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					Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region

                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.  INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 1
    1.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................ 1
        1.2      Regional Approach ................................................................................................. 1
        1.3      Overview of the Connaught Region ....................................................................... 2
        1.4      Waste Management Policy .................................................................................... 2
        1.5      Relevant EU and National Legislation ................................................................... 3
        1.6      Waste Management Planning ................................................................................ 3
        1.7      Connaught Waste Management Strategy .............................................................. 4
        1.8      Elected Member and Public Consultation/Involvement ......................................... 4
        1.9      Content of the Plan ................................................................................................ 5
        1.10 Sources of Data ..................................................................................................... 5
        1.11 Definitions .............................................................................................................. 5
2.      GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA .................................................................... 6
        2.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................ 6
        2.2      Hydrology ............................................................................................................... 7
        2.3      Geology and Hydrogeology ................................................................................... 9
                 2.3.1 Geology ...................................................................................................... 9
                 2.3.2 Hydrogeology............................................................................................ 10
        2.4      Population ............................................................................................................ 11
                 2.4.1 Rural Population ....................................................................................... 11
                 2.4.2 Urban Population ...................................................................................... 11
        2.5      Transport Infrastructure........................................................................................ 12
                 2.5.1 Road Network ........................................................................................... 12
                 2.5.2 Rail Network ............................................................................................. 14
                 2.5.3 Airport ....................................................................................................... 14
                 2.5.4 Ferry Network ........................................................................................... 15
        2.6      Commerce and Industry ....................................................................................... 15
                 2.6.1 Commerce ................................................................................................ 15
                 2.6.2 Manufacturing Industries .......................................................................... 15
        2.7      Tourism ................................................................................................................ 16
        2.8      Agricultural Activity, Forestry and Fisheries ......................................................... 17
        2.9      Land Use .............................................................................................................. 19
3   WASTE GENERATION ................................................................................................. 20
    3.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 20
        3.2      Quantities of Waste Arising in the Connaught Region ......................................... 20
                 3.2.1 Hazardous Component of Waste Arising in the Connaught Region ........ 21
        3.3      Sources of Information ......................................................................................... 21
        3.4      Waste Composition in the Connaught Region ..................................................... 22
        3.5      Priority Waste Streams ........................................................................................ 22

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      3.6     Agricultural Waste ................................................................................................ 23
              3.6.1 Animal Slurries .......................................................................................... 24
              3.6.2 Farm Plastics ............................................................................................ 24
              3.6.3 Spent Mushroom Compost Production ..................................................... 24
              3.6.4 Agricultural Waste Management .............................................................. 25
              3.6.5 Waste Import and Export .......................................................................... 26
      3.7     Deficiencies in Waste Statistics ........................................................................... 26
4.    PACKAGING WASTE ................................................................................................... 27
      4.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 27
      4.2     Quantities of Waste Arising in the Connaught Region ......................................... 27
      4.3     Legislative Background ........................................................................................ 27
              4.3.1 European Packaging Directive ................................................................. 27
              4.3.2 Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations, 1997 ............................... 28
      4.4     Compliance with Packaging Regulations in the Connaught Region .................... 30
      4.5     Public Information ................................................................................................ 30
      4.6     Regulatory Officers .............................................................................................. 31
      4.7     Plastic Bags ......................................................................................................... 31
5.    WASTE COLLECTION.................................................................................................. 32
      5.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 32
      5.2     Household Waste ................................................................................................. 32
              5.2.1 Collection by Local Authorities ................................................................. 32
              5.2.2 Collection by Private Operators ................................................................ 33
      5.3     Waste Collection Coverage ................................................................................. 35
      5.4     Waste Management on the Islands ..................................................................... 35
      5.5     Commercial and Industrial Waste Collection ....................................................... 36
      5.6     Collection of Recyclables ..................................................................................... 36
              5.6.1 Metal Recycling ........................................................................................ 37
              5.6.2 Glass ......................................................................................................... 37
              5.6.3 Paper and Cardboard ............................................................................... 38
              5.6.4 Plastics ..................................................................................................... 39
              5.6.5 Construction and Demolition Waste ......................................................... 39
              5.6.6 Other Materials Collected for Recycling ................................................... 39
              5.6.7 Review of Recycling Infrastructure ........................................................... 40
      5.7     Deficiencies in Waste Collection and Recycling Infrastructure ............................ 41
6.    WASTE TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL ...................................................................... 43
      6.1 Waste Treatment .................................................................................................. 43
      6.2     Waste Disposal .................................................................................................... 43
      6.3     Deficiencies in Waste Treatment and Disposal Arrangements............................ 45
      6.4     Organisational and Financial Arrangements ........................................................ 45
7.    WASTE PREVENTION AND MINIMISATION .............................................................. 47
      7.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 47
      7.2     Legislative Requirements ..................................................................................... 47
              7.2.1 Waste Management Act, 1996 and Waste Management Planning
                    Regulations, 1997 ..................................................................................... 47
      7.3     Current Initiatives in Connaught ........................................................................... 48

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                 7.3.1 Household Level ....................................................................................... 48
                 7.3.2 Industrial Level.......................................................................................... 49
        7.4      Recommendations for Waste Minimisation in Connaught ................................... 51
    8.1 Trends in Waste Management ............................................................................. 53
        8.2      Trends in Population Distribution/Growth ............................................................ 53
        8.3      Household Waste Generation .............................................................................. 54
        8.4      Commercial/Industrial Waste Generation ............................................................ 54
        8.5      Construction/Demolition Waste Generation ......................................................... 55
        8.6      Other Sectors ....................................................................................................... 56
        8.7      Pending Legislation and Policy in Waste Management/ Environmental Issues .. 56
        8.8      Recent Legislation................................................................................................ 57
                 8.8.1 EU Directive on the Landfilling of Waste .................................................. 57
                 8.8.2 EU Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles ....................................................... 57
9.  WASTE MANAGEMENT POLICY ................................................................................ 58
    9.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 58
        9.2      Alternative Options Considered ........................................................................... 58
        9.3      Waste Management Policy .................................................................................. 60
                 9.3.1 General ..................................................................................................... 60
                 9.3.2 Waste Minimisation Policy ........................................................................ 61
                 9.3.3 Waste Collection Policy ............................................................................ 61
                 9.3.4 Waste Recycling Policy ............................................................................ 62
                 9.3.5 Energy Recovery Facilities ....................................................................... 62
                 9.3.6 Waste Disposal Policy .............................................................................. 62
                 9.3.7 Sludge Management Policy ...................................................................... 63
                 9.3.8 Agricultural Wastes ................................................................................... 63
                 9.3.9 Policy on Landfill Aftercare and Remediation ........................................... 64
                 9.3.10 Policy on Hazardous Waste ..................................................................... 64
                 9.3.11 Financial Policy ......................................................................................... 64
                 9.3.12 Procurement Policy................................................................................... 64
        9.4      Siting of Waste Management Facilities ................................................................ 65
                 9.4.1 Landfills ..................................................................................................... 65
                 9.4.2 Transfer Stations/Recycling Centres ........................................................ 65
                 9.4.3 Thermal Treatment Facility ....................................................................... 66
        9.5      Outline of Future Waste Management Policy ...................................................... 66
10      FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS ......................................................................................... 69
        10.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 69
        10.2 Economic Evaluation............................................................................................ 69
        10.3 Cost Recovery and Market Creation .................................................................... 70
        10.4 Market Creation .................................................................................................... 71
    LOCAL AUTHORITIES ................................................................................................. 72
    11.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 72
        11.2 Waste Regulation ................................................................................................. 72

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      11.3 Obligations and Powers Under the Waste Management Act, 1996 .................... 74
           11.3.1 Local Authorities ....................................................................................... 74
           11.3.2 Other public Authorities ............................................................................ 76
      11.4 Community/Public Involvement ............................................................................ 76
           11.5 Private Sector Involvement ...................................................................... 76
      11.6 Data Collection and Reporting ............................................................................. 80
      11.7 Service Role ......................................................................................................... 81
      11.8 Organisational Arrangements .............................................................................. 81
      12.1 Waste Collection System ..................................................................................... 83
      12.2 Materials Recovery and Recycling Facilities........................................................ 84
      12.3 Treatment and Energy Recovery Facilities .......................................................... 85
      12.4 Bulk Transfer System ........................................................................................... 86
      12.5 Residual Disposal Facilities ................................................................................. 86
           12.5.1 Short-Term Landfill Situation .................................................................... 86
           12.5.2 Medium to Long-Term Landfill Capacity ................................................... 87
      12.6 Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling (C & D) ....................................... 87
      12.7 Waste Stream Calculations .................................................................................. 88
      12.8 Institutional and Organisational Recommendations ............................................ 89
      12.9 Summary of Waste Plan Infrastructure ................................................................ 90
      12.10 Implementation of Waste Reduction, Minimisation & Reuse ............................... 90
      12.11 The Proximity Principle ........................................................................................ 91
13.   PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT............................................................................................... 92
      13.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 92
      13.2 Public Response .................................................................................................. 92
      13.3 Presentations to Elected Members ...................................................................... 94


Appendix A - List of Relevant EU and National Legislation
Appendix B - Sources of Information
Appendix C - Glossary of Terms
Appendix D - List of Submission Makers

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The Consultants wish to acknowledge the assistance of all involved to date with the
Connaught Waste Management Plan.

Information has been gathered from a variety of sources within the region and nationally, and
co-operation with the data-collection process is greatly appreciated.

The assistance from all members of the Management and Technical Steering Committees,
including County/City Managers, County/City Engineers and Senior Executive Engineers are
also acknowledged:-

Mr. H. Kearns              Sligo County Manager (Chairman Management Steering Committee)
Mr. D. Mahon               Mayo County Manager
Mr. D. O‟Donoghue          Galway County Manager
Mr. J. Gavin               Galway City Manager
Mr. E. Sheehy              Roscommon County Manager
Mr. P. Fahey               Leitrim County Manager
Mr. J. Beirne              Mayo County Engineer (Chairman Technical Steering Committee)
Mr. J. Colleran            Galway County Engineer
Mr. T. Kilgarriff          Galway City Engineer
Mr. V. Brennan             Roscommon County Engineer
Mr. F. Gleeson             Sligo County Engineer
Mr. M. McGoey              Leitrim County Engineer
Mr. R. Norton              Project Engineer (Mayo County Council)
Mr. J. Walsh               Steering Group Secretary (Mayo County Council)
Mr. L. Gavin               Senior Executive Engineer Galway County Council
Mr. M. Joyce               Senior Executive Engineer Galway Corporation
Mr. G. Salter              Senior Executive Engineer Sligo County Council
Mr. R. Gillen              Senior Executive Engineer Leitrim County Council
Mr. T. Shanahan            Senior Executive Engineer Roscommon County Council


This study is being carried out by M.C. O‟Sullivan & Co. Ltd., Consulting Engineers, in
association with COWI, Consulting Engineers & Planners of Copenhagen, Denmark. Mary
Murphy & Associates is advising on public consultation elements of the study.

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The Connaught local authorities which for the purposes of the Waste Management Plan
comprise Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, and Roscommon County Councils together with
Galway Corporation have prepared a Waste Management Plan for the Region. This Plan has
been prepared in accordance with Section 22 of the Waste Management Act, 1996 and the
Waste Management (Planning) Regulations, 1997. The Plan has regard to all non-hazardous
wastes generated within the functional areas of each of the above local authorities.

The Plan is based on a waste management strategy which was presented to the Connaught
local authorities in April/May 1999 the recommendations of which were noted by each of the
six local authorities who resolved to prepare a Regional Waste Management Plan for
Connaught. The Strategy recommended an integrated approach to waste management
involving improved public education, new recycling initiatives, biological and thermal
treatment of wastes and finally landfill of residual waste. The Draft Plan will be put on public
display for a 2 month period before the Plan can be finalised. The adoption of the Draft Plan
is a reserved function of the Elected Members of the six Connaught statutory waste

The Plan, when adopted supersedes and replaces all previous Waste Plans prepared by the
Connaught local authorities under the European Communities (Waste) Regulations, 1979 and
where, appropriate the European Communities (Toxic and Dangerous Waste) Regulations,
1982. The minimum period for the duration of the Plan is 5 years after which time it will be
reviewed in the light of the prevailing situation at the time.

Waste management is a dynamic process with constantly increasing environmental standards
and emerging new technologies. The past five years has seen enormous change in national
waste policy and practice. This Waste Management Plan must therefore have flexibility to
respond to likely developments over the currency of the Plan.


Traditionally in Ireland waste management was handled on a local level by individual local
authorities. In recent years, with the policy trend away from landfill and towards more
innovative solutions to solid waste management, the regional approach is being encouraged.
Many of the possible solutions such as recycling, biological treatment, thermal treatment and
new standards with regard to the landfill of waste are quite onerous and expensive. Thus
significant benefits accrue from the regional approach in terms of economy of scale,
particularly in less densely populated rural counties. The Waste Management Policy
Statement (Changing Our Ways) published on 1 October, 1998 by the Department of
Environment and Local Government highlights the following benefits from adopting a regional

     A viable framework in planning and volume terms for the development of integrated and
      innovative waste management solutions, facilitating segregation prior to collection and
      incorporating organic waste treatment, thermal treatment technologies and residual

     A more favourable climate for the creation of beneficial partnership arrangements
      between local authorities and the private sector.

The European Commission also recognised the importance of regionalisation and through the
European Regional Development Fund provided part funding for Regional Strategy Studies.

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The Connaught region (Figure 1.1) occupies a peripheral location on the Atlantic seaboard of
Europe and is noted for its scenic beauty and rural landscape. The counties of Galway,
Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon make up the region which has a population of 433,231
occupying 133,323 households (Census, 1996). The province has an area of 1.77 million
hectares or one quarter of the state with only 12% of the population. The administrative
centres in the region are Galway City, Castlebar, Sligo, Roscommon and Carrick-on-
Shannon. There are seven inhabited islands off the Galway and Mayo Coasts – Inishmore,
Inishmaan, Inisheer, Inishbofin, Inishturk, Clare Island and Inishbiggle.

In terms of road transportation the N17 National Primary route is the main artery serving the
province from north to south. In the east–west direction there are three primary routes liking
Connaught with the Midlands. The N4 serves Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo, N5 serves
Roscommon and Mayo, and the N6 serves Roscommon and Galway. The secondary road
network forms a more dense network, linking the main towns and providing important links
throughout the region. The area is also reasonably well served by rail with passenger
services from Dublin to Sligo, Westport, Ballina and Galway. In a north-south direction the
line from Galway to Claremorris is still in use for freight. The inhabited islands are served by
a combination of air and sea.

The region has a strong agricultural base with 16% of the workforce engaged in farming. The
farm sizes on average are small at 18.6 hectares compared with the national average of 26
hectares. In industry, Small and Medium size enterprises employ the bulk of workers, with a
small number of larger companies. One of the principal sectors of industrial employment is
the manufacture of medical components resulting from multi-national investment in the region.
The electrical/electronic/optical equipment sector is also quite large. Forestry, fishing and fish
processing activities are also important in the region.


Government policy is now directed towards reducing our dependence on landfill and
increasing private sector involvement in waste management. There are new waste
recycling/diversion - from - landfill targets which can be summarised as follows:-

     Diversion of 50% of overall household waste away from landfill

     Minimum of 65% reduction in biodegradable waste consigned to landfill

     Development of waste recovery facilities employing environmentally beneficial
      technologies, as an alternative to landfill including the development of composting and
      other feasible biological treatment facilities capable of treating up to 300,000 tonnes of
      waste per annum

     Recycling of 35% of municipal waste

     Recycling of at least 50% of C & D waste within a 5 year period with a progressive
      increase to at least 85% over 15 years

     Rationalisation of waste landfills with programmed and sustained reductions in numbers
      leading to an integrated network of some 20 state of the art facilities incorporating high
      standards of environmental protection

     80% reduction in methane emissions from landfills

These new national targets are to be achieved over the next 15 years and were published on
1 October, 1998 in a policy document entitled Changing Our Ways and are intended to fulfill
our obligations under EU legislation.

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Waste management in Ireland is now governed by the Waste Management Act, 1996. It is
guided by the hierarchical approach originally established in the Framework Directive on
Waste (91/151/EEC) as follows:-

     Prevention

     Materials Recovery (recycling/reuse)

     Energy Recovery

     Safe Disposal including landfill

The Act consolidates existing law and is an enabling document allowing the Minister of the
Environment and Local Government to introduce policies or measures appropriate to
developing circumstances or requirements. The Act deals only with qualitative targets. It is
being brought into law through a series of regulations.

A list of all relevant EU and national legislation is given in Appendix A of this Plan. This Plan
recognises and is intended to satisfy all current legal obligations with respect to waste
management in the Connaught Region. It is also based on the best available information at
this time.


All local authorities are required to prepare a Waste Management Plan under Section 22 of
the Waste Management Act, 1996. The plan must have regard to the following:-

     the prevention, minimisation, collection, recovery and disposal of non-hazardous waste
      within its functional area and

     the matters specified in subsection (8) in relation to hazardous waste so far as they
      relate to its functional area.

Subsection 8 states that there shall be included in a waste management plan, but separate
from the other information contained in the plan, information as regards the implementation of
measures consequential on, or incidental to the provisions of the hazardous waste
management plan or any recommendations made by the Agency under Section 26 (6).

The format of the Plan and guidelines as to its content are contained in the Waste
Management (Planning) Regulations, 1997 and can be summarised as follows:-

     A description of the present position regarding the quantities of waste arising from
      specified sources (household, commerce etc.) and the arising of specific waste types
      (e.g. glass, electrical, and electronic goods), waste movements, waste collection, waste
      prevention and minimisation and any deficiencies in the waste management structure or
      any other matters which inhibit optimum management.

     Anticipated developments over the period of the plan.

     Waste management policy to include evaluation of policy options, statement of policy,
      and implementation measures of waste policy over the relevant period.

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The Plan will (as required under Section 22 (11) of the Waste Management Act, 1996) have
regard to the provisions of:-

     “The development plan or plans and any special amenity area order made under the Act
      of 1963,

     a water quality management plan made under the Local Government (Water Pollution)
      Acts, 1977and 1990, and

     an air quality management plan made under the Air Pollution Act, 1987”

Relevant documents in the Connaught Region are the County and City Development Plans
for each local authority area, the Water Quality Management Plan for the Shannon
catchment, the River Moy Water Quality Management Plan and the draft Water Quality
Management Plan for the Corrib and Mask catchments.

The Waste Management Plan is based on a Waste Management Strategy Study recently
completed (Spring 1999) for the Connaught local authorities. The overall objective of this
study was to advise on future waste management policy in accordance with up to date Irish
and EU legislation. The study also advised on the selection of waste management facilities
for the recycling, recovery, treatment and disposal of non-hazardous waste generated within
the Connaught Region. The objectives of the study covered technical, environmental,
institutional and financial aspects as follows:-

     To assess the current situation in the Connaught Region with regard to the quantity and
      nature of wastes generated in the region.

     To recommend an integrated waste strategy for the future management of these wastes
      in accordance with up to date legislation, emerging environmental policies and

     To recommend financial means of implementing the recommended strategy.

The strategy recommended an integrated approach encompassing public education, new
recycling initiatives, biological and thermal treatment of wastes and finally landfill of residuals.

Public involvement has been ongoing since the commencement of the project. The process
to date has involved advertisements, media interviews, Elected Member briefings and the
circulation of a Briefing Document to public representatives and interest groups in the region
at the commencement of the Strategy Study (Autumn 1998). A total of 207 copies of the
Briefing Document were circulated and resulted in 36 submissions received regarding the
project. Many of the submissions emphasised the importance of public education particularly
in schools. The siting and proper management of landfills was also a particular issue
mentioned. The Strategy Study was presented to each Elected Member Body in April/May
1999, and published and placed in public libraries in each local authority area. There was
attendant media coverage of each Elected Member meeting. The Draft Plan will now be put
on public display for a 2 month period during which time further submissions will be invited
from interested parties. The draft Plan will then be finalised based on these submissions for
adoption by Elected Members.

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The content of the Waste Management Plan is in accordance with the format required by the
Waste Management (Planning) Regulations 1997 as follows:-

     Part 1 – Preface to the Waste Management Plan.

     Part 2 – Present Position regarding Waste Management.

     Part 3 – Anticipated Developments over the Period of the Plan.

     Part 4 – Waste Management Policy.

     Part 5 – Implementation of Waste Management Policy over the relevant Period.

     Part 6 – Matters relating to a Plan generally.

Appendix B outlines the various sources of data collected for the purposes of preparation of
this Plan.

The Plan is illustrated as appropriate by maps and is based on the best available information
at this time.


Appendix C outlines a Glossary of Terms used in the preparation of this Waste Management

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The Connaught region is on the Atlantic seaboard of Ireland and is noted for its scenic beauty
and rural landscape making it a renowned tourist destination. It is a sparsely populated
mountainous countryside speckled with low stone walls and peat bogs. The counties of
Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon make up the region which has a population of
433,231 occupying 133,323 households (Census, 1996). The province has an area of 1.77
million hectares or one quarter of the state with only 12% of the population. The principal
towns in the region are Galway, Castlebar, Sligo, Roscommon and Carrick-on-Shannon.

The topography is variable combining mountains, lowland plains, rivers and inland lakes. The
main relief consists of Maumturk Mts, Partry Mts, Nephin Beg Range and the Ox Mts, which
follow alongside a spectacular coastline situated on the Atlantic seaboard. The highest point
Mweelrea is 817m OD and is situated just north of Killary Harbour in County Mayo. The other
major peaks range between 525m and 810m. Both the Nephin Beg Range and the Partry Mts
contain corries, a glacial feature from the Ice Age. Stretching across northern Connaught
from west to north east is a drumlin belt that ends in Clew Bay, but due to eustatic
movements the drumlins in Clew Bay are now a series of islands. Lough Corrib and Lough
Mask divide the mountains on the west from the fertile land of the east. The climate is mild
and wet with mean annual rainfall ranging from between 1200mm in the eastern part of the
region to 1600mm - 2000mm in the western part of the region. The mountainous areas of the
Maumturk, Mweelrea and Partry Mountains can receive an annual rainfall as high as

The higher river valleys have been created by glaciation being typically V-shaped in the
higher reaches and moderating to U-shaped at lower elevations. This area was heavily
glaciated, even the low-lying portions are stripped of soil and the rock surfaces feature
innumerable small lakes and bog patches.

A large proportion of the western region of Connaught is designated Nature Reserves such as
Connemara National Park (2,699 ha). The blanket bogs and moorland of Connemara have
unusual bog and heathland plants. Connaught has a number of Special Protection Areas
such as Galway Bay Inner, Killala Bay, Broadhaven, Inskea Island, Cumeen Strand and
Drumcliff Bay. The Western Way, a walker‟s attraction runs through Connaught, north to
south in a direction from Ballina to Oughterard. Clean beaches, scenic walks and peace and
quiet provided by this remote western corner of Ireland attract visitors seeking a unique
cultural and social experience.

The Coastline
The Connaught coastline varies from mountainous in Counties Galway and Mayo to flatter
relief in Counties Sligo and Leitrim. The coastline in Counties Galway and Mayo in particular
is highly indented with many peninsulas and small islands. Connaught is an important fishing
region due to the extensive coastline comprising of islands, broad bays and narrow fjords.
Inland lakes and rivers offer scenic splendour and an opportunity for the keen angular. Table
2.1 below shows the main ports in the region.

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Table 2.1: Ports in the Region
                      Port                                      Counties
                      Achill                                    Co Mayo
                     Killary                                    Co Mayo
                   Westport                                     Co Mayo
                   Ballyglass                                   Co Mayo
                  Clarinbridge                                 Co. Galway
                Cleggan/ Clifden                               Co Galway
                    Galway                                     Co Galway
                    Kinvara                                    Co Galway
                   Rossaveal                                   Co. Galway
                  Roundstone                                   Co. Galway
                 Tully/ Renvyle                                Co. Galway
                      Sligo                                     Co Sligo

By far the largest fishing port in Connaught is at Rossaveal, County Galway. Connaught also
has a number of other significant harbours including Galway, Westport, Ballina and Sligo.
There are also a number of smaller piers serving offshore islands. This coastline has many
areas of natural beauty; Natural Heritage Areas and Special Protection areas are also
present. The coastline also features a number of European Union designated Blue Flag
Beaches, which are considered excellent for recreational use. In 1999 the beaches in
Connaught that received a Blue Flag were;

Co. Galway:      Kinvarra (Traught), An Spidéal (Trá na Mban), An Cheathru Rua (Trá an
                 Doilin), Cill Mhuirbthigh, Loughrea
Co. Mayo:        Carrowmore, Old Head, Bertaw, Clare Island (The Harbour), Mulranny, Achill
                 (Dooega, Doogort, Keem, Keel, Golden Strand), Belmullet (Elly Bay,
                 Mullaghroe) and Killala (Ross).
Co Sligo:        Enniscrone, Rosses Point, Mullaghmore.

County Mayo also has three beaches designated under the Bathing Water Directives, Rinroe,
Carrowtigue and Belmullet Harbour. There are a number of inhabited islands situated off the
coast of Galway and Mayo, the Aran islands (Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer), Inishbofin,
Inishturk, Clare Island and Inishbiggle. The Aran islands, lie at the mouth of Galway Bay and
are an extension of the Burren Landscape of County Clare comprising bare limestone
exposure with many heritage attractions. Off the Mayo coast is Achill Island, here the
mountains lie around the coast providing vantage points from which to enjoy the sea and
landscapes of natural and wild beauty. Connaught has a number of designated seaside
resorts, such as Salthill, Westport, Achill and Enniscrone.

Connaught has three main catchments, the Moy, Corrib and Shannon. There are also though
a number of smaller catchments, e.g., the Suck (Area, 617sq miles), Ballisodare (Area, 251sq
miles) and Garvogue (Area, 139sq miles).
The Moy catchment is located in counties Mayo and Sligo with a total area of 2,100 Km .
There are some 278 lakes in the catchment as a whole, with Loughs Conn and Cullen greater
than 10km in area and a further 22 greater than 10 ha. The River Moy is the most important
with a main channel length of 90km. In the early 1980‟s a Water Quality Management Plan
was created by An Forbás Foirbairt for the Moy Catchment.

Another main catchment in Connaught is the Corrib consisting of three main lakes Loughs
Carra, Mask and Corrib which eventually drain into the sea at Galway Bay. The western
borders of the Shannon catchment are defined by the Rivers Lung and Suck, which arise from
the counties Sligo and Roscommon. The Shannon rises in the Cuilcagh Mountains at an

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elevation of 120m and on leaving this area it winds through the drumlin masses of County
Leitrim. This catchment is extensive occupying 17% of the land area of Ireland. In Co.
Leitrim the Shannon-Erne Waterway links the Rivers Shannon and Erne creating 750km of
cruising waterway.

In the 1960‟s the Moy catchment had extensive arterial drainage carried out on it. This was
undertaken in order to improve drainage of farmlands in the catchment and to relieve flooding.
This drainage scheme resulted in the disappearance of a number of lakes in the southern part
of the catchment and the reduction in size of others e.g. Lough Conn.

Biological River Water Quality
Biological water quality in Ireland is determined by a Q value developed originally by An
Forbartha now the EPA. A database on river water quality is maintained by the EPA compiled
from a series of samples taken from each river throughout the country and is regularly
updated. The Q rating ranges from 5 to 1; Q value 5 being water of the highest quality. Other
parameters such as B.O.D., dissolved oxygen, phosphate levels, and macrophytes are also
included in this database. Table 2.2 illustrates the ranking in the „Q value‟ system.

