Ballymurtagh Historic Landfill, Wicklow

Waste Licence: W0011-02

Ballymurtagh Landfill closed for waste acceptance in 2002. The capping of the landfill was complete in 2006. It is located on a previously used open cast copper mines. Today, the landfill is on aftercare and a small recycling centre operates adjacent to the landfill

There have been no complaints arising from the activities at Ballymurtagh for over 20 years.

Groundwater Pollutants Identified:
Copper, Lead, Nickel, Sulphate & Ammonia.

The landfill is located in the area of the old Avoca Mines. Groundwater in the entire area shows excessively high levels of metals, which are detected in the quarterly analysis. At one location, Ammonia from the landfill leachate discharge is also detected. This level has been demonstrated to be decreasing over time.

EPA agreed financial provision is in place. CRAMP & ELRA last agreed by the Agency in 2017

The annual slope stability assessment was last undertaken in 2016. The most recent slope stability assessment report submitted to the Agency was on 03/12/2013 (ref. LR006371). This is a Non- Compliance with Condition 6.17.

The topographical survey for 2021 was not undertaken at the site. This is a Non-Compliance with Condition 6.18. It is noted that a topographical survey for 2022 has been partially undertaken at the site in 2022 in response to the landfill cap breach (ref. INCI022640).

Actions Required:

Comply with Conditions 6.17 & 6.18. With regard to the 2016 slope stability assessment, the Licensee shalloutline how and when the recommendations outlined in the report were implemented.

The Licensee shall ensure all future slope stability assessments shall investigate the slope integrity at bothsurface and subsurface levels.

The landfill gas collection infrastructure has not been maintained and is not fit for purpose – pipelines have sagged and become blocked with condensate and/or disconnected from the flare. This has resulted in a 50% loss of the landfill gas collection network, low volumes of landfill gas reaching the flare, higher volumes of oxygen being drawn into the gas field and difficulties in balancing the gas field and maintaining the run- time of the flare.

This is a Non-Compliance with Condition 3.6

On occasion the flare has been used to drain the pipework of leachate, which poses a risk of over-drawing the gas field and pulling oxygen into the gas collection network.

There are two functioning leachate wells at the site – Condition 6.15.2 requires five wells to be maintained at the site.

This is a Non-Compliance with Conditions 6.15.1 & 6.15.2.

The landfill gas collection system was disconnected from the enclosed landfill gas flare and connected to a low calorific high temperature open flare in 2020.

This was done in the absence of assessing the performance of the landfill gas collection network, and despite the Licensee being aware of issues in the network.

The Licensee failed to submit a Specified Engineering Works (SEW) proposal and obtain the written approval of the Agency prior to undertaking these works. This is a Non-Compliance with Conditions 1.4 and 3.3.1.

While the low calorific high temperature flare is being operated at temperatures around 1,020oC, the Licensee could not confirm the burn chamber residence time during the site visit, to demonstrate compliance with Condition 6.16.3.

The Licensee has undertaken one landfill cap performance assessment report since the licence was granted. The Licensee is required to undertake a landfill cap performance assessment once every three years and report to the Agency on each occasion. The Licensee has not submitted this report to the Agency in three years prior to 31/12/2021.

This is a Non-Compliance with Condition 6.20.

Monitoring of leachate levels is required to be undertaken monthly. Licensee return LR065199 shows the Licensee is undertaking this monitoring on a quarterly basis.

This is a Non-Compliance with Condition 6.1 & Schedule C.3.

Landfill gas balancing records are maintained on a monthly basis. However additional balancing undertaken more frequently at a smaller number of wells is not recorded.

The quality of balancing records does not allow for the interrogation of actions taken during the balancing exercise i.e. the balancing sheets do not record the:

• Existing state of the valve at the wellhead (for example, closed, 10% open, 100% open);
• Changes made to the valve during the balancing event;
• Gas concentrations prior to making changes and after making changes (if applicable);
• Any observations made during the balancing exercise, such as infrastructure repairs needed, condensate draining needed/undertaken, issues/odours noted/addressed

While it is noted the site is visited daily by Council staff, the flare is not connected to an out of hours call out/alarm system.

