Waste Management Act 1996

Waste management facilities.


38. (1) A local authority shall provide and operate, or arrange for the provision and operation of, such facilities as may be necessary for the recovery and disposal of household waste arising within its functional area.

(2) A local authority may provide and operate, or may arrange for or facilitate the provision and operation of—

( a) civic waste facilities, that is to say, facilities at which waste may be deposited by members of the public, and

( b) other facilities for—

(i) the segregation, mixing, baling, storage or treatment of waste prior to its recovery or disposal,

(ii) the recovery of waste, or

(iii) the disposal of waste (other than household waste).

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (2), a local authority, having made an examination of the matter, shall provide, or arrange for the provision of, such facility or facilities as appears or appear to it to be necessary and reasonable at which vehicles may be discarded.

(4) For the purpose of subsections (1), (2) and (3), a local authority may enter into an agreement or otherwise make arrangements with any other local authority or other person for the recovery or disposal of waste by such authority or person on its behalf, or the joint provision or operation by it and that other authority or person, of any relevant facility.

F116 [ (5) Neither the provisions of this section nor the repeal of any enactment mentioned in Part I of the Fifth Schedule shall prejudice

( a ) the continued operation of waste disposal facilities by the corporation of a borough (other than a county borough) or the council of an urban district, or

( b ) the use of such facilities by such a corporation or council at a more intensive level than the level of the use that was being made of them on the commencement of this section (whether the more intensive use is constituted by an increased input of waste into the facilities or the use of a larger proportion of the facilities than was being used on the commencement of this section or otherwise),


(i) in a case falling solely within paragraph ( a ), the said facilities were in operation upon the commencement of this section, and

(ii) in a case falling within paragraphs ( a ) and ( b ), subparagraph (i) is complied with and the use of the facilities at that more intensive level is provided for in the waste management plan in force in relation to the borough or urban district concerned. ]

F117 [ (5A)( a ) It shall be the duty of waste producers and holders to ensure that, where recovery in accordance with section 29(2A)(a) is not undertaken, waste undergoes safe disposal operations which meet the requirements of section 32(1) on the protection of human health and the environment.

( b ) A person who contravenes paragraph (a) shall be guilty of an offence.

( c ) The Agency and the local authorities shall, in carrying out their functions under this Act, take the necessary measures to ensure that waste undergoes recovery operations in accordance with this section. ]

(6) The Minister may take such measures as seem to him or her to be appropriate to promote and support the establishment of such facilities for the good management, including the recovery or disposal, of waste as he or she may consider to be necessary or desirable, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may for the purpose of this subsection provide, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, grants or other forms of financial assistance in respect of the establishment of such facilities.

(7) ( a) Where it appears to a local authority or the Agency that it is necessary so to do for the purpose of the effective and orderly disposal of waste, a local authority or the Agency may, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, require a holder or producer of any class or classes of waste, other than household waste, to dispose, or arrange for the disposal, of that waste, in such manner, under such conditions and at such appropriate waste disposal facility as may be specified by it.

( b) A person who fails to comply with a requirement under this subsection shall be guilty of an offence.

(8) The Agency shall classify facilities that exist in the State for the disposal of waste in such manner and having regard to such criteria as may be prescribed.

(9) For the purpose of subsection (2), other than paragraph (b) (iii), and subsection (3), “ local authority” includes, as appropriate, the corporation of a borough of any kind and the council of an urban district.

(10) Section 3 ( c) of the Derelict Sites Act, 1990, is hereby amended by the addition of “ or under” after “conferred by”.

(11) ( a) A person shall not deposit or discard waste at a facility provided by a local authority under this section otherwise than in accordance with any conditions for the time being standing specified by the local authority as respects the nature, type and quantity of waste that may be so deposited or discarded or the use otherwise of such a facility.

( b) A local authority shall take such steps as are reasonable to bring to the notice of members of the public any conditions for the time being standing specified by it for the purposes of paragraph (a).

( c) A person who contravenes paragraph (a) shall be guilty of an offence.

( d) Subject to paragraph (e), waste deposited or discarded at a facility provided by a local authority under this section shall become the property of the authority.

( e) Without prejudice to paragraph (c), where a person deposits or discards waste in contravention of paragraph (a)

(i) the waste shall not become the property of the local authority concerned unless it decides to assume ownership of the waste,

(ii) any expenses incurred by the local authority concerned in recovering or disposing, or arranging for the recovery or disposal, of the waste shall be recoverable by it from the person as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.




Substituted (17.07.2001) by Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2001 (10/1996), s. 7, commenced on enactment.


Inserted (31.03.2011) by European Communities (Waste Directive) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 126 of 2011), reg. 17.

Modifications (not altering text):


Functions transferred and reference to “Minister for Finance” construed (29.07.2011) by Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011), arts. 3, 5 and sch. 1 part 2, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions in arts. 6-9.


3. The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under the provisions of —

(a) the enactments specified in Schedule 1, and

(b) the statutory instruments specified in Schedule 2,

are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.


5. References to the Minister for Finance contained in any Act or instrument under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Order shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.


Schedule 1



Part 2

1922 to 2011 Enactments

Number and Year

Short Title








No. 10 of 1996

Waste Management Act 1996

Sections 38(6), 72 and 74





Editorial Notes:


Power pursuant to section exercised (7.05.2015) by Waste Management (Food Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 190 of 2015).


Power pursuant to section exercised (10.12.2009) by Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 508 of 2009).