Table 2.2: EPA Index of Biological Water Quality
 Biotic Index or ‘Q value’       Community Diversity             Water Quality              Condition
 Q5                              High                            Good                       Satisfactory
 Q4                              Slightly Reduced                Fair                       Satisfactory
 Q3                              Significantly Reduced           Doubtful                   Unsatisfactory
 Q2                              Low                             Poor                       Unsatisfactory
 Q1                              Very Low                        Bad                        Unsatisfactory
Source: EPA (1996 & 1997) “Interim Report on the Biological Survey of River Quality” EPA.

Main Rivers in Connaught
River water quality in Connaught as a whole is good. The water quality of the principal rivers
in Connaught is shown below;

River Owenmore: In 1997 the Q value was on average Q4. It was mostly satisfactory but
distinctly eutrophic in the middle and lowermost reaches. At three sampling station, numbers
0200, 0250 and 0900 there has been a significant decline in water quality in comparison to
1994 values.
River Clare: In 1996 all the stations on the river were between Q values 3 and 4. Much of
the river was eutrophic and only two of the stations sampled were satisfactory in condition.
Moy River: Water quality between 1995-1997 showed that this river was mainly unpolluted.
Near to Ballina there was one site that was classified as slightly polluted.
River Suck: Almost 40% of the sites surveyed in 1996 were unsatisfactory. The upper
reaches though had Q values of between 4 and 5 except upstream of Lough O‟Flynn where
the quality was Q3-4.
Black River: The Q values were on average Q4 but near Shrule being half way down the
river, the values were between 4 and 5. In 1997 improvements have been noted on this river.
River Corrib: The Q value here was 4 but it must be noted that this river is lake influenced.
Robe River: In June 1993 the upper Robe was satisfactory but from Crossboyne to
Hollymount a eutrophic reach was noted primarily due to the impact of effluents from the
Claremorris region. The lower section from Rosbeen Bridge to Lough Mask was classified as
satisfactory. A major improvement is noted in summertime downstream of Ballinrobe, due to
the installation of a new sewage works with a phosphate removal stage.
Bunowen River: Both sites here had satisfactory conditions.
Erriff River: This river was generally satisfactory, but previously noted overgrazing in the
lower catchment of the Erriff and in some of its upper tributaries can be expected to have an
impact on water quality.
Owenduff River: This river held a classification of Q4, being satisfactory.
Owengarve River: Both sites in 1997 were satisfactory and the faunal diversity has
increased somewhat at this location.

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Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region


2.3.1   Geology

The Geology of Connaught varies from West to East. In the West the geology is
predominantly Caledonian with both igneous and metamorphic rocks. In the Connemara area
the rocks range from Silurian and Ordivician to Dalradian in origin while in Galway intrusive
Granites predominate. In the East the main origin of the solid geology are the Devonian and
Carboniferous in Counties Roscommon and East Galway. Further north in the region the
Dalradian, Ox Mountain/Ross‟s point Inlier is the main geological feature comprised of
granites and schists.

Counties Sligo and Leitrim are dominated by middle and Upper Carboniferous Limestones.
These are split by the Ox Mountain/Ross‟s Point Inlier which is a much older granitic igneous
intrusion with metamorphic schists and gneiss also apparent in the Ross‟s Point section of the
Inlier. The mountains of this Inlier have been formed predominantly through folding in the
Dalradian or possibly the Cambro-Ordivician. The tectonic activity including folding and
faulting in this area has produced a series of metamorphic rocks. The Ox Mountains consist
of mainly Granodiorite with pockets of schist and granites. Further north just south of Lough
Gill the Inlier features more complex metamophised rocks.

The Carboniferous rocks in the north east of the region are predominantly calcareous
Lisgorman Shales and Bricklieve Limestones. To the west of Lough Allen there are more
Upper Carboniferous formations, such as the Dergvone Shale Formation and Sandstone
formations such as the Glenade sandstone formation and Lackagh Sandstone formation. In
County Leitrim there are also small pockets of Milestone Grit with coal in places.

As we move south in the region the geology becomes more uniform being predominantly
lower or middle carboniferous limestone. County Roscommon is dominated by Shallow
Water Limestones with small areas of Devonian Old Red Sandstone.

Further West the geology becomes much more complex. Coastal Mayo is dominated by a
series of metamorphic rocks with igneous intrusions. The Erris Complex contains Gneiss‟s
and Schists with intrusive dykes. Further inland the Dalradian is separated from the Erris
Complex by a series of faults. These rocks are again schists that have been metamorphised
from marine sedimentary rocks. The area surrounding Ballina is comprised mainly of
Carboniferous Sandstones (the Maam and Glencullin River Formations), with some
Calcareous Shales to the West of Ballina. The Castlebar River Limestones and sandy Lough
Akeel Oolite feature as we move east to Castlebar. While there are small areas of Old Red
Sandstone present just east of Beltra Lough.

Co. Galway geology features the Connemara Mountains in the West and merges with the
central lowlands to the East. Connemara is comprised of Silurian and Ordivician rock in the
North around the Sheefry Hills and Croagh Patrick with a small granitic intrusion just south of
Louisburgh. As we move south we encounter the Connemara Inlier, this consists of Dalradian
rocks similar to those in County Mayo. The area around Ballyconneely consists of igneous
rocks that have been strongly metamorphised to Metagabbro and Gneiss. The area around
Galway is predominantly Galway Granite formed during the early Devonian or late

East Galway is similar to the geology of Roscommon comprising mainly of Carboniferous
Limestones with small areas of Old Red Sandstone and Mudstone around the areas of
Loughrea and Portumna. Figure 2.2 illustrates the bedrock geology for the Connaught
Region. This map was constructed using information from the Geological Survey Ireland
(GSI) and Sligo County Council.

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Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region

2.3.2   Hydrogeology

Hydrogeology in the Connaught region is dominated by the regionally important limestone
aquifers. These aquifers vary in size and quality. The coarser Limestones in the North West
of the Region particularly in County Sligo have a considerable yield and capacity as do the
Limestones in East County Galway and Roscommon. Further South and West in the Region
the water bearing rocks are few the geology being mainly igneous and metamorphic in origin
resulting in secondary porosity only.

In County Sligo the Upper Carboniferous Limestone formations are the Regionally Important
Aquifers as classified by the EPA. The main Aquifer in the area is the Bricklieve Limestone
formation ranging from Tobercurry in the West to Drumkeeran in the East. Other aquifers in
County Sligo include the Ballyshannon formation north of Glencar Lough and the Oakport
formation on the eastern edge of the Ox Mountains. These aquifers are all classed as
regionally important aquifers and are illustrated in Figure 2.3 overleaf. The majority of these
regionally important aquifers are Karstified and yields can therefore be variable.

Locally important aquifers in the North of the Region are predominantly Quaternary Sand and
Gravels. These are smaller yielding aquifers and in the main are used for private water

In Leitrim south of Glenfarn there are Lower Carboniferous and Devonian rocks that are water
bearing, the Glenade Sandstone formation contains a small aquifer, as does the Mullaghmore
Sandstone near Sligo Town.

Poor aquifers in the region are associated with the igneous and metamorphic rocks in the Ox
Mountains. The yields in this area are low, flow being mainly through fractures in the upper
levels of the rock and would therefore be unavailable in dry periods. The West Coast of the
region in Connemara, and Mayo is also considered to be an area of poor aquifers as the
predominant geology is igneous and metamorphic in origin providing little porosity and

However, there are some locally important aquifers along the Western Coast of Mayo and in
the Connemara area. These include the Barney and Westport Limestones in Mayo and Sand
and Gravel aquifers in the Letterfrack/Kylemore area of Connemara. The Granites in the
West of County Galway can give small yields, this is greatest in the fault zone and variable as
flow is localised and prone to dry periods.

Further south the main aquifers are situated in the east of the region. In Roscommon and
Galway a regionally important Lower Carboniferous Limestone aquifer is present from
Oughterard and Moycullen in the West, to Elphin and Athlone in the East. This area is
considered to be Karstified resulting in a high flow but variable yields in the aquifers. There is
a small pocket of Old Red Sandstone which is a locally important aquifer just north of
Ballygar. In the Southeast the Loughrea to Portumna area is predominantly Muddy
Limestone and Red Sandstone with poor yields however there may be some privately
operated boreholes in the area. Groundwater Usage

The definition of a Groundwater source for water supply has here been considered to include
supply from artesian sources and underground rivers.

Groundwater Usage is currently divided into Public and Private Schemes. These are in the
main Group schemes with a relatively small number of single owned private wells. The Table
below shows the number of schemes in each county of the Region.

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Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region

Table 2.3: Groundwater Scheme in the Connaught Region
 County                % of Total Water Supply               Public                 Private
 Sligo                           15                            1                     87
 Leitrim                         11                            0                     158
 Roscommon                       80                            16                    50
 Mayo                            20                            8                     69
 Galway                          70                            45                    384

The Private schemes also include wells serving single premises. There is also the possibility
that many private wells in this category have not been recorded.

The proportion of groundwater usage is not reflected in the number of schemes but in the
proportion of the total water supply. Currently 80% of the current water supply in Roscommon
comes from Groundwater while this figure falls to 11% in County Lietrim. The proportion of
gorundwater abstracted is not a function of the number of wells or schemes within the region
but of the yield from boreholes. In Roscommon for example while there is a moderate
number of schemes the percentage of the total water supply derived from groundwater is
relatively high.
                                                 3               3
Well yields in the region vary from 30,000m /day to just 4m /day. The largest well yields
being in County Sligo in the Toberpatrick area. It is essential that aquifers do not suffer from
overabstraction when pumping rates exceed the recharge rate of the aquifer.


2.4.1   Rural Population

Certain rural districts have very low population density, making cost-effective waste collection
very difficult. Examples of such areas are Leitrim, which has the lowest population density in
the country, and areas of west Mayo and Galway. The distribution of housing in such areas is
not typically concentrated into villages but is of a dispersed and ribband nature, sometimes
with road access not suitable for large vehicles.

The total population of the region minus the populations of Galway and Sligo boroughs was
357,481 people in 1996. Of this only 80,000 or 22% lived in towns of greater than 500
people, meaning that the vast majority (over a quarter of a million people) of the population
reside in a markedly rural zone.

2.4.2   Urban Population

The scale of urban population centres is very important in waste management terms; it
influences factors such as collection costs, viability of certain waste treatment and the
provision for civic amenity facilities. Table 2.4 below sets out the sizes of the urban centres in

Galway city is the major population centre in the province, and showed the highest growth
rate in Ireland for the period 1991-1996. The development plan for Galway Corporation
predicts a continued expansion, and the overall population for the conurbation could surpass
90,000 by the 2001 census. Sligo is the next largest town with a population in the region of
20,000 in 1996.

The other population centres are all less than 10,000 people. Ballina and Castlebar are the
next largest towns in the region (population c.8,500) and there are five towns whose
population is in the region of 3,000- 6,000 people: Ballinasloe, Tuam, Westport, Roscommon
town and Loughrea.

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Table 2.4: Population of Urban Centres in Connaught
                    Galway         Mayo             Sligo      Roscommon          Leitrim

>10,000           Galway City                     Sligo City

6,000-10,000                      Ballina

3,000-6,000       Ballinasloe     Westport                     Roscommon

1,000-3,000         Athenry     Claremorris      Tubbercurry      Boyle      Carrick-on-Shannon
                   Oranmore      Swinford                       Castlerea      Manorhamilton
                     Gort        Ballinrobe                    Ballaghad'n

500-1000            7 towns       8 towns         6 towns       2 towns           3 towns


2.5.1     Road Network

The road infrastructure in Connaught (Figure 2.4) is an extensive network of minor roads
punctuated by a number of major corridors. The pattern is dictated by the topography of the
country in the western region but further east towards Roscommon the topography becomes
less important in defining the road network. The rail network is dominated by north to south
and west to east routes that again follow the topography of the land. The road network forms
the basis for most transportation and distribution within the country. Management and
planning of the national road network is undertaken by the National Roads Authority and the
County Councils in the corresponding counties. At present in Galway City there is an ongoing
Planning and Transportation Study which could identify the need for additional works such as
an extra river crossing or outer bypass of the city.

Connaught forms part of the East/West and the Western Road Corridor. In the East/West
Corridor Dublin is joined to Galway and to Sligo by a strategic corridor and Westport is joined
to this route by a strategic corridor link. The western road strategic corridor runs from Galway
across the region through Claremorris ending in Sligo.

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Table 2.5: A sample of ‘Traffic Counts on the National Roads in 1995’
 Route                Section                                  1995 AADT          % HGV
 N4                   Sligo/Collooney                          12,000-16,000      6-8
 N5                   Westport/Castlebar                       6,000              8
 N6                   Galway/Oranmore                          15,500             8
 N 15                 Bundoran/Sligo                           4,500-7,500        6-10
 N 16                 Manorhamilton                            2,500              8-10
 N 17                 Claregalway/Galway                       11,000             7
 N 18                 Claregalway/ Oranmore                    3,000              11
 N 26                 Ballina / Foxford                        4,000              9
 N 59                 Ballisodare/Ballina                      2,000-2,500        9-11
 N 59                 Oughterard/Galway                        5,500              5
 N 60                 Castlerea/ Roscommon                     2,500-3,5000       8-12
 N 61                 Tulsk/Roscommon                          2,500-4,500        8-13
 N 63                 Mountbellew/Roscommon                    2,000-4,000        5-17
 N 84                 Galway/Headford                          2,500-4,000        5-9
AADT- Annual Average Daily Traffic, number of vehicles.
HGV- Heavy Goods Vehicles.

The table above gives a brief selection of the number of vehicles travelling in the Connaught
region. Many of the routes above are entering a large town or city so consequently there is a
heavy volume of traffic on these roads. Due to these heavy volumes of traffic there is
ongoing improvements being carried out on many of these roads as the table below identifies.

The National Roads Authority recently published its strategy for expansion and improvement
over the coming years National Road Needs Study. To cater for the predicted increase in
traffic major upgrades have been planned, see the following small sample.

Table 2.6: Major Road Improvement Planned
 N4              Construction of the Sligo Relief Road to dual carriageway standard
 N5              Construction of the Charlestown Bypass to a two lane standard
 N6              Construction of the Craughwell Bypass to a reduced dual carriageway
 N 15            Construction of a wide 2 lane road from Bundoran to Sligo
 N 16            Construction of the Manorhamilton Bypass to a two lane standard
 N 18            Construction of Claregalway to Oranmore two lane standard
 N 26            Construction of a two lane standard from Ballina to Foxford

National Primary Routes
The national primary roads offer the highest level of road link in terms of capacity and road
quality. The N17 which links Galway to Sligo is the principal artery running centrally down the
region. This is a high quality route with single carriageway and hardshoulder for most of its
length. Connaught Regional Airport at Knock is situated near the crossing of the N17 and the
N5 at Charlestown.

In the East-West direction there are three primary routes linking Connaught to the Midlands
and East: the N4 serving Sligo, the N5 serving Castlebar (these roads converge at Longford)
and the N6 serving Galway. These routes are predominately single carriageway (with and
without hard shoulder) with certain sections of dual carriageway. The N15 and N16 link Sligo
with Donegal and Fermanagh respectively. From Galway the N18 provides the link with
County Clare and Shannon Airport. Towards the Midlands most traffic to or from Connaught
passes through either Longford or Athlone.

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National Secondary Routes
The secondary road network follows a denser regional pattern, linking the main Connaught
towns and providing tourism routes in the region. The standards of secondary routes vary
but they are predominately single carriageway without hard shoulder. There are certain
towns which act as nuclei for these roads (Castlebar, Tuam and Roscommon town for
example) where secondary and regional roads converge radically. Certain secondary routes
are quite important in the region, since they fill in the gaps left by the primary road network.
Examples are the N61 through Sligo/Leitrim to Roscommon/Athlone, and the N63 from
Roscommon to Galway and the N84 from Mayo to Galway. The N59 follows close to the
coast of Connaught all the way from Sligo, through Ballina, Newport, Clifden to Galway.

Regional and County Roads
Although not as heavily trafficked as the National routes, the regional roads in Connaught
carry all local and tourist traffic. The high density of public roadways is a result of the small
holding size and very high population of former years. The roads tend to lead into the local
secondary or primary road hub in a radial manner. The regional roads generally follow the
local topography, e.g. roads through the major valleys. For example the R344 passes
between the Twelve Pins and Maumturk Mts, with the R336 running parallel in the valley to
the east. The R341 from Clifden travels south along the flat coastal plain meeting the R342,
R340 and R336 winding its way along the coast of Galway Bay into the city of Galway. This
also occurs in the north of Connaught where the main proportion of the regional roads link an
island (Achill Island) R319, the peninsulas e.g. R313 and the coastline, e.g. R314 and R297.
Towards the centre of Connaught the roads form a more radial pattern with the topography
becoming less important. The R293 is an important north-south route starting south of Sligo
and travelling through Ballymote, Ballaghadereen and Ballyhaunis. Many of the dwellings in
Connaught are situated on these regional roads which tend to be narrow in isolated areas.

2.5.2   Rail Network

The rail network offers the potential for waste transfer within the region, and also connects
well with regions surrounding Connaught. There are three principal arteries servicing the
region: a line from Sligo to Dublin via Longford and Mullingar; lines from Westport/Castlebar
and Ballina which join at Manulla Junction and link with Athlone and Dublin, and a line from
Galway city to Athenry and Athlone. In a north-south direction, the line from Athenry to
Claremorris is still in use, although not for passenger services. Although closed at present,
the rail line between Colooney and Claremorris is largely still in place, and could potentially be
re-opened given significant investment for remedial works. Without this link, rail transfer from
Sligo to the rest of Connaught would have to be via Mullingar. The North-South link from
Athenry to Gort and Ennis and Limerick is open but not in ideal condition.

The existing passenger services terminate in Sligo, Westport, Ballina and Galway. The
principal types of freight transported using rail in the region at present are timber logs (loaded
at Galway, Ballina and Westport), beer (transported from Dublin) and fertiliser and cement.

2.5.3   Airport

Connaught has four airports that parallel the pattern of the National Primary Road and rail
lines. They are at Sligo in the north near the N4 and the Dublin to Sligo line, to the west at
Horan International Airport, County Mayo near to the N5 and the Dublin to Westport line, to
the south-west at Carnmore east of Galway city and close to the N6 and the Dublin to Galway
rail line and further west of Galway City at Inveran is an airport that services the Aran islands.
It is situated near the R336 being the coast road into the City of Galway. Horan International
Airport between Charlestown and Knock was established to give the North-West an airport
capable of handling large aircraft which would be of use to the severely isolated North-East
corner of Connaught, particularly providing a regional link to Britain and Europe.

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Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region

2.5.4     Ferry Network

The island communities off the Connaught coast depend on ferries only for transportation with
the exception of the Aran Islands which are served by Aer Arann from Connemara Airport at
Inverin. The principal ferries services are as follows:-

     Aran Islands: services to/from Rossaveal, Galway City and Doolin (to/from Inisheer only)
     Inishbofin: ferry service to/from Cleggan, Co. Galway.
     Clare Island: ferry service to/from Roonagh Quay, Co. Mayo.


2.6.1     Commerce

The Central Statistics Office figures for employment in various sectors of the economy are
presented on a regional basis. The chart below shows the relative breakdown of employment
in this area, for figures supplied in 1997. In total there are 111,195 people at work in the
Connaught Region. The industrial locations are shown in Figure 2.5.

               Estimated No. of Employees per Sector of Industry, Connaught Region










                    ink            es          s                         ls                 s                             l                       s
                 /Dr        xtil            uct         ntin
                                                                     ica               stic       tals            ptic
                                                                                                                      a           ers         ent         are
               od         Te             rod         Pri          em               Pl a         Me            l/O              Oth        pon         ftw
             Fo                      od
                                        P         r&            Ch             er/                        ica                           om          So
                                                pe                          bb                        ctr                            lC
                                   Wo        Pa                        Ru                         Ele                               a
                                                                             INDUSTRY SECTOR

2.6.2     Manufacturing Industries

Further information on the distribution of employment within the manufacturing industries in
Connaught was compiled from a survey carried out for the waste management strategy study
in 1998/99. The references of companies used were the IDA List of Manufacturing
Companies, the Forbairt Directory of Manufacturing Industries and the Roscommon County
Enterprise Board‟s Directory of Industrial Enterprises. These directories list all industrial
companies in the study area and classify employment into various sizes, (1-10, 11-50, 51-200

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Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region

and >200 employees). Where the actual no. of employees was not known, a mid-interval
value was used. The chart above shows the estimated number of employees in the principal
industrial classes in Connaught. These sectors correspond to the NACE classification system
for industry, which conforms with the EPA National Waste Database shown in Table 2.7

The principal sector of industrial employment is the manufacture of medical components. This
is a result of multi-national investment in Connaught. Electrical, electronic and optical
equipment production is also a high employer in the region. Traditional sectors of industry of
metal fabrication and of food production are also maintaining a high number of employees.
There are certain areas within the region where one industry type is concentrated, for
example in Sligo there are many precision engineering and moulding firms, in North
Roscommon there are several agri-food factories, in Galway city the electronic and software
industry is to the fore. The sector “Others” comprises of companies involved in miscellaneous
company types including stonework, crafts, mining/quarrying and manufacturing not classified

Table 2.7: Number of Employees per NACE sector in the Connaught Region
 Sector                               Description                                  Waste per
  DA       Manufacture of Food Products; Beverages & Tobacco                        3,963
  DB       Manufacture of Textiles & Textile Products                               1,089
  DC       Manufacture of Leather & Leather Products                                 353
  DD       Manufacture of Wood & Wood Products                                      1,874
  DE       Manufacture of Pulp, Paper & Paper Products; Printing & Publishing        619
  DG       Manufacture of Chemicals, Chemical Products & Man-Made Fibres            1,162
  DH       Manufacture of Rubber & Plastic Products                                 1,564
  DJ       Manufacture of Basic Metals & Fabricated Metal Products                  3,596
  DK       Manufacturing of Machinery & Equipment n.e.c.                            1,881
  DL       Manufacturing of Electrical and Optical Equipment                        4,959
  DM       Manufacture of Transport Equipment                                        602
  DN       Manufacturing (not elsewhere classified)                                  456
  DY       Manufacturing of Medical Devices & Equipment                             7945
  DZ       Production of Computer Software                                          2,022

2.7       TOURISM
The West of Ireland is well endowed in terms of the quality of its landscape, its physical,
cultural heritage and recreational resources making it a prime tourist destination. Tourism is a
major source of income for this region playing an important role in the national economy. In
1998 overseas visitors generated in the region of £172m worth of business in Galway alone.
Due to the lack of industrialisation in the west there is a heavy reliance on tourism and its
potential for sustainable growth.

The west holds the image of a rural sparsely populated land with low stone walls and peat
bogs. Yet it also encompasses Galway a fast growing University town that contains natural
and historical features that attracted in 1998 over 877,000 tourists. The natural scenery of
Connaught is spectacular and is the natural foundation of its tourism. The lakes, rivers,
mountains, woodlands and coastline offer a wide range of amenity and recreational pursuits.

Angling is a popular activity in Connaught with County Mayo offering sea angling, game
angling and some coarse fishing. Mayo is dominated by four main lakes Loughs Conn, Cullin,
Carra and Mask, all being producers of quality wild brown trout. There are numerous smaller
lakes offering a wide variety of trout fishing, these range from small mountain lakes to popular
stocked lakes managed by the Fisheries Boards or local angling clubs. The River Moy, which
flows through Foxford and Ballina is a popular destination for salmon anglers. Over the past

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Waste Management Plan for the Connaught Region

five years the river has produced an annual average of 7,508 salmon to the rod. There is a
number of deep sea angling centres e.g. Killala, Achill and Westport. Annually there are sea
angling competitions and during 1997 up to 34 species of fish were recorded. County Mayo
with its lengthy coastline is an ideal place for sea angling and Clew Bay makes this
experience very pleasant as the islands offer shelter from the winds. Achill Island is a delight
to anglers as it offers shark fishing.

Roscommon also has a number of game angling centres on Loughs Ree, Gara and O‟Flynn,
and coarse and pike angling centres, on the River Shannon and in the Lung Valley to name
but a few. County Leitrim has the advantage that it has the earliest salmon season in Europe.
There are a wide variety of coarse and game fish such as pike, bream, roach, sea trout,
brown trout and wild salmon. County Galway contains Lough Corrib, which has a large
number of centres for game, coarse and pike angling. Some of which are at the following
places, Galway, Spiddal, Headford, Ballinasloe, Ballygar and Portumna. Deep sea angling is
also popular due to the expansive coastline and there are centres at Clifden, Roundstone,
Spiddal and Cleggan. The Aran Islands and Inishbofin both offer shore angling as does many
of the islands off Mayo‟s coastline such as Clare and Achill Island.

Galway City, Clifden, Westport and Sligo are popular bases for exploring the region. Nature
lovers are attracted to the wilds of Counties Galway, Mayo and Sligo while the lakes of
County Roscommon are popular with anglers. Carrick-on-Shannon in County Leitrim is a
lively boating resort providing a main centre of activity. The Aran islands together with Achill,
Clare and Inishbofin, situated off the coastlines of Counties Galway and Mayo respectively
appeal to nature enthusiasts. The Aran Islands alone attract 200,000 visitors each year.

The region contains a considerable number of castles and abbeys, including Kylemore Abbey
in County Galway. This lakeside castle is a romantic gothic revival that attracted 189,716
visitors in 1996. It became an Abbey after World War 1 when Benedictine nuns sought refuge
there. Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo also has a high attendance recording 30,000
visitors in 1996 of which 40% were from overseas. Parke‟s Castle in County Leitrim
dominates the eastern end of Lough Gill. The Office of Public Works using 17th century
building methods and Irish Oak has restored it. Drumcliff Churchyard is the burial place of the
poet W.B. Yeats in County Sligo who has also made the Lake Isle of Inishfree famous on the
Sligo side of Lough Gill.

The main National Park in Connaught is Connemara National Park being over 2,000ha in
area. This is a wild landscape region west of Galway encompassing bogs, mountains and a
rugged coastline. It is a popular place to visit and in 1996 75,000 people visited the area.
There are a number of magnificent beaches dotted along the Connaught‟s coastline, some of
which have the Blue Flag award; Rosses Point, Achill and Mulranny being just a small
selection. County Mayo contains over 13% of the most scenic coastline and over 15% of the
sandy beaches in Ireland.

Summer time is the main season for festivals: the Galway Races in July, traditional sailing
ship races off Kinvara by Galway hookers in August (Cruinniú na mBád) and September is
the Galway Oyster Festival all of which generate a large source of income for the region. The
principal tourist attractions are illustrated in Figure 2.6.

Connaught is a strong agricultural region, with the largest sector of the workforce in the west
(at 16%) directly employed on the land. This figure does not take into account jobs in the
downstream processing of agricultural produce (for example meat, milk etc.) or people who
farm as a secondary occupation. The average holding size in Connaught is 18.6 hectares (46
acres) which is lower than the national average of 26 hectares (64 acres). Wastes from
agriculture consist mainly of manure and surface run-offs and such activities need to be
monitored closely to avoid the threat of pollution to surface and groundwater.

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The breeding of livestock in Connaught is widespread particularly sheep and beef cattle, while
pig and poultry production units are less widespread than in Munster or the border counties.
Tillage is carried out only in isolated pockets of the region. The agricultural area used for
crops and pastures is proportionately high, particularly in Galway and Roscommon.

Approximately 6.4% of the land in Connaught is under forestry and the state-sponsored body
Coillte owns the vast majority of this 113,200 hectares. The forested areas lie mainly on
mountain slopes or in the river valleys and are mostly comprised of coniferous plantations.

