Work in Progress - Review of waste management in Northern Ireland

Work in progress

We are currently undertaking work in order to produce this publication. Details of when we aim to publish the finalised report are indicated below.

We are currently carrying out a review of waste management in Northern Ireland (NI). This will involve a strategic review of the waste management system operating within NI. The report will have a dual central and local government focus since waste is the responsibility of several separate entities across the public sector:

  • The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and its agency the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA);
  • The 11 Councils in Northern Ireland;
  • Waste management groups - ARC21 and North-West Regional Waste Management Group.

Domestic retained EU law defines waste as ‘any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard’. Waste management, meanwhile, is concerned with ‘The collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste, including the supervision of such operations and the after-care of disposal sites, including actions taken as a dealer or broker.’ It is a complex evolving environment,  reflecting the industry’s move away from landfill to a more circular economy where products and materials are reused, and recycled whenever possible.


The study’s focus will be an examination of the current operating arrangements of the waste management system in NI. It will consider whether NI’s waste management structure is able to meet the future challenges facing the industry and the pledges made at COP 27.

We aim to publish this report in Summer 2024.