Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Question 123: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his view on the possibility of the export of household waste from here to countries outside the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30979/06]
The Waste Shipment Regulation (EEC) No. 259/93 of 1 February 1993 sets out the controls applicable to shipments of waste within, into, and exported out of the European Union and has direct application in Ireland. All shipments of waste must follow various procedures and control regimes, which are determined by the type of waste shipped and the type of treatment that will be applied to the waste at its destination. Thus, different levels of control apply depending on the risk posed by the waste and its treatment in terms of recovery (e.g. recycling) or disposal (e.g. landfill or incineration).
Shipments of all waste destined for disposal, and shipments of hazardous and semi-hazardous waste destined for recovery, are subject to the requirement of prior written notification and consent.
As regards shipments of waste from Ireland for disposal to destinations outside the EU very strict controls apply. All exports of waste for disposal are, under article 14 of the Regulation, prohibited except those to EFTA countries, which are also parties to the Basel Convention. However, such shipments may also be prohibited if the EFTA country of destination prohibits the import of such waste.
All exports of waste from Ireland for recovery outside the EU are, under article 16, also prohibited except exports to non-ACP countries and certain other countries which the OECD Decision of 30 March 1992 on the control of transfrontier movements of wastes destined for recovery operations applies: for example, segregated materials such as plastic or paper may be shipped as green waste and without prior notification and consent from the competent authority of destination. Exports of waste for recovery outside the EU are also permitted to other countries not covered by the OECD Decision which are Parties to the Basel Convention and where such countries have written to the EU indicating what level of control they require and which types of waste they will accept. All exports of waste to African, Caribbean or Pacific States are also prohibited under article 18.
Enforcement of the Waste Shipment Regulation is a matter for the local authorities concerned, who are the designated competent authorities for exports of waste from the State.