Environment Frequently Asked Questions

From the 1st September 2012 it is now an offence to burn "smoky" or bituminous coal anywhere in Dublin City or County, and you can be fined up to €5,000 in court if you do so.

No! Burning household or garden waste is now illegal, and you can be fined up to €3,000 for doing so. "Backyard Burning" is bad for the environment, causes nuisance to neighbours and can also cause health problems.

If you are subjected to noise nuisance from domestic or residential premises you may apply directly to your local District Court for a Court Order under Section 108 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. Persons affected by noise nuisance caused by tenants in private rented dwellings may also apply directly to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) at www.prtb.ie or ph. (01) 635 0600 to resolve the problem. The PRTB can legally direct landlords to ensure that their tenants comply with the terms of their tenacy agreements regarding noise and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

If you are subjected to noise nuisance caused by tenants in Council-owned dwellings, you can make a complaint directly to the Anti-Social Behaviour Section of the Housing Dept.

Asbestos is a form of hazardous waste that is potentially very dangerous to human health, if not handled and disposed of correctly. Asbestos should only ever be removed and transported by specialist waste contractors who have an appropriate permit. Asbestos cannot be brought to our Recycling Centres or any other Council waste facility.

While there are no set times in law limiting the working hours on building sites, there are guideline standard times that apply to construction activity. If work takes place outside of these hours, it can then be regarded as a source of noise nuisance, and investigated by the Council’s EHOs (Environmental Health Officers). In addition, restrictions on construction working times can also be imposed by way of planning permission conditions.

Car owners can bring their old vehicles to local ATFs (Authorised Treatment Facilities) for environmentally safe disposal and recycling, free of charge. Owners who fail to deposit an end of life vehicle at an authorised treatment facility can be issued a fine of €100.

By law, any shop that sells batteries to the public must also take back similar types of old batteries for recycling, free of charge. Many shops now have blue boxes for battery recycling on display. There is no need to buy any new batteries when you return waste batteries to a shop, and it doesn't matter if you bought your used batteries somewhere else. Waste batteries are also accepted at any of the Council's Recycling Centres. Never put batteries in your household waste bin!

WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) is basically any type of appliance or device that requires electrical power in order to operate (battery or plug), and whose owner wishes to dispose of as waste. In addition to larger household items such as televisions, computers, cookers, fridges and washing machines, it also includes kettles, toasters, and smaller personal items such as cameras, toys, watches, mobile phones and MP3 players.

The WEEE Regulations promote the environmentally responsible disposal, collection, and recycling of electrical goods and appliances in Ireland, funded by the Producers of these goods and appliances. One of the main features of the regulations is the free take-back of similar WEEE items on a one-for-one / like of like basis that must be offered by retailers to customers when they purchase a new electrical or electronic product. If the items purchased are delivered (e.g. fridge or washing machine), the old item has to be collected free of charge once it has been disconnected and is ready for collection.

WEEE is also accepted from households free of charge at Fingal County Council Recycling Centres.

These Regulations exist to regulate the commercial usage of solvents across various sectors of industry in Ireland, (including Dry Cleaning, Printing, Lamination and Surface Coating processes) and thus reduce potential air pollution.

These Regulations affect businesses such as crash repair operators that are involved in Vehicle Refinishing activities. The Regulations apply to all commercial operators that use paint products containing Organic Solvents on their premises.

The Council ceased providing a waste collection service in 2010.  Residents are now responsible for making their own arrangements.

Under Fingal County Council Segregation Storage and Presentation of Household and Commercial Waste Bye-Laws 2020, households are obliged to participate in an authorised waste collection service or provide documentary proof on what alternative means they use to dispose of their waste.

This means that from now on, every household must be able to prove that they have a contract in place with an authorised waste collector or that they regularly use a civic amenity site or recycling centre. By correctly managing your waste you will:

·         Make an important contribution to meeting the climate challenge

·         Improve the quantity and quality of recyclable* material collected

·         Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and incineration

·         Help conserve planet Earth’s finite resources

It is compulsory for waste collectors to provide a brown bin service to households in all areas where the population is greater than 500 persons.

It is compulsory for householders to segregate their food waste and have it collected in the brown bin by their waste collector, unless they subject the food waste to a home composting process (while minimising the creation of odours and nuisance) or bring the food waste to an authorised facility.

1 July 2010 is the date the Food Waste Regulations (SI 508 of 2009) entered into force in Ireland. The Regulations require all major sources of food waste to place it into a dedicated bin and ensure that it is not mixed with other waste. A brown bin collection service must be used so that the collected food waste is subsequently recycled by composting or by other approved recycling process.

The regulations impose obligations on the major producers of food waste, such as shops, supermarkets, public houses, state buildings, restaurants, cafés, bistros, wine bars, hot food outlets, canteens in office buildings, hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, colleges, train stations, marinas and airports.

