Introduction of new environment levies will incentivise recycling and help Ireland meet our EU waste targets

The Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, has signed new regulations to encourage recycling and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill and incineration.


The Waste Management (Landfill Levy)(Amendment) Regulations 2023 and the Circular Economy (Waste Recovery Levy) Regulations 2023 will both come into effect on 1 September 2023.


The legislation introduces a waste recovery levy of €10 per tonne (or 1,000kg), and a €10 increase to the existing “landfill levy” to €85 per tonne. As the levies apply only to ‘black’ bin waste, householders can manage the impact of this charge by sorting their waste and reusing and recycling as much as possible to minimise their overall household waste charges. The EPA has noted that the quantity of household waste managed in Ireland in 2020 equated to 372kg per person, with 39% going into the black bin.


Welcoming the regulations, Minister Smyth said:


“The key message for households and businesses is that more recycling means lower costs.


“Ireland has a proven track record of successfully introducing environmental levies, with both the landfill levy and the plastic bag levy being excellent examples of how such measures can help to change how we manage our waste.


“The success of these measures is evident from the significant reductions in recent years of waste disposed of at landfills and the reduced use of disposable plastic bags.


“Ireland has already reduced the number of landfills from 121 in 1992, to three landfills today. We want to reduce this number even further, which is why we are introducing these levies.


“In doing so, I am confident that Ireland can reach the top tier of EU performance in terms of waste and the circular economy, and meet our 2025 and 2030 EU waste targets.


The regulations deliver on the commitment in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy to introduce a recovery levy to “apply to recovery operations at municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, waste-to-energy plants and co-incineration plants and the export of MSW”. In 2020, over 1.3 million tonnes of MSW was recovered at waste-to energy plants and at co-incineration plants.


The landfill and recovery levies will be lodged to the Circular Economy Fund and directly invested to improve our environment. Any monies raised will be used to promote and support the transition to a circular economy and more sustainable waste management practices.


The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will continue to monitor the market to ensure that any increases in costs for consumers or businesses are reflective of the actual impact of the levies on waste treatment costs.



The level at which the recovery levy is being introduced, and the size of the increase in the landfill levy, should mean that any additional costs arising for householders will be very modest as the levies only apply to black bin waste. For example, the EPA noted that the quantity of household waste managed in Ireland in 2020 equated to 372kg per person annually, with 39% going into the black bin (see here).


Householders and businesses can manage their waste collection charges by minimising the waste they produce, and by improving their waste segregation practices to maximise the amount of material they place in the mixed dry recyclable and bio-waste (brown) bin. contains a wealth of information to help those householders and businesses seeking to minimise their waste or who are unsure how to manage their waste correctly.


The recovery levy will not apply initially to the recovery of construction and demolition (C&D) material. This is in line with the commitment given by the Government in the Housing for All Strategy, which states that “DECC [The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications] will ensure that C&D material currently going to facilities as recovery/landfill engineering is also exempt from the recovery levy when introduced…so that there will be no cost impact on the construction sector arising from the introduction of/increase in levies”. The regulations, however, contain a commitment to review this specific exemption by 1 September 2025.

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