The main ports in the region in terms of annual catch figures are set out in the Table below:

Table 2.8: Annual Catch Landed at Major Ports in the Region
                                      Landed Weight in 1996
            Port              Tonnes Wetfish        Tonnes Shellfish           Total all fish

 Achill                             1217                      282                 1499
 Killary                              17                      709                  725
 Westport                             30                      802                  832

 Ballyglass                          163                      155                   318
 Clarinbridge                          0                      205                   205
 Cleggan/ Clifden                     13                      214                   227

 Galway                              111                      239                  350
 Kinvara                               0                      247                  247
 Rossaveal                          5758                      724                 6482

 Roundstone                            20                      82                   102
 Tully/ Renvyle                        15                      11                    26
 Sligo                                  0                     214                   102

 Total                              7344                    3884                 11115

The Connaught catch equated to 2.5 % of the national wetfish catch and 9.5% of the shellfish
catch in 1996.

The farming of trout and salmon is very strong in Connaught, and is centered on Connemara
and some parts of County Mayo. There are both on-land hatcheries and trout farms and off-
shore farms for salmon.

Fish Processing
According to Bord Iascaigh Mhara, there are 23 fish processors in the region. Fourteen of
these are in Galway, eight in Mayo and one in county Sligo.

Trends in Agricultural Activity

Current trends in Agriculture reflect the general downturn in rural economies as the country as
a whole becomes more developed industrially.

Both cattle and sheep numbers are expected to decline in coming years and farm size is
increasing due to the exodus from farming and the EU Farm Retirement Scheme. Tillage
crops are also not increasing because of the EU Arable Aid system which caps the amount of
tillage land. The Connaught Region contains only a very small acerage of tillage crops which
continues to decline.

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The number of farmers converting to organic produce has grown four-fold over the past 8
years, due in part to EU incentives and consumer driven demand. The amount of land in the
country as a whole devoted to organic farming is now 1000,000 acres, about 1% of National

New crops and animal husbandry have experienced a slight increase in the country as a
whole, Connaught as a region supports more traditional farming produce.

2.9      LAND USE
Farming is the principal occupation in the Connaught region with pasture and tillage being the
main land uses. The majority of land is zoned for agricultural use with only the cities and
towns having other land use designations. Due to the scenic nature of the region much of the
land is designated as natural heritage areas. These are shown in Figure 2.7. Other land use
designations related to environmental protection which must be considered when siting future
waste management facilities are listed below.

     Special Areas of Conservation
     Special Protection Areas
     Statuary Nature Reserves
     National Parks
     Refuges for Fauna
     Wildfowl Sanctuaries
     Ramsar Sites
     Biogenetic Reserve
     UNESCO Biosphere Reserves
     Salmonid Water
     Sensitive Areas for Urban Wastewater
     Sensitive Areas for Fisheries and Forestry
     Areas of Special Control in County Development Plans
     Special Amenity Order
     Tree Preservation Order
     World Heritage Site
     Designated Areas under REPS

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The terminology and definitions used in this Plan are taken from the Waste Management Act
1996. (See Appendix C for definitions of more widely used terms). Thus, waste is any
substance “to be discarded” and “hazardous waste” means any of the wastes specifically
listed on the European Hazardous Waste List (94/904/EC) or so listed in the EPA Waste
Catalogue. The term “toxic and dangerous wastes” no longer applies. The Waste
Management (Planning) Regulations 1997 state that a waste plan must specify the quantities
of waste arising within the functional area classified under the following descriptions, in so far
as applicable:

     Household waste collected by or on behalf of the local authority.
     Household waste delivered to civic waste facilities and other bring facilities.
     Other household waste.
     Litter and street sweepings.
     Commercial waste.
     Industrial waste not elsewhere specified.
     Construction and demolition waste.
     Contaminated soils.
     Ash and other incineration residues.
     Mining and quarry waste.
     Healthcare Waste (clinical, dental, veterinary).
     Sewage sludges.
     Waste treatment sludges.
     Industrial sludges.
     Agricultural sludges

Waste Quantities
The present non-agricultural waste generation in the Connaught region is 596,054 tonnes of
municipal and industrial (incl. mining/quarrying) waste per annum (Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1
overleaf). In addition it is estimated that there are 6,219,679 tonnes of agricultural waste
arising in Connaught from animals, mushroom compost and farm plastics.

Priority wastes which are wastes designated as such by the European Union are not included
in the above table. These wastes – which include tyres, end of life vehicles, electrical
equipment waste, packaging waste, batteries and accumulator‟s, PCB‟s and waste oils are
considered in Section 3.5.

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Table 3.1: Quantities of Non-Agricultural Waste Arisings in Connaught Region
 Waste Type                                                        Amount in tonnes per year
 Household Collected                                                          133,115
 Household Delivered (bulky)                                                    4,606
 Other Household                                                               11,395
 Commercial                                                                    53,162
 Industrial Sludges                                                             4,070
 Industrial                                                                   116,993
 Construction / Demolition Waste                                              201,510
 Ash/Incineration Residue                                                           0
 Contaminated Soil                                                                  0
 Litter/Street Sweepings                                                        8,345
 Water Treatment Sludge                                                         1,263
 Wastewater Treatment                                                          13,540
 Mining & Quarrying                                                            46,672
 Healthcare                                                                     1,384
 Subtotal                                                                     596,055
 Agricultural                                                               6,219,679
 Total                                                                      6,815,734
Source: Landfill Surveys 1998, National Waste Database 1995, Questionnaire Surveys 1998

3.2.1    Hazardous Component of Waste Arising in the Connaught Region

Table 3.2 shows for all the waste categories described above the amount of each which is a
hazardous waste.

Table 3.2: Hazardous Components of Waste arising in the Connaught Region
 Waste Type                                    Total for the Connaught Region (tonnes per annum)
 Household Delivered                                                     1022.23
 Household Delivered (bulky)                                                0.00
 Other household                                                            0.00
 Commercial                                                              3967.53
 Industrial                                                             25869.13
 Construction and Demolition Waste                                        360.88
 Ash/Incineration Residue                                                   0.00
 Contaminated Soil                                                          0.00
 Litter/Street Sweepings                                                    0.00
 Water Treatment Sludge*                                                    0.00
 Wastewater Treatment *                                                     0.00
 Mining & Quarrying                                                         1.52
 Healthcare                                                                 0.00
 Sub Total                                                              31221.29
 Agricultural                                                            4058.77
 Total                                                                  35280.06
*Tonnes of Dry Solids


The figures used in this Plan were extrapolated from the recently published Proposed
Hazardous Waste Management Plan (EPA) 1999 and from figures in the recently published
Connaught Waste Management Strategy.

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Household waste composition is fairly well established from the EPA Waste Database Report
(1996) and studies carried out by Dublin Corporation. This information is relevant for planning
waste recycling and recovery initiatives. The data shown in Table 3.3 reflects the composition
of waste produced in Connaught as a Region. The composition may vary from County to
County but is essential that the waste produced be regarded as a whole when formulating a
Management Plan.

Table 3.3: Household Waste in the Connaught Region
           Waste Type                 Urban (tonnes/annum)         Rural (tonnes /annum)
    Paper                                     3806.39                    12425.54
    Cardboard                                 1470.46                     4800.16
    Organics                                 10095.02                    32954.11
    Glass                                     1689.40                     5514.86
    Plastics                                  3447.25                    11253.19
    Metals                                    1030.82                     3365.01
    Textiles                                   385.22                     1257.52
    Combustibles                              1919.92                     6267.36
    Non Combustibles                          3003.11                     9803.32
    Other                                     3709.23                    12108.37
    Total                                    30556.82                    99749.44

There is no composition data available for commercial waste in the Region. Even in the
country as a whole information on the composition of commercial waste is poor. A survey
conducted for the Dublin Waste Strategy on the commercial office sector found paper and
cardboard to be the largest component of this waste stream constituting 65%. A further study
on commercial waste originating from a small shopping centre as part of the EPA Waste
Database Study found the paper/cardboard component to be 55%. There have been no
characterisation surveys to date on the composition of industrial waste.

The EU Resolution of May 7 , 1990 on Waste Management Policy within the Community
considered that it was desirable to establish programmes to deal with certain types of wastes.
In 1991, the Commission initiated its programme on Priority Waste Streams whereby project
groups were established to determine a solution for a number of waste streams. The
following waste streams were given priority in the EU Resolution:

         Scrapped cars (or „end of life‟ vehicles)
         Tyres
         Batteries
         Electrical and electronic waste
         Construction/demolition waste
         Hospital waste (healthcare waste)
         PCB‟s
         Packaging and packaging waste
         Waste oils

The purpose of prioritising these waste streams is to increase the recycling rate and reduce
the volume of waste to be disposed to landfill.

Table 3.4 estimates the quantity of these wastes arising in the Connaught Region based on
figures calculated by the EPA or from import-export figures published by the Central Statistics

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Table 3.4: Estimated Quantities of Priority Waste Streams
       Priority Waste Stream            Connaught Total                           Source
                                      (tonnes per annum)
    Electrical & Electronic Goods               6898              National Waste Database (1998)
    Batteries and Accumulators                   700              National Waste Database (1996) & Model
    Oils                                        2816              National Hazardous Waste Plan (1998)
    Polychlorinated Bi Phenyls                  8.31              National Hazardous Waste Plan (1998)
    Tyres                                       2600              National Waste Database (1998)
    Vehicles                                    3505              National Waste Database (1998)
    Packaging Waste                            92887              National Waste Database (1998)
    Healthcare Waste                            2337              National Waste Database (1998)

The management of agricultural waste is not undertaken directly by the local authorities, but
they do have a responsibility for agricultural waste planning under the Waste Management
Act, 1996 to ensure that these wastes are disposed in an environmentally friendly manner. If
not managed correctly agricultural wastes can affect water quality and the general litter
situation in an area. The principal wastes concerning farmers in the Region are as follows:

          Animal slurries and manure
          Plastics – farm films, fertiliser bags, plastic drums
          Spent mushroom compost (mushroom growers)

As well as these there are some potentially hazardous wastes such as sheep dip and
veterinary medicines which arise on farms – these are under consideration by the EPA
National Hazardous Waste Management Strategy. The total amount of Agricultural waste
arising in the Connaught Region is illustrated in Table 3.5. below.

Table 3.5: Total Agricultural Waste in the Connaught Region (Tonnes/Annum)
  Waste Type            Sligo        Leitrim           Mayo       Roscommon       Galway      Connaught
Animal Waste
Housed Cattle
Slurry                 362738.7      300800.9      1149234.2         753785.7     1276280.0    3842839.5
Manure                 145975.9      113404.3       327422.0         192142.5      249458.0    1028402.8
Housed Sheep
Manure                  27829.0       18087.2           89750.8       52360.0      196182.7     384209.8
Manure                  48589.3       29976.5          163602.2       88649.7      400846.1     731663.8
Slurry                  13262.0       20739.1           35903.2       24952.4       20166.7    115,023.6
Other Animals            9669.1        4702.1           14826.2        8602.1       48768.0      86567.5
Sub Total                608064      487710.1      1780738.6        1120492.4     2191701.5     6188707
Mushroom                   775.4       1343.3            9930.2       11767.5        4601.3      28417.5

Farm Films                 254.8        222.9             674.2          512.6        890.1      2554.69

Total                 609094.20     489276.30     1791343.00       1132772.50    2197192.90   6219679.19
*Tonnes Dry Solids

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3.6.1    Animal Slurries

The overall figures for production of animal slurries in the region are presented in Table 3.5.
These are based on the agricultural census figures (the last complete census was in 1997)
combined with factors for duration of winter housing, which have been derived from
consultation with Teagasc local offices. The figures summarise the wastes which accumulate
over the winter housing period and must then be managed and properly applied to the land in
the summer period.

3.6.2    Farm Plastics

Plastic waste on farms has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Advancing
agricultural technology in recent years has meant „wrapped-plastic‟ silage bales are proving
the most efficient means of storing winter feed for cattle. As well as black plastic used for
silage (known as „farm-films‟), other wastes such as fertiliser bags and plastic drums (e.g.
feed supplement containers) are increasingly used yet farmers report that there is little option
for re-using or recycling these wastes.

The national waste policy for the management of farm films is set out in the Waste
Management (Farm Plastics) Regulations 1997. These regulations give the producers and
importers of these materials a responsibility to arrange for their collection from the farmer. A
company named the "Irish Farm Film Producers Group", comprising members of various
importers and producers, was set up in 1998 as a 'prescribed body' under the regulations.
IFFPG has set up a hotline whereby collection of the plastic from a farmer is arranged once
200kg of clean plastic wrapping has been collected. The group have also set up community
initiatives whereby when a number of farmers in a locality have a substantial amount of plastic
collection will be arranged. The material is then exported to Scotland for recycling. Table 3.6
illustrates the various types and amounts of Farm Plastics produced in the Connaught

Table 3.6: Farm Film Waste in Connaught
     County       Hectares          Quantity         Quantity        Quantity         TOTAL FARM
                 Under Silage     Silage Wrap      Silage Sheet     SMC bags             FILMS
                 Production*         (tpa)**          (tpa)***       (tpa)****
 Sligo                12617          156.75              90.75         7.32               254.83
 Leitrim               6585           81.81              47.36        93.78               222.96
 Mayo                 33724          418.99             242.57        12.69               674.24
 Roscommon            20463          254.23             147.19       111.14               512.56
 Galway               43159          536.21             310.44        43.46               890.10
 Total               116548            1448             838.31       268.39              2554.69
*    CSO Agricultural Census Data, 1997
**   Interpolated from Farm Relief Services data – approximately 9,500 tonnes per annum of silage wrap are
     supplied to farms in Ireland producing silage (total area of 933,600 hectares)
*** Interpolated from Farm Relief Services data – approximately 5,500 tonnes per annum of silage sheet are
     supplied to farms in Ireland producing silage (total area of 933,600 hectares)
**** Calculated on the basis that a bag containing 20kg of mushroom compost weighs 85g (Teagasc, 1998)

3.6.3    Spent Mushroom Compost Production

A Census of Mushroom Production was carried out by Teagasc in 1997 which estimates that
272,554 tonnes of compost was used for mushroom production in Ireland. It is reasonable to
assume that the weight of Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC) generated is similar to the
weight of compost used. Table 3.7 illustrates the amount of spent Mushroom Compost in the

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Table 3.7: Spent Mushroom Compost Waste in Connaught
        County           Volume Per Annum (m )              Tonnes Per Annum*             Tonnes Dry solids
                                                                                            Per Annum**
    Sligo                          3446                            1723                        775.35
    Leitrim                       1492.5                           2985                       1343.25
    Mayo                         11033.5                          22067                       9930.15
    Roscommon                     13075                           26150                       11767.5
    Galway                        5112.5                          10225                       4601.25
    Total                       34159.50                          63150                       28417.5
*     Assuming that 2m3 of spent mushroom compost weighs 1 tonne (Teagasc)
**    Assuming that spent mushroom compost contains 45% dry solids by weight (Teagasc).

3.6.4     Agricultural Waste Management

Agricultural waste is more easily managed by management options such as river catchment
management planning which is now gaining popularity in Ireland. The Department of
Environment and Local Government have commissioned such studies in the Lough
Ree/Derg, Lough Leane, Boyne, Suir and Liffey catchments. The study of the latter three
catchments is termed the Three Rivers Project. The objectives of these studies can be
illustrated by the Boyne, Suir and Liffey studies which are as follows:-

         To protect water quality for abstraction as a primary beneficial use.
         To conserve the river system as a salmonid fishery.
         To conserve natural habitats within the river system as far as possible
         To maintain and develop the river for recreational and amenity use including water
          based recreation.
         To give consideration to the hydroelectric power generation capacity of the River
         To establish an integrated and sustainable Water Quality Management System for the

The general decline in water quality in river systems in Ireland reflects increased levels of
nutrient enrichment from both point and diffuse sources. Therefore, an additional and primary
objective of the monitoring and management systems, to reduce the input of nutrients to the
catchment watercourses, has been adopted in order to achieve the objectives mentioned

A major focus of the catchment management study will be to instigate sustainable strategies
for reducing nutrient inputs to watercourses from diffuse sources such as farming. The
development of nutrient management planning (NMP) for agriculture in line with recently
published guidelines by the DOELG, and the adoption of best management practices (BMP)
on farms will form a major element of these strategies.

A primary objective of the Monitoring and Management Systems is to develop strategies to
reduce the input of nutrients to the catchments. It is recognised that the nutrient enrichment
of Irish freshwaters is related to phosphorus inputs from agricultural sources. This recognition
is reflected in recent national legislation, Water Quality Standards for Phosphorus, and the
National Catchment Based Strategy against Eutrophication. The importance of Best
Management Practices including Nutrient Management Planning are recognised in the latter
document, in the DOELG‟s recently published document “Nutrient Management Planning
Guidelines for Local Authorities” and in the on going Rural Environmental Protection Scheme
(REPS) administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Consequently,
nutrient abatement strategies developed for river catchments during this project will focus on
implementing Best Management Practices for agriculture.

The practicalities of implementation and the effectiveness of the strategies will initially be
tested in selected sub-catchments. The implementation of sub-catchment pilots will involve
close co-operation between the project team and Teagasc advisors, especially at local level.

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In order to monitor the performance of these strategies, key water quality indicators will be
identified and selected. In addition to the implementation of abatement strategies at a sub-
catchment level, it is currently proposed that an awareness campaign, aimed at encouraging
farmers to implement BMP throughout the catchments, will be instigated as part of the project
nutrient abatement strategies.

In Galway local authorities are currently becoming involved in catchment management and
are investigating the Corrib lakes and river catchment and have set up an in-house committee
reporting to all interested parties. It is hoped that this study will develop into a regional river,
lakes, groundwater and coastal study within hydrometric areas involving the counties of
Galway, Mayo and parts of Clare, Sligo and Roscommon.

3.6.5   Waste Import and Export

Waste is presently imported into the Region in Galway. The Galway Harbour Authorities are
required to accept ships waste under the Marpol 73/78 International Regulations Annex V.

Waste exported from the region includes the waste of Sligo Corporation area. This waste
goes from a transfer station to landfill in Co Mayo. A proportion of wastes generated in the
south of County Sligo moves within the region to landfill in neighbouring counties Mayo,
Leitrim and Roscommon.

The lack of reliable data on waste arisings has in the past been a symptom of the lack of
regulation and control over waste management activities. This is now continually improving
with the introduction of the Waste Management Act and ensuing Regulations. The
forthcoming Waste Collection Permit Regulations will enable the Connaught local authorities
to obtain information from waste collectors on waste quantities and types of wastes handled
in addition to quantities disposed and recycled in the Region. The Waste Plan recommends
that the local authority obtain necessary information from all waste collection, treatment,
recycling/recovery and disposal operators.

At present there is no central system for the collection of data on waste arisings and
information has to be obtained from a number of sources making the process very onerous.
More centralised information on waste arisings within each county and on recycling in
Connaught will make the management of waste in the region more efficient and ultimately
should assist in reaching the targets set out in current National and EU Legislation.

With regard to certain priority waste excluding packaging, there is also a need for better
information on the quantity and nature of industrial and construction/demolition wastes, waste
tyres, batteries, end of life vehicles and electronic waste.

It is recommended that new local authority waste databases, set up and implemented by the
Environmental Protection Agency, are used by the local authorities themselves as a future
waste management aid. It is equally essential that existing and future landfills and other
facilities be equipped with the necessary measurement and information technology systems
to accurately track the sources, nature and disposal mechanisms for all wastes. A similar
system is required in respect of hazardous waste.

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Packaging is defined in the Waste Management Act, 1996, as “any material, container or
wrapping, used for or in connection with the containment, transport, handling, protection,
promotion, marketing or sale of any product or substance, including such packaging as may
be prescribed”. Hence this includes a very broad amount of waste ranging from food
wrapping and shopping bags to the robust containers and boxes used in industry. The
European Commission considers packaging waste a priority waste. This resulted from a
Council Directive Resolution adopted in Dublin on 7th May 1990 on Waste Policy
Management where it was considered desirable to establish programmes for specific types of
wastes. In 1991 the commission initiated its programme on Priority Waste Streams whereby
project groups were established to determine solutions for a number of waste streams
including packaging.

It is difficult to state with accuracy how much packaging waste arises within the Connaught
Region. It is accepted that this quantity will have increased substantially in recent years; for
example one of the largest sectors of growth in the Irish food industry is in pre-packed
convenience foods, which involves much packaging. The quantity of packaging waste
generated annually in the Connaught is estimated by assuming packaging accounts for a
fixed percentage of the main waste streams, as follows:-

Table 4.1: Estimated Annual Arisings of Packaging Waste in Connaught Region
          Tonnes/annum                 Household              Commercial        Industrial          Total
    Total Waste Arisings                149,116                 53,162           121,063          323,341
    Packaging Waste Arisings             37,279                 17,543            36,319           91,141
Note:      The packaging content of household waste was estimated at 25%, Commercial waste 33%, Industrial
           waste 30%


4.3.1      European Packaging Directive

The EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EEC addresses the need to
conform with the EU waste management hierarchy, i.e. minimise the generation of waste and
to increase reuse, recovery, and recycling of wastes. The Directive sets recycling and
recovery targets, which must be achieved by specific deadlines.

In the implementation of the Directive on Packaging Waste in Ireland (94/62/EEC), the 5 year
objective to 2001 is stated as:

        25% recycling rate to be achieved by 1 July, 2001.

       Between 50% and 65% (by weight) of packaging waste should be recovered in Ireland
        by 2005.

       Within this general target, between 25% and 45% (by weight) of the total amount of
        packaging materials contained in packaging waste will be recycled, with a minimum of
        15% (by weight) for each packaging material.

The Directive also emphasises prevention and reuse of packaging in Articles 4 and 5
respectively. Article 13 of the Directive states that measures must be taken within two years

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of 30 June 2001 (in the case of Ireland) to ensure that users of packaging, including in
particular consumers, obtain necessary information about the following:-

    The return, collection and recovery systems available to them

    Their role in contributing to reuse, recovery and recycling of packaging and packaging

    The meaning of markings on packaging existing on the market

    The appropriate elements of the management plans for packaging and packaging waste
     to be incorporate into Waste Management Plans (i.e. Articles 4 & 5).

4.3.2     Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations, 1997

The Packaging Directive has been brought into Irish law through the Waste Management
(Packaging) Regulations, 1997. These Regulations became law on the 1 July 1997 and
apply to all persons and businesses who supply packaged products, packaging materials or
packaging e.g. shops, pubs, supermarkets, fast-food outlets, wholesalers, manufactures,
importers, exporters. The purpose of the Regulations is to assist and promote the recycling of
packaging waste.

All Producers of Packaging
The Regulations impose obligations on all producers of packaging whereby all producers are
obliged to have such packaging waste either:-

    Taken back by a supplier, or
    Recovered, or
    Made available for recovery i.e. segregated, offered free of charge to recoverers and
     held for at least four weeks pending collection by a recoverer.

It is an offence for a producer to dispose of such packaging waste without first making it
available for recovery.

Major Producers of Packaging
There are additional obligations placed on major producers of packaging waste. A major
producer is a producer who :-

    Annually places more than 25 tonnes of packaging on the Irish market (excluding
     packaging for reuse) and
    Has an annual turnover in excess of £1 million.

These additional obligations on major producers include the following:

    The provision of waste reception facilities at all premises,
    To accept packaging from the public,
    To collect packaging waste from other suppliers,
    To display notices regarding the acceptance of waste,
    To return or recycle such waste or make it available for recovery,
    To prepare and make available plans and reports in relation to packaging waste output
     and waste recovery activities,
    To register with local authorities and to provide information to such authorities.

The information which must be provided in these packaging reports – which must be prepared
on an annual basis - to the local authority is outlined in Part IV of the Second Schedule of the
Regulations, which specifies the following:-

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    Official Company details,
    Location of premises at which packaging is produced by the producer
    The weight of packaging and packaging material received and supplied in the relevant
     period in each of the specified categories
    The weight of packaging accepted by the producer in the relevant period, in each of the
     specified categories
    The weight of packaging waste the transfer of which was accepted by other producers
    Recovery operators notified of the availability of packaging waste during the relevant
     period, for the purposes of article 5(1), and the means used to effect such notification
    The weight of packaging waste –
     (a) recovered by or on behalf of the producer, and
     (b) accepted by recovery operators
     in the relevant period, in each of the specified categories.
    The weight of packaging waste disposed of or consigned for disposal by the producer in
     each of the specified categories during the relevant period, and the nature of the
     disposal operations involved.

(Specified categories according to the Regulations include glass, aluminum, steel, paper and
fibreboard, plastics, wood and textiles or such other categories as may be specified by the

The Regulations also in Part IV of the Second Schedule outline how the information relating
to the above is to be provided to the Local Authorities in a report for public information by
major producers.

Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing the Regulations and the powers of
enforcement available to Local Authorities include fines of up to IR£1,500 and/or 12 months
imprisonment for summary convictions.

Exemption Clause – ‘Approved Bodies’
An exemption from the onerous obligations of the Packaging Regulations is available to
companies who are participating in a collective packaging-waste-recovery scheme operated
by an approved body. REPAK Ltd. is at present the sole approved body in Ireland for the
purpose of the Regulations. This is a private not-for profit company set up under a voluntary
agreement between industrial interests (including representative bodies such as IBEC and
RGDATA, and commercial organisations such as Irish Glass, KPMG, Smurfit Paper Mills) and
approved by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government. Its aim is to achieve
agreed targets for recycling of packaging waste in the most cost-effective way. Membership
of REPAK offers the following services to members:-

    Data collection
     REPAK collects and collates data from its members in order to demonstrate to
     government progress towards targets.
    Funding
     REPAK collects funds from its members and uses them to pay towards recovery
    Advice
     REPAK advises its members on all aspects of packaging waste.
    Liaison
     REPAK liaises with Government, local authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency
     and other relevant bodies, on behalf of industry.

REPAK‟s targets relate to household waste only and consequently the funding to date has
gone to Kerbside Dublin and Rehab Recycling Partnership, organisations already dealing with
household waste recycling. These companies are based in Dublin although REPAK operates
on a national basis. REPAK agreed a target with the Department of Environment and Local
Government that 25,000 tonnes of household waste would be recycled by the year 2001.
REPAK say they have already achieved this and are looking to expand their initiatives to the
industrial sector.

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Repak have recently launched a new scheme for its members called the Uplift Scheme. The
objective of this scheme is to collect 120,000 tonnes of packaging this year (1999) based on
meeting a target of 27% recycling of packaging waste required to ensure meeting our
obligations under the EU Packaging Directive. The scheme is focusing on cardboard, glass
and LDPE whereby the glass will go to Irish Glass Bottles, the cardboard to Smurfit and a
processor for LDPE has yet to be decided. A 3 month pilot scheme has just been completed
in the Dublin area which collected cardboard only. The scheme in Dublin has now been
expanded to collect glass and plastics. The scheme for cardboard collection has just
commenced in Cork and is expected to be introduced in other regions shortly.

The mechanics of the scheme involve companies segregating their waste and when 2 tonnes
of packaging waste are available for recycling, Repak will arrange to have it collected free of
charge. Alternatively if the company already has an arrangement with a recycling company
Repak will refund the cost of having the material delivered to Smurfit. It is anticipated that
outside Dublin companies can have the first 3 tonnes delivered free of charge. An important
aspect of the scheme is improved collection of waste statistics and companies are required to
complete a waste transfer form for each waste shipment.

4.4     COMPLIANCE WITH PACKAGING                            REGULATIONS             IN    THE
At present the level of compliance with the packaging regulations is very poor in the country in
general. Although the Connaught local Authorities in general have drawn up lists of relevant
„major producers‟ and in some cases disseminated information and surveyed the companies
involved, there has been no enforcement carried out. There is no official register kept of
relevant producers, and no official notices warning of legal action have been issued.

Neither has the „approved body‟ system been successful to date. At present the number of
companies joining REPAK is quite low and there is a perception outside Dublin that initiatives
resulting from REPAK‟s activities have no impact in the regions. For example a similar
system exists in Germany for packaging waste recovery. The German equivalent of REPAK,
a company called DSD achieves a funding equivalent to £ 19 per head of population.
REPAK‟s comparative figure is less than £2/ head of population.

