Report: Less than 15% of wasted food is recycled in Ireland

food waste

Cré has published a report which they say shows despite recent growth and improvements in food waste collection in Ireland is “lagging” in its ability to deliver true climate benefits by limiting the amount recycled locally.

Cré’s report says that over 300,000 tonnes of municipal organic waste were collected last year in Ireland in 2020 with over 100,000 tonnes of this waste exported to facilities in Northern Ireland.

The Environmental Protection Agency report estimates that Ireland generates approximately 1 million tonnes of food waste.

Data collected in the report shows that of the 300,000 tonnes of municipal food and garden waste collected in Ireland in 2020 over 100,000 tonnes of it were exported to facilities in Northern Ireland. Cré argues that while this is legal and contributes to Ireland’s national recycling targets, the result is organic recycling facilities in Ireland are being pushed to the brink.

Cré says that this trend also has another environmental impact as exports to Northern Ireland contribute over 1 million road truck kilometres a year.

Chair of Cré, Tony Breton, said: “Ireland has to recognise the economic and environmental opportunities which are thrown away every day as garden and food wastes.

“It is a failure of common sense when organic waste, which can be transformed locally, is transported hundreds of kilometres to save someone a few euros with complete disregard for the pollution, local job losses and creation of barriers to local investment it causes.”

Cré, which is the Irish word for soil, is a non-profit association of public and private organisations and was founded to represent the composting sector in the Republic of Ireland. Established in 2001, Cré has developed over the years to include anaerobic digestion but its missions remains to grow the biological treatment sector.

Send this to a friend