This is a Non-Compliance with Condition 6.1 & Schedule C.1.1.

The annual VOC monitoring was not undertaken at the landfill in 2021.

Surface water drainage and infrastructure used to divert surface water away from the landfill waste body has not been maintained – these include the:

• Surface water drains and swales (which were not sufficient to divert surface water away from the cap, evident by the cap being wet underfoot, rushes growing and swales had long grass growing in them);
• Landfill cap depressions (allowing ponding of water on the cap); and
• Surface water retention pond (which was overgrown and inaccessible, and fencing around the pond was damaged).

The failure to maintain surface profiles, water collection drainage infrastructure and the storm water retention pond at the site is a Non-Compliance with Conditions 3.17 & 10.4.1.

The failure to demonstrate the integrity of the surface water retention pond is in Non-Compliance with Condition 6.9.

T.E. Labs monitor surface water, groundwater and leachate.

In compliance with Condition 6 of Waste Licence W0011-02, Wicklow County Council is required to carry out environmental monitoring at Ballymurtagh Landfill at such locations and frequencies as set out in Schedule C: Control & Monitoring of the licence.

Schedule C.5 details the requirements for the monitoring of receiving water, Schedule C.4 details the requirements of groundwater monitoring and C.3 the leachate monitoring.

Quarterly reports are submitted in line with the requirements set out in the licence.

Groundwater in the immediate area of the landfill and beyond is heavily polluted from the workings associated with Avoca mines. Specifically, extremely high levels of metals and resulting conductivity are observed along with low pH.

The groundwater-monitoring programme includes monitoring wells:
 Twin Shafts
 G1/04
 G1/05
 G2/05
 RC6
 SW3 (Ballymurtagh Road Adit)
and at five private wells.

Current landfill gas collection infrastructure on the facility

There is a total of 42 vertical wells and 2 pumped condensate knock out pots on the facility. Horizontal and Vertical landfill gas abstraction is employed in the facility. There is one operational installed landfill gas enclosed flare (500 m3/hr).

Leachate Monitoring:

TelLab undertake leachate monitoring on a quarterly basis. Leachate analysis is undertaken at all wells that are not dry.

AIE Request: GIS data for historic landfill boundaries (otherwise known as the Unregulated Waste Disposal Sites Register)

AIE 04/22 

Mapping data was not transferred from EPA to NWCPO

NWCPO are now the competent authority for register of historic landfills / unregulated waste disposal sites in Ireland

Number of records does not match number of records forwarded via EPA (272 records, vs 494 on EPA Register)

Sample data

Identification and assessment of landfill sites

The 1996 Waste Management Act provided for local authorities to identify sites within their jurisdictions at which waste disposal or recovery activities had been carried on, to assess any risk of environmental pollution and to identify remedial measures.

As well as municipal landfills, this included unregulated waste disposal sites. However, this requirement was generally not actioned as there was no national standard for the local authorities to follow in assessing risk and in identifying the necessary remediation works. That deficit was addressed in 2007 with the publication by the EPA of a code of practice for environmental risk assessment of unregulated waste disposal sites.

The legal obligations on local authorities for landfills were expanded in 2008.1 In addition to having to register sites they themselves had operated in the period between July 1977 and March 1997 (at which time the EPA became responsible for licensing and regulating landfill operations) and to carry out an environmental risk assessment, local authorities now had to make applications to the EPA for approval and authorisation of any proposed remediation works.

At July 2020, the total number of identified landfill sites was 611.

This included 117 sites licensed and regulated by the EPA since March 1997, and which it continues to monitor — consisting of 64 sites operated by local authorities and 53 operated privately.

494 unregulated sites registered by local authorities on a web-based register established by the EPA.

Over 70% of the sites are former local authority-operated landfills.

Around 21% were privately operated sites, while just over 8% were illegal dump sites.

Landfill sites on the Section 22 register, as at 31 December 2019


The environmental risk assessment of the sites on the Section 22 register involves three progressive stages.

