Household Waste Characterisation Campaign

In 2017 the Clean Technology Centre were commissioned by the EPA to carry out a household waste characterisation study in Ireland. The project was led by CTC partner, RPS Group.

The objective of the project is to undertake characterisation on the different fractions of household waste in Ireland.

The Final Report:

  • Describes the household waste sampling methodology and sampling procedure,
  • Presents the samples, their analysis and composition,
  • Quantify the level of contamination in packaging household waste, and
  • Recommends a methodology for the application of findings.

The fieldwork element was based on the methodology developed in 2015 and updated  sampling plans issued to the EPA in February 2017 and September 2017.

The fieldwork element comprised a physical waste compositional analysis of the following kerbside collected streams:

  • Mixed Residual Waste,
  • Mixed Dry Recyclables and
  • Organic Waste.

The three streams above are combined to create a national profile using 2016 kerbside collected household waste data. This profile excludes household waste collected at non kerbside locations (e.g. bring banks, civic amenity sites etc.), so Ireland’s overall household recycling performance is not identified in this kerbside analysis alone.

The fieldwork was completed between April 2017 and March 2018. This period is denoted as ‘2018’ throughout the final report. The data are presented at the primary category level and full detailed data sets results with all secondary waste categories in percentages of the materials surveyed are included.

A national kerbside household waste composition profile is generated with full details of secondary categories.

The Final Report is available here.

Key details

Project Name

Household Waste Characterisation Campaign


Environmental Protection Agency





Main features

Study to Carry Out a Household Waste Characterisation of Ireland

Contact Details

Colum Gibson
Centre Manager
Colum is the Clean Technology Centre manager, a Senior Environmental Consultant and programme manager with a PhD in Physical Chemistry. He is an IEMA Auditor and has worked with CTC for almost 20 years. Colum has extensive experience working with industry, the waste sector, local authorities, communities and national agencies. He has worked on a broad range of topics, including energy efficiency, environmental indicators, waste management and prevention, water and energy assessments, zero emissions and waste, environmental management systems, creative thinking, innovation and sustainable community development.