The number of REPAK members in the Connaught Region is as follows:-

     Galway                8
     Mayo                  3
     Leitrim               2
     Roscommon             2
     Sligo                 3
      Total                18

The above numbers refer to companies with their head office based in the Region. For
example, larger chain stores which are also members of REPAK but with a head office
outside the Region are not included in these figures.

The Environmental Awareness Officer in each local authority area will play a major role in
educating the householders about source segregation of waste for dual collection and door to
door collection of recyclables. They will implement the legal requirements in relation to
information on recycling facilities available, information provided on recyclable packaging etc..

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An energetic and organised approach to enforcement of the regulations is necessary, given
the current poor level of performance as outlined above. The local authority must commit the
regulatory officials when appointed to undertake the following:

     Immediately identifying all relevant producers, and in particular major packaging

     Contacting each firm and informing them of the purpose of the regulations and of the
      obligations under the regulations, and of the availability of REPAK as an approved body.

     Setting up an official register of companies and processing of packaging reports,
      checking site notices etc. for companies who chose not to join an approved body.

     Pursuing non-compliant companies by issuing of written notice requesting Packaging
      Reports and other information such as proof of company turnover.

     Further enforcement involving legal sanction as laid down in the Regulations if necessary

Waste regulation must be carried out on an even and consistent basis across the region. For
example it would be counter productive if strict regulation was enforced in one County whilst
producers escaped responsibilities across the County border. This requires co-operation
between regulatory staff in each of the six local authorities. They should prepare a common
action plan of fixed time scale and pool resources as regards interpreting the detail of the
regulations. They should set targets and monitor implementation through regular review – for
example the list of compliant companies in each County could be prepared and updated.

If it is a case that most companies chose to comply by joining REPAK, then the local
authorities should ensure that support is given by REPAK to recycling initiatives and schemes
in the Connaught Region. Otherwise, people will feel aggrieved that meeting targets
collectively does not involve any change on the ground in local areas. It is recommended that
the six Connaught local authorities as a group liaise with REPAK in this respect and work
closely with them.

Therefore by committing resources exclusively to regulation and close co-operation between
local authorities the Packaging Regulations can be successfully implemented. Acting as a
group the local authorities can ensure a return on the staffing investment by REPAK support
for recycling initiatives in the Connaught Region.


The Department of the Environment and Local Government has recently published a report
on the need to address the extent of plastic bag packaging in the waste stream. This report
recommends economic instruments in the form of a product tax for each plastic bag at the
point of sale to be paid by consumers.

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The broad categories applicable to waste planning are household, commercial, industrial and
construction/ demolition waste, with other categories such as „litter/ street sweepings‟, „bulky
waste‟, sludges etc. also being required. However, the classification of waste by waste
collectors and sometimes at landfills tends to be less detailed than required for waste
planning. For example:

     All waste from refuse freighters tends to be classified as domestic, whether or not there
      is some shop or office waste included.

     The term commercial waste was generally applied to all waste collected by commercial
      operators, whether that be from industries or shops or construction work.

     Waste from industries is not always classified as industrial waste because some of this
      waste (e.g. packaging, waste from canteens) does not appear any different from
      commercial waste.

The present situation in Connaught is that only two out of fourteen waste disposal points are
equipped with weighbridges. Waste inputs are estimated from vehicle numbers and typical
vehicle weights. This system is not as accurate as a weighbridge with computer recording
and systematic classification of waste type.

Commercial collection companies have become more prominent and cater for waste from
businesses and manufacturing industries in the region. Delivery by the individuals and
businesses to the landfill is still common place and quite significant in certain counties.

The local authorities in the Region have a responsibility under Section 33 of the Waste
Management Act, 1996 to collect or arrange for the collection of household waste within their
functional area. Household waste collection is shared by the public and private sector. The
domestic collection system and coverage appears to have stabilised to some extent over the
last number of years. Commercial collection companies have become more prominent and
cater for waste from businesses and manufacturing industries in the region. Delivery by the
individuals and businesses to the landfill is still common place and quite significant in certain

5.2.1    Collection by Local Authorities

Both Sligo Borough and Galway Corporation operate domestic waste collection services.
These areas are similar in that household density is high and the system operates with
modern hired fleet of freighters. In Mayo, a public collection service is operated over part of
the county (UDC collection in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport, with Mayo County Council
serving some other areas, up to 13,000 customers, which includes a small proportion of
shops/ offices) and private operators serving other routes. The 1998 cost to householders
was £ 87.50 per annum in Sligo Borough, £40 in Galway Corporation, and £90 in Mayo.
Domestic waste collection is undertaken solely by private collectors in counties Leitrim,
Roscommon and Sligo.

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5.2.2   Collection by Private Operators

There are approximately 20 domestic waste collectors in the region, with 8-10 of these in
County Galway and fewer in other counties. In general collection is from wheelie bins on a
weekly basis, delivery is to the nearest local authority landfill, and collectors operate within
natural catchment areas rather than respecting county boundaries. Loosely summarised,
there is one collector operating in County Leitrim, 4 in Sligo, 6 in Mayo, 4 in Roscommon and
8 in Galway.

Charges range from £70-£75 per year (Leitrim) to over £120/ year in a few areas. The
average cost for collection in Sligo in 1999 is £140. Typical charge is in the range of £80-100/
year/ household at present. None of the domestic waste is segregated or compacted at
transfer stations prior to disposal. The age and standard of the collection fleet is variable.
There are reportedly a small number of collectors who collect waste locally but are not
recorded at local authority landfills as domestic waste collectors, and for whom the number of
houses served is difficult to estimate.

The table below summarises information gathered for this study on domestic waste collection
in Connaught. This is based on questionnaire surveys of waste collectors and estimates
based on local enquiries where completed questionnaires were not received.

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Table 5.1: Number of Houses served by Domestic Waste Collectors in the Connaught Region
             COLLECTOR                       Galway         Galway         Mayo        Sligo   Leitrim   Roscommon   Total

                                              Corp.         County

North West Wheelie Bin Service                                                                             1460      1460

Hire Services, Co. Mayo                                                      660        340                          1000

GPT Plant and Tool Hire, Sligo                                                         1272                          1272

Waste Disposal Sligo Ltd.                                                               700                           700

Cawley and Scanlon, Ballymote                                                          1250                          1250

Connaught Environmental Control                                 -                                          2000      2000

WERS Waste Service, Tuam.                                       -           1250                                     1250

Beirne's Bins, Co. Roscommon.                                                                              2200      2200

McLoughlin Waste Disposal.                                                                      2830        450      3280

Roscommon Skip Hire                                                                                         40        40

Bergin Waste Disposal                                                                   647                           647

McGrath's Industrial Waste                                                  1510                                     1510

Bourke, Stanley-Westport                                                     300

Heffrons - Belmullet                                                         200

McCarthy, Denis - Castlebar                                                  300

Tunney – Islandeady                                                          300

Doocey - Geesala                                                             600

Flannery –Killala                                                            200

Galway Collectors Combined                                   29136                                                   29136

PRIVATE WASTE COLLECTORS                         0           29136          5320       4209     2830       6150      47645


Galway Corporation                            16467                                                                  16467

Sligo Corporation                                                                      5711                          5711

Mayo County Council                                                        11726                                     11726

TOTAL NO. OF HOUSES SERVED                    16467          29136         17046       9920     2830       6150      81549

Dwellings, 1996 Census, CSO                   17334          38849         34624       17629    8374       16513     133323

% Collection Usage                            95.00          75.00          49.23      56.27   33.80       37.24     61.17
* Figures in Italics are estimates in the absence of information from the Collector.

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The percentage collection usage by householders as reported by public and private sector is
outlined in Table 5.1 above. The data suggests that on average only 40-50% of householders
in counties Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon and County Sligo avail of a weekly waste collection.
This is at odds with landfill figures which suggest 70 – 80% of the domestic waste generated
is landfilled. Some reasons for this difference are: the amount of waste delivered to the
landfill by the general public; some commercial waste is possibly recorded as „domestic‟ at
the landfill; there may be some local collectors who collect from a small number of houses
and who are not included in the above table. It is also possible that the number of houses
served by waste collectors is higher than indicated by the survey.

It is recognised that some people deliver waste independently to the landfill on a regular
basis, especially in Counties Roscommon and Leitrim, but the overall usage of proper
disposal routes would still be no more than 60-70 % of households. The coverage in County
Galway is higher, and the coverage in Galway and Sligo City is high. The overall usage of
waste collection across the region is approximately 61% of households enumerated in the
1996 census.
Certain households in the region do not avail of collection for one or more of the following

     They are in an isolated area not served by collection and too far from landfill.
     The cost is seen as too high for a waste service.
     They are prepared to dispose of waste on their own property.
     In rural areas a degree of composting and segregation of organic waste has been carried
      out historically.
     Burning and/or burying of waste is not perceived as a problem.
     Certain people are prepared to illegally dump waste in the countryside.

From enquiries in the region it appears that this unaccounted for waste is disposed of in a
number of ways: It is buried on the householder‟s property, it is burned and the ashes are
buried, or it is dumped illegally in bogs or ditches in the countryside.

The domestic waste landfilled in the region at present is the sum of that collected and that
delivered to the landfill by the public. By comparing the estimated waste generation for the
region with the amount landfilled or recycled, It is evident that there is a gap of approximately
20,000 tonnes which is not recorded within the known disposal routes. Further waste
generation surveys and better recording systems at landfills would improve the level of
information available to local authorities in respect of household waste management. In
addition the forthcoming waste collection permitting regulations will allow more detailed
information to be gathered from private sector waste collectors.

There are seven inhabited islands off the coasts of Counties Mayo and Galway. These
include Achill, Clare and Inishturk islands in County Mayo and Inishmore, Inishmaan, Inisheer
and Inishbofin in County Galway. On Inishmore approximately 600 tonnes/annum household
and commercial waste is collected from 320 households by Galway County Council and
deposited in Kilronan landfill. Waste is similarly collected on Inishmaan where some 100
tonnes/annum is either removed by skip to Galway or landfilled on the island. On Inisheer,
some 200 tonnes/annum is brought directly by boat for landfilling on the mainland. The waste
quantities include for significantly increased arisings during the summer tourist season. It is
estimated that some 35% of waste arisings result from tourism activities.

On Inishbofin, household waste is collected monthly during the winter and twice monthly
during the summer months, a total of 16 annual collections. A fee of IR£25 is paid for each
collection which is funded by a nominal contribution from each household. Galway County
Council have a contract with a boat owner to bring waste to the mainland for disposal.

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Achill island is connected to the mainland and has a waste collection service. Clare island
receives funding from Mayo County Council that allows a fortnightly skip service for any
uncombustible household waste, while bottle and can banks on the island are collected by
Rehab. Any waste metal on Clare island is collected 1-2 times a year. Inishturk also receives
funding for waste collection on the island but there is no collection service at present. There
are bottle and can banks collected by Rehab but the majority of household waste is burned.

The islands experience particular problems in dealing with waste management and these are
recognised in this Waste Management Plan:

     access in transportation terms for recycling markets and disposal on the mainland
     significant variations in waste quantities (incl. litter) arising from tourism industry
     lack of suitable landfill areas due to environmental considerations and lack of scale to
      reach modern standards.

A survey was carried out of the principal waste collectors serving commerce and industry in
the region. The response achieved was variable. Collectors do not always make a distinction
between commercial and industrial waste, and hence did not all give a breakdown. The
information received for tonnages collected was in general based on very rough estimates.
The table below represents the findings from some of the principal collectors in the region
excluding Co. Galway. The wheelie-bin services operated by the local authority/UDCs in
County Mayo also collects from a limited number of small shops and offices.

Table 5.2: Number of Houses served by Domestic Waste Collectors in the Connaught
           Region (1998)
             COLLECTOR               Number of commercial and industrial customers    Tonnes
                                     Mayo   Sligo Leitrim Roscommon          Total   Collected
North West Wheelie Bin Service                                    20           20        40
Hire Services                         380         50                          430         -
Waste Disposal Sligo Ltd.                        175                                      -
GPT Plant & Tool Hire Ltd.                        82                           82       702
McLoughlin Waste Disposal                              500        50          550      2570
Bergin Waste Disposal                  7         43     12        38          100      6657
Donagher Waste Disposal                           *                             -         -
McGrath's Ind. Waste Disposal         230                                     230      2400
Molloy Waste, Co. Mayo                 23                                              3200
County Equipment, Co. Sligo                       *                                       -
Roscommon Skip Hire                                               31                   1235
Mayo County Council                   1054                                   1054         -
No. Of businesses served
                                      1694       350   512        139        2466
*No reply received

The main materials recycled in the region are metals, glass, paper/cardboard and to a lesser
extent other materials such as pallets, plastic, oil, batteries, and timber.

Table 5.3 summaries the total wastes recycled from each County from survey/ enquiries with
these private sector operators carried out as part of the Waste Management Strategy Study.
The overall recycling rate is calculated for each county. This expresses the amount of
municipal waste recycled as opposed to arisings. Municipal waste is a combination of
domestic and commercial waste.

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Table 5.3: Overall Recycling - Connaught Region: Tonnes Per Annum
        County              Galway          Mayo         Roscommon               Sligo             Leitrim    Total
Glass                          827           586                183               249               100       1945
Metal                        14020          10850              5100              9000              13150      52120
Paper/ Cardboard              2275           570                 75               985                75       3980
Other                          603           263                177                39                45       1127

Total                        17725          12269              5535              10273             13370      59172
Total excl Metal              3705           1419               435              1273               220       7052
Municipal Waste              91331          45424              19629             19213             11074     186671
Recycling Rate               4.1%           3.1%               2.2%              6.6%              2.0%       3.8%
Source: Waste Collector Survey
Other: comprises plastic, pallets, textiles, waste oil.
Municipal Waste is a combination of Domestic and Commercial waste .

5.6.1     Metal Recycling

There are four principal scrap merchants who collect the majority of metal recycled in
Connaught, which is mostly industrial waste. These are the Galway Metal Company,
Hammond Lane (Athlone), Skyline Crane and Plant Hire (Sligo) and Erin Recycling in
Kinlough, Co. Leitrim. All metal collected is exported for processing abroad. There are a
number of smaller scrap collectors in the region but in general these sell to one of the above
operators. Ferrous metals account for approximately 95% of the total tonnages.

Metal recycling diverts this material from landfill to a certain extent, but also saves the
environment by averting dumping of end-of-life vehicles, fridges, batteries and other
undesirable materials. According to Erin Recycling, there has been a sharp drop during early
1998 for the price paid for such material (from c£40/ tonne to c. £20-25/ tonne). This is
related to recent Russian economic difficulties, which meant that new steel from these
countries became relatively inexpensive for steel mills. A downfall in the metal recycling
market could mean that merchants would have to be paid to lift scrap, and this could have a
negative impact especially in rural areas.

Table 5.4: Metal Recycling - Connaught Region: Tonnes collected per annum
      County              Galway            Mayo          Roscommon            Sligo          Leitrim          Total
Galway Metal               14000             7000               50              4000             -             25050
Hammond Lane                123              769               4100              769           1025             6786
Erin Recycling*               -              1500                -              2500           11000           15000
Skyline (DNT)                 -              800               300              1500            350             2950
Other collectors            500              500               500               500            500              500
Rehab (Alu)                  17               4                  1                3              1                22
Total                      14640            10573              4951             9272           12876           50308
                                                                                                             Tonnes p/a
Source :* Above figures are for all ferrous and non-ferrous metals collected by metal recyclers.
Other collectors is to account for smaller companies taking scrap out of region independently.
* is a 1997 figure, all the rest are 1998 figures

5.6.2     Glass

Glass from the public is delivered to Recycling Bring-Banks, which are located throughout the
region. These are collected by Rehab Recycling Partnership except in Leitrim (six banks by
McComiskeys Ltd. of Killeshandra, Co. Cavan). There is also some collection from
pubs/hotels/commerce by private collectors, such as McComiskeys. All glass collected is
sorted and delivered to Irish Glass Bottle in Dublin for recycling into new bottles.

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The City Bin Co. Ltd. and Rehab Recycling Partnership have recently launched a joint venture
of commercial glass recycling in Galway City. A company called the City Recycling Co. has
been formed and waste collection commenced on the 11 of January of this year (1999). The
company now employs five people, two of whom have special needs. The company collects
from 109 licensed premises at present, some on a daily basis.

Tonnages Collected
The following Table 5.5 summarises the information available on glass recycling in the region.
The figures below are based on information from Rehab, Sligo and Roscommon, and Leitrim
County Councils for 1997. Information was also supplied by Irish Glass Bottle re. private
collectors. There are apparently a number of independent glass collectors operating in the
region (collecting from pubs, hotels, etc.) but these appear to be based outside Connaught.
They do not advertise their services and it is difficult to identify the scale of these operations.
An estimate has been included for glass collected by such collectors for each county.

Table 5.5: Glass Recycling - Connaught Region: Tonnes Per Annum Collected
        County            Galway      Mayo       Roscommon           Sligo       Leitrim        Total
Bring Banks                627         186               83           149          50           1095
Private Collectors*
Mayo                                   400                                                       400
Others                     200          -             100             100         100            500

Total                      827         586            183             249         150          1995
                                                                                           Tonnes p/a
Source: *See text above

5.6.3    Paper and Cardboard

As part of the Waste Management Strategy Study a questionnaire and follow-up interview
was carried out with all identifiable paper/ cardboard recycling companies in the region, which
amounted to only 5 companies. Only one company was recycling paper and this on a small
scale. The Smurfit organisation which accept waste cardboard for recycling were also
contacted. The total tonnage of cardboard and paper recycled from the Connaught region is
set out in Table 5.6.

Table 5.6: Cardboard and Paper Recycling - Connaught Region: tonnes per annum
        County            Galway      Mayo       Roscommon           Sligo       Leitrim        Total
Connaught                  1200                                                                 1200
Feoil Freight                          350                                                       350
West of Ireland,            5          150               5            15            5            180
WDSL (Sligo)                                                          900                        900
Other                      1070         70               70            70          70           1350

Total                      2275        570               75           985          75           3980
                                                                                             tonnes p/a
Source: Information from recyclers and from Smurfit recycling.
Other accounts for 20 t/week delivered to Smurfit from Co. Galway, and an approximate 7 Tonne/week delivered
from other miscellaneous Connaught sources

The cardboard recycled by Connaught Recycling, Feoil Freight and to a lesser extent WDSL
comes largely from industrial and commercial enterprises that have a large volume of clean
cardboard „left aside‟ for the collectors. The quantity of cardboard diverted from landfill
represents only a fraction of what is disposed of in the region.

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West of Ireland Confidential Shredding differed from the other enterprises in that they
accepted waste paper (shredding) and also newspaper for recycling. The office grade paper
is shipped to Dublin, where it is purchased by Dee Recycling (who further ship it to Larne, N.I.
for tissue manufacture). The waste newspaper (delivered by the public) is sorted, shredded
and packed in 25kg sacks, then sold to farmers as bedding material.

5.6.4   Plastics

One company (Plastex Ltd.) based in Co. Leitrim who collect plastic regrind from the injection
moulding industry for recycling in the UK was interviewed. The waste arises from off-shoots
from the moulded plastic piece, which can be ground to small pieces and re-injected.
Injection moulding of plastics is quite strong in the northern-western end of the region, and the
quantity recycled reflects only a fraction of the waste plastic produced. Certain companies
regrind and recycle waste internally in their own processes. Irohoul collect plastic from
window manufacturers and Ulility Ireland and Conc an Glas Spiddal also collect some plastic.
Some detail on plastic recycling is included in Table 5.7 below.

Market fluctuations mean that profitability is low, especially given the transportation costs.
Whilst smaller indigenous companies tend to regrind and recycle their own plastic wastes,
multinational companies or those involved in specific products are averse to the use of regrind
for quality control reasons. Given that waste disposal is not a high cost in overall terms at
present, many companies do not explore recycling ventures.

5.6.5   Construction and Demolition Waste

At present the construction sector in Connaught is very buoyant, and there is a high level of
new house building, renovation/ extension work, as well as new industrial, commercial and
agricultural units also. Therefore the generation of construction/demolition waste is also at an
unprecedented level in all counties. However the waste arising from these activities is not
landfilled at local authority landfill sites to a large extent. Present practice is to tip
construction/demolition waste on agricultural land reasonably near the site of origin. The land
may be low-lying or wet and this landfilling is perceived as beneficial and offers the possibility
of improved site conditions - for example the site may become viable as a residential site.
The demand for such fill material is high and building contractors have no difficulty in
disposing of C/D waste in general. This is however a form of illegal landfilling as such
practice to operate correctly needs an EPA Waste Licence.

The difficulty with the above is that there is little or no control exercised at present on what
wastes are inert construction wastes and what material should be segregated and landfilled.
As a result a degree of miscellaneous wastes such as packaging waste, timber, metals etc.
are mixed with the more typical C/D wastes such as concrete, rubble, soil etc. In general,
these practices are no longer acceptable in either physical planning or waste management
terms. C&D waste should be recycled/reused and only landfilled as a last resort.

The national recycling targets state that 50% of C/D waste must be recycled within five years,
rising to 85% within 15 years.

5.6.6   Other Materials Collected for Recycling

Pallet Recycling
Both Connaught Recycling and Feoil Freight in Castlebar recycle pallets. It is likely that other
businesses in the region are informally recycling pallets to some extent also.

Waste Oil and Car filters are collected by Atlas Oil based in Portlaoise. Their collection
figures for Connaught are summarised below. They also offer a new service for collection
and recycling of oil filters.

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Other materials are recycled/reused (or in some way diverted from landfill) but on an informal
basis, with no central collection point for provision of statistics. Examples of such material
would be:

    Food from catering companies and hotels/ restaurants – pig farmers
    Wood shavings – collected for use as animal bedding
    Tyres- reused as ballast on silage pits

Table 5.7: Recycling of Other Materials - Connaught Region: tonnes per annum
          County            Galway      Mayo     Roscommon        Sligo      Leitrim      Total
Plastex                                   1             60         15           5          81
Connaught Recycling            21                                                          21
Subtotal (tonnes)                                                                          102

Connaught Recycling           300                                                          300
Feoil Freight                            40             20                                 60
Subtotal (Tonnes)                                                                          360

Rehab                         53.9       14.7          15.2        9.0          -         92.88

Waste Oil
Atlas Oil                    228.1      206.8          81.4        15.3       40.0        571.6

Subtotal                      603       262.5          176.6       39.3        45         1126.4

5.6.7       Review of Recycling Infrastructure

Bring Banks

At present household recyclables are collected through a system of bring banks primarily
operated by the Rehab Recycling Partnership. The density of recycling bring-banks is
outlined in Figure 5.1, which shows that there is an imbalance in terms of bring bank density
across the region with some areas having a far lower density of bring banks than others.

As part of the Strategy Study many of the bring banks were visited and seemed to fall into
one of two categories: newer banks which were neatly placed, relatively tidy and well
signposted with information and including the county crest, and older banks which showed
varying degrees of tidiness, and less signage or information.

The faults common to many banks were:

1.          There is not always a bin placed for litter such as plastic bags (most people carry the
            bottles in a box or bag which must then be disposed of),
2.          Untidiness around the bins- lack of maintenance,
3.          The banks are not emptied often enough, become full, and the public has to leave
            bottles and cans in the vicinity.
4.          Poor signage, lighting and public information.

From the review carried out in Connaught, these faults were found across the Counties to
some extent. The newer banks seem to conform to a higher standard of presentation and
signage, and present a better image, being placed on cobble-lock paving, and having public
information and a fresh image. However the older generation of banks are deteriorating, and

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in several cases were in an untidy condition. This deterioration is not only due to age but lack
of investment in cleaning and collection.

There is a need to apply a minimum standard across the region in terms of density and
appearance. This means investment in terms of maintenance, more frequent collection, and
a fresher image. In terms of design costs and public information there would be benefits of
scale from working on a regional basis.

Paper and Cardboard Recycling – Status
Recycling of cardboard and paper is perceived as a very precarious business, since several
firms were left with unshippable stocks of paper when the market for this product failed in
1994-1995. In fact, each of the companies collecting in Connaught has some other parallel
operation (waste collection, security shredding, freight business) and would not viably operate
on the sales from paper alone.

The collection of the material is not the major obstacle to increased recycling (as seen in Sligo
for WDSL) – most industries and commerce will gladly segregate such waste if it is collected
for free or cheaply. Each of the companies involved can see opportunities for increasing
volume of material collected through investment in collection/ sorting/ baling infrastructure, but
most are hesitating to expand.

It is the cost of transporting the waste paper/ cardboard to Dublin and the low price per tonne
(if any) paid at the mill that makes recycling unattractive. By increasing landfill charges, there
will be a further demand from industry for recycling (even if this amounts to cheaper disposal)
but this will not solve the problem of transportation costs and the fact that the material has no
intrinsic value. If there was a definite sustainable market demand (i.e. higher prices) for
waste paper, the recycling industry would re-emerge.

Several of the waste recyclers expressed disappointment with the level of support and
encouragement offered by the local authority. It was felt that some back-up is required from
the local authority for facilities such as construction/demolition waste recycling.

The Connaught local authorities recognise that there are a number of areas where progress is
required over the Plan Period. Deficiencies in the collection and recycling infrastructure can
be summarised as follows:-


     There is insufficient recycling infrastructure at present in terms of bring centres and
      recycling centres

     The older bring banks are deteriorating and in many cases were very untidy

     Lack of restriction on waste presentation can lead to litter problems

     There is no separate collection of household hazardous waste

     The participation in the waste collection is low in some counties

     The lack of adequate markets in Ireland for recyclables is a negative influence on the
      recycling efficiency

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Commercial/Industrial Waste

    There are no regulations currently in force to encourage industry/commercial
     organisations to separate or sort waste

    The is no control at present on the disposal route in the absence of collection regulations

    The IPC licensing regulations need to address clean technology at industrial level once
     waste planning by the local authorities is sufficiently advanced.

Construction and Demolition Waste

    Absence of regulation of construction/demolition waste makes it impossible to control the
     waste stream and divert from landfill

    Lack of specification at national level for use of recycled C/D materials in road and
     general engineering works

    There are currently no facilities to recycle this material in the Region

With regard to construction/demolition waste recycling, a Construction Industry Task Force is
being set up by the industry as a response to the Minister for the Environment and Local
Government‟s policy document „Changing our Ways‟. This is an attempt at voluntary
regulation by the industry to set up schemes to meet the new national targets set by the
Minister in October 1998.

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Waste treatment as defined in the Waste Management Act, 1996 includes any “thermal,
physical, chemical or biological processes which changes the characteristics of waste in order
to reduce its volume or hazardous nature or facilitate its handling, disposal or recovery”. It
therefore includes any separation, pre-sorting, compaction, baling, shredding or
heat/chemical treatment.

The principal waste treatment infrastructure in the Connaught region consists of small
transfer stations/sorting plants operated by waste collectors in the region. Such facilities are
operated by Galway Pallets, Galway Metals, City Bin, Barna Waste, Walsh Waste, Connaught
Waste and WDSL Transfer Station in Sligo.

At present the bulk of the waste generated in the Region is landfilled. In January of 1998
there were a total of 15 landfills within the Connaught region, all operated by local authorities,
with a combined annual waste input of approximately 200,000 tonnes. Since then Tuam
landfill in Galway, Belmullet landfill in Mayo, Boyle, Castlerea and Strokestown landfills in
Roscommon have already closed. By the year 2000 it is expected that there will be just 6
local authority landfill sites in the region. The following table summarises the annual waste
input as classified by the local authority in 1998. The situation in each county is summarised
below. In the long term, there is little or no remaining landfill capacity. All counties are
awaiting the outcome of the regional strategy/plan to see what treatment and disposal
facilities are required.

