Ireland will have great difficulty meeting its Landfill Directive targets, according to a new study.
The research called Irelands sustainable development model published by Irelands Environment Protection Agency suggests that continued growth in and landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste poses risks to the exchequer which could face fines due to non-compliance with the EU Landfill Directive.
By the end of 2010, Ireland has to divert 75% of the quantity of biodegradable waste it generated in 1995 and 50% by 2013.
The research also shows how economic forecasts can be used to project waste generation and emissions of pollutants across Ireland. The Irish sustainable development model (ISus) is based on the work of a three-year study by the Economic and Social Research Institute, funded under the EPA research programme called STRIVE.
Speaking about the findings of the research EPA director general Dr. Mary Kelly said: We are all aware of the use of gross domestic product and other statistics to measure economic change. These, however, leave many things unmeasured, including the environment.
The ISus model provides a link between economic forecasting and potential environmental impacts. This enables us to use the expertise of the ESRI, in relation to economic data, and link this with the environmental data produced by the EPA. The results will aid policy and decision makers to diagnose environmental problems, identify pressure points, target policy interventions and assess their success. For example, it could help with projections on the generation of biodegradable waste. It could be a very useful tool for planning the location and required capacity for waste management infrastructure in the future.