National Waste Strategy


DEFRA have responsibility for producing a waste strategy for England. The current waste strategy for England is Waste Strategy 2007, which was launched in March 2007.

Northern Ireland

Toward Resource Management: The Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy 2006-2020 provides a long term vision and framework for waste management in the Province: currently under review.

Key Waste strategy targets

National targets for household waste set out in Toward Resource Management were to recycle and compost:

  • 40% of household waste arisings by 2015
  • 45% of household waste arisings by 2020

Whilst no specific targets were identified for municipal waste, the NI Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) Guidance 2005 suggested:

  • By 2010: recycling/composting rate of at least 35%, combination of Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) for about 10% waste
  • By 2013: recycling/composting rate of at least 40%, combination of MBT, Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and thermal treatments for about 20% waste, less than 40% to landfill
  • By 2020: recycling/composting rate of at least 45%, combination of MBT,AD and thermal treatments for about 30% waste, no more than 25% waste to landfill

In April 2011, the Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 set new targets of:

  • 50% by weight of waste from households to be prepared for reuse or recycled by 2020 
  • 70% by weight of Construction and Demolition (C&D) wastes to be subject to materials recovery to 2010. 

The Department of the Environment NI recently held an open consultation on the possible introduction of a 60% municipal recycling/preparing for reuse/composting rate of 60%. The LARAC response is available in the Policy Archive.

The Northern Ireland Waste Strategy is currently under review.  

Waste Prevention: 

A Framework for Waste Prevention in Northern Ireland was published in 2005.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has committed to putting a place a Waste Prevention Programme in line with the requirements of Article 29 of the rWFD (by 12 December 2013)

Key regulatory drivers

The Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 have fully transposed the requirements of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) in the Province.

The Department of the Environment NI has recently held open consultations on the possibility on introducing a requirement for Site Waste Management Plans, Restrictions on Wastes to Landfill, a Recycling Policy (setting a 60%  Municipal Recycling rate target),  an Addendum to the Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy, and a proposed Duty of Care Code of Practice for Northern Ireland.

The outcome of these consultations is expected to shape future waste regulation in Northern Ireland.

The LARAC responses to the consultations are available in the Policy Archive


In June 2010, the SG launched the Zero Waste Plan for Scotland. The plan sets the strategic direction for Scottish waste policy over the next 10 years.  

The regulatory changes required to implement the plan will be via the Zero Waste Scotland Regulations 2011* (due to be enacted in March/April 2012)

Key Zero Waste plan targets in 'Targets for Waste Recycling and Waste Composting' section


The SG already has a 20 point action plan reduce household waste: the Household Waste Prevention Action Plan 2007

SG has also committed to putting a place a Waste Prevention Programme in line with the requirements of Article 29 of the rWFD (by 12 December 2013). An open consultation on this Waste Prevention Programme is due in Spring 2012.


The regulatory changes required to implement the plan will be enacted in the Zero Waste Regulations 2011. These Regulations introduce a series of regulatory measures including:

  • Source segregation and separate collection of key recyclable materials: paper, card, glass, metals, plastic (co-mingling will only be accepted where the waste hierarchy is not undermined and the outputs from the MRF are of a comparable quality to those collected separately at the kerbside); 
  • Source segregation of food wastes: in respect of separate food waste collections the Regulations will cover urban areas with a population over 125,000, other urban areas (10,000-125,000 population), and accessible small towns (3,000-10,000) and properties within 30 minutes drive of a settlement of 10,000 or more. The statutory requirement to collect food waste will be limited to households that can present a bin to the kerbside. It is hoped that current trials will enable clear best practice guidance to be made available promptly on, for example, food waste collection  services to high density housing (high rises etc);
  • A ban on  mixing separately collected recyclable materials;
  • A ban on landfilling the key recyclable materials;
  • A restriction on the inputs to thermal treatment facilities;
  • A ban on waste disposed of to landfill based on organic content

Where separate food waste collection is not being offered, there will be a requirement on LAs to promote food waste prevention and/or home composting

The timetable for introducing the measures is:

31/12/2013: Source segregation

  • All business must present dry recyclables, and medium/large businesses in food waste production, food retail and food preparation must present food waste for collection
  • Local Authorities must offer dry recyclables collection service and begin to roll-out food waste collections.

31/12/2013: Bans

  • Ban on mixing segregated materials
  • Ban on landfilling source segregated materials

31/12/2015: Source Segregation

  • Small food production, food retail and food preparation businesses must present food waste for collection
  • Local Authorities must complete roll-out of food waste collections

31/12/15: Bans

  • Existing facilities must remove dense plastic and metals from residual waste prior to incineration. All new facilities will be required to comply with this requirement on commencement of the regulations
  • Ban on the non-domestic use of food waste disposal units (macerators) and food waste digesters where the “treated” food waste is discharged into public sewers directly.

31/12/2020: Bans

  • Ban on biodegradable material to landfill


Overarching, long-term framework for resource efficiency sustainable waste management.

Implementation via:
1.  6 key Sector Plans, including municipal C&I, Food and Retail Sectors

2.   Staturory Recycling and Recovery Targets

3.   Supporting Waste Prevention Programme (currently out for consultation)