County Mayo
Three landfills remain in operation: Derrinumera (near Castlebar/ Newport) and Rathroeen
(Ballina). Waste Licence applications have been made for the two landfills, but remaining
capacity is limited to five to ten years for both. A Draft Licence has been issued for
Derrinnumera which is currently under review by Mayo County Council. Upgrading is planned
for both in terms of improved site infrastructure, weighbridge facility, civic amenity facilities,
monitoring and conditioning. The landfills at Claremorris and Belmullet were recently closed.
The County Council plans to provide a civic amenity/transfer station for Claremorris.

County Sligo
There is no active landfill in the County. Waste is transferred from the Sligo Corporation area
to a landfill in Co. Donegal, and private collectors in rural Sligo tend to deliver directly to
nearby landfills in neighbouring counties (Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo).

The decision by Donegal County Council to accept the waste from Sligo transfer station into
their landfill at Ballintra is reviewed annually by Donegal County Council, who themselves
have diminishing landfill capacity, with an estimated 2-3 years capacity available in general.
Acceptance of this waste is only guaranteed until late 1999.

County Roscommon
The closure of Boyle landfill in 1998 has been followed by the closure of Strokestown and
Castlerea landfills in 1999, and the County is now operating at two disposal sites at
Roscommon town and Ballaghadereen. The council intends to upgrade Ballaghadereen and
Roscommon sites in terms of infrastructure (weighbridge, fencing, roads etc.) and monitoring
as outlined in Waste Licence applications to the EPA. There are no plans at present for civic
amenity/ transfer facilities.

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County Leitrim
Following the closure in 1999 of Manorhamilton landfill, two landfill sites are in operation by
the County Council at Mohill and Carrick-on –Shannon. Waste licence applications have
been submitted for both these sites which envisage closure within a 2-3 year period, this
situation is due to change with all sites planned for closure by the year 2000. Civic amenity
sites with transfer capability are planned for Carrick-on-Shannon and Manorhamilton to serve
people who would normally deliver waste. The county council has no collection infrastructure
and sees its future role in waste management as regulatory (towards implementation of the
polluter pays principal) rather than being a service provider.

Galway City and County
The Galway region (the administrative areas of Galway Corporation and Galway County
Council) up to 1 October, 1998 was served by four landfills at Carrowbrowne, Ballinasloe,
Tuam and Kilronan. Carrowbrowne landfill served Galway city and was operated by Galway
Corporation, while the other two main landfills at Tuam and Ballinasloe were operated by
Galway County Council and Ballinasloe Urban District Council respectively. The Kilronan site
is operated by Galway County Council.

The Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations, 1997 have led to a phased introduction of
landfill licensing. Licence applications have been made to the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for Carrowbrowne (October 1997) and Ballinasloe (March 1998). A decision
was made not to licence Tuam landfill. The landfill was closed in September 1998 and
replaced by a civic amenity site to which the public can bring waste. Carrowbrowne landfill
was closed by the High Court in December 1998. Planning permission has been granted to
Galway Corporation for a 3 year extension of the site but is currently under appear to An Bord
Pleanála. Ballinasloe landfill has been recommended for remediation, upgrading, and
expansion to take residual waste from Galway City and County up to 31 December 2005 by
which time a new residual landfill will be in place.

Connaught Region
The annual quantities of waste landfilled in the region in 1998 is summarised in Table 6.1

Table 6.1: 1998 – Estimate for Waste Landfilled in Connaught Region
       County                          Site               Estimated input in Tonnes, 1998
Galway                Ballinasloe/ Carrowbrowne                        88,400
subtotal                                               88,400
Mayo                  Derrinnumera, Castlebar                          40,000
                      Rathroeen, Ballina                               22,000
                      Shanbogroneen, Belmullet                         Closed
subtotal                                               62,000
Roscommon             Roscommon                                        7,535
                      Boyle                                            Closed
                      Ballaghaderreen                                  5,636
                      Castlerea                                        Closed
                      Strokestown                                      Closed
subtotal                                               13,171
Leitrim               Carrick-on-Shannon                               7,500
                      Manorhamilton                                    Closed
                      Mohill                                           4,500
subtotal                                               12,000
Sligo                 (transfer station)                               11,243
subtotal                                               11,243

Total Connaught                                                       18,6814

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6.3      DEFICIENCIES IN               WASTE          TREATMENT            AND       DISPOSAL

     At present there are no realistic alternatives to landfill in the Region capable of handling
      large quantities of waste

     Remediation and upgrading of existing landfills must continue

     A transfer station in Galway City environs to facilitate bulk transfer of waste to Ballinasloe
      is urgently needed (planning permission under consideration)

     The continued disposal of Sligo‟s waste outside of the Region (to Donegal) cannot be

     Up to now there has been no control on the operation of small transfer/sorting facilities
      by private operators

The current waste management costs were obtained from the Connaught local authorities
and are outlined in Table 6.2. Average cost recovery across the region is running at 48%.
The recovery costs are derived solely from landfill charges, and in the case of Mayo County
Council, Galway Corporation and Sligo Borough from collection charges. There is no source
of income in County Sligo as there is no landfill facility in the County and waste collection has
been privatised.       The trend in Connaught is towards private sector collection with
householders paying directly to the waste collectors concerned for the service. The only
other source of waste management funding is direct funding from central government.
Government policy favours the implementation of the „polluter pays‟ principle and self-funding
of facilities through gate fees. The increased costs of funding waste management facilities to
meet modern EU standards will mean increased charges at these facilities.

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Table 6.2: Connaught Local Authority - Expenditure & Revenue Statement 1997- (compiled in December '98)
Costs                              Leitrim            Mayo              Galway             Galway          Roscommon       Sligo       Sligo            Total
                                   Co. Co.           Co. Co.            Co. Co.             Corp.            Co. Co.      Co. Co.      Corp.*
Transfer Station                       -                -                  -                   -                  -      251,980***       -           251,980
Waste Collection                       -          1,068,351***             -               751,300                -      18,168***    144,069***   1,981,888
Special Clean-up/ annual            10,770              -                  -               360,000                -      492.50***        -          371,262.50
Street Cleaning                        -           225,000***           13,170                 -               142,000    75,670      177,312***      633,152
New Equipment                          -            25,000***           45,000             10,000                 -          -                         80,000
Waste Treatment and                120,000         450,000***          139,831             729,150             210,800       -        212,851***      1,862,632
Waste Reduction and                   600           15,000***            9,969                 -                6,500    11,556***     1,586***        42,211
Administration and Planning         10,000         261,000***           35,000             385,380                -      51,947***    31,003***       774,330
Loan Charge                            -           150,000***-             -                   -                  -      66,626***        -          216,62600
Landfill Closure/Aftercare             -                -                  -                   -                  -      15,444***     5,732***        21,176
Payments to other Local                -           136,034***              -                   -                  -      26,000***        -           162,034
Operating Costs                    141,370         2,330,385           242,970            2,235,830            359,300    566,641      572,553        6,449,049
Landfill Charges                    73,200          167,084                -                   -                  -          -            -           240,284
Fees for Collection                    -            822,232            133,533             480,000             103,559       -            -           1,539,324
Income from Other Users                -            207,034                -               280,000                -          -        434,759***      921,793
Operating Income                    73,200         1,196,350           133,533             760,000             103,559       0        434,759***      2,701,401
Operating Deficit                   68,170          589,292            109,437            1,475,830            255,741    186,564     137,794***      2,822,828
Cost Recovery                        52%              67%                55%                 34%                29%         0%         76%***           42%
*Average Cost recovery in Sligo County and Borough is 51% **Changeover to Wheelie-Bin system, once-off cost.
*** 1998 figures

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The fundamental principle underlying this strategy development is the EU Waste Hierarchy,
which places prevention and minimisation of waste as first priority ahead of recycling,
recovery and finally disposal. This hierarchy was originally in the Framework Directive on
Waste (91/151/EEC) and is the basis of Irish policy as established in the Waste Management
Act, 1996. The hierarchy incorporates the concept of sustainability into waste management.

Up to now in Ireland most local authority resources were devoted to ensuring waste collection
and disposal, with a limited amount of recycling and very little investment in public education
or waste prevention. Therefore a change in attitude is required within the local authorities,
who up to now have been reticent about investing in such programmes which do not
necessarily yield tangible results. However, the logic of preventing and minimising waste is
inescapable, especially in the light of higher standards and escalating costs for waste
collection/ treatment/ disposal infrastructure.

There are two main strands pursued as to how prevention/ minimisation can be implemented.
The first strand deals with the general public and what can be done by individuals, families or
communities to reduce waste. The second approach is at industrial level, where significant
waste reduction can also take place.


7.2.1    Waste Management Act, 1996 and Waste Management Planning
         Regulations, 1997

The Waste Management Act, 1996 specifies that (Part III S. 28): "A person who carries on
any activity of an agricultural, commercial or industrial nature shall have due regard to the
need to prevent or minimise the production of waste and shall take all such reasonable steps
as are necessary for the purposes of such prevention or minimisation”

The possibility of carrying out waste audits is mentioned in the Act, where "waste audit"
means (under Section 27(i)) "an evaluation of the manner in which an activity is carried out
with a view to identifying opportunities for:

     (a) preventing or minimising the production of waste from the activity or the harmfulness
      of any waste produced from the activity, and

     (b) facilitating the recovery of any waste so produced.”

     Section 27 (2) states:- “a reference in this Part to the implementation and operation of a
      waste reduction programme shall be construed as a reference to the taking of steps in a
      systematic manner for the purpose of:

     (a) reducing the production of waste from the activity concerned or the harmfulness of
      any waste produced from the activity,

     (b) recovering any waste so produced,

having regard to the results of a waste audit conducted in relation to the activity".

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The Waste Management (Planning) Regulations, 1997 also state that:

"A plan shall describe measures in support of waste prevention and minimisation carried out
by the local authority and by business and industry and give an assessment of the impact of
such activities".

7.2.2   Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992

This Act gives the Agency the opportunity to promote the carrying out of environmental audits,
and specific industries are required to get an integrated pollution control (IPC) licence in order
to operate facilities. The Agency shall not grant a licence or revised licence for an activity
unless it is satisfied that, among other things:

       “the best available technology not entailing excessive costs will be used to prevent or
        eliminate or, where that is not practicable, to limit, abate or reduce an emission from
        the activity”.

The Agency will have power to prescribe standards for best available technology not entailing
excessive costs (BATNEEC). The Agency has produced a number of BATNEEC notes, and
when applying for an Integrated Pollution Control licence, a company must pay attention to
the relevant note. It is stressed in the IPC Application Guidance notes that: "Prevention of
waste is the preferred option rather than elimination, abatement or reduction of an emission
from the activity. The use of clean technologies resulting in improved efficiency in the use of
materials and energy, and in the reduction of waste must be demonstrated".

One of the principal objectives of the IPC licensing system is to secure from licensees annual
improvements in waste minimisation. This means that - for the majority of licensees - a waste
minimisation programme is an essential component of the Waste Management Plan for the
facility. The information obtained through the annual report to the EPA must include amounts
of raw materials usage, waste produced, off-site recovery and on-site recovery. The
relationship of raw materials usage to waste produced is important in assessing the
environmental performance of a licensee in respect of waste.

The National Waste Database (NWD) is a national framework established by the Agency to
record and report waste management statistics for the country. To facilitate maintenance of
the NWD licensees are required to complete a table with information which requests data on
number of employees, total tonnage of waste produced and total tonnage of waste recovered.
This must be completed as part of the annual environmental report.


7.3.1   Household Level

In general initiatives have been aimed at diverting waste from disposal by encouraging the
use of recycling bring facilities and encouraging home-composting. Some efforts have also
been made towards education and community initiatives.

County Galway

Both Galway County Council and Galway Corporation have circulated a Newsletter to all
households on the Galway Waste Management Strategy and also the Connaught Regional
approach. Galway County Council have appointed an Environmental Awareness Officer who
is interfacing with community groups, schools, industry groups etc.

At household level the County Council has undertaken a home composting initiative. The
project involved a start-up meeting with 200 households, information material and a report
back from the participants after two years informing about the user's satisfaction with the
composting effort.

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County Mayo
The County Council has recently expanded its Bring Bank network and has a member of the
Environment division employed in enhancing recycling facilities and improving public
education. The Council are currently recruiting an Environmental Awareness Officer in line
with waste strategy recommendations.

County Sligo
In County Sligo a number of recycling initiatives are taking place at present, a few of which
are noted below:

1.      A Global Action Plan initiative is sponsored by Sligo County Council. This involves
        the formation of eco-teams within the community to develop ways to reduce waste
        and other resources such as water and energy.

2.      A pamphlet has been published by Sligo Corporation to educate people about waste
        minimisation and to introduce the public to the new Wheel Bin System for domestic
        refuse collection

3.      The Sligo Recycling Project receives funding from the Peace and Reconciliation
        Fund; a body set up to subsidise cross-border activities. Aluminium cans are
        collected in Sligo and transported to Northern Ireland to be recycled. The project
        employs people under a community employment scheme to collect aluminium cans.
        About 20 tonnes of aluminium are collected per year and a facility for crushing the
        cans has been bought. The project also provides a service once a year of collecting
        large metal items, washing machines, fridges etc. These are taken to local scrap

The County Council has also recently expanded and upgraded its bring facilities in co-
operation with Rehab Recycling Partnership, and has a relatively high density of banks per

County Roscommon
Roscommon County Council promotes waste minimisation by encouraging recycling at a local
level. There are six bring sites in Roscommon where people can deposit segregated glass,
aluminium cans and textile waste for recycling. No provision is made for recycling of
cardboard and paper. Expansion of such Bring facilities is planned.

County Leitrim
Leitrim County Council's policy on waste minimisation is operated solely on the basis of
implementing the "polluter pays" principle. The cost of waste disposal has been increased to
£26 per tonne in the industrial sector. This incentive to minimise waste has not yet been
applied to the domestic sector. Recycling facilities for glass and aluminium cans are also
provided and it is intended to expand these.

7.3.2   Industrial Level

Industry Visits – Summary of Findings

A series of industry visits was planned with the objective of covering all counties in Connaught
and to visit a range of industries from small to medium sized. The larger IPC licensed
industries tended to be involved in some type of environmental management system.
Generally all industries visited had at some stage experienced the need for management to
deal with waste issues, since waste is industry's responsibility. All industries visited had at
some stage implemented or made experiments with recycling of packaging either internally or
in a supplier-customer chain.

It was found that several industries kept different types of waste separated on the floor but
mixed these wastes in the skip bound for the landfill as there was no recycling activities.

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Several had investigated possibilities for recycling and reuse of waste but generally it was felt
that information about entrepreneurs available to provide these services is lacking.

IPC listed industries, whether already licensed or not, were aware of the necessity to
implement an environmental management system and to investigate for possibilities to
minimise waste. None of the industries visited had carried out a systematic waste audit to
access amounts of waste in various areas of production, investigate the causes for creation of
waste, prioritising which types of waste to deal with or preparing an action plan for waste

Some small and medium sized industries are targeted by the IPC licensing system. Those
who do not belong to this category are obliged to meet the requirements of the Waste
Management Act and Packaging Regulations to segregate and recycle waste. It is evident
from the industry visits described above that many are either not aware of these obligations or
simply have not responded due to lack of enforcement of the Regulations to date by the local
authorities. Generally these companies are not involved in waste minimisation activities.

The visits to SMEs in Connaught showed that:

    systematic waste (Environmental) audits for the purpose of identifying possibilities for
     waste minimisation and Cleaner Production is virtually unknown to SMEs
    initiatives for Cleaner Production were taken in a few, specific cases mainly based on a
     recognised problem with occupational health
    waste is often segregated on the shop floor but mixed in the skip - the potential for waste
     segregation is present if the markets exist
    more, regular information and exchange of ideas in waste minimisation and waste
     management is desirable for this sector
    packaging presents the greatest challenge at the moment

Further Findings
A further 28 industries were contacted by telephone to ascertain the extent of the effort being
made to minimise waste in the region. The following questions were asked:-

    Had they taken measures to minimise waste and if so had this resulted in changes in the
     process ?
    Which materials are recycled ?
    Would the company benefit from contact with an Environmental Awareness Officer?
    Is there sufficient information about/communication with other industries in order to make
     it possible to exchange specific fractions of waste?

The general impression was that waste minimisation is only considered when a specific
problem is identified rather than resulting from a systematic waste audit analysing amounts
and opportunities.

Most of the companies contacted stated that they would be interested in attending meetings
to discuss waste minimisation and general problems in waste. The interest was most evident
in the plastics industry as plastic regrinds are in some cases reusable either in the
manufacturer's own plant or elsewhere. However, their reuse is not as widespread as desired
due to high transportation costs. It is often cheaper for the producer to dispose of the regrinds
by landfill rather than by offering them to another manufacturer. One company a rubber
manufacturer has managed to granulate its waste rubber and make rubber mats for children's
playgrounds from the granules. This venture has now expanded to such an extent that other
producers are now disposing of their rubber waste by donating it to this company.

Almost all companies contacted felt that they would have something to gain from the
Environmental Awareness Officer or a technical waste minimisation officer, particularly with
regard to liasing with other manufacturers who might have use for their waste or whose waste
they might have use for. It was also thought that the officer would be helpful in designing
processes to allow for waste segregation.

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The Connaught Local Authorities shall undertake the following during the period of the Plan:-

At Household/ Community Level:

     Appointment of an Environmental Awareness Officer in each local authority to promote
      and foster waste minimisation at source in communities, schools, etc. as described

     The role of the this officer is to educate the public as to how they can involve themselves
      in waste prevention, minimisation and recycling. The precise functions of the officer are
      described above. There may be a possibility for two smaller authorities sharing this

     The Environmental Awareness Officer will foster a partnership between the public and
      the local authority through personal communication and a high public profile. Support
      should be given to organisations active in public environmental education as part of the
      local authorities Local Agenda 21 effort.

At Industry Level:

     Appointment of a Regional Industrial Waste Management Officer jointly funded by each
      of the six Connaught local authorities.

     The Regional Industrial Waste Minimisation Officer will promote waste minimisation and
      cleaner production within all industries with particular focus on SMEs, as described
      above. This may be done through personal industry visits, an information brochure, and
      demonstration programmes. The formation of groups within industrial estates or
      meetings initiated by the Regional Industrial Waste Management Officer is
      recommended. Industries can be encouraged to undertake waste audits and eventually
      implement environmental management systems.

     The local authority, through the Regional Industrial Waste Minimisation Officer should
      involve other interested groups such as the regional authority, Industry Representatives,
      trade unions and environmental groups in support of the demonstration programme and
      industry initiatives.

     More initiatives for increasing environmental and waste minimisation awareness in
      SMEs. Training material for identification of Waste Management opportunities through
      systematic audits and encouraging Cleaner Production can be developed as a follow-up
      to the waste management strategy;

Within the Local Authority:

     Education and training of staff within the local authority as to the philosophy of waste
      prevention/ Minimisation and how this can be achieved. This could be carried out by the
      Environmental Awareness Officer.

     A commitment to carrying out internal waste audits within the local authority. The
      possibility for implementing an Environmental Management System based on this audit
      is recommended.

Charging Mechanisms:

     Graduated environmental charges, which have the potential to support waste
      minimisation, offering cost savings for waste reduction, thereby giving an incentive to
      producers to reduce waste.

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Waste Regulation:

    Enforcement of the Packaging Regulations, which have a potential for waste
     minimisation and recycling.

Recycling Infrastructure:

    An improved recycling infrastructure is required in the West of Ireland. This is seen by
     public and industry alike as an integrated part of waste minimisation.

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         PLAN PERIOD

Waste management in Ireland has been undergoing rapid change in recent years with the
introduction of the Waste Management Act, 1996 and resulting Regulations. Local authorities
now have increased responsibilities relating to waste management planning, waste
regulation, service and controlling the operation of service providers. These obligations relate
to household, commercial and other wastes including construction/demolition and agricultural

Local Authorities may regulate the waste producer (household, commercial) through the
enactment of bye-laws to cover such matters as segregation at source, thresholds for sorting,
waste presentation etc. They will be required to regulate the collection of all waste in their
administrative areas through a system of Permits issued to approved waste collection
organisations including recycling organisations operating „collect‟ and „bring‟ schemes. Larger
waste treatment and disposal facilities will be operated under Licence from the EPA. These
Licences will cover the operational and management practices, monitoring and reporting

The approach towards waste management over the Plan period will focus on reducing
Connaught‟s current dependence on landfill disposal and moving towards an integrated
approach which will include new waste collection and treatment methods having regard to the
following options:

     Waste Minimisation – this will be achieved through the Environmental Awareness
      Officers and the Regional Industrial Waste Minimisation Officers

     Recovery of secondary materials (recycling): this will require adequate sorting and
      access to reprocessing facilities

     Biological treatment of organic materials: this will produce marketable compost or
      reduce volume for disposal. Biological treatment includes both composting (aerobic) and
      anaerobic digestion

     Thermal treatment: this will reduce volume, render residues relatively inert and will
      recover energy. Thermal treatment includes conventional waste to energy using mass
      burn incineration or more recently developed thermo-chemical processes including
      gasification and pyrolysis

     Residual Landfill: will always be required to some extent and when engineered to a
      high standard this method will minimise pollution and loss of amenity.

The Connaught local authorities shall ensure that the policies, objections and targets outlined
in the DOELG document „Waste Management - Changing our Ways‟ are incorporated in the
Connaught Waste Management Plan and implemented. Adoption of the Connaught Waste
Management Plan will ensure that these government policies are met in the Connaught

The waste model developed for the Connaught Waste Management Strategy Study covered a
15 year time period from 1999 to 2014. The population projections used are based on the
population and labour force projections (1996-2026) produced by the CSO. The CSO provide
national figures only and these have been applied on a pro rata basis to the study area. The

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CSO projections are based on assumptions relating to mortality and migration. Using these
assumptions the CSO have provided four tables of populations under different combinations
of fertility and migration. The M1F1 assumption of high fertility and high migration has been
used in this study. On this basis the population is expected to increase from 432,231 in 1996
to 464,435 in 2013 a net increase of 32,204 over this part of the Plan period.

Table 8.1: Population Projections for the Connaught Region, 1996-2005
 Year     Galway Urban Galway          Galway    Galway Rural            Mayo, Sligo,       Mayo, Sligo,
           Populations Urban %          Rural         %                    Leitrim,           Leitrim,
                                     Populations                         Roscommon         Roscommon %
 1996         57,241         1.40         131,613          0.10            243,377             0.34
 1999         59,661         1.36         132,008          0.10            246,878             0.34
 2002         62,092         0.83         132,405          0.18            249,529             0.39
 2005         63,645         0.81         133,121          0.17            252,460             0.39
 2008         64,990         0.48         133,654          0.06            256,495             0.60
 2011         65,924         0.47         133,895          0.06            261,140             0.53
 2013         66,545         0.47         133,975          0.00            263,915             0.53

The population growth trends over the past few years would indicate that most of this growth
would be expected to occur in the Galway City and Environs.

The waste quantities used in the model are derived from MCOS surveys conducted and data
supplied by the Connaught local authorities and the Kompass database of industrial activities.
Estimates on the growth in waste quantities for the initial five year period have been made as
shown in Table 8.2 below.

Table 8.2: Estimated growth rates (% per annum) for different household wastes in the
           Connaught Region
      Type of Waste        1997     1998     1999   2000          2001    2002    2003      2004      2005
Household                  2.0      2.0       1.0    1.0          1.0      1.0       0.5     0.5      0.5
Green Waste                0.0      0.0       0.0    0.0          0.0      0.0       0.5     0.5      0.5
Bulky Waste                2.0      2.0       1.0    1.0          1.0      1.0       0.5     0.5      0.5

It is anticipated that household waste generation per capita will slow over the plan period as
the effects of the waste plan implementation are expected to reduce the growth rate slowly
towards 0% per annum.

Green waste per capita will grow only slightly as the garden size of dwellings in general will
remain the same throughout the plan period with the informal application of home composting
also reducing the growth of green waste. Bulky waste per capita is expected to follow the
same pattern as household waste.

Anticipated trends in waste production in the different sectors of society were predicted for the
model. The model is divided into households, commercial, industrial and construction/
demolition activities. These activities in turn can be sub-divided into different commercial and
industrial activities.

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Commercial waste per employee is expected to grow slowly due to higher productivity but due
to the effects of the Packaging Waste Directive growth should drop gradually in the following

Industrial waste per employee is expected to grow at a slightly faster rate than commercial
waste due to higher productivity per employee. However, due to the implementation of the
Packaging Waste Directive and other waste minimisation initiatives the growth will fade
gradually and even pass zero in the following periods.

The trends in future growth rates for commercial and industrial waste during the initial five
year period are outlined on Table 8.3 below.

Table 8.3: Estimated growth rates (% per annum) for commercial/industrial waste in the
           Connaught Region.
      Type of Waste         1997           1998        1999      2000        2001    2002   2003    2004    2005
Commercial                     1.0         1.0         0.5        0.5        0.5     0.5     0.5     0.5     0.5
Industrial                     1.5         1.5         1.0        1.0        1.0     1.0     0.5     0.5     0.5

Figures were obtained from the CSO and a commercial database supplied by Kompass on
the number of employees in these sectors. Projections were then made on these baseline
figures using the ERSI medium - term review 1997-2003 as shown in Table 8.4 below.

Table 8.4: Employment and the Labour Force, Percentage Change, Mid-April
       Year      1996 1997 1998              1999        2000         2001    2002   2003   1990-   1995-   2000-
                                                                                            1995    2000    2005
 Manufacturing   -2.3      4.3       3.6         2.7      1.6         -0.6     1.5    1.6   -0.6     2       1
 Processing      -12.6     0         0            0          0         0       1.3    1.2    3.1    -2.7     1
 Technology        9       7.2       6.7         4.6      1.3         -3.2     1.6    3.9    2.6     5.7     1.8

 Building         4.9      9         7           2.4     -0.6         0.1     -1.4    1.4    1.5     4.5     0.6

 Retail           7.1      3         5.6         4.5      2.7         3.7      2.9    2.9    3.4     4.6     3.1

 Distribution      4       3.6       5           6.4      2.1         2.6      1.7    1.6    1.6     4.2     2.2
 Health &
 Education         3       2.5       2.5         2.5      2.5         2.5      2.5    2.5    2.7     2.6     2.5

 Office sector     3       2.5       2            2          2         2       2       2     2.1     2.3     2

As with all areas of the Country there is an unprecedented scale of construction activity taking
place. This level of activity is expected to continue in the initial part of the plan period and
may taper off towards the latter stages of the plan period. The following types of major
projects are known to be commencing over the plan period:-1999 to 2004 approximately:-

     Ongoing housing construction and urban renewal involving demolition and reconstruction
     Major road projects
     Major water and sewerage schemes
     Other infrastructural projects.

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If the amount of construction activity, particularly road construction continues to increase at its
present rate then mining and quarrying waste will also increase at this rate.

The Western Health Board has a Health Care Waste Management Plan which was prepared
in 1996. This document describes the various categories of health care waste, waste
minimisation, segregation and current disposal practices. The issues of staff training,
occupational health and safety and record keeping are also addressed. At present there is a
requirement to export healthcare risk waste (hazardous component of healthcare waste) as
there are no facilities in Ireland to treat this waste. This is being addressed at present and the
Department of Health and Children is co-operating with the health services in Northern Ireland
to implement a nation wide contract to deal with this waste stream. The planning for the
management of healthcare risk waste is the responsibility of the Department of Health and
Health Boards under the Waste Management Act, 1996.

The introduction of the EU Landfill Directive has the greatest potential to impact on waste
management policy in the Connaught Region. This will require diversion from landfill for
increasing proportions of municipal biodegradable waste based on 1995 waste production
levels. By the years 2006, 2009 and 2016, biodegradable municipal wastes must be diverted
from landfill to 75%, 50% and 35% respectively of the 1995 baseline figures.

