIER SHIPMENT of Hazardous Wastes) Regulations 1988 (SI No. 248 of 1988).

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (ASBESTOS Waste) Regulations 1990 (SI No. 30 of 1990). Make provision for the safe transport and disposal of asbestos waste, and penalties for contravention or failure to comply with specified requirements.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations, 1991 (S.I. No. 183 of 1991).

European Communities (Waste Oils) Regulations 1992 (S.I. No. 399 of 1992). Give effect to Council Directive 87/101/EEC of 22 December 1986 (O.J. No. L42/43 of 12 February 1987) amending Council Directive No. 75/439/EEC of 16 June 1975 (O.J. No. L194/23 of 25 July 1975) on the disposal of waste oils. They revoke the European Communities (Waste Oils) Regulations, 1984 (S.I. No. 107 of 1984). Make local authorities responsible for the planning, organisation and supervision of collection and disposal operations, in particular through the implementation of a permit system

Council Regulations (EC) No. 259/93 of 1 February 1993. Provides for the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community.

European Communities (Asbestos Waste) Regulations, 1990 (S.I. No. 90 of 1994). These are in addition to the European Communities (Asbestos Waste) Regulations, 1990. They implement certain provisions relating to the reduction or prevention of asbestos waste arisings, of Council Directive 87/217/EEC of 19th March, 1987 on the prevention and reduction of environmental pollution by asbestos.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (TRANSFRONTIER SHIPMENT of Hazardous Wastes) Regulations 1994 (SI No. 121 of 1994). Give effect to Council Regulation (EC) No. 259/93 of 1 February 1993 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community, which is directly applicable in Member States of the European Union, but requires provision for certain administrative details, particularly those relating to enforcement. The regulations provide inter alia for the designation of competent authorities for the purpose of controlling waste transhipments, the powers of competent authorities, the imposition of certain requirements in relation to the shipment of waste into or out of the State.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (BATTERIES AND ACCUMULATORS) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No. 262 of 1994) Give further effect to Council Directive 91/157/EEC of 18 March 1991 and to Commission Directive 93/86/EEC of 4 October 1993 on batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances. Provide that certain batteries and accumulators should not be incorporated into appliances unless they can be readily removed. Also require the marking of certain batteries and accumulators (and certain appliances in which they are installed) in relation to heavy metal content, safe removal, recyclability and separate collection.

The WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT, 1996, was enacted in May, 1996 and its main provisions were brought into operation with effect from 1 July, 1996.

The WASTE MANAGEMENT (PACKAGING) REGULATIONS 1997, came into effect in May, 1997.

Other relevant legislation includes:

 

FORESHORE ACT, 1933 (No. 12 of 1933). Sections 3, 13 and 14 prohibit the erection of structures on the foreshore and the reclamation of the foreshore without a lease or licence granted by the Minister for the Marine.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Water Pollution) Acts 1977 (No. 1 of 1977) and regulations made thereunder

DUMPING AT SEA ACT, 1981 (No. 8 of 1981). Gives effect to the Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft, 1972 (the Oslo Convention) and the Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (the London Dumping Convention). Prohibits the dumping of substances and materials at sea from all vessels, aircraft and marine structures anywhere at sea unless such dumping is carried out under and in accordance with a permit issued by the Minister for the Marine. Dumping at sea outside the territorial seas of the State from an Irish vessel, aircraft or marine structure is permitted if such dumping takes place under and in accordance with a permit granted by another state that is party to the London Dumping Convention or the Oslo Convention. A register containing particulars of all permits granted is kept for public inspection.

LITTER ACT, 1982 (No. 11 of 1982). Increased the on-the-spot fine for litter offences from £5 to £25

ROAD TRAFFIC (Removal, storage and disposal of Vehicles) Regulations, 1983, 1990 and 1991 (S.I. Nos. 91 of 1983, 24 of 1990 and 185 of 1991). Made under section 63 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968, these provide inter alia for the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles which have been abandoned on public roads and in public car parks.

PUBLIC HEALTH (Ireland) Act, 1878.

PUBLIC HEALTH AMENDMENT Act, 1907.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (SANITARY SERVICES) Act, 1948 (No. 3 of 1948).

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