Packaging Regulations

Please note, this information is a guide only and does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as a legal interpretation of the Regulations. 

The information contained in this guide is intended to facilitate your understanding of the contents of the Packaging Regulations 2014.  However, the Regulations should be read in their entirety. 

The Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2014 promote the recovery of specified packaging waste. The Regulations impose obligations on all producers, including manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, who in the course of business supply packaging to the Irish market.

The Regulations came into effect on the 21st June 2014 and replaced all the preceding packaging Regulations.

The Regulations impose obligations on all Producers who in the course of their business supply packaging to the Irish market.

All Producers of packaging are obliged to separate it at source into specific waste streams (aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood) and to arrange for its recovery, or return the used packaging to the Supplier, if applicable.

"Supply" means providing any packaging, packaging material or packaged products in the course of business, in exchange for any consideration including money or giving as a prize or gift. It also includes any packaging removed from a product by or on behalf of the Producer, either at the point of sale or immediately preceding the point of sale, or at the point of delivery or immediately preceding the point of delivery.

The Regulations place obligations on "Producers" and "Major Producers" of packaging.

A Producer is a person who in the course of business supplies packaging material to the Irish market.

A Producer is required to segregate waste on-site for recycling/recovery purposes.

Your company is a ""Major Producer"" of packaging if you had a turnover of more than €1m in the preceding calendar year, based on audited accounts, and you supply more than 10 tonnes of packaging on the Irish market per annum.

Additional obligations are placed on Major Producers including the requirement to either register with Fingal County Council or with the compliance scheme Repak.

You will need to have an audit carried out to accurately measure the weight of packaging supplied. The audit must be carried out by a Competent Person.

A Competent Person may be one of the following:

An Independent Person engaged by the company to ensure compliance with their statutory obligations under the regulations (i.e. an external Environmental Consultant)

A Qualified Auditor i.e. a professional accountant who is qualified to carry out an independent examination of a company's records and/or financial accounts

A Director of the company (if a registered company)

The Manager of the company (if not a registered company)

Should you wish to nominate/engage a Competent Person for the preparation of the packaging report outside of this list, please contact the Waste Enforcement Section, Fingal County Council Council in advance for written approval of same.

Remember: This issue is only relevant if your turnover was more than €1m in the preceding calendar year.

You can become a ""Self-Complier"" by registering with Fingal County Council, if your premise is within its administrative area.


You can join the compliance scheme Repak.


You must:

Register each year with Fingal County Council in respect of each premise (which is located in Fingal County Council’s functional area)

Pay an annual fee of €15 per tonne of packaging waste supplied. There is a minimum fee of €500 and a maximum fee of €15,000

Provide adequate facilities for the public, free of charge, for the acceptance, segregation and storage of packaging waste at your premises

Display a notice at each entrance advertising take-back facilities

Prepare a Three Year Implementation Plan specifying the steps to be taken to comply with the regulations

Advertise take-back facilities in newspapers twice yearly

Submit quarterly reports on packaging received, supplied and recovered

Submit an Annual Report each year reporting on packaging received, supplied and recovered over the previous twelve months.

Make the above plans/reports available to the public on request.

Arrange for the collection of packaging on request to anyone whom the Major Producer supplies.

Importers/Pack-fillers are obliged to accept/collect specified weights of packaging each quarter.


Repak is an approved body under the Regulations. If you choose to become a Repak member, you will be required to pay an annual fee. In return, you will be discharged from the obligations placed on Self-compliers, including the requirement to take back packaging waste.

Contact details for Repak are provided below:

Repak Ltd.,                                                                                                                                                                                                  Redcow Interchange Estate,                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Ballymount Road,                                                                                                                                                                                                Dublin 22.

Tel: 01-4670190                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fax: 01 - 4670197

Web: www.repak.ie

E-mail: [email protected]

You must provide evidence to Fingal County Council to support your claim. Examples include:

A copy of your audited accounts for the preceding year, or a statement from your accountant confirming your turnover for the previous year.

A report from a Packaging Audit carried out by a Competent Person showing that you supplied 10 tonnes or less to the market. There are four categories of ""competent"" persons as explained in the previous Question "I do not know the volume of Waste Packaging which my Business supplies. What must I do"?

(Remember: You do not need to undertake a Packaging Audit if you can demonstrate that your turnover in the preceding calendar year was €1m or less).

The premises are taken together in determining turnover and weights of packaging. Totals are cumulative. Where turnover is greater than €1m and packaging produced is more than 10 tonnes, the company is a Major Producer and as such must either register with all the relevant Local Authorities or join Repak.

Failure to comply with these Regulations is an offence and can result in a fine and/or prosecution. A person found guilty of an offence shall be liable:

On summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €4,000 and/or imprisonment of up 12 months

On conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €15,000,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

A copy of the Regulations can be found at the following link:

European Union Packaging Regulations 2014