The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that it will take 36 years to remove all hazardous waste from Irish farms.

Estimations suggest that 7,378t of hazardous wastes are currently stockpiled on farms.

At a removal rate of approximately 200t per annum, it is estimated that it would take 36 years to clear this legacy waste.

On Friday morning, the EPA launched its draft national hazardous waste management plan 2021-2027 for public consultation.

By 2022, it is hoped there will be a nationwide collection and transfer facility catering for farm hazardous wastes, including unused veterinary products.

Toxic pollutants

Between 2013 and 2017, 46 one-day collection centres were operated, with over 9,000 farmers voluntarily participating.

The average weight of hazardous waste presented per farmer was 81kg and 34kg of batteries.

During the campaign, over 1,000t of waste was collected and properly managed, including:

  • 68t of waste pesticides, including 1.7t of persistent organic pollutants.
  • 53t of veterinary medicine waste.
  • 481t of waste engine and hydraulic oil.
  • 54t of waste paint.
  • 46t of contaminated empty containers.
  • 28t of oil filters.
  • 313t of batteries.
  • Significant quantities of highly toxic pollutants were presented for disposal at the centres, including chemicals such as mercury, cyanide, agent orange and strychnine.