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Environment

Environment Enforcement


Mayo County Council is responsible for enforcing several areas of environmental legislation. The Environmental Enforcement Team at Mayo County Council was established to protect the environment by bringing about improved compliance with waste and other environmental legislation.  

We would appreciate your co-operation and assistance by reporting any illegal dumping and by ensuring your waste collector has an appropriate Waste Collection Permit. 
 
If you have any complaints regarding illegal waste, or any of the activities listed below, in Mayo please contact any of the Environmental Enforcement Team at 094 9024444 or e-mail environment@mayococo.ie  

The areas covered include: 

Waste Tyres 

The Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2017 promote the environmentally sound management of waste tyres. 

The regulations impose obligations on persons who supply tyres to the Irish market, whether as manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, traders, or retailers, and on the collectors of waste tyres and farmers. 

Under article 21 and 22 of the regulations producers and retailers of tyres must be a member of a compliance scheme operated by an approved body.  

Repak ELT Limited is the approved body as set out in the Regulations. 

Contact

Address: Repak ELT, Red Cow Interchange Estate, 1 Ballymount Rd, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, D22 HW67 

Phone: 01 4618600 

Website: www.repakelt.ie  

Please note that suppliers/retailers are obliged to transfer waste tyres to an authorised waste collector who shall also be registered with REPAK ELT. 

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Batteries

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive provides for the recycling of electrical appliances. It is funded by a levy on the sales of all new electrical equipment from electric toothbrushes to fridge-freezers and cookers.  

In Ireland this is drastically reducing the large number of electrical appliances that have been going into landfill sites. The charges fund the collection of the old electrical equipment and the sending of electrical equipment to where it is dismantled, and parts are reused or material recycled.  

When consumers purchase a new electrical appliance, they can bring the old one back for free to the retailer or use a Civic Amenity Site free of charge.  

WEEE Ireland are the compliance scheme operating in Mayo and more details can be found on their website www.weeeireland.ie/ 

Retailers of Electrical Equipment must register with the compliance scheme. 

 

Solvent Regulations (Dry Cleaners) 

The Solvent Regulations were update in 2012. This legislation requires Irish business, which use solvents or solvent containing materials as part of their operation, to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from their Local Authority. 

The Environmental Enforcement Team carry out inspections in relation to these regulations and can issue fines or initiate prosecutions on those not compliant. 

Further information is available here 

  • An Application Form for Dry Cleaners is available here
  • Best practice Guide for Dry Cleaners 
  • Councils create and maintain a register of commercial businesses operating within their area who carry out spray painting and vehicle refinishing on their premises. This register is available for public viewing here

Solid Fuel Regulations (Smokey Coal) 

In December 2019 it was announced that the town population size to which Solid Fuel Regulations would apply for the marketing, distribution, sale or use of smoky coal, would be reduced to 10,000.  

In Mayo this will apply to the towns of Ballina and Castlebar from 1st September 2020. These regulations were brought in for the protection of human health and should have a noticeable effect. The full details of the areas involved and the legislation required is now in place.  

The Environmental Enforcement Team will enforce these regulations.

Please see updated maps of the Castlebar and Ballina Low Smoke Zones, relevant FAQ's and check out an interactive map HERE

Please note, these regulations do not currently apply to the burning of dry timber or peat for home heating purposes.

Mayo County Council would encourage all those using solid fuel to heat their homes to consider using certified smokeless products to improve air quality in the county for the benefit of human health.

Plastic Bag Levy 

The Irish plastic bag levy first introduced on March 4, 2002, is a good example of the practical and successful application of an environmental tax. With the introduction of the Waste Management (Plastic bag) Levy Regulations (as amended), the levy is charged per bag by retailers to consumers who choose to avail of a plastic carrier bag when making purchases. 

Levy proceeds accrue to the Environment Fund and are used exclusively in funding waste recycling, litter and other beneficial environmental initiatives. 

Some exemptions apply for plastic bags used solely to contain: 

  • Fish, Meat or poultry products 
  • Non-packaged Fruit, nuts or Vegetables 
  • Confectionary 
  • Dairy Products 
  • Cooked Food 
  • Ice  

Mayo County Council's Environment Enforcement Staff carry out ongoing inspections with retailers throughout the County to ensure compliance with the law. 

Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations

These Regulations apply to all businesses which sell or supply, on the Irish Market, packaging material or packaged products e.g. retailers of electrical goods, supermarkets, fast food outlets, pubs, manufacturers, importers and distributors. 

The Waste Management Packaging Regulations were introduced to assist Ireland achieve national packaging recovery targets. To date all recovery targets set by the EU have been achieved.  

All Packaging Producers must segregate their packaging waste arising on site into specified waste streams and ensure that it is reused, recycled or recovered.  Producers with a turnover of €1m that place 10 tonnes of packaging on to the market are further obligated to either join Repak or register with their Local Authority. 

Farm Plastics 

The Waste Management (Farm Plastics) Regulations of 2001  put obligations on the manufacturers and importers of farm plastics to arrange ways of collecting and disposing of used plastic film (i.e. silage bale wrap and sheeting) in an environmentally friendly manner. 

