The average person in Ireland threw away 322kg of household waste in 2012, the last year the Environmental Protection Agency compiled its National Waste Report.
Most of this waste is collected at the roadside – known as ‘kerbside collection’. Four companies offer kerbside bin collection in Dublin:
Kerbside bin collection runs on a user-pays system, like other utilities such as gas, electricity and phone connections. You will have to contact your preferred bin collection service and set up a payment plan. Money Guide Ireland monitors average bin charges for each company – check their website for the latest updates.
There are three kinds of bins, each for a different type of waste.
Green bins – recyclables
Green bins take recyclable material such as:
- Food tins
- Drink cans
- Tetra pak® cartons such as milk cartons and juice boxes
- Plastics marked with the pet1, hdpe2 and pp symbols
Make sure they are clean and dry before you dispose of them.
Brown bins – organic waste
Brown bins take organic waste from your kitchen and garden such as:
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Cooked and raw foods
- Dairy products
- Eggs and eggshells
- Fruits, vegetables and peelings
- Tea leaves and tea bags
- Meat, bones and fish
- Hedge clippings, twigs and branches no larger than 2 inches in diameter
- Leaves, plants, weeds and grass
Black bins – general waste
Black bins take all other waste such as:
- Soiled food packaging
- Bathroom waste
- Animal waste
- Cold ashes
- Fast food cup lids
- Black plastic bags
- Used candles
Bin collection days
Different bins are collected on different days in different areas. You’ll be assigned bin collection days when you sign up with your waste collection provider. Most also offer a bin collection schedule online.
What happens to my waste?
Most of Ireland’s waste is general waste (67% in 2012). Almost half of this is sent directly to a landfill. The other half is suitable for incineration for power generation or treated in preparation for recycling. A new “waste-to-energy” plant now operates in Poolbeg, converting waste into electricity.
Recyclable waste is usually sold to reprocessing plants that turn plastics, paper and glass into new materials. Organic waste is composted and used as fertiliser.
Glass bottle and bring banks
Glass bottles are not accepted at the kerbside but there are many bottle banks dotted around the city and region where you can bring your empties. Some of these also accept aluminium cans, clothes and other textiles. Lists of locations are broken down by the local authorities: Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.
Bring centres and recycling centres
The Dublin region has a number of bring centres and recycling centres, which accept waste that can’t go in kerbside collection. The charge for using these facilities is based on the type of materials you are depositing and the size of your vehicle. Fees are charged according to the costs displayed on site. Lists of locations are broken down by the local authorities: Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.