Part II of the Waste Management Act, 1996 states that the following Regulations will be

      The European Communities (Waste) Regulations, 1979
      The European Communities (Toxic and Dangerous Waste) Regulations, 1982
      The European Communities (Waste) Regulations, 1984
      The European Communities (Asbestos Waste) Regulations, 1990
      The European Communities (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations, 1991
      The European Communities (Waste Oils) Regulations, 1992
      The European Communities (Asbestos Waste) Regulations, 1994
      The European Communities (Transfrontier Shipment) Regulations, 1994
      The European Communities (Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations, 1994

In terms of environment legislation, an amendment to the Environmental Protection Agency
Act of 1992 is expected next year. This is to take account of a 1996 EU Directive relating to
integrated pollution prevention control. Government policy is guided by the National
Sustainability Document and a National Environment Partnership Forum to develop the
concept of sustainable development. The Forum will represent a cross section of interest
groups and a Consultation paper has been produced.

There is also a proposed amendment to Directive 91/689/EC on hazardous waste. This deals
with separate collection of certain wastes under separate collection schemes, and requires
each Member State to set up public information campaigns to efficiently implement the

There is also a Proposed EU Directive for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment which is
expected to be issued after 2002/2003. End-of-life equipment such as computers, televisions,
vacuum cleaners etc. are deemed a priority waste by the EU, and a Draft Directive is under
consideration at present by the Commission for better management of the waste stream. The
Directive will aim to increase recovery rates for waste / scrap items, and to reduce the
quantities of this waste stream consigned to landfill.

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The Directive is expected to set out a 'producer responsibility' approach to management of
this waste stream - the producer/ importer of the products will have to take back and pay for
recycling of the products at the end of their life. This in turn will cause companies to rethink
their product design in order to minimise recycling costs. The details of how this scheme will
operate in Ireland are not yet clear, but it is possible that the role enforcing compliance with
the WEEE directive will fall to the local authority, as is the case with the Packaging
Regulations and the Farm Plastics Regulations. This would lead to an increased workload of
waste regulation and monitoring by the local authority when the provisions of the Directive are
brought into law.

Also of relevance is the Waste Management (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1998.
These regulations prescribe the day on or after which the collection of waste oils requires a
waste collection permit in accordance with section 34(1) of the Waste Management Act, 1996.
They also provide for other matters including the prosecution of offences by any person, the
transfer of waste, the making of waste management plans, the defrayal of costs incurred by
local authorities and the provision of information.


8.8.1   EU Directive on the Landfilling of Waste

The introduction of the EU Landfill Directive which was adopted in 1999 has the greatest
potential impact on waste management policy in the Connaught Region. This will require the
diversion from landfill for increasing proportions of municipal biodegradable waste based on
1995 waste production levels. By the years 2006, 2009, 2016, biodegradable municipal
wastes must be reduced from landfill by 35%, 50% and 75% respectively.

This directive was adopted in 1999 and sets out the technical standards which all landfill
disposal sites must meet in the future in terms of improved and consistent operation and
ensuring environmental protection. All operators of landfills public or private will need to
conform to the requirement of the Directive, whose overall aim is to minimise environmental
impact to air, water and the global environment and human health.

The Directive specifies three classes of landfill: for inert waste, for non-hazardous waste and
for hazardous waste, and specifies what material may be disposed of in each of these types
of facility. There is also a requirement to implement reduction in landfilling of specific wastes,
including biodegradable wastes (a phased reduction will apply). Certain wastes are banned
from landfill, including certain liquid wastes, corrosive, explosive oxidising, flammable or
highly flammable wastes, infectious healthcare wastes including from veterinary practices,
and tyres (with certain exemptions).

The Directive sets out minimum requirements that must be fulfilled in the application for a
permit (Waste Licence) granted by the Member State for operation of a landfill, and the
conditions that must be met before a permit is granted - these include the need for a
competent person to manage the facility and the provision of financial security to ensure
operation and aftercare costs can be met. The Directive also sets out what information the
permit should contain. Further Articles of the Directive refer to operational and aftercare
responsibilities for landfill sites.

8.8.2   EU Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles

A Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles has also recently been passed by the EU. This Directive
proposes to introduce the concept of producer-responsibility in the disposal of end-of-life
vehicles by applying a levy to the cost of production of each car which will then be used to
recycle and dispose of the vehicle in an environmentally sustainable manner.

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The policy adopted in the Connaught Region is based on government policy as outlined in the
policy document Changing Our Ways. The policy also strives to ensure the Best Practicable
Environmental Options for Connaught‟s waste. The regional approach as outlined in this
Policy Statement emphasises the benefits to be obtained from the regional approach as

         “Significant economy of scale is one of the main benefits accruing from this regional
         approach. This in turn provides a viable framework in planning and volume terms for
         the development of integrated and innovative waste management systems.”

For this reason the quantities and economy of scale required to justify the development of
more innovative non-landfill solutions is best met in the regional context.

A number of integrated scenarios were developed in order to assess and determine the Best
Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) for Connaught‟s waste. These scenarios represent
a combination of different recycling targets, the possible introduction of thermal treatment with
energy recovery leading to landfill disposal of residues only. The economic costs and
environmental impacts of the scenarios were calculated by subsequent computer modelling.

Waste prevention and minimisation measures are included in each of the three scenarios
considered. The policy on waste reduction in all sectors of waste production is specifically
dealt with in Section 7 of the Plan. Targets for reduction in the level of growth of waste are
included in the modelling process. The analysis of waste management options (recycling,
energy recovery and disposal) outlined below concentrates on managing the waste which will
arise after waste prevention and minimisation measures have been carried out.

The scenarios are as follows:

     Scenario 1 - Achieve maximum realistic recycling

     Scenario 2; Achieve national and EU targets by recycling and thermal treatment

     Scenario 3; Achieve maximum landfill diversion through fastest possible implementation
      of recycling and thermal treatment

Under Scenario 1, a comprehensive recycling infrastructure in terms of both collection and
materials recovery would be set-up, and disposal of all residual and non-recyclable waste
would be by landfilling.

Under Scenario 2, Thermal Treatment with energy recovery would be provided, with a need
for residual landfill only. Recycling infrastructure would also be developed to the extent at
which mandatory National targets would be met.

Under Scenario 3, recycling efforts would be maximised as in Scenario 1, but thermal
treatment would be provided, with residual landfill only.

Maximum diversion from landfill was a primary objective in developing the scenarios.
However, it is not possible to recycle all waste so bulk reduction methods such as thermal
treatment were also considered to achieve the objective of maximising diversion from landfill.

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In each scenario, a staged implementation plan for recycling/bulk reduction treatment facilities
and the appropriate schemes for waste collection over the planning period were identified.
Important aspects in identifying this implementation plan are:-

    Requirements and targets in National and EU Waste Policy.

    Realistic time span for making necessary decisions in the local authorities, setting up
     relevant operative organisations, obtaining approval from authorities and constructing the

Each scenario covers management of waste generated at households, commercial and
industrial enterprises, as well as from construction and demolition activities. Sewage sludges
are also a waste stream amenable to thermal and biological treatment but were not included
in scenario modelling. Further waste streams are also addressed in the Plan in terms of
agricultural and mining/quarrying sources but were not considered in the modelling process.

The model took into account environmental, technical and financial implications of each
scenario. Each scenario was translated into an integrated waste management system, which
set out collection, recycling and recovery/disposal facilities as well as an implementation time-
scale over the period 1999-2014. The stages of model were presented as follows:

    Description of facilities required for each scenario
    Overview of staged development
    Assumptions for waste stream calculations
    Waste stream and cost calculations
    Environmental assessment

The cost implications included capital, operating and transportation costs as well as revenue
from products and energy. The relative overall costs for each scenario were expressed in
terms of Net Present Value (NPV).

In addition to the economic assessment described above an environmental assessment was
also carried out on Scenarios 2 and 3 as Scenario 1 did not meet the mandatory recycling
targets. The environmental assessment concluded that Scenario 3 was the most favourable.

Scenario 3 - maximum landfill diversion through fastest possible implementation of recycling
and thermal treatment - is the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO), most likely to
provide a robust sustainable Waste Management System for the region in accordance with
legal and practical requirements.

In comparing the scenarios it was found that waste management options favouring high levels
of recycling combined with thermal treatment were required to meet the requirements of the
new waste policy.

The following considerations determined the selection of the preferred waste management
option for the Connaught Region:-

    The scenario must respect the EU Waste Hierarchy so that re-use and recycling is
     preferred as far as possible (Best Practicable Environmental Option).

    The ultimate solution must be robust, providing a secure route for all waste streams.

    Thermal treatment is favoured for the following reasons:-

        -    The ambitious targets set out in the new National Waste Policy Statement are
             unlikely to be achievable in practice without thermal treatment

        -    As a form of energy recovery, it is higher in the National and EU Waste
             Hierarchy than landfill.

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         -    The fact that thermal treatment with energy recovery is a more desirable
              environmental option than landfill (provided harmful wastes are diverted from the

         -    To achieve large scale bulk reduction in final waste volumes having regard to the
              very limited availability of landfill capacity in the Region and the high level of
              public resistance to new landfill development.

         -    Thermal treatment has the capability of treating the substantial quantities of
              sewage sludge likely to be generated after wastewater treatment has been
              commissioned in Galway City, Sligo and at other plants in the region.

         -    Thermal treatment will not compromise the meeting of waste recycling targets
              and will achieve higher waste recovery resulting in lower landfill requirements.

         -    Optimum location of thermal treatment facilities can maximise energy recovery,
              including the use of heat for industry, potential use of heat in new
              residential/commercial developments and electricity production.

The waste management policy is outlined below while the detailed implementation of the
policy is described in Chapters 11 and 12.


9.3.1    General

The waste management policy adopted by the Connaught local authorities in this Waste
Management Plan is based on the objectives and targets set out in the recent government
publication on Waste Management - Changing Our Ways. This document sets out the
following recycling/diversion targets:-

     Diversion of 50% of overall household waste away from landfill

     Minimum of 65% reduction in biodegradable waste consigned to landfill

     Development of waste recovery facilities employing environmentally beneficial
      technologies, as an alternative to landfill including the development of composting and
      other feasible biological treatment facilities capable of treating up to 300,000 tonnes of
      waste per annum

     Recycling of 35% of municipal waste

     Recycling of at least 50% of C & D waste within a 5 year period with a progressive
      increase to at least 85% over 15 years

     Rationalisation of waste landfills with programmed and sustained reductions in numbers
      leading to an integrated network of some 20 state of the art facilities incorporating energy
      recovery and high standards of environmental protection

     80% reduction in methane emissions from landfills
These new national targets are to be achieved over the next 15 years were published on 1
October, 1998 in a policy document entitled Changing Our Ways, are intended to fulfil our
obligations under EU legislation. The main thrust of the policy is to reduce national
dependence on landfill and to assist local authorities in the transition to a modern integrated
waste management system. The importance of the regional approach is underlined and
support is expressed for private involvement.

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9.3.2   Waste Minimisation Policy

Each local authority in the region will have in place as soon as possible an Environmental
Awareness Officer. These officers will play a major role in educating the public and the
commercial sector in waste issues and waste minimisation in particular. There will also be
one Regional Industrial Waste Minimisation Officer who will work specifically with industry in
trying to reduce waste production.

One of the primary objectives of the local authorities shall be to stabilise, and in the longer
term, reverse the growth in waste generation in line with National Policy.

The local authorities shall ensure to the best of their ability, that all commercial and industrial
producers of waste are aware of their obligations under Section 28(2) of the Waste
Management Act, 1996.

The local authority will seek to introduce a requirement on major development proposals
requiring the developer to submit a waste management plan for construction and demolition
waste to be generated during the development.

The Environmental Awareness Officer will encourage the concept of reduced consumption of
throw away items and the choice of unpackaged or minimally packaged products.

The local authorities shall, over the life of the plan, prepare a booklet with information relating
to waste prevention, minimisation and recycling initiatives together with other general
information that is considered appropriate.

9.3.3   Waste Collection Policy

In order to achieve the new national objectives and targets and to implement Scenario 3 of
maximum landfill diversion through fastest possible implementation of recycling and thermal
treatment changes are required to the collection system. These changes are required to
facilitate in particular the collection of dry recyclables and organic waste.

Household Waste
Door to Door collection („kerbside‟ system) of recyclables with source segregation to be
introduced in all urban areas aiming to eventually cover approximately 50% of households in
the region.

For areas not covered by door to door collection extension and upgrading of Bring-Bank
networks in rural areas with a target density of one bank per 500 population. Upgrading of
existing Banks to conform to higher standard of appearance and signage where necessary.

Provision of a network of 21 No. Recycling Stations throughout the region. These will be
based as stand-alone civic amenity sites with a high level of appearance and permanently
staffed. The stations may cater for the collection of the following waste streams:

Recyclable wastes                 Glass, metal, packaging etc. (feed to local MRF)
Bulky waste                       Fridges, cookers, etc.
Priority/Hazardous waste          Batteries, waste oils, etc.
Green garden waste                Feed to local green waste recycling facility
Light C/D waste                   Feed to local C/D waste recycling area

Source segregation and dual collection of organic waste fraction starting from 2003.
Achieving dual collection coverage in all urban areas, extending system to cover 50 % of all
rural areas. This may run as a waste collection on alternate weeks for the organic and
residual fraction.

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Commercial and Industrial Waste
Source separation and extended recycling system of the waste stream for commercial,
industrial, and construction/demolition waste in accordance with new bye-laws to be
introduced under the Waste Management Act, 1996. Recyclable waste from commerce and
industry to feed to Materials Recycling Facilities.

9.3.4   Waste Recycling Policy

In the long term Scenario 3 when implemented in full will recycle 48% of household,
commercial and industrial waste. The government targets are also to be achieved over a 15
year period. However over the Plan period the objective is to achieve a 20% recycling rate
and many of the recycling initiatives will be put in place as follows:-

Materials Recovery Facilities: These will sort and bale recyclable waste collected from Door-
to-Door collection systems and from Bring Banks. They may also process source-segregated
recyclable waste (such as cardboard, glass etc.) from Commerce and Industry. Two larger
facilities at Galway and Sligo to be complemented by facilities at Castlebar, Roscommon, and
Carrick-on-Shannon which would be principally aimed at sorting and baling packaging waste
from commerce/ industry.

Garden „green‟ waste composting plants to be constructed throughout the region. These are
to be located in Galway City and Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Roscommon, Sligo, and Carrick-on-

Biological treatment of organic kitchen waste to be carried out at two central treatment plants
(Tuam/ Sligo), to treat centrally waste collected via dual-collection system.

Construction and demolition (C/D) waste recycling facilities, one facility close to Galway City.
Other areas served by mobile plant recycling stockpiled C/D waste at defined locations in

9.3.5   Energy Recovery Facilities

The Connaught local authorities favour thermal treatment as part of an integrated solution to
the management of the Region‟s waste. Thermal treatment of the residual combustible waste
stream with energy recovery is recommended. One plant to be situated at Galway City or
Environs serving the region. This plant will cater for combustible waste transferred from other
transfer stations. Estimated nominal capacity of 150,000 -200,000 tonnes per annum.

9.3.6   Waste Disposal Policy

The diversion of waste from landfill is the primary objective of the Waste Management Plan
and future waste disposal policy in the Connaught Region. It is recommended that available
landfills in Counties Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim be kept open as long as allowable under
EPA waste licensing and remaining void space maximised. This will keep waste inputs at
each site at a manageable rate, allowing for improvements in operation and infrastructure to
be carried out according to EPA manuals. If both landfills in Co. Leitrim close and waste from
Sligo is not accepted in Co. Donegal, then a possible crisis situation would result. It is
therefore necessary to make decisions now and to immediately commence planning to avoid
such a situation arising.

It is essential that day to day operation of the interim landfills be improved in the Connaught
region immediately in accordance with EPA manuals. The required improvements have been
outlined in individual waste licenses applications, but each local authority must immediately
take action to show better management practices and higher standards of operation. This
should include: application of daily cover, control of pests and nuisances, improved fencing,

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improved visual appearance (litter control, better signage) infrastructural improvements
(roads/ compacting equipment) and weighbridge/ data collection.

New landfills to handle the residual wastes for North and South Connaught shall be
developed. One of these shall service Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim and the other
shall service County Galway. Planning and site selection for these residual landfills needs to
proceed immediately.

Closure plans shall be prepared for all recently closed landfills. An inventory of former landfill
sites and other contaminated sites should be established and investigations carried out.

9.3.7   Sludge Management Policy

The Department of Environment and Local Government have issued guidelines on the
preparation and implementation of Sludge Management Plans. The sludges to be included in
these Plans are non-hazardous sludges which are generated from a number of activities such
as livestock rearing, agri-industry municipal wastewater treatment, municipal water treatment,
and private industry. It is recommended that the Sludge Management Plan should address
the following:-

    Sludge Minimisation
    Identification and quantification of wastewater treatment sludges
    Identification and quantification of other non-hazardous sludges
    Choose the hub centre and satellites
    Evaluate the potential for agricultural biosolids
    Evaluate alternative management strategies
    Choose a treatment process
    Treatment process to achieve biosolids for land-based management strategies
    Treatment processes for alternative management strategies
    Management of other non-hazardous sludges
    Training and Staffing
    Quality Control

The Connaught local authorities are embarking on the preparation of individual sludge
management plans on a county wide basis.

The Sludge management plan for Galway City and County is currently in draft format and
Mayo County Council are currently preparing a plan. Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo County
Councils are awaiting approval to proceed with the preparation of their plans. This Waste
Management Plan will have regard to the provisions of these plans.

9.3.8   Agricultural Wastes

The waste from this sector primarily consists of animal manures and slurries and it is only
those that arise from housed animals and intensive agriculture such as pig and production
which are problematic. In general in the region these are adequately managed within the
agricultural sector. To assist with the management of these wastes the local authorities in
the region will:

    Provide closer monitoring of agricultural waste management in the County.

    Encourage the use of nutrient management planning as a means of reducing the
     potential for pollution from wastes. If necessary the Councils will enforce the preparation
     of such plans.

    Establish closer links with the agricultural advisors and representatives groups such as
     Teagasc, IFA and other bodies.

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    Provide information and advice to the farming community in relation to good practices
     and legal obligations.

    Co-operate with and support the farm plastics recovery system established by the Irish
     Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG).

There may also be a possibility of co-operation with the agricultural sector in relation to the
recommended treatment of biodegradable wastes if the anaerobic digestion system is
pursued. This is also relevant to sludge and organic wastes from the agri-industry sectors.

9.3.9   Policy on Landfill Aftercare and Remediation

The Connaught local authorities are committed to the remediation and aftercare of all closed
landfills. This requires that landfills which have reached or are nearing the end of their useful
life for waste disposal, require remediation including capping off and gas collection/draw-off,
together with provision of appropriate monitoring infrastructure.

In accordance with the EU Landfill Directive and EPA Landfill Manuals, all existing landfills will
be remediated on the basis of EPA licence requirements. An investigation of historical waste
disposal or recovery sites will be undertaken in the Region to ensure that the requirements of
Section 22(7) (h) of the Waste Management Act, 1996 are met.

9.3.10 Policy on Hazardous Waste

The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for hazardous waste planning under the
Waste Management Act, 1996. In this regard the Agency is currently preparing a National
Hazardous Waste Management Plan which is currently in draft Plan and expected to be
finalised shortly. This Plan will have regard to the National Plan where appropriate.

The Connaught local authorities shall take measures as deemed appropriate to fulfil their
obligations under Section 26(5) of the Waste Management Act, 1996.

9.3.11 Financial Policy

The polluter-pays principle shall be applied to all waste producers on an even and consistent
basis across the region. Use related charges shall be introduced where feasible.

The capital and operational costs for services such as waste collection and treatment will be
recovered directly through private sector operators by use of gate fees. Public-Private
Partnerships involving the local authorities and the private sector may be a suitable
institutional arrangement as a funding mechanism, especially where larger facilities or
contracts are involved.

Certain non-operational costs, (such as education, regulation and minimisation staffing, and
landfill remediation) cannot be passed on in these ways, however. If not covered by an
enhanced gate fee at public facilities, these will have to be paid for by increases in
Government Block Funding or some similar mechanism. A further possibility is the
introduction of a landfill tax at National level, with redistribution of funds to local authorities to
help fulfill their obligations under the Waste Management Act.

9.3.12 Procurement Policy

The Connaught Local Authorities shall encourage and harness private sector involvement in
all aspects of the Strategy to maximise partnership, efficiency, and cost recovery for waste

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The provision of infrastructure recommended by this Strategy shall be the subject of EU
Procurement procedures to ensure that value for money schemes are implemented for the
overall good of the Connaught region.

The following waste management facilities shall be sited according to best international
practice or relevant guidelines.

9.4.1    Landfills

The siting of new landfills shall be carried out according to the Draft EPA Manual on Landfill
Site Selection. This document provides guidance on the selection of a landfill site and assists
in assessing the impact of a landfill on the surrounding environment. It states that possible
landfill site locations should be selected having regard to the following exclusionary factors: -

     regionally important aquifers

     airports

     floodplains

     proposed Natural Heritage Areas or other environmentally related designations

     geologically unsuitable areas

     areas of high amenity or high archaeological interest (international, national or regional

The Draft Manual also outlines a staged process of considering an initial desk study,
exclusionary factors, selecting siting criteria, finding generally suitable areas towards the
shortlisting of sites using the siting criteria. The overall assessment should use a mixture of
qualitative and quantitative appraisal.

The Draft EPA Manual requires that public consultation takes place during the course of
waste management strategies and plans. In particular, during critical stages of a landfill site
selection process, it is recommended that Elected Member Consultation take place in the
local authority concerned. The consultation, in turn, will assist in informing local people of the

9.4.2    Transfer Stations/Recycling Centres

There are no national or international guidelines on the siting of such facilities. However the
siting of such facilities should have regard to the following site selection criteria:

     The facility to be placed within the urban area or as near as possible to it

     If development zoning exists an area zoned industrial is preferable

     Location of facility to be convenient to majority of householders

     Particular regard to be had to traffic considerations

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9.4.3    Thermal Treatment Facility

Guidance on the selection of such facilities shall be taken from relevant legislation and best
international practice. The primary pieces of legislation are:-

     Waste Management Act, 1996

     EU Proposal for a Council Directive on the Incineration of Waste 1998

Similar to the siting of landfills the first step in a siting process should be the identification of
exclusionary factors which would prohibit the siting of a facility in these excluded areas.
These areas having been identified the next step should be to identify relevant siting criteria
to assist with the selection of potentially suitable areas.

The future waste management policy to be implemented in the Connaught Region is outlined
in Table 9.1 overleaf. The collection, treatment and disposal systems for the various waste
streams included in the model are described in Chapter 12.

Columns with the same information are indicative of ongoing installation of collection,
treatment and disposal systems.

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Table 9.1: Scenario III Maximum Landfill Diversion Through Fastest Possible Implementation of Maximum Recycling and Thermal Treatment

  Period:            1999-2000                           2001-2002                            2003-2006                       2007-2009                            2010-2014

Households     Exist. bring banks in all   Door to door collection of recyclables     Door to door collection of     Door to door collection of        Door to door collection of
               counties                    in urban areas. Bring banks in all rural   recyclables in urban areas.    recyclables in urban areas.       recyclables in urban areas. Bring
                                           areas                                      Bring banks in all rural       Bring banks in all rural areas    banks in all rural areas

                                           Recycling centres in all areas             Recycling centres in all       Recycling   centres    in   all   Recycling centres in all areas
                                                                                      areas                          areas

                                                                                      Dual           collection      Dual               collection     Dual                    collection
                                                                                       100% coverage in urban        100% coverage in urban            100% coverage in urban areas
                                                                                      areas                          areas                             50% coverage in rural areas
                                                                                      50% coverage in rural          50% coverage in rural areas

               Ordinary collection in      Ordinary collection in all areas           Ordinary collection in small   Ordinary collection in small      Ordinary    collection in    small
               all areas                                                              villages and rural areas       villages and rural areas          villages    and      rural   areas

Commercial     Existing      recycling     Extended recycling system                  Extended recycling system      Extended recycling system         Extended recycling system
               system in use

Industry       Existing      recycling     Extended recycling system                  Extended recycling system      Extended recycling system         Extended recycling system
               system in use

C and D        Existing scheme in use      Source separation scheme for C&D           Source separation scheme       Source separation scheme          Source separation scheme for
               for construction and        waste. Surplus soil separated at           for C&D waste. Surplus soil    for C&D waste. Surplus soil       C&D     waste.     Surplus soil
               demolition waste            source                                     separated at source            separated at source               separated at source

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Table 9.1 (Cont.)
               Treatment and Disposal Period

  Period:         1999-2000                                2001-2002                           2003-2006                       2007-2009                            2010-2014

Households     Exist. facility in     MRF, Materials Recovery Facility replaces       MRF, Materials Recovery         MRF, Materials Recovery           MRF, Materials Recovery Facility,
               use                    existing in Galway and Sligo                    Facility for recyclables        Facility,   Door    to door       Door to door collected recyclables
                                                                                                                      collected recyclables

                                      New composting plants for garden waste -        Composting     plants   for     Composting   plants  for          Composting plants for garden
                                      Galway , Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Sligo,         garden waste - Galway ,         garden waste - Galway -           waste - Galway - Ballinasloe
                                      Carrick-on-Shannon and Roscommon                Ballinasloe,     Castlebar,     Ballinasloe
                                                                                      Sligo, Carrick-0n-Shannon
                                                                                      and Roscommon

                                                                                      New biological treatment        Biological treatment plant for    Biological treatment      plant   for
                                                                                      plant for organic kitchen       organic kitchen waste             organic kitchen waste
                                                                                      waste – Tuam & Sligo

                                                                                      Thermal plant in Galway         Thermal plant       in   Galway   Thermal     plant    in     Galway
                                                                                      City/Environs                   City/Environs                     City/Environs

               Existing landfills     Existing landfills                              Ballinasloe landfill            New landfills East Galway         New landfill East Galway and
                                                                                                                      and North Connaught               North Connaught
                                                                                      (to end 2005) New landfills
                                                                                      East Galway (from 2006) &
                                                                                      North Connaught

Commercial     Exist. facilities in   Private recyclers extend reception capacity     Private recyclers      extend   Private recyclers        extend   Private recyclers extend reception
               use                                                                    reception capacity              reception capacity                capacity

Industry       Exist. facilities in   Private recyclers extend reception capacity     Private recyclers               Private recyclers                 Private recyclers

C and D                               Treatment facility close to Galway City and     Treatment facility close to     Treatment facility close to       Treatment facility close to Galway
                                      mobile plant servicing counties, Mayo, Sligo,   Galway City and mobile          Galway City and mobile plant      City and mobile plant servicing
                                      Roscommon and Leitrim                           plant servicing counties,       servicing counties, Mayo,         counties,       Mayo,        Sligo,
                                                                                      Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon          Sligo,   Roscommon      and       Roscommon and Leitrim
                                                                                      and Leitrim                     Leitrim

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The new initiatives required to meet the requirements of the Connaught Waste Management
Plan will involve significant new investment. These costs will be borne by all beneficiaries of
the system in line with the government policy of the polluter pays. This chapter summarises
the costs of implementing the Plan and gives a brief overview of how these costs might be

The three scenarios considered for the management of Connaught‟s waste were evaluated
using the waste model. The three waste management scenarios have the following Net
Present Values (NPVs) using a discount rate of 2.8 percent (standard interest rate of 5% less
2.2 % inflation):

      Scenario 1 – IR £ 276,659,561
      Scenario 2 – IR £ 304,117,036
      Scenario 3 – IR £ 299,424,087

Scenario 1, maximum realistic recycling with landfill only, has the least costs but does not
meet the new National target to divert 50 % of household waste from landfill. While Scenario
3 is not the cheapest option the cost difference is quite small and as has been shown above
to be the most environmentally acceptable option. Therefore scenario 3 appears as the
Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO).