Tier 1 assessment — development of a conceptual site model and risk assessment — this allows for the categorisation of sites into low, moderate and high risk.
Tier 2 assessment — more detailed site investigations and testing.
Tier 3 assessment — refinement of the conceptual site model and completion of a quantitative risk assessment for all moderate and high risk sites.

On completion of the three-tier risk assessment process, local authorities are required to prepare remediation plans to address the risks identified for a site.

Killycronaghan Landfill, Killycronaghan, Smithborough, County Monaghan

Section 22 register number: S22-02296

Grid Reference: 256923 E and 328618 N

The site covers an area of 9 ha.

Quantity of waste at facility: Approximately 147,784 tonnes. 106,000 m3

Killycronaghan historic landfill is not owned by Monaghan County Council (landowner is a local farmer)

The site is located almost 7km north-east of Clones on privately owned land and covers an area of 9ha.

The site is surrounded by agricultural lands and is bounded by the Kilgormly river to the
south-east, east and north, and by the Magheramey river to the north-west.

There are poultry houses adjacent to the north-east of the site and three dwellings within 500m of the site boundary, the nearest of which is located 230m from the north-eastern boundary.

The landfill was operational from 1970 to circa 1984 and comprises of approximately 147,784 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW).

An appropriate assessment of the activity was carried out as it was determined that there is a hydrological connection between the closed landfill and one SPA site and two SAC sites, the nearest of which is located 16.2km south-west of the closed landfill.

Post remedial works, Monaghan County Council intend to use the site for low intensity grazing.

The risk assessment has categorised the site as High risk (Class A) with high scoring pollutant linkages identified as:
– Leachate migration into groundwater, and, via groundwater, to surface waterbodies;
– Migration of leachate, via groundwater, to Surface Water Body Protected Areas;
– Migration of leachate, via surface water drainage/runoff, to surface water bodies;
– Human health exposure pathway of off-site lateral migration of landfill gas into nearby buildings; and
– Vertical landfill gas migration.

The Technical Commitee notes that the Tier 1 and Tier 2 assessment determined the overall risk score for the closed landfill as high due partly to the risk of migration of landfill gas into the adjacent buildings i.e. the poultry houses, located to the north east, and the farm buildings, situated to the east of the site. The TC further notes that modelling showed that landfill gas will continue to be generated for several years although in minimal quantities. As landfill gas monitoring is carried out in the existing groundwater monitoring boreholes, the TC considers it prudent that monitoring is carried out in the additional boreholes to be installed for groundwater monitoring as required under condition 3.1(i).

The TC notes the high-risk classification of the site is partially due to the risk to the groundwater aquifer from the migration of leachate from the waste body. The TC also notes that the site investigations determined that the groundwater table likely transects the waste body and that groundwater monitoring results show that leachate is having a deleterious effect on groundwater quality.

The site investigations carried out as part of Tier 1, 2 and 3 assessments established the following facts:
– the closed landfill has been capped with soil but the cap allows rainfall to infiltrate into the waste body;
– the landfill is unlined;
– there is migration of landfill leachate into groundwater;
– the landfill is contributing to a deterioration in groundwater quality;
– the waste material is deposited in a single infill area tending west to east in the centre of the site and between approximately 150m in length and 130m in width;
– the average thickness of the waste body is 5m and there is a layer of leachate contaminated sands and gravels below waste;
– the groundwater table appears to be intersecting the waste body;
– leachate seepage was observed near the centre of the site;
– landfill gas is being generated;
– there are two wells present on-site. The Council believes these to be old methane wells;

Local Authority Waste Facility Register

As at April 22

The Waste Facility Permit and the Certificate of Registration Database is a register for waste facility permits and certificates of registration issued by local authorities under the Waste Management (Facility Permit and Registration) Regulations, S.I. No. 821 of 2007, as amended.