The Farm Plastics Regulations place an obligation on farmers to recover farm plastic waste generated. The Irish Farm Films Producers' Group (IFFPG) provides a free plastic recovery scheme. Call the National Farm Films Recovery hotline on 1890 300444 to arrange for free disposal of your used farm plastic film.    

For more information and a collection day calendar please go to www.farmplastics.ie 

When Transporting Silage Wrap, please ensure that wrap is secured so that it is not lost during transport. 

Under no circumstances should farm plastic be burned or buried. This practice may result in prosecution under the Air Pollution Act, 1987 or the Waste Management Act, 1996. 

End of life Vehicles

The end-of-life vehicle regulations refer to a passenger car or light commercial van that the registered owner wants to dispose of as waste.  You can deposit end-of-life cars and vans free of charge at authorised treatment facilities. Only vehicles that were first registered in Ireland on or after July 1, 2002, will be accepted free of charge. 

When an end-of-life vehicle is deposited at an ATF or a car dismantler, as much material as possible is recovered and recycled and recovery takes place in a way that is not harmful to the environment.  

There are six authorised treatment facilities in Mayo where you can bring your old car for recycling free of charge. Details can be found at www.nwcpo.ie . When you deposit your vehicle at one of these facilities you will be issued with a Certificate of Destruction.  

If you operate an unauthorised facility or deposit your car at an unauthorised facility you may be liable to a fine and or prosecution. 

Deco Paints (Vehicle Refinishers) 

The Limitation of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds due to the Use of Organic Solvents in Certain Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations (referred to as the Deco Paints Regulations) were introduced in May 2007. 

It is an offence to operate a vehicle refinishing installation without a current Certificate of Compliance, which is issued by your Local Authority, following a report from an Approved Assessor. 

The Environmental Enforcement Team carry out inspections in relation to these regulations and can issue fines or initiate prosecutions on those not compliant. 

Further information is available here  

  • An application form for Vehicle Refinishers is available here
  • Best Practice Guidelines for Vehicle Refinishing for Repair Installations can be found here
  • Councils create and maintain a register of commercial businesses operating within their area who carry out spray painting and vehicle refinishing on their premises. This register is available for public viewing here 

Construction and Demolition Waste 

Under waste legislation Construction and Demolition Waste is defined as ‘all waste that arises from construction, renovation and demolition activities. 

It includes soil and stone, surplus and damaged products and materials arising at construction works or used temporarily during on-site activities, together with dredge spoil. These materials can be hazardous and must be treated as such. 

  • If you are responsible for carrying out a construction and demolition project, you must ensure that you have a C&D waste management plan for all waste generated as a result of this activity AND ensure that it is segregated so that it can be reused, recycled or disposed of in an appropriate way. 
  • Where construction or demolition wastes cannot be reused or recycled, that waste must be transported to authorised waste facilities using the services of authorised waste collectors.  

Enforcement officers may call to your site at any time to ensure compliance. 

Commercial Food Waste 

The Food Waste Regulations place obligations on the major generators of food waste, such as State buildings where food is prepared, restaurants and cafés, hot food outlets, canteens, hotels and larger guesthouses, hospitals and supermarkets.  

These outlets are required to segregate food waste materials and make them available for separate collection. These producers may directly transfer their own food waste to an authorised treatment facility or engage the services of an authorised waste collector.  

Organisers of some trade shows also must comply with the Regulations and must prepare a Food Waste Management Plan. 

For further information on the new regulations go to www.foodwaste.ie 

Backyard Burning 

The Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 (as amended) specifically prohibit the disposal of household and commercial waste by burning, also called backyard burning. 

These regulations explicitly make the disposal of waste by burning an offence under both the Air Pollution Act 1987 and the Waste Management Act 1996 (as amended). 

This includes burning waste in a: 

  • Domestic fireplace 
  • Home incinerator 
  • Barrell 
  • Bonfire of any type 

There is one exception until December 31, 2020, and that is for the agricultural community. This permits farmers to burn green waste generated from agricultural practices.  

Please Note: This is to be a last resort having first, where practicable - 

  • Reduced waste arising in accordance with best agricultural practices 
  • Reused waste 
  • Recycled waste through shredding/mulching, compost or wood chippings.  
  • Salvage of waste for use as firewood/fuel 

If none of the above are viable, it is possible for farmers to apply for written permission from the Local Authority to burn green waste. 

Procedures for farmers wishing to burn green waste generated by agricultural practices: 

  • The applicant must submit a signed application form which can be found here (insert link to Application Form for Burning of Green Waste).   Please include the following (1) Proof that cost of mulching is not economically viable; (2) Photo of nature and volume of waste; (3) Discovery map (Scale 1:50 000) with 'X' marked clearly on location where burning is intended 
  • Once written permission to burn agricultural vegetation has been received from the Local Authority, all burning operations should be notified to the Fire Service. 

It is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between 1st March and 31st August in any year. 

Landowners found burning illegally could face fines, imprisonment and Single Farm Payment penalties, where applicable. 

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