The Net Present Values of the three scenarios are presented in Table 10.1 below. NPV can
be defined as the entire stream of costs and benefits over the lifetime of a project combined
by discounting into a single present worth. Costs are treated as negative money flows and
benefits as positive money flows. It is based on the assumption that money is worth more
today than in the future. This is because money received now can be invested to earn
interest or to repay a loan and thereby save on interest. The NPV therefore gives the
discounted value of future payments. The discount rate used is the standard interest rate
minus the inflation rate. The discounted revenues less the discounted costs are therefore
summed to obtain the NPV.

All scenarios include a transfer station and a biological treatment plant using anaerobic
digestion of organic kitchen wastes producing biogas.

Table 10.1: Breakdown of Net Present Values of Each Scenario
               NPV (IR£)                Scenario 1          Scenario 2          Scenario 3
    Transport                           -82,266,147        -92,045,182         -89,872,628
    Collection - operation              -58,895,497        -45,962,839         -58,895,497
    Collection - capital                -10,650,547        -10,081,203         -10,744,363
    Recycling & Recovery- operation     -23,079,315        -53,448,689         -45,871,270
    Recycling and Recovery- capital     -21,240,910        -44,847,708         -39,351,819
    Disposal- operation                 -24,594,679        -21,982,610         -21,842,842
    Disposal- capital                   -47,270,714        -39,432,503         -39,432,503
    Special Waste                       -26,355,746        -26,355,746         -26,355,746
    Revenues from sale                   17,693,994         30,039,445          32,942,581
    TOTAL                              -276,659,561       -304,117,036        -299,424,087

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Further cost comparisons can be made by looking into the annual costs, investments and the
revenue from sale of recyclable materials and energy. These figures are presented in Table

Table 10.2: Annual Average Costs, Total Investments and Total Revenue
    IR£ 1999 Prices        Average annual costs        Total investments   Revenue from sale
    Scenario 1                   22,883,839              113,831,930           17,693,994
    Scenario 2                   25,924,629              134,193,303           30,039,445
    Scenario 3                   25,569,510              143,913,790           32,942,581

There a number of economic instruments which can be used to recover costs under the
polluter pays principle. The overall Net Present Value of the recommended solution over a 15-
year period is estimated as being almost IR £300 m. Current levels of cost recovery by the
local authorities are only in the region of 50%. An efficient and equitable way of recovering
the costs of the new facilities and regulatory arrangements must be put in place.

A number of economic instruments were evaluated in the context of recovering the costs of
the new waste management system. The principal aim of economic instruments for waste
management is to „internalise‟ the external costs of waste treatment and disposal, i.e., to
apply a monetary value to the environmental costs of waste treatment and disposal. Ideally,
the „corrected‟ prices give consumers and producers the right incentives and this results in the
„optimal‟ use of the various waste facilities and in waste reduction. The detailed evaluation is
contained in the Connaught Waste Strategy Study Report which is available in all public
libraries in the province.

Economic instruments have the two following objectives:

      to ensure that the costs of providing waste management services are recovered

      to influence the behaviour of waste producers in order to achieve waste policy targets
       (such as waste minimisation, control of waste flow).

The economic instruments considered as part of the optimum economic approach were as

      Service charges (use-related)

      Landfill Tax

      Product or Packaging Taxes

      Taxes on Primary (not recycled) Raw Materials

      Recycling Credits

      Subsidies

      Producer Responsibility

      Voluntary Agreements

      Deposit-Refund Schemes

Based on this evaluation it is recommended that the future waste management costs in the
Connaught region are borne by all waste producers. Use-related charges are deemed a

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fairer system as they will contribute to waste reduction efforts. The national introduction of a
landfill disposal tax (as operated in the UK, France and Denmark) in combination with lower
taxes or subsidies on waste treatment and recycling should be seriously examined as it is an
economically efficient system.

At a local level the Connaught Authorities can divert waste from landfill and encourage
recycling by setting the disposal gate fee at a high level and providing assistance to recycling
organisations through market creation and possibly financial assistance.

The waste policy shall encourage the promotion of recycled products to achieve higher levels
of recycling, regardless of which economic instrument is chosen. Market creation is a
necessary condition for the establishment and development of recycling activities. The
recycling business depends on the ability to sell recycled products at a reasonable price. If
the markets for recycled materials are too small, recycling can only continue with substantial
subsidies, which is not efficient and may not be sustainable in the long term.

A first step in market creation will be for local authorities to use recycled products in their
offices. If a recycling business can rely on the sales to the authorities, it can afford to take the
risk of investing in the necessary equipment, provided the initial investment is not prohibitively
expensive. Work in the US and also in Scotland is taking a new approach to market creation
by investigating new applications for recycling materials that lie outside the industry that first
produced the material. The Regional Industrial Waste Management Officer will play a major
role in this area by gathering data on industry in terms of the structure of local industry, raw
materials usage, existing markets and overcoming problems utilising alternative materials.

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The Waste Management Act, 1996 defines the responsibility of the local authorities and other
regulatory bodies with regard to waste management. Local authorities have significant
powers under the Act and have a duty to prepare, implement and monitor the success of
Waste Management Plans, either individually or as part of a regional grouping. Local
authorities have obligations and powers of enforcement in terms of collection, recovery and
disposal of waste.

Over and above these requirements, there is a need for the Local Authority to provide a high
level of service to the public. This means being in a position to give information on the waste
management system, to provide assistance and instruction to the public, to monitor success
of the system in place and respond to the need for improvement or modification. The success
of waste minimisation initiatives and new collection or recycling schemes hinges on the ability
of the local authority to get broad public understanding and support for these initiatives.

The success of the waste management strategy will be greatly influenced by waste regulation
and enforcement of regulations by local authorities and other relevant bodies. The Waste
Management Act, 1996 is being brought into law by a series of Regulations. The compliance
and enforcement of these Regulations in many cases rests with the local authorities and the
following are particularly relevant in this regard.

   Waste Management (Register) Regulations, 1997
   Waste Management (Planning) Regulations, 1997
   Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations, 1997
   Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations, 1997
   Waste Management (Farm Plastics) Regulations, 1997
   Waste Management (Permit) Regulations, 1998
   Waste Management (Hazardous Waste/Transfrontier Shipment of Waste) Regulations, „98
   Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations, 1998

Many of these Regulations impose specific obligations on the local authority. This Plan has
been prepared according to the Planning Regulations which outline how a local authority or
group of local authorities should prepare a waste management plan and their responsibility
under Section 22 of the Act. The Licensing Regulations set out the procedures for the making
of licence applications, reviews of licences etc. and prescribe the day upon which specified
classes of waste disposal activity require a waste licence. The responsibility for granting
licenses under these Regulations rests with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
However the local authorities must obtain licenses and operate waste disposal facilities in
accordance with these Regulations. The local authorities are also responsible for enforcing
the Packaging Regulations, which impose obligations on all producers of packaging waste to
make this waste available for recovery.

Under the Waste Management Plan the Local authorities shall carry out regular reviews of the
waste regulation which is put in place to assess performance. For example the degree of
compliance with bye-laws, and collection permits must be addressed. A review of the data
available on waste streams is required to check performance of segregation schemes.
Surveys must be undertaken of waste inputs and outputs at treatment facilities and waste
presentation at the collection stage. Where non-compliance with bye-laws, permits or other
agreements is found, the local authority may issue warnings, carry out follow-up inspections,
issue fines and commercial penalties, and ultimately have recourse to legal remedy.

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Table 11.1: Waste Management Regulations Following on 1996 Waste Management Act. Summary of Implications for Local Authorities.
Waste Management Regulations       Local Authority Obligations (summary)
Packaging Regulations              Prepare and maintain list of relevant companies
SI No. 242 of 1997                 Issue notices requesting packaging reports/ Review of packaging reports
                                   Maintain up to date Local Authority Register (contains applications for authorisations, and registration details)
                                   Confirm compliance OR membership of „approved bodies‟ (REPAK) (see section 7).
Waste Collection Permit            These regulations are expected to place the following obligations on the Local Authority:
Regulations                        Assess and review applications from waste collectors and recyclers for collection permits. Assess details such as suitability of
(not yet issued)                   premises and equipment, tonnages collected, recovery and disposal customers.
                                   Prepare and issue individual permits to applicants, specifying conditions of operation.
                                   Review permits on annual basis. Issue notices or proceedings under Act if required.
Farm Plastics Regulations          Registration of relevant companies, maintenance of up to date register.
SI No. 315 of 1997                 Issuing of notices of request for information
                                   (similar duties as for packaging regulations)
Permit Regulations                 (Relevant to smaller scale waste recovery and disposal operations such as Scrap collection, small incinerators, composting)
SI No. 165 of 1998                 Process and review permit applications, confirm details provided, review submissions from public etc.
                                   Visit and assess environmental impact of facility
                                   Draw up permit and specify conditions for activity
Use of Sewage Sludge in            Ensure compliance with detail of regulation (specific details re. Land use, conditions for untreated sludge, etc.)
Agriculture Regs.                  Monitor land use, soil and groundwater quality on lands used for disposal- ensure no environmental impact
SI No 148 of 1998                  Review sludge analysis information regularly
                                   Set-up and maintain detailed sludge register (lands used, contractor, quantities disposed of etc.)
Register Regulations               Draw up and maintain official register of all applications for Waste Collection permits
SI No. 183 of 1997                 Add to register details of official notices served or proceedings brought under the Waste Management Act 1996
„Hazardous Waste‟ Regulations      Maintain records with regard to consignments of hazardous waste
SI No. 147 of 1998                 Provide the EPA with these records on a regular basis as requested.
Planning Regulations               Draw up statutory Plan every five years. Include detailed review of current waste management system as required.
SI No. 137 of 1997                 Implement waste plan recommendations.
                                   Review performance of waste plan on regular basis.

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     ACT, 1996

11.3.1 Local Authorities

The local authorities have obligations under the Waste Management Act regarding the
collection, recovery, and disposal of waste. In addition to these obligations they have
increased powers of enforcement to facilitate waste segregation, data collection and other
measures necessary to reach national targets for waste recycling and recovery. The most
relevant responsibilities of the local authority are outlined below.

Waste Collection: A local authority under Section 33 of the Act must collect or arrange for
the collection of household waste within its functional area. If the waste is collected by private
collectors these collectors will be required to apply for a waste collection permit from the Local
Authority, (Regulations from Dept. of Environment and Local Government are imminent). It is
anticipated that the local authority will be able to specify certain requirements as conditions of
permitting. These could include for example: what types of collection vehicle is used, to what
destinations waste can be taken or transferred, what types of receptacles are used, what
types of segregation is carried out on the waste before treatment etc. These conditions could
be tailored to compliment and back-up a system for collection of uncontaminated organic
waste for biological treatment, or combustible waste for a thermal treatment facility.
Furthermore, the collector will be required to supply data on quantities and types of waste
handled by the collector as a condition of permit renewal.

Waste Recovery and Disposal: The local authority has an obligation to provide or arrange
for recovery (including recycling) and disposal of household waste and may do so for
commercial waste. It can discharge these arrangements by operating the necessary facilities
itself or by making agreements with private enterprises to do so on its behalf. The local
authority can regulate such facilities through legal contract. The conditions of such a contract
could include for example: the facility must have a current waste licence, the limits for upper
or lower capacity of the facility, maintenance of an approved system of records, minimum
degree of recovery and performance achieved.

Construction and Demolition Waste: Sections 31, 33, and 38 of the 1996 Waste
Management Act allow the local authority to provide or allow for collection, recovery and
disposal of this waste stream. Regulation and enforcement on a day to day level is vital in
the Connaught region if the present informal methods of disposal are to be replaced by
recycling at a licensed facility.

Bye-laws: The local authority can introduce bye-laws aimed at producers of household or
commercial waste, specifying for example how waste should be presented for collection.
These can dictate the type of container to be used, how it is to be collected, the quantity of
waste allowed, what types of waste are not suitable, etc. It is also possible under Section 35
of the Act to make a bye-law requiring waste producers to present waste for collection
providing a waste collection service is available to them. This has particular relevance in
Connaught where in some localities the number of households availing of the collection
service is low. The success of the future waste management strategy is strongly influenced
by waste producers availing of the new services available. Bye-laws can therefore
complement and re-enforce the system for segregation of waste destined for recycling or
other treatment.

The current organisational arrangements and responsibilities within the Connaught local
authorities with regard to waste management are illustrated in the following charts:-

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                              Typical Local Authority Structure

                                          Elected Members*

                                        County/City Manager*

                                         Assistant Manager*

       County/City Secretary                                     County/City Engineer*

         Administrative Sector
                                                             Senior Executive Engineers*
         Grades 2-6
                                                             Executive Engineers
                                                             Assistant Engineers

   *Input into waste/environmental decisions made at this level
   ** Assistant Manager delegated „waste‟ managerial functions by Co. Manager

                           Typical Urban District Council Structure

                                            Elected Members

                                            Assistant Manager

                       Town Clerk                                       Town Engineer

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11.3.2 Other public Authorities

The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has an important role in waste management as
laid down in the Waste Management Act, 1996 and the Environmental Agency Act, 1992. In
particular it is responsible for the making of a National Hazardous Waste Management Plan
and the licensing of waste recovery and disposal facilities. The Agency also promotes good
environmental practice through the integrated pollution control licence (IPC) under which
certain specified industries are required to hold in order to continue operation. The possibility
of extending the functions of the EPA exists in Section 21 of the Act which states that “The
Minister may following consultation with the Agency, where he or she is satisfied that any
function conferred on a local authority by the Act could be more effectively performed by the
Agency, in lieu of being performed by that authority, by regulations provide that the function
shall be performed by the Agency with effect from a date specified in the regulations.”

The National Waste Policy recognises that “mobilisation of public support and participation” is
necessary for a successful strategy. The local authority has traditionally been identified with
collection and disposal but its efforts towards recycling have been ignored. However, under
the new legislative framework, local authorities have the obligation to engage in total waste
planning to include waste minimisation, recycling, recovery and disposal.

To facilitate community based support for the waste strategy, it is necessary to gain trust by
communicating and involving local groups in a proactive way. In particular attention needs to
be focussed on what the public can do to participate in waste minimisation in their own
homes, and achieve recycling in the community. For example new public facilities such as
Waste Recycling Centres should be heralded by the local authorities. The public must be
kept in touch of how the strategy is progressing and on what advances have been made.

People must see that the Connaught Waste Management Plan is not centred on landfilling but
is moving to a more sustainable system. This does not reduce the onus on local authorities to
implement improvements to existing landfills and other facilities. In general the management
of existing facilities has not been helpful to public confidence in the waste management
system. This is beginning to improve through the waste licensing requirements of the
Environmental Protection Agency. Existing and new waste facilitates must be maintained to
high standards.

The capability to listen to, assess, and respond fairly to public complaints and criticism is also
required if the local authority is to meet its new role.

Over and above the role of the Connaught local authorities in providing information regarding
waste management the public will have increased responsibilities over the Plan period. There
will be a responsibility to present waste in a specified manner, to segregate waste and to
partake in the collection system. Waste minimisation will be a primary objective of the Plan
and the public will be expected to strive to reduce as far as possible waste production and to
participate in initiatives to achieve waste minimisation. The increased level of service will
result in increased cost and it is government policy that these costs be recovered under the
polluter pays principle. This means that all waste producers i.e the public, industry and
commercial enterprises will have to bear the costs.

Historically, local authorities have developed, managed and operated the collection and
landfill disposal facilities for municipal waste entirely within their own ownership. The wide
range of recycling, recovery and disposal facilities required to implement the Connaught
Waste Management Plan will require very substantial financial investment. The Connaught
local authorities may have difficulty in providing the necessary capital for these investments
and are likely to require some sort of private sector involvement.

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When providing new facilities, therefore, a number of issues may need to be considered

    How the plants will be financed

    The owner-operator relationship

    The day to day management

    The siting of new facilities with particular regard to public attitudes to the location of
     landfills, thermal treatment plants, etc.

In Connaught it is recommended that the use of these facilities be shared between the local
authorities which will have the following advantages:-

    Financial benefits due to economies of scale

    Increased options for siting of facilities and the possibilities for management of
     environmental impacts

    The ability to implement more advanced technologies for a single large-scale facility

A formal agreement will be required between the local authorities to implement an integrated
approach to shared facilities. This could be achieved through a number of options including:-

    Lead Authority and Co-operation Agreements: traditionally, in Ireland local authorities
     have shared common facilities developed by one authority as lead authority and services
     were provided to other authorities through service agreements. While this approach can
     be satisfactory for utilisation of a particular facility, it is weak from a regional strategic
     management point of view. Such an arrangement confers primary responsibility and
     authority on the lead organisation with little effective control by the other authorities

    New Waste Management Utility; would involve the setting up of a regional waste
     management authority to take over responsibility for waste management planning and
     the operation of central facilities. In this arrangement, individual authorities would retain
     responsibility for local collection services. This new utility organisation would have to be
     established by legislative enactment

    Joint Venture Company; the authorities could establish a joint venture company to
     operate facilities on their behalf. Such a company could be wholly owned by the local
     authorities which would ensure retention of control and some financial responsibility.
     The authorities could devolve financial liability for the functions to the J.V. company.
     This approach may limit the ability of the authorities to exercise direct public regulation
     and control

The larger facilities to be provided in the Region such as thermal and biological treatment
plants and transfer stations shall be procured under the EU Procurement procedures. EU
Procurement Directives determine the cost levels for construction contracts and services
contracts, which must be allocated based on EU competition. The procurement of waste-to-
energy facilities and services will in practice fall within these limits (ECU 5,000,000 and ECU
400,000 respectively).

There are a number of alternative models for procurement which can be observed in the
industry. These are as follows:

    Local Authority provides facility and service

    Developer provides facility and service (DBFO)

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    Local Authority owned and financed, developer designs, builds and operates (DBO)

    Public Private Partnerships

Local Authority Provides Facility and Service
In this case the local authority designs, builds, raises funds for, owns, operates and repairs
the facility which is run by local authority staff.


1. Traditional, well-established method of operating. Well understood by all involved, little

2. Significant competition due to a large number of developers competing on similar and well
   understood terms.

3. Can be least expensive method for local authority (benefits not shared with developer).

4. Direct public control of vital services: Local authority has direct ownership of facility,
   employees and service. Responsive to local needs.

5. Most direct means of seeing that the public interest is served.

6. Low cost of capital – local authority can often borrow at very competitive rates.


1. Local Authority bears all the risks – construction, operation, financing and the criticism, if
   deadline targets are not met.

2. Irish local authorities have little expertise and no experience in thermal treatment.

3. Requires large commitment of time and resources.

4. Procurement, competitive bidding, and public approval of site selection may be slower
   than private sector equivalents.

5. Lack of flexibility if needed for service variations.

Developer Provides Facility and Service
In this case the developer has total responsibility by contract (design, finance, build, own, hire
employees, operate, repair, sell energy) for project. Developer pays all costs associated with
the project including financing it. Local Authority makes payment to developer for service
received on an incentive basis.


Minimises demand on Local authority‟s managerial time, etc. - local authority‟s primary
obligations are to structure the arrangement and select the developer; then to make payments
and monitor performance.

Most of the risk to the Local authority may be shifted to the private sector (construction risk,
financing risk, technical risk).

“One stop shopping”: Local Authority contracts directly for a desired result rather than putting
projects together itself. If service isn‟t provided, Local authority may not need to pay.

Division of tasks: Developer specialising in waste-to-energy projects will have greater
expertise and be more capable of completing the task than a Local authority which has a wide
range of public responsibilities.

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Developer can more easily meet payroll costs necessary to get the skilled technical people
necessary for the best operation of a complex project.

Greater perceived efficiency of the private sector than the local authority sector due to profit
motive, competition, generally more flexibility, ability to move quickly.

Potential ability to change service providers by not renewing contract.

Perception that private sector should supply the service (rather than local authority) if private
sector can do so on comparable terms.


1. Private sector provision of facilities and services can be more difficult to structure than
   Local authority methods of providing facilities and services, thus involving more
   uncertainty and risks.

2. Substantial involvement of another party may increase the total cost to the citizens.

3. Removal of important public projects/services from direct public control may mean a lack
   of responsiveness to public needs.

4. The quality of service required by the local authority and expected by its citizens will be
   difficult to specify and enforce, and the service contract cannot cover all eventualities over
   a 10-20 year term.

5. Risks may not be shifted away from the local authority: As a practical matter, the local
   authority may have to step in to provide essential services/run projects/provide funds if
   the developer loses money, fails to perform as required, or goes bankrupt.

Local Authority Owned and Financed – Developer Builds and Operates
This options is part way between traditional local authority development, ownership and
operation of a project and a ”privatised” full-service developer contract. - In one common
approach, a private developer will design, build, operate and maintain a project and assume
many of the risks. The local authority will own and finance the project. This structure can be
accomplished through:

1. A design/operate contract with a developer.

2. An instalment purchase or lease from the developer that builds and operates the project
   to the local authority.

3. A lease by the local authority to the developer who operates the facility for the local


1. Allows the local authority to obtain many of the advantages of third-party development
   and operation of projects without many of the disadvantages.

2. Getting the experience in design, construction and operation of a developer specialising
   in waste-to-energy projects.

3. Shifting more of the risks away from the local authority and to the developer.

4. The developer will assume responsibility that the facility will be designed and built
   correctly and will operate as expected.

5. Avoids the local authority having to ”pay twice” because it can only obtain the facility at
   the end of the contract at its then fair market value.

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1. In return for the developer taking many of the risks a higher contract may result.

2. Developer‟s profit motive may conflict with and may jeopardise the goal of the local
   authority to serve the public interest.

3. For the project operation to be successful will require strong local authority regulation e.g.
   through waste collection regulations.

Public Private Partnerships
Government policy as outlined in the Policy Statement „Changing our Ways‟ (1998) is
favouring private sector involvement and in this regard the Department of Environment and
Local Government have established a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Unit to provide
advice on public private partnerships arrangements in the waste sector. The particular
mechanisms that will apply in the operation of PPP to waste management projects have not
been finalised but it is expected that guidelines will be issued in the next few months.

In line with this policy the Galway Local Authorities have commenced procedures for involving
the private sector in the procurement of waste management facilities in the region. The
procurement of the first Waste Recycling Centre and Transfer Station in Galway has
commenced. The tendering and procurement processes for these and other facilities in the
Region shall have due regard to any guidelines issued by the Department of Environment and
Local Government during the life of the Plan.

There will be a requirement on each local authority to prepare and present information
relating to waste management within its functional area – waste collection, disposal facilities,
recycling facilities etc. to the Environmental Protection Agency more frequently than at
present. The EPA on behalf of the DOELG have to gather statistics on waste required under
various EU waste directives such as packaging, waste and hazardous waste etc. These
directives require that information is supplied to the Commission on specified reporting dates.
This information forms part of an overall National Waste Reporting System, which will be used
by the EPA to monitor Irelands performance nationally, which can then be reviewed in an EU

This responsibility requires resources for collecting information from collectors and recyclers
(through the collection permit system) and from treatment and disposal facilities. Such
detailed waste auditing should provide a continuous mass flow analysis of how waste is
managed from producer to final disposal. These obligations will require resources whether or
not the Local Authority itself is involved in day to day handling of wastes. Data collected from
private sector waste collectors and recyclers must be processed and confirmed.

Waste characterisation surveys shall also be carried out. These provide useful information
such as: the waste generation per household or premises, the composition of household or
commercial waste (detailing for example the amount of organic, combustible, recyclable
waste), the success of schemes aimed at waste segregation or waste minimisation. The EPA
also collect and assimilate such information from all local authorities as part of the National
Waste Database.

If the local authority is operating its own disposal facility (as is the case with most of the
Connaught authorities) the officers must collect and process information on what waste is
being accepted, provide reporting on annual intake etc.

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The new waste management system will require the local authorities in the region to take a
very proactive role in customer service. Information, guidance and support will have to be
given to the general public and other waste producers to ensure their participation in waste
minimisation, source segregation, recycling and recovery activities. This requires the
establishment and maintenance of an information database and reporting system by means
of which the public both directly and through the media can be informed.

The public relations role of the local authority may be discharged through various media such
as advertising, distribution of pamphlets, educational aids aimed at schools etc. The type of
campaigns involved could include:

    collection schemes for household waste

    guidance on source segregation of waste

    the presentation of waste for collection

    locations and availability of recycling centres

    packaging waste – obligations and opportunities to recover

The Environmental Awareness Officers will play an important role in communicating this
information to waste producers. An efficient and friendly service to the public embracing both
dissemination of information and responding to complaints is essential to the successful
implementation of the waste plan.

In promoting recycling and waste reduction, public information plays a critical role. Such
information can usefully be provided for example through visits to schools, displays at libraries
and meetings with residents associations. In this way, concepts for improved collection and
recycling can be developed.

In relation to commercial waste, it is considered necessary to have publications which can
provide information to customers on collection schemes, regulations and bye-laws, the names
and addresses of waste collection firms, recovery or disposal facilities and suitable outlets for
different kinds of waste.

The waste management services sections in the six Local Authorities shall be re-organised
and extended. This is in order to meet the requirements of the Waste Management Act, 1996
and to effectively implement the waste management plan. This will require a substantial
increase in resources including human and other corporate resources within the Connaught

In terms of additional Staff Resources, new „Waste Services Departments‟ shall be organised
to fulfil the following new functions to ensure compliance with new waste legislation. These
departments will require the following new officers for planning regulation.

Waste Planning and Regulation
-      Galway        - 3 new officers in the County area and 2 in the City area.
-      Mayo          - 2 new officers
-      Sligo         - 1 new officer
-      Roscommon     - 1 new officer
-      Leitrim       - 1 new officer

Such positions should be filled by suitably qualified candidates following public advertisement.
In addition, the importance of staff training needs to be recognised and funded.

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In addition, the following initiatives shall be pursued by the local authorities:-

   Immediate attention should be paid to Implementation and Enforcement of the Packaging
     Regulations. This is essential to meet the recycling targets.

   Waste separation, presentation and collection bye-laws shall be made by the local
    authorities to provide legal underpinning to encourage waste recycling.   This is
    particularly true in the case of priority waste streams such as packaging and
    construction/demolition waste.

   All counties shall appoint an Environmental Awareness Officer to assist with improving
    the level of service offered by the local authorities to the public (Sligo/Leitrim may wish to
    share any officer between them initially).

   Waste Regulation must be operated on an even and consistent basis throughout the
    region to be fair to private sector enterprises and to the general public. This requires
    close co-operation between the regulatory officers within the six Local Authorities.

   Connaught local authorities shall organise themselves into a coherent Waste
    Management Regional Implementation Group or Company with the principal aims of
    implementing the strategy recommendations.

   Having regard to procurement policy and lack of operational experience of thermal
    treatment by local authorities the Public Private Partnership (PPP) procedure shall be
    used for procurement seeking DBO or DBFO arrangements depending on funding

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The implementation of the Connaught Waste Management Plan is outlined below based on
the detailed Scenario 3 option which is outlined in Chapter 9. The indicative locations of the
proposed facilities for the region are also shown on Figure 12.1, and an implementation
schedule is presented in Figure 12.2.