Register is hosted by the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO) of all waste facility permits and certificates of registration granted, reviewed, revoked and expired

Download in Excel here:

Landfill Leachate Contracts, 2013-2022

Source: eTenders (as of 8/4/22)

Landfill Leachate Removal Services from Donohill, Ballaghveny, Connawarries Landfills

Collection and Transportation of Powerstown Landfill Leachate

Collection transportation and Disposal of Landfill Leachate from sites in Co Cork

Environmental Consultancy Services for Environmental Monitoring Leachate ,Groundwater, Surface Water, Private Wells

Environmental Consultancy Services for Environmental Impact Assessment EIA etc for treatment of leachate at Arthurstown Landfill

Provision of Services for Haulage of Leachate from Kerdiffstown Landfill

Leachate Removal & Transport services from the East Galway Landfill to various Waste Water Treatment Facilities

Collection and Transportation of Basketstown Landfill Leachate

Single-Party FWA for Maintenance of Landfill Gas and Leachate Systems at Silliot Hill IWMF County Kildare

Removal of leachate from Gortadroma landfill

Installation of sensor system for Leachate Well Level Monitoring – Raffeen Landfill

Establishment of a single-operator framework agreement for the maintenance of landfill gas and leachate infrastructure at Silliot Hill Integrated Waste Management Facility

Provision of Leachate Transport from Scotch Corner Landfill to Monaghan Waste Water Treatment

Accredited Laboratory Services for the collection and analysis of samples of groundwater, surface-water and leachate from Ballaghveny landfill, and, the reporting the results of analysis

Leachate Removal Services from North Kerry Landfill to Tralee Wastewater Treatment Plant on behalf of Kerry County Council

Haulage of Leachate from Donohill and Ballaghveny landfills

Single-Operator Framework Agreement of up to 3 years’ duration for the Haulage of Leachate from Kerdiffstown Landfill

Leachate removal at Gortadroma landfill, Ballyhahill, Co. Limerick

Removal and Transport of Leachate from East Galway Landfill to Various Treatment Facilities

Leachate removal anf transportation services from Powerstown Landfill to licenced wastewater treatment plants

Drogheda Port IED Leachate Runoff Project

Request for Tenders for the Provision of Transport of Leachate from Scotch Corner Landfill to Monaghan Waste Water Treatment Plant

Provision of Leachate Disposal Services

Collection & Transportation of Landfill Leachate

Louth County Council – Tender for the hire of Tankers to remove Leachate from Whiteriver Landfill, Co Louth

East Galway Landfill On Site Leachate Treatment

Collection and Transportation of Leachate from North Kerry Landfill on behalf of Kerry County Council

Tender for the transportation of Leachate from Donohill Landfill to Waste Water Teatment Plants


Balleally Landfill Leachate Pipeline

Contract for Leachate Removal from the Central Waste Management Facility, Ballyduff Beg, Inagh & at the disused landfill site at Doora, Ennis, Co. Clare.

AIE: OEE Waste Crime Project Sites

Under the AIE Regs to request the following dataset

OEE Waste Crime Project Sites

Resource identifier is AM.IE.EPA.WST_IllegalWasteSites

This is a points dataset of locations logged in Excel by Local Authorities in the OEE waste crime project.

The Excel, held by OEE, has all the locations logged by LA’s.

Please provide the data in

a) the format as logged in Excel, to include the illegal waste site locations and attributes including size, waste type etc (where available), and

b) in the GIS format created by the EPA based on the excel files (GIS layer is just the locations that could be mapped with confidence, so obviously may differ from the Excel documents)

EPA notes on the file:

Legal constraints / Use constraints Restricted Other constraints

The EPA must be notified if any errors or emissions are found. This data is for internal use only. It must not be shared on public websites, and it must not be distributed as open data.

AIE Request 24/3/22

EU Landfill Reporting Obligations

Landfilling of waste – the EEA is not in charge of a comprehensive inventory of landfills as there is no such reporting obligation at European level

Landfills that are of a substantial size are reported (those receiving 10 tonnes per day or with a total capacity of 25 000 tonnes) and made available together with other activities in the industrial emission dataset ( and the Industrial Emission Portal (

Jiggy (Hind) Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Jan 2020



Landfill waste (Roscommon Landfill, closed)

Urban Run-off

Combined sewer overflows

The main pathway in the urban environment will be pipes in the form of primary or secondary discharges from WwTp, Combined Sewer overflows, pumping stations and misconnections.

Hydromorphology (the river has been heavily modified for flood risk)