A comparison of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) management strategies in Ireland and the Czech Republic and the lessons learned

A. Závodská, L. Benesová, Beatrice Smyth, Anne J. Morrissey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to meet the recycling and recovery targets set forth by the European Union's (EU) Waste and Landfill Directives, both the Irish and Czech governments’ policy on waste management is changing to meet these pressures, with major emphasis being placed upon the management of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW). In particular, the EU Landfill Directive requires reductions in the rate of BMW going to landfill to 35% of 1995 values by 2016 and 2020 for Ireland and the Czech Republic, respectively. In this paper, the strategies of how Ireland and the Czech Republic plan to meet this challenge are compared. Ireland either landfills or exports its waste for recovery, while the Czech Republic has a relatively new waste management infrastructure. While Ireland met the first target of 75% diversion of BMW from landfill by 2010 and preliminary 2012 data indicate that Ireland is on track to meet the 2013 target, the achievement of the 2016 target remains at risk. Indicators that were developed to monitor the Czech Republic's path to meeting the targets demonstrate that it did not meet the first target that was set for 2010 and will probably not meet its 2013 target either. The evaluation reports on the implementation of Waste Management Plan of Czech Republic suggest that the currently applied strategy to divert biodegradable waste from landfill is not effective enough. For both countries, the EU Waste Framework and Landfill Directives will be a significant influence and driver of change in waste management practices and governance over the coming decade. This means that both countries will not only have to invest in infrastructure to achieve the targets, but will also have to increase awareness among the public in diverting this waste at the household level. Improving environmental education is part of increased awareness as it is imperative for citizens to understand the consequences of their actions as affluence continues to grow producing increased levels of waste.

Graphical abstract
Despite the differences in the levels of waste generation in both the Czech Republic and Ireland, each country can learn from each other in order to meet the recycling and recovery targets set by the European Union's (EU) Waste and Landfill Directives. Both countries will not only have to invest in infrastructure to achieve the targets, but will also have to increase awareness among the public in diverting this waste at the household level. In addition, there needs to be minimum safe standards when land-spreading organic agricultural and organic municipal and industrial materials on agricultural land used for food production, as well as incentives to increase BMW diversion from landfill such as the increased landfill levy implemented in Ireland and the acceptance of MBT and/or incineration as a means of treating residual waste.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136–144
Number of pages9
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume92
Early online date30 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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