Policy & Resource Efficiency

Online Brochure

Waste & Resource Management Brochure

As Ireland’s leading waste and resource management consultancy, RPS has helped to shape waste policy in Ireland over 15 years.

RPS has authored most of Ireland’s regional waste management plans and advises Government, local authorities and the private sector on waste prevention, minimisation, recycling, energy recovery and residual disposal. We have prepared key national policy, strategy and guidance documents for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Forfás, Enterprise Ireland and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

We recently acted as consultants to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government as National Waste Coordinator for Evaluation and Revision of Ireland’s Waste Management Plans. We have also been appointed by the Department to review the operation of Producer Responsibility Initiatives for packaging, electronic waste, waste tyres, end of life vehicles and farm plastics and by the EPA to author the National Waste Reports for the next four years.

RPS manages ‘rx3 - Rethink, Recycle, Remake’, the National Market Development Group for Waste Resources. RPS created of the award winning website, www.FreeTradeIreland.ie, which we continue to manage on behalf of the local authorities.

Case Studies

Construction & Demolition Waste Study for EU Commission

Environmental Protection Agency EU Commission

This study focuses on the current construction and demolition waste management situation across Europe.

‘Resource Efficient Use of Mixed Waste’ is a new European Commission project, led by BIO by Deloitte in partnership with RPS, BRE, the Belgian-based Institute for Consultancy and Studies in Sustainable Development (ICEDD), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT) of NOVA University Lisbon.

The particular focus of the study is on Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) and it will run until April 2016. The study aims to investigate the current CDW management situation in EU Member States, identifying obstacles to recycling and potential deficiencies that could lead to non-compliance with EU waste legislation. RPS is covering CDW management in Ireland and providing input in relation to the assessment of CDW statistics and identification of good practice related to creating conditions for a sustainable management of CDW.

Development and Validation of a Protocol for the Evaluation of Biodegradable Municipal Waste to Land

Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency

RPS was appointed by the EPA to develop a methodology for measuring the quantity of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) sent to landfill.

The Landfill Directive sets limitations on the amount of BMW that can be landfilled in each Member State. In 2009, the EPA transposed these limitations into a maximum allowable BMW content in MSW accepted at landfill. This required a mechanism for the monitoring of the biodegradable content of MSW from various streams including residual waste, organic fines and SRF / RDF arising from pre-treatment facilities. RPS investigated the key issues in the development of methodologies to determine the amount of BMW sent to landfill. RPS also carried out surveys over a twelve month period on twenty-two facilities representing 85% of mechanically treated municipal waste. This led to the development of seventeen generic BMW factors that could be applied to the various residual waste streams to calculate and report BMW tonnages.

RPS also produced a protocol for measuring site specific BMW tonnages. The EPA subsequently published a guidance document in 2011 entitled ‘Protocol for the Evaluation of Biodegradable Municipal Waste sent to Landfill’. A joint paper by the EPA and RPS on Ireland’s approach to measuring the diversion of BMW from landfill was presented at the Sardinia 2011 Symposium on International Waste Management. RPS also provided training to local authority personnel and EPA staff on the use of the protocol.


FreeTradeIreland.ie FreeTradeIreland.ie

Local Authorities throughout Ireland

Managing national reuse website on behalf of local authorities throughout Ireland.

RPS is managing the innovative, web-based FreeTrade Ireland service to encourage and facilitate the free reuse of household and business items nationwide. In addition to managing the website design, build and testing and the Free Trade Ireland Facebook page, RPS has also led the development of the FreeTrade Ireland App, one of the first smart phone services developed and funded by local authorities in Ireland.

Using the free service, householders and businesses can pick up and pass on quality items such as home and office furniture, baby goods, electronics, sports equipment, musical instruments and motoring items. Users can view ads for items as well as post items of their own once they are a member of the site.

The FreeTrade Ireland service is supported by Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and funded by the Local Authorities across Ireland. The website aims to help prevent usable items going to landfill and increase the lifespan of items for reuse. The Free Trade service originated as a regional reuse service for Dublin, on DublinWaste.ie, which was developed and managed by RPS from 2006. Due to its success it was then expanded to become FreeTradeIreland.ie in July 2010 with Mayo County Council acting as the lead authority. Since the service has commenced, over 38,000 items have found new homes.

National Coordination & Evaluation of Waste Plans

National Coordination & Evaluation of Waste Plans National Coordination & Evaluation of Waste Plans

Department of Environment Community & Local Government

Coordinator of national steering committee set up for the evaluation and revision of Ireland’s waste management plans.

In 2011, the National Coordinator role was established to advise and assist the DECLG, National Committee and the waste regions and was critical to ensure the implications of the European Waste Framework Directive, national policy and regulations are understood and delivered.

As National Coordinator, RPS advised on the steps needed to complete the evaluation stage of the waste plan process so there is procedural consistency across the regions. We were also tasked with developing an understanding of the SEA and AA processes, which now forms part of all waste plan reviews.

RPS responsibilities on the project included co-ordination of the national committee, preparation of guidance documents, waste data compilation and analysis and development of an online project management tool.

Producer Responsibility Model

Review of the Producer Responsibility Model in Ireland Review of the Producer Responsibility Model in Ireland

Department of Environment, Community & Local Government

RPS leading a national and international consortium to review the Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI) model in Ireland.

RPS is leading a national and international consortium appointed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to carry out the first comprehensive review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI) model in Ireland. The overall aim of the review is to assess the nature and level of the challenges which are currently facing the existing PRIs and to prepare these schemes to meet our future domestic and EU recycling targets.

The review will examine in detail the packaging, end-of-life vehicles, WEEE, batteries, tyres, farm plastics and construction and demolition PRISs. In addition, the cross-cutting topics of enforcement, information and awareness, competition, administrative burden etc. are under review. It is anticipated that the findings and recommendations from the review will form the basis for the further development of robust producer responsibility initiatives that will enable Ireland to operate successfully in meeting our domestic and EU environmental obligations in the medium to long term.

rx3 – Rethink, Recycle, Remake

rx3 – Rethink, Recycle, Remake

Department of Environment, Community & Local Government

RPS managed rx3 ‘rethink, recycle, remake’, a Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government (DECLG) programme.

‘rx3 – Rethink Recycle Remake’ was a new national platform set up in 2008 to assist national waste recycling for paper, plastics and organics based on resource efficiency. The main focus was on closing the material loop, through the development of markets for reusable, remanufactured and recyclable materials. This closed loop recycling project correctly anticipated the new ‘circular economy’ policy by the EU Commission favouring eco-innovation, economic development and job creation.

The project was managed by RPS over six years on behalf of the then Department of Environment, Community & Local Government. The final report on rx3 was published in late 2015. Three types of actions were completed by rx3:


Technical – e.g. the development of materials standards and systems of quality control so that the market can have confidence in the product’s consistency and reliability

Communications – overcoming barriers due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the possible benefits of recycled materials and their availability by creating dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders

Economic Incentives – supporting innovation and jobs, product development and cross-sectoral initiatives between those managing the waste and those creating new products

The project was of key strategic importance to the greening of the Irish economy and to the development of green enterprises in Ireland. The final report found that rx3 had proactively contributed to addressing key strategic areas including: Environmental Innovation and R&D, Low Carbon Economy, Green Enterprise, Green Economy, Economic Instruments to enhance the Green Economy and Benefits of North South Cooperation. In recognition of these achievements, rx3 won the Green Public Sector Award at the 2013 National Green Awards.