       Door to Door collection („kerbside‟ system) of recyclables commencing in 2000 with
        source segregation to be introduced in all urban areas aiming to eventually cover
        approximately 50% of households in the region. Collection vehicles servicing
        Materials Recovery Facilities in Galway and Sligo. Initially this collection system can
        be implemented in the following larger towns based on numbers of households:

        Galway             Galway City, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Oranmore, Athenry
        Mayo:              Ballina, Castlebar, Westport, Claremorris
        Roscommon:         Roscommon, Boyle, Castlerea,
        Sligo:             Sligo Town
        Leitrim:           Carrick-on-Shannon

       Extension and Upgrading of Bring-Bank network in rural areas. Banks to be provided
        in all towns not serviced by Door to Door collection, and all villages in the region, with
        a target density of one bank per 500 population. Upgrading of existing Banks to
        conform to higher standard of appearance and signage. Capability of collecting
        glass, aluminium cans and packaging such as PET bottles to be implemented as far
        as possible based on capacity of MRFs.

        Provision and servicing of Bring Banks to be via a new Model Form Contract procured
        after tendering, with Banks operating from MRFs in Sligo and Galway.

       Provision of a network of 21 No. Waste Recycling Stations throughout the region.
        This will commence immediately and will be completed by 2003. These will be based
        on stand-alone civic amenity sites with a high level of appearance and permanently
        staffed. The stations may cater for the collection of the following waste streams:

        Recyclable wastes                 Glass, metal, packaging etc. (feed to local MRF)
        Bulky waste                       Fridges, cookers, etc.
        Priority/ Hazardous waste         batteries, waste oils, etc.
        Green garden waste                Feed to local green waste recycling facility
        Light C / D waste                 Feed to local C/D waste recycling area.

        The recycling stations will be provided at the following locations.

        Galway:            Galway City (2), Clifden, Tuam, Ballinasloe, and Athenry.
        Mayo:              Castlebar, Ballina, Westport, Claremorris, Belmullet.
        Roscommon:         Roscommon, Castlerea, Boyle, Ballaghadereen and Athlone.
        Sligo:             Tubbercurry, Sligo.
        Leitrim:           Manorhamilton, Carrick – on – Shannon, Ballinamore.

        Siting of such stations should be close to the waste production centre (town) rather
        than necessarily at an existing disposal facility.

       Source segregation and dual collection of organic waste fraction starting from 2003.
        Achieving dual collection coverage in all urban areas, extending system to cover 50

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        % of all rural areas. This may run as a waste collection on alternate weeks for the
        organic and residual fraction.

   Source separation and extended recycling system of the waste stream for commercial,
    industrial, and construction/demolition waste in accordance with new bye-laws to be
    introduced under the Waste Management Act, 1996. Recyclable waste from commerce
    and industry to feed to Materials Recycling Facilities.

The collection of recyclables shall be matched by the provision of recycling reception and
sorting facilities. Provision has been made for the development of new facilities in Galway
and Sligo. Ultimately, recycling implies re-use of the materials through the development of
sustainable markets for the collected products. At present, satisfactory markets exist for
glass and metals. In Europe, recycled paper is sustainable under market conditions.
However, this has not been the case in Ireland to date. Similarly, markets for recycling of
plastics are limited to PET products. The Regional Industrial Waste Minimisation Officer will
investigate new market possibilities as part of his/her brief.

With regard to new „bring schemes‟, these will be sited appropriately in an attractive setting
suitability sign-posted and should incorporate the new Connaught waste strategy logo
alongside the County crest. The signage in Gaeltacht areas shall be bilingual. In addition, it
is critical to the success of these schemes that the units be regularly emptied, serviced and
maintained on an on-going basis.


       Materials Recovery Facilities. These will sort and bale recyclable waste collected
        from door-to-door collection systems and from bring banks. They may also process
        source-segregated recyclable waste (such as cardboard, glass etc.) from commerce
        and industry. Two larger facilities at Galway and Sligo to be complemented by
        facilities at Castlebar, Roscommon, and Carrick-on-Shannon which would be
        principally aimed at sorting and baling packaging waste from commerce/industry.

        Garden „green‟ waste composting plants to be constructed throughout the region
        immediately and to be in place by 2003. These are to be located in Galway City,
        Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Roscommon, Sligo, and Carrick-on-Shannon. These will
        accept organic garden waste delivered by householders to the site and green waste
        collected at recycling stations. The compost produced will be used directly by the
        local authority, in parks maintenance, site landscaping, landfill restoration etc…
        Facilities for the treatment of organic kitchen waste will be provided at the green
        waste composting facility in Galway City.

       Biological treatment of organic kitchen waste will be carried out at two central
        treatment plants (Tuam/ Sligo), to treat centrally waste collected via dual-collection
        system. These plants will be operational by 2006. This will be done by composting,
        or by anaerobic digestion producing biogas and compost. A more detailed technical
        and siting report needs to be carried out to bring this recommendation forward, having
        regard also to agri-wastes and sewage sludge.

       Home composting while not part of the modeling process is recommended as a waste
        minimisation option which involves the waste producer in segregation, home
        treatment and disposal of the residual product through utilisation of the compost.
        However, its success requires a high level of motivation, detailed information and
        advice to the householder. It may also be desirable to subsidise the provision of
        suitable composting units.

       Construction and demolition (C/D) waste recycling facilities, one facility close to
        Galway City. Other areas served by mobile plant recycling stockpiled C/D waste at
        defined locations in Region (see 12.6 )

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   Implementation of the Aran Islands Recycling Scheme including introduction of IR£1
    environmental levy on visitors to the islands in accordance with the „polluter pays

   All future developments in the region will be expected to take account of the provisions of
    this Regional Waste Management Plan, whether the proposed development is at
    household, commercial or industrial level or in the agricultural sector. This will include the
    need to adhere to waste prevention and minimisation, provision of waste recycling
    facilities, and the capacity for source-segregation.

   In general the Council may require the provision of recycling facilities in new


   Thermal treatment of the residual combustible waste stream with energy recovery is
    recommended with construction of the plant to commence in 2003. One plant to be
    situated at Galway City or Environs serving the region. This plant will cater for
    combustible waste from other transfer stations. Estimated nominal capacity of 150,000 -
    200,000 tonnes per annum. This plant to undergo siting, planning and procurement
    procedure and to be commissioned by the end of 2005.

The technical assessment of thermal treatment indicates that it will satisfy the National Policy
requirement for diversion of waste from landfill. It will provide a cost effective treatment
system in the context of the Connaught Region, will greatly increase the security of the waste
management system, and with energy recovery is favoured on environmental criteria
compared with landfill disposal. The siting criteria for the plant to have regard to most
efficient use of heat/ energy, transportation, industrial zoning and other relevant factors.

A separate Report on Thermal Treatment (September 1998) has been completed by Galway
Corporation and Galway County Council. This report looks in more detail at available
technologies, energy usage and environmental aspects. It also identifies the area of Galway
City and Environs where a thermal treatment plant may be sited together with exclusionary
areas (residential zonings, airport proximity, Natural Heritage Areas, etc.) (Figure 12.3
overleaf). It recommends proceeding to the EU Procurement Process for early provision of
such a plant by means of Public Private Partnership (PPP) as favoured by current
Government policy.

Criteria which shall apply to thermal treatment include:-

    Siting criteria including central location close to the waste production centre of gravity,
     proximity to energy users, ideally users of heat, reasonable road access, appropriate
     development zoning and availability of cooling water and provision for it‟s disposal.

    The procurement process should enable the most up-to-date technologies to be availed
     of in terms of reliability and robustness of the facility, reduction of residuals, high
     standard of atmospheric emissions and general public safety at a competitive cost.

    The substantial capital cost will require appropriate EU procurement methods to be
     considered which may include private finance/concession type contracts.

    The contract for thermal treatment must make provision for the necessary flexibility to
     cater for variations in the waste stream volume and characteristics and to meet changing
     standards over time.

    Any thermal treatment plant must be capable of meeting prevailing EU emission
     standards (e.g. new Proposal for a Council Directive on the Incineration of Waste-
     December 1998).

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The necessary bulk transfer capacity shall be developed to service the needs of the Region.
This shall involve construction of transfer stations which will handle and compact combustible
waste for transport in containers to the thermal treatment facility. Stations to be provided at
Sligo, Castlebar, and Roscommon. Transfer stations may be constructed at same sites as
Materials Recovery Facilities and/or Recycling Centres for public. A transfer shall also be
provided for Galway to transfer waste to the interim landfill at Ballinasloe.

Transfer costs have been modelled using road transportation costs. Rail transportation from
transfer stations is a possibility but appears to be marginally more expensive in terms of
capital investments at transfer yards and haulage costs, given the relatively short distances
involved. However, environmentally it may be the preferred option, making proximity to a rail
line a further criterion for thermal plant and transfer station siting.

Residual landfill disposal is required in the short term for all wastes which are not recycled,
and in the long term for the residual waste stream – i.e. non-recyclable wastes, thermal
treatment residues etc.

12.5.1 Short-Term Landfill Situation

The present situation in North Connaught is that many smaller landfill facilities have closed or
plan to close within a 2-3 year time period. The remaining landfills will hence have an
increased intake during and after 1999. Waste from Sligo town transfer station is landfilled in
Co. Donegal at present, but the decision to allow this is reviewed annually by Donegal County
Council, who themselves have diminishing landfill capacity, with an estimated 2-3 years

The remaining sites in the region are undergoing waste licensing applications with the
Environmental Protection Agency at present. The planned improvement and extension works
at Derrinumera and Rathroeen should provide adequate capacity in Co. Mayo until the new
thermal treatment plant and landfill facilities are in place at least. In Co. Roscommon,
upgrading of Roscommon and Ballaghadereen landfills is planned, all other sites are closed.
In Co. Leitrim, Manorhamilton landfill has closed and waste license applications for Carrick-
on-Shannon and Mohill set out that closure will take place in 2-3 years time (during 2002).

There is no current landfill site which has immediate potential for extension to ensure regional
capacity in the Sligo/Leitrim/North Roscommon area. Roscommon landfill has possible
potential for expansion. In Co. Leitrim, Carrick-on-Shannon landfill is considered unsuitable
for extension. The Mohill landfill has greater opportunities for maximising remaining capacity,
although road access is currently very poor.

   It shall be the policy of the Connaught local authorities that available landfills in Counties
    Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim be kept open as long as allowable under EPA waste
    licensing and remaining void space maximised. This will keep waste inputs at each site
    at a manageable rate, allowing for improvements in operation and infrastructure to be
    carried out according to EPA manuals. If both landfills in Co. Leitrim close and waste
    from Sligo is not accepted in Co. Donegal, then a possible crisis situation would result. It
    is therefore necessary to make decisions now and to immediately commence planning to
    avoid such a situation arising.

   Planning, design and tender procurement for upgrading and extension of Ballinasloe
    landfill in light of urgent need for short to medium term landfill space in the Galway region.
    This facility will provide capacity for Co. Galway until the end of 2005. Carrowbrowne to
    be remediated and upgraded to accept waste for a 3 year period.

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Improved Operation of Interim Landfills.
 It is essential that day to day operation of the interim landfills be improved in the
   Connaught region immediately in accordance with EPA manuals.               The required
   improvements have been outlined in individual waste licenses applications, but each local
   authority must immediately take action to show better management practices and higher
   standards of operation. This should include: application of daily cover, control of pests
   and nuisances, improved fencing, improved visual appearance (litter control, better
   signage) infrastructural improvements (roads/ compacting equipment) and weighbridge/
   data collection.

Table 12.1: Summary of Interim Landfill recommendations
    Co. Galway              Upgrading/Extension to Ballinasloe landfill to provide capacity for Co.
                            Galway until end of 2005. Carrowbrowne to be remediated and upgraded
                            to accept waste for a 3 year period
    Co. Mayo                Upgrading/ Extension of Derrinumera and Rathroeen Landfills to provide
                            capacity for Co. Mayo until Thermal treatment in Galway and new
                            residual landfill in North Connaught in place
    Co. Roscommon           Roscommon and Ballaghadereen Landfills to provide interim capacity for
                            Co. Roscommon.           Extension required to Roscommon Landfill to
                            accommodate waste from Roscommon and Leitrim.
    Co Leitrim              Landfills at Carrick-on-Shannon and Mohill to provide capacity for Co.
                            Leitrim for the short term. Following closure of these sites, transfer to
                            Roscommon landfill.
    Co. Sligo               Transfer to Co. Donegal to continue in short term. Failing this, transfer
                            to Rathroeen Landfill.

12.5.2 Medium to Long-Term Landfill Capacity

In the medium to long-term, it is recommended that two regional landfill facilities be developed
to service the residual landfill needs of Connaught.

     Two new landfills shall be developed to handle the residual wastes for both North and
      South Connaught be developed. The generally preferable area for the North Connaught
      facility would be the Ballaghadereen/Charlestown area on the Mayo-Roscommon border.

     Planning and site selection should proceed immediately in areas for both new residual
      landfills with a higher priority on the South Connaught facility in East County Galway due
      to the need to close Ballinasloe Landfill by December 2005. Figure 12.4 overleaf shows
      the exclusionary areas of the landfill in accordance with the EPA Manual on Landfill Site

     Closure plans should be prepared for all recently closed landfills. An inventory of former
      landfill and other contaminated sites should be established and investigations carried out.

There shall be a central fixed Construction/Demolition plant in Galway City suburbs, with
stockpile sites located at eight other towns in region, which would be serviced periodically by
a recycling plant. Initially these sites could be set-up at existing landfills. The mobile plant
may be operated based in one of the sites in question (e.g. Sligo). In the short term, the
primary customer for recycled product would be the local authority: crushed aggregate to be
used as raw material on development and infrastructural works, and surplus soil required for
daily cover material, landfill remediation and restoration projects. Residual materials to be
processed at MRFs or transfer stations within the region.

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There shall be a central plant at Galway, with regional sites at:

        Galway:            Tuam, Ballinasloe
        Mayo:              Castlebar, Ballina
        Roscommon:         Roscommon, Ballaghadereen
        Sligo:             Sligo
        Leitrim:           Carrick – on – Shannon

The success of C/D Recycling strategy will depend on:

   Economic gate fee for this material compared with the alternatives (landfill charges).
   Strict regulation and control of illegal dumping by enforcement of Waste Management Act,
   Co-operation with Planning Departments such that recycling of waste becomes a
    condition of planning.
   Eventually introduction of waste segregation Bye-Laws aimed at all construction/
    demolition works
   Commitment within various departments within Local Authority to reuse recycling by-

It shall be necessary to develop acceptance for use of recycled C & D products by Local
Authorities in construction.     This shall require amendment to roadworks and other
specifications by National Roads Authority/Department of the Environment and Local
Government to specifically provide for these products. In the interim period there is a need at
local landfills for soil (cover material) while recycled aggregate could be used for site
infrastructural development. With appropriate support, it is estimated that 80% recovery of
this waste stream can be achieved. The market prices for equivalent virgin materials relative
to recycled products must also be kept under review.

For the recommended policy option, the waste stream for landfill disposal is calculated for
year 2013 at approximately 142,045 tonnes per year as follows:-

Table 12.2: Waste Stream For Landfill Disposal (Year 2013)
Waste type                                                               Scenario III
Mixed Waste from Ordinary and Dual Collection                                    -
Mixed Waste from Recycling Centres                                           1,106
Mixed Waste from Commerce                                                    5,747
Mixed Waste from Industry                                                   72,941
Mixed Waste from Construction and demolition Activities                     28,109
Residues from Household Recycleables                                         3,151
Screening Residues from Garden Waste Composting                              1,935
Screening Residues from Biological Treatment                                 2,233
Sorting/Screening Residues from other recyclers                              8,366
Screening Residues from Crushing Plant                                      11,101
Residues from Thermal Treatment                                              7,356
Total                                                                      142,045

This waste disposal volume comprises the residues from the recycling facilities, sorting
facilities and thermal treatment residues. There are also certain wastes which arise – mainly
in industry and construction - which are not suitable for recycling or thermal treatment and
must be landfilled. It assumes effective operation of all these facilities with re-use of recycled
end products, being removed from the waste stream. While parts of the mixed waste streams

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contain combustible material, in practice, the mixed character of the wastes will result in the
above volumes for disposal.

The waste stream calculations, however, will be hugely influenced by the implementation
timetable for the various facilities and their efficiency of operation.

Waste Stream Flows
The Connaught Waste Management Plan aims to meet the following recycling, thermal and
landfill targets.

Table 12.3: Waste Stream Targets for 2013 (assuming thermal treatment in place)
    Source                       Recycling         Thermal            Landfill            Total
                               Tonnes %         Tonnes   %        Tonnes     %          Tonnes
    Households/Commerce        114,568   44.6    135,279   52.7      6,853      2.7      256,700
    Industry                    44,888   27.0     48,627   29.2     72,941     43.8      166,457
    Construction/Demolition*   111,011   79.8       0       0.0     28,109     20.2      139,120
    Total                      270,467   48.1    183,906   32.7    107,902     19.2      562,276
*C/D total excludes soil.

The recycling/ recovery rate for households is higher than that achievable in the industrial/
commercial sector. This is due to household waste recycling being based on a home-
address/ collect system, which can achieve very high collection efficiencies, and the fact that
most household waste can be recovered using combustion. The commercial / industrial
recycling rates are based on this sector managing its own waste through an expansion of
existing private sector schemes. This is in line with government policy to increase private
sector involvement in waste management. The commercial/ industrial sector recycling will
therefore be achieved primarily through enforcement of Regulations by the local authority
requiring these producers to take responsibility for their own waste.

The regulatory aspects of the Plan have been described in Chapter 11.                 The following
additional resources shall be provided:-

Regulation and Planning

      In terms of additional Staff Resources, new „Waste Services Departments‟ shall be
       organised to fulfil the following new functions to ensure compliance with new waste

               -     Waste Planning and Regulation
               -     Galway        - 3 new officers in the County area and 2 in the City area.
               -     Mayo          - 2 new officers
               -     Sligo         - 1 new officer
               -     Roscommon     - 1 new officer
               -     Leitrim       - 1 new officer

             Such positions should be filled by suitably qualified candidates.    In addition, the
             importance of staff training needs to be recognised and funded.

      Immediate attention shall be paid to implementation and enforcement of the Packaging
       Regulations. This is essential to meet the recycling targets.

      Waste separation, presentation and collection bye-laws shall be made by the local
       authorities to provide legal underpinning to encourage waste recycling.   This is
       particularly true in the case of priority waste streams such as packaging and
       construction/demolition waste.

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Waste Regulation shall be operated on an even and consistent basis throughout the region to
be fair to private sector enterprises and to the general public. This shall require close co-
operation between the regulatory officers within the six Local Authorities.

Steering Group
A Waste Implementation Steering Group consisting of members of the six participating
Connaught Local Authorities shall remain in place to oversee the development of the Plan
and the setting up of new structures as required to implement the Waste Management Plan.
This group shall be responsible for co-ordinating the planning and implementation of the
strategy, including financial co-operation on new structures, procurement procedures etc..


The Plan proposes a number of new facilities to be developed in the coming years. The land
requirements of these are set out below. Table 12.4 summarises the requirements of the
Connaught Region.

Schools Programmes Targets

   Within the period of the Waste Management Plan, the local authorities will strive to
    achieve increased participation across the region in the 'An Taisce Green Schools
    Programme' and/or any other programme. All schools will be encouraged to become
    involved in waste awareness, waste minimisation and recycling and composting
    programmes, and litter awareness projects. The local authorities will assess current
    participation in the scheme and set future involvement targets.

Community Action Plan

    The Council proposes to undertake a programme aimed at fostering community
    involvement and ownership of waste management.

Industrial Waste and Packaging

   The educational and waste minimisation role of the Council will extend to raising
    awareness at consumer and commercial/ industrial level about the concept of 'Producer

   In enforcing the Packaging Regulations, the local authorities will encourage companies to
    consider packaging and process design and to identify ways in which waste can be
    prevented or minimised, for the company itself or the product end-user. Liaison with
    REPAK and other approved bodies and industry representatives will be pursued in this

Reuse/ Repair Centres
The local authorities will investigate the feasibility of establishing a waste reuse/ repair centre
in the Region to deal with materials such as appliances, furniture, equipment and other
materials with a potential for resale for reuse. Co-operation with the training and employment
agency FAS and other community and charitable organisations will be sought. Based on the
success of the proposals, each authority will consider further establishment of such facilities
in the Region over the Plan Period.

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        The proximity principle states that waste should be dealt with in so far as possible
        close to its source and this is a fundamental principle of the Connaught Waste
        Management Plan. The policy recommendations outlined in this Plan reflect this aim
        as follows:-

        -    The collection of household recyclable goods is either by home-address
             collection or by high density „bring schemes‟ located close to the waste
        -    The provision of 21 recycling stations in the region to be situated in close
             proximity to the waste producers.
        -    The provision of sorting and baling facilities for waste, with the resultant
             environmental benefits of transfer of compacted or baled waste and recyclable
             materials to recycling, recovery and disposal facilities.
        -    Construction / Demolition waste recycling facilities to be sited close to source of
             waste with a facility in each County and a central facility in Galway City.
        -    Recovery facilities (Green waste composting, biological treatment, thermal
             treatment) to be located within the region.
        -    Disposal facilities to be constructed and maintained within the Connaught Region.

Table 12.4: Summary of Waste Plan Infrastructure
         Facility          No. of     Land Area                    Activity             General Location
                           sites      Required
 Bring banks                        Small area for        Delivery of recyclables by    Villages and small
 Expansion                          each site             householders                  towns
 Waste Recycling             21     1 ha                  Delivery of bulky waste       Sligo-2 Leitrim-3
 Centres                                                  by Householders,              Mayo-5
                                                          collection of Skips.          Roscommon-4
 Kerbside Collection         15                           Collection of Recyclables     Sligo-1Leitrim-1
 Green Waste                 6      1-2ha                 Shredding and                 Sligo-1
 Composting                                               composting of garden          Leitrim-1
                                                          waste and organic waste       Mayo-1
                                                          from trial collection.        Roscommon-1
 Principal Materials         2      1 –2 ha               Sorting of Kerbside and       Sligo, Galway
 Recovery Facility                                        Bring-Bank materials,
                                                          baling, transfer of these.
 Biological Treatment        2      2-3 ha                Composting of organic         Sligo, Tuam.
 Plant                                                    waste from households/
 Construction &              1      3-4 ha                Sorting and grinding C&D      Galway City. (Also
 Demolition Recycling                                     waste for reuse               facilities to store &
 Facility                                                                               segregate C&D
                                                                                        waste at the
                                                                                        landfill sites)
 Residual Landfill           2      70 ha                 Landfill for residual waste   North and South
 (Including Buffer Zone)                                  that cannot otherwise be      Connaught
 Thermal Treatment           1      4-7 ha                Conversion of waste to        Galway City &
 Plant                                                    energy.                       Environs
 Transfer station            3      1-2 ha                Compaction and transfer       (Sligo, Castlebar,
 (to thermal plant 2006)                                  of residual waste             Roscommon.)
 To Ballinasloe Landfill     1      1-2 ha                                              Galway
 pre 2006

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Public involvement has been ongoing since the commencement of the Connaught Waste
Management Strategy in 1998. The initial public consultation has involved placing a public
notice in local newspapers inviting submissions by 25 September, 1998. This was followed
up by radio interviews with five local radio stations, transmitted as part of the evening news
schedule. A Briefing Document for the study was circulated to public representatives and
interest groups in the region (including environmental action groups and waste recyclers/
collectors) as identified by the local authorities. These people were all given the opportunity
to make submissions. A total of 207 copies of the briefing document were circulated.

A total of 42 written submissions were received which can be summarised as follows:

   Private individuals                               5

   Non-government organisations                      7

   Public representatives/organisations         18

   Commercial interests                         12

A theme common to all submissions was the importance of public education particularly in
schools. The siting and proper management of landfills was also a priority issue. The issues
raised in the submissions are summarised in Section 3.1 below. The submissions were
constructive and were not in general aimed at any particular site or facility in general.

Briefings have also been given to the Elected Members in each local authority concerned and
to date these have been given in Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim. Galway County and
City Elected Members are also being briefed on the project. The councillors have welcomed
the study. They recognise that waste is a priority issue and requested that the strategy study
be completed and implemented as quickly as possible, so as to avert any waste crisis in the

The file of public submissions received is summarised below. This file has been copied and
made available to each local authority.


There were only 5 responses from individuals to the announcement of the study. These
expressed interest in the study and looked forward to hearing more, while one person was
very concerned about the disposal of sewage sludge in the region particularly in Galway. He
offered the view that landspreading or incineration were the only viable options available to
Galway Corporation and that management proposals need to be presented to the public as
early as possible.

Public Bodies

A number of public bodies responded to the study and many had useful suggestions. A
common theme to all was the need for public education on waste management issues. Other
suggestions included subsidised home composting schemes, home collection of source
segregated recyclables, proper control on the disposal of building waste and improving the
image of existing bring banks. FAS wrote informing the study team of their training centres in
the region and provided information of environmental/waste management aspects of their

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training. The question of how to provide an effective waste service in remote rural areas was
posed by the CEO of Mayo County Enterprise Board.

The County Engineer from Clare welcomed the study and would like to be informed if any
facilities were planned whose scope could be extended to include County Clare. The Director
of Environmental Protection of Northern Irelands Environment and Heritage Service replied
enclosing a copy of the draft Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy. He supported a
policy of broad public involvement and also drew attention to the United Kingdom
Management Plan for Exports and Imports of Waste, which bans the import of waste for
disposal with certain exception, and is in force since 1996.

A submission was received from the Chief Superintendent‟s Office of the Garda Siochana
Station in Sligo which contained comments from individual Garda sergeants in five stations.
These can be summarised as follows:-

    Public education and awareness programmes are needed

    Community ownership and participation in the selection of waste management options
     such as recycling facilities and landfills

    Use related charges would be beneficial

    Application of resources needed to ensure enforcement for example of the Litter Act.

    Need for safe disposal of syringes and needles.

Non-Government Organisations

There were 7 submissions from community groups/local environmental groups. A number of
common themes were evident including increased public education and the difficulties of
recycling paper. Some submissions called for landfills to be sited preferably in remote areas,
but this contrasts with the views of others who want waste to be managed as close as
possible to its source (i.e. the proximity principle). The Sligo Environmental Awareness
Society made very specific suggestions which would typify the response of such groups:-

   Recycling of 50% of all waste produced

   Composting of 15% by weight of total waste

   Collection of source segregated waste from households

   Volume related charges are preferable

   A pollution/recycling tax should be placed on the original manufacturers of waste

   No waste to energy should be put in place if it would be dependent on the actual
    production of waste (i.e. needed waste to keep it going)

Commercial Interests

Submissions were also received from a number of commercial organisations interested in
providing services to the Connaught local authorities when the strategy is put in place, and
from some of the existing private sector operators. These included proposals from both
Kerbside Dublin and Rehab Recycling Partnership who are at present the major players in the
Irish recycling industry. Rehab made quite specific suggestions as follows:-

    To extend the present system of 82 bring centres in the region by providing 50 more of
     the existing type and a further 30 of the newer more compact street furniture style units

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    Dual wheelie bin collection of organic and dry recyclables on alternative weeks with
     residual waste collected once per month

    Commercial glass collection should be expanded and this will shortly proceed in Galway
     on a pilot basis using specially designed bins

    Promotional campaign consisting of a National Recycling Week

A similar proposal was received from Kerbside Dublin who suggested that home collection of
recyclables and organics should be provided for clusters of households of between 25,000-
30,000. A series of transfer stations/civic amenity stations should be provided for recovery of
cans, glass, bulky waste and special wastes to be known as Recycling Villages. A regional
recovery facility was also recommended.

The adoption of the Waste Management Plan is a reserved function of Elected Members.
The Waste Management Strategy Study was presented in April/May 1999 to the Elected
Members of the six local authorities. Agreement was reached to proceed with the preparation
of a draft Regional Waste Management Plan. This Draft Plan will be presented to the Elected
Members and put on public display for a period of two months during which time submissions
will be sought from interested parties. The Plan will then be amended prior to adoption by the
Elected Members of